A couple of days ago, I read a review of Nick Cage’s “The Wicker Man” in which the reviewer wrote, “‘The Wicker Man’ is a screenwriter’s fever dream; I couldn’t make this up if I dropped acid and spent two weeks in a Native American sweat lodge.”
At the time, I had no real frame of reference. I don’t get sick and, as such, rarely am afflicted with fever. Now, Uncle Ted will protest and tell you that I live in the House of Hypchondria. While this might be true, Mt. Otis didn’t take on this designation because of me. Regardless, I will maintain that I don’t get sick. Or, if I do get sick, it’s rarely often enough that I really remember it.
So, fever dream? Nice term, I guess. That was until my monkey-child decided to get ill at an unfortunate time and pass on his illness to his old man. As such, I spent the past 36 hours alternately wearing everything in my closet or nothing at all. What’s more, I spent a lot of time sleeping. And dreaming. Oh, whoo-boy, do I know what a fever dream is now. Mamacita. Nothing like waking up from a dream to wonder if I’ve been fired for not showing up at my part-time job at Greenville Tech, then realizing I’ve never had a part-time job at Greenville Tech. The odd part was having to ask myself out loud, “Where do you work?” That’s not to mention the three-wheeled vehicles at Willard High School and my enemies standing in the rain to put garbage-bag-covered boxes on my front porch while I grasp my dog in fear.
I’ve been rather annoyed since I got home from Vegas. After spending six weeks around the germiest people in the world (six weeks in which I never sniffled or even sniffed at illness), I’ve now been home for a little more than three weeks. During that time, I’ve been to the emergency room, the radiologist, and my family doctor twice. Beyond that, I’ve been given four different kinds of drugs and told to go back to the doctor next month.
I don’t think I’m going to go. Why? Well, I’m sick of it. I’m sick of being sick and I’m sick of people guessing at why I’m sick. What’s more, I’m sick of being fed drugs that don’t do much more than make me forget about the fact I’m sick. Frankly, if I needed drugs to make me sleep or forget about illnesses, I have friends that could take care of that without having to write me a script.
So, here’s the part that really bothers me. I’ve neglected writing about this, but I’ve decided I’m going to (thank you, faulty synapses). After a CT scan that shows I have no abnormal fruits in my noodle, the headaches continued off and on for another week or so. That moved my doc to write me for…get this…antidepressants.
Now, yeah, I know antidepressants are helpful to a lot of people and have been lifesavers for people who suffer from legitimate depression. Further, I know that antidepressants can be used for all kinds of things. The drug my doc gave me has apprently been used for everything from adoloscent bed wetting problems to, yea verily, chronic head pain. Well, that was last Thusday. My wife got the pill-bottle filled for me, but I’ve not yet taken one. And I don’t think I’m going to.
Why? Well, protest, I guess. I heard one of my friends suggested that maybe trying out some cannabis from places like walnut creek dispensary would be a better alternative for pain management and depression because its all-natural and doesn’t have a million side effects. Doctors hardly ever consider this. But my bother is a doctor, so I’m not really comfortable about laying into the profession as a whole. That said, I think there is something wrong with a system of medicine that jumps directly from “Let’s kill the pain with pain killers” to “That didn’t work? Well, shit, let’s just throw a catch-all, mind-altering drug at you and see how that works.”
Here’s my point. I know doctor’s are busy. I know they have to shove as many patients into their day as they can. And, frankly, I like my doctor. He’s a good enough guy. However, since I’ve been running around the medical arena, no doctor (save my brother, who was off work at the time and wondering if I was dying or not)has spent more than five minutes asking me questions about my symptoms. Who has? Well, my wife, Uncle Ted, T, my brother, my mom, my old boss, G-Rob, Badblood, The Mark, Stina…well, you get the point. The people who actually care about me. What’s more, I’ve received more helpful medical advice from those people than I have from my doctor so far.
So, no antidepressants for me. The $7 co-pay to decipher the doctor’s handwriting was worth deciding that I’m annoyed more than I am sick. This is why I never went to the doctor before and it’s probably the reason I won’t go again soon.
See, call me a hippie, call me a Luddite, call me what you want. I just can’t jump from pain killers to antidepressants for a chronic headache. I just can’t. One friend suggested I’ve been grinding my teeth in my sleep. Another friend suggested I get a massage. Both of these are fairly reasonable suggestions. Both of these are things my doctor might have considered before trying to put me on antidepressants.
So, I’ve not taken one and I’m not gonna.
The other night during a blissful hiatus from one illness or another, I had a few drinks with my buddies. During this time, my friend T looked at me and said, “One word: Nyquil.”
I don’t think I have to tell you…I feel better today than I have in three weeks.