Tuesday, June 14, 2011

5 meds that got me through nine to five

Photo courtesy of ShyScapes Photography
There are people who won't so much as take an aspirin for a headache. It's almost against their religion. I am not one of those strange people. When you grow up in the Third World, health insurance does not appear on Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. Now that I have it, I not only use it avidly, I stock our medicine cabinet the way lots of folks keep a well stocked bar. Here is a resource for people who would like to become pharmacy technicians and help people feel better.

In my youth, every tooth in my head save for one molar sustained a cavity. My mouth was the perfect scale model of the Grand Canyon. As an adult in the Land of Milk and Honey, I parried with my orthodontist, who wanted to extract that one perfect molar before encasing my choppers in the torture device known as braces. I sacrificed the unhealthy one next to it, but the ensuing gap meant I had to get a bridge installed. Sometimes having dental insurance just means they will think up numerous ways to rearrange your teeth.

At 14, I went through weeks of stomach cramping and fever spikes without my parents breaking a sweat. One day I came home from school with the whites of my eyes a dull yellow. Then it occurred to them that I might need to go to a hospital. I stayed for two weeks, subsisting on a fat-free diet to ease the load on my liver.

I recount this without self-pity. But I thought you ought to know this bit of background so that you can appreciate how far the pendulum has swung. I will pop an ibuprofen for the slightest muscle twitch. Being that I teach dance, muscle twitches are a fact of life for me. Don't worry; I know to avoid acetaminophen after that liver-busting bout with hepatitis A.

In a previous life as a nine-to-fiver, my willingness, nay, compulsion to pop meds was in prime form. Perusing the pharmacy aisles was a pleasant way to pass the time. Labels were such fascinating reads. I culled the many chemical options down to a manageable five. These were my version of the five food groups:

1.     Cortisol. To keep belly fat from accumulating during periods of stress. Since it was one continuous stressfest, I kept the Cortisol in my top drawer next to the squeeze ball. Note: It didn't work. I have pictures of my belly bumping up against my desk. I was a sluggish blob.

Indolence by Jasper June
2.     Ginseng. To mitigate exhaustion from insomnia on top of commuting 100 miles a day. And to keep from glazing over from unrelenting boredom.

I'm Bored/Je M'ennuie by Letterpress Delicacies
3.     Ginkgo biloba. To improve spotty perimenopausal memory. Crucial in keeping track of which derrieres to kiss.

The Schmooze by begforabag
4.     SAM-e. To elevate mood in the midst of furloughs, layoffs, infighting and irrational demands.

Depression glass at Hoarders Haven
5.     Antacids. To counteract stomach acid flare-up during extreme agitation from keeping my mouth shut.

Heart Attack necktie by Cyberoptix Tie Lab
The meds I weaned myself off the second I stopped working there: All of the above. My pillbox is empty.

SweetHeartSinner Creations
I want to thank the etsy sellers whose items have handsomely illustrated my ditty to working for myself. Do visit my complete treasury (etsy speak for curated collection) here.

One last:
Mano y Metal
Do you work for someone else or for yourself? How do you like yourself as Top Banana?