A couple of months ago, I was home from work with a bad case of bronchitis. Not only was my breathing affected, but the body aches and the rapid swings between feeling hot and cold had me running through wardrobe changes faster than Cher at her Farewell Tour.
At one point, I was feeling so crummy, I was taking the maximum daily dosage of pain reliever. In doing so, I quickly depleted my supply and needed to open a new bottle. Little did I know the ordeal that was lying ahead:
The box was “sealed for my protection”. I understood why. I believe many of us can remember the events of 1982 that led to the reason why medication packages are designed and secured in the way that they are.
Check out this link for a refresher: https://www.pbs.org/newshour/health/tylenol-murders-1982
But despite the multiple attempts, with the “brute force” I was putting into it – maybe it was my weakened state – I just couldn’t tear through the simple plastic seal on the cardboard box, no matter how hard I tried. The packaging was visibly mangled, but I just couldn’t break in. Continue reading
A couple of months ago, I overheard a young lady and her colleague on the elevator, in a conversation that went something like this:
“Are you going to the pizza lunch?”
“Yes, I guess we have to. It’s mandatory.”
“Except for those people who asked for gluten-free.” She started shaking her head and continued, “Come on, it’s a free lunch.”
Ever since that conversation I still find myself shaking my head in disbelief that anyone could say something so unenlightened. Whether a person has an allergy, an intolerance, a medical condition, a dietary restriction or a preference, people’s food choices need to be respected. Period!
I suspect that the young lady in question probably does not have a family member with a food allergy or intolerance, for her to say that a lunch being free is a good reason to eat something that could pose an allergy risk.
In my case, wheat can turn my world completely upside down for about 24 hours. Imagine if you will, your absolute worst stomach flu, resulting in frequent, persistent, urgent and (please excuse the vulgarity) “explosive” trips to the washroom. Then add the sensation of something sharp painfully working its way through the digestive system. Continue reading
After what seemed like the winter that never ended and the spring that never arrived, it appears that summer is finally here in full swing with all of its accoutrements: hot humid days, sultry nights, t-shirt and shorts weather, enough sunscreen reapplications to have me feeling like an oil slick and sliding off the leather couch and of course… the dreaded summer cold.
It is one thing to get a cold when the weather outside is frightful, Jack Frost is nipping at your nose and all you want to do is hide under the covers and watch Netflix all day as you breathe through half a nostril. But in the middle of summer, it seems to defy logic.
I am not sure where this one came from, but this strain was preceded by a week of feeling unusually tired, sending me to bed much earlier than my usual bedtime. Nonetheless, even with the extra rest and conscientious effort to pump up my fruit and vegetable intake, it hit me like a ton of bricks and I now find myself breathing like Darth Vader. After a couple of days of toughing it out, treating it with bed rest, chicken soup and enough tea and fluids to flush out the sanitary system for a three block radius, the symptoms proved to be too much so I decided to check the medicine cabinet and check out what I had on hand. Continue reading
“Consider asking your doctor for the shingles vaccine, when you go for the big check-up when you turn 50” was the advice provided by the doctor who spoke on health issues when I attended a pre-retirement seminar one month ago. Shingles was described as quite unpleasant, with some people experiencing severe itchiness and pain. It was in the spirit of proactive health care that I wrote myself a big reminder, bookended by huge asterisks, to look into it when I turn 50 next year.
How ironic to visit the doctor a few weeks later to hear the diagnosis, “you have shingles”!
Had I not been hosting Easter Dinner two days later, I probably would not have gotten the sudden rash checked out as quickly. As a result, I got the treatment right away, which should lessen the “bumpy” ride. Just the same, the prospect of being off for a few weeks to recuperate is not second nature to me. Continue reading
Back in 1995, one of our local newspapers, The Ottawa Sun, held a contest in which they asked readers to send in their best “Holiday Horror Stories”. Despite the title, they were just looking for lighthearted stories recounting when holiday festivities didn’t go as planned. I knew exactly which story to tell, and that was the holiday of 1992 when Murphy’s Law was alive and well at my apartment! I decided to put my true story to prose to give it a little more of a comedic lilt. Sure enough, I made it to the winner’s circle and the Sun published a few excerps from the poem. My prize was tickets to a fabulously swanky New Year’s Eve bash. Unfortunately, Murphy wasn’t finished with me yet, and I came down with an ear infection and couldn’t go.
I still get a chuckle when I read this one, and I hope you enjoy it too!
A Christmas Story (written in December 1995)
T’was the morning of Christmas in 1992,
When I woke in the morning with a lousy flu,
“What rotten timing, oh please go away”,
I thought to myself as I started the day. Continue reading