Saturday, February 21

Wonder Drugs

Attention boys and those of you for whom frank discussion of bodily functions is distasteful: this post is not for you. Save yourself the trouble and just go now. I promise I'll have something else for you to read another day, but you really won't appreciate this one.

Are they gone? Okay, good. Now we can talk about cramps. Period cramps, I mean. The yucky, nasty, I-just-want-to-curl-up-on-the-bed-in-the-fetal-position-and-whine kind of cramps. I've got them ... or rather, I had them this morning. Then I took a couple of Excedrin. Et voilĂ  I'm feeling so much better. And you thought Excedrin was just for headaches!

Actually, I did, too. Then I took this trip to New Zealand. Funny story, really. I was visiting my friend from high school who'd moved there with her family. For some reason, international travel always brings my period early. I don't know why, but I understand it's pretty common.

Of course, while I was visiting for 10 days, my period showed up. I'd had some light cramps in the morning, but nothing bad, so we heading off for our day excursion. There we were, visiting some little touristy village or another, and I found myself suddenly having trouble walking because the pain was so intense. Not wanting to cut our day short, we stopped in at a gift shop to take a look at their selection of pain relievers. I didn't know any of them and my friend only recognized one brand. We asked the clerk which would be the best. She asked what the trouble was. I explained and she decisively set one package on the counter. "You want this one," she told me. "It's the strongest."

The box was labeled Panadol. My friend shrugged, and we paid for the pain reliever and a bottle of water. I took two tablets. Within about 20 minutes, the pain was completely gone. I was ecstatic. We spent the rest of the day walking and wandering and having a blast. I took the box home with me and used the pills with care, trying to make them last.

Several months later, a woman at work was complaining about PMS and nasty cramps. I told her about my miracle medication from New Zealand. I said I'd never seen it here, but it worked wonders. The box listed paracetamol as the active ingredient, but I didn't know what that was. I also mentioned my sadness at the fact that my stash was just about gone. My coworker looked up paracetamol on the internet and came back to tell me it was just another name for acetaminophen. All this time, I'd been hoarding the Kiwi version of Excedrin!

The next time "Aunt Flo" came to visit, and pretty well every time since, I was all stocked up. I don't always get horrible cramps, but when I do, I'm ready. And as an added bonus, Excedrin works great headaches, too.

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