December 9, 2023

Check With Your Doctor, by Brendon Marks


The TV was on, but I wasn’t paying much attention. I was vaguely aware that an advertisement for some prescription medicine was encouraging me to ask my doctor if it was right for me. My first question was: “Shouldn’t he already know?” Then the side effects were mentioned, and that got my attention right away. They were headache, nausea, vomiting, muscle aches, blurred vision, and diarrhea. I?m not a real big fan of any of those maladies, separately or in any combination, and I have a short list of diseases that I would trade for them, so I don?t see myself asking my doctor if a case of diarrhea is right for me. I can make that decision all by myself. Even if this medicine is intended to cure a severe case of constipation, I think diarrhea is taking it a little too far.

Of course they never mentioned again what the medicine was intended to cure, so I guess I’ll never know if it was the heartbreak of psoriasis, male pattern baldness, or toenail fungus. They did mention that the side effects were similar to those experienced by the control group who took sugar pills.

Now I really feel sorry for those folks. And I wouldn’t be too quick to blame it on the sugar pills either. I think I’d do a little investigation into where they had lunch. I’ll bet they’d find a common theme there. I’m thinking maybe a bad bunch of burritos leftover from breakfast washed down with homemade hard cider that was strained through a chunk of the old tarp used to cover the compost pile. I’d sooner think something like that happened than leap to the conclusion that it was caused by sugar pills, and I’m downright surprised the sugar industry hasn’t raised Cain (or cane) about it.

If they had blamed it on a pill made from one of those artificial sweeteners, I could really get behind it, because some of them can really put a knot in your plumbing. I won’t mention any brand names, because I know the manufacturer would sic lawyers on me like a dog to a gut-wagon. I’d probably win, but I can?t waste time wrestling with those guys. I may never get the smell off.

You can bet that since that advertisement, I’ve really paid close attention to the names of these new miracle medicines. I never know when my doctor might decide, without any prodding from me whatsoever, that I ought to take one of them. In which case, we’ll probably have a serious discussion. I’m sure he?s looking forward to that.

So if you’d really like to have headache, nausea, vomiting, muscle aches, blurred vision, or diarrhea, be sure to check with your doctor. He or she probably has a whole drawer full of sugar pills they can give you. You won’t even have to stand in line to get the prescription filled.

Personally, if I have to settle for diarrhea, I think the burrito and hard cider is the way to go. Three of your symptoms you get right away, the headache doesn’t explode until tomorrow.

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