Monday, June 3, 2013

Monday Reruns: In Your Dreams!

(original post date: March 30, 2011)

I have a friend who is rather tenured in the realm of senior citizenry.

She’s also doing quite well.

Her mind is sharp as a tack (and much sharper than mine, most of the time). Her body? Not so much.

Among other things, she suffers from arthritis in her right arm, and because she is right-handed, the pain is more than inconvenient.

It also sometimes keeps her up at night.

So, a few weeks ago, she consulted her doctor. And in response to her complaint, he suggested she “up” the dosage on the pain-killer he had prescribed a few weeks earlier.

You should know that my friend is not a fan of pharmaceuticals, and so her doctor’s suggestion that she essentially triple the dosage of a pain-killer didn’t settle well with her. But he assured her that it was still a very small amount of the drug, and so, she agreed to the plan.

… I phoned her the next day to see how she was feeling.

“I slept well,” she reported, not sounding particularly relieved, “but in my dreams, I was punching everything in sight, and when I wasn’t punching, I was lifting. And when I wasn’t lifting, I was furiously writing. When I got out of bed this morning, my arm muscles were so sore from all the activity that I could barely lift my first cup of coffee.”

When I laughed, my friend scolded me.

“It’s not funny!” she said. “You have no idea how sore I was!”

“I’m sorry,” I replied, smiling over the phone. “I really am. But it’s just so ironic. You take a drug to make the arm pain go away, and your arms are so not in pain while you’re sleeping that they’re just busy all night.”

My friend accepted my apology, and – beyond that – she appreciated my observation.

… And I’ve been thinking about it ever since: pharmaceutical side effects that are dream-centric.

Imagine the possibilities:

I go to the doctor.

“Doctor,” I say, “I can’t sleep. I spend so much time thinking about how this country’s stupid political parties are wasting their time with ridiculous, counter-productive in-fighting.”

“Here,” he says, scribbling on a pad. “This will help.”

That night, I dream that I meet Sarah Palin, and we hit if off like nobody’s business. We go off into the wild and shoot a bunch of wolves. We laugh because we have no need for the wolves. We pledge to be BFFs forever (disregarding the redundancy therein) and from that point forward, we text each other every day.

… I go to the doctor.

“Doctor,” I say, “I can’t sleep. I spend so much time worrying about how I am going to pay all my bills.”

“Here,” he says, scribbling on a pad. “This will help.”

That night, I dream that I get a letter in the mail. It’s a pen pal request from a man in prison. Bernie Madoff has learned of my schemes, and I am his new hero. I smile devilishly and pass the letter along to one of my staff members – a man dressed in a scaled costume and looking a lot like Dick Cheney. Then, I head for the hot tub, where I bathe with rich white men, all in handcuffs and fully dressed.

… I go to the doctor.

“Doctor,” I say, “I can’t sleep. I spend so much time worrying about the situation in the Middle East and North Africa.”

“Here,” he says, scribbling on a pad. “This will help.”

That night, I dream of sitting at a grand table with the leaders of the “free” world. There’s a hosted oil bar, and it is free-flowing. We’re all drunk. As the waiters and busboys saunter by our regally upholstered chairs, we slip them million-dollar bills. Then we refill our glasses from the oil trough and laugh some more. Political power is such a gas!

… I go to the doctor.

“Doctor,” I say, “I can’t sleep. I keep thinking about what happened in Japan. I feel so bad for the people there.”

“Here,” he says, scribbling on a pad. “This will help.”

That night, I dream I am at an amusement park, where I strap myself into a shiny round seat. The first part of the ride entails a tremendous amount of random shaking. Thereafter, it morphs into a log-flume. I am doused with water. Lots and lots of water. I emerge wobbly and laughing – shook and wet, but okay.

But I’m not okay. There’s a glow emanating from me. And it’s not a good glow. My system’s been compromised by something unnatural.

… I go to the doctor.

“Nothing’s working,” I say. “These prescriptions are all wrong.”

He shrugs.

I walk outside the clinic, and because this is California, I notice a little shop.

Medical marijuana, with promises of no more bad dreams.

… Rich white men did not invent marijuana. Few of them therefore will ever embrace its values.

Besides, it’s a plant that they don’t need to manipulate in their labs.

From a profiteering perspective, they have no use for it. And so they certainly are not going to explore its capacity to heal.

Instead, they’ll just keep inventing drugs that give people messed-up dreams and a boat-load of side effects.

And they’ll make money from it.

…Need an aspirin?


shelly said...

This was great. Glad to see you back in the blogosphere.

Hugs and chocolate,

Sioux said...

Katie--I'm glad you reposted this. I must have missed it when you originally put it out there for us.

Hilarious. I think there is a market for this piece...I just don't know where. (Perhaps you could be the "entertainment" at a pharmaceutical conference? Probably not. ;)

Kittie Howard said...

What a great post! You definitely hit the nail(s) on the head!

Cloudia said...

your sum up at the ends is SO TRUE!!!

ALOHA from Honolulu
Comfort Spiral
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