Possible Side Effects Include …

I just finished shooting up.

I do this about once a month. In the privacy of my own home. It’s not that it’s a habit, or anything. I could stop, if I wanted to.

If I wanted to.

Sometimes it’s a toss up as to whether I want to or not. While the side effects are easy to see, the positive advantages are not. Is it really making me feel better? Do the positives outweigh the negatives?

Should I just pitch it and look for some herbal substitute? Something more natural?

It’s not that I’m injecting anything illegal. This drug is registered for use with whatever arm of the Canadian government that watchdogs that sort of stuff. It’s all legit. On the up and up.

Which is a bit boring, but there you go.

I have a disease.

Don’t worry. It’s not contagious. You can’t catch it. I’m not a carrier.

I’ve struggled with this disease since my late teens, and over the years, I’ve swallowed most drugs known to humanity to try and control it. I’ve had stuff dripped into my veins that probably is not the best for my long term health.

Over the years, certain drugs have been successful … for a while. Sometimes months. Sometimes years. But, in the end, they have all lostĀ their effectiveness, and I “graduate” to the next level.

The next level invariably comes with more side effects than the previous level.

I’m sure you’ve seen those commercials, on the American stations, for drugs. You see generally very happy people, happily going about their happy lives. The sun is shining. Birds are singing. Dogs are frolicking.

And then the speed talking announcer breaks in:

[Voice sped up 3x] Side effects may include nausea, diarrhea, leg cramps, blurred vision, infections, fevers, chills, severe stomach pains, projectile vomiting, a tendency to scream obscenities in public, and an overwhelming urge to punch a nasty neighbour in the mush.

Oh, and the chance that you could die. That’s right; death is a possible side effect. If you feel any suicidal tendencies …

Each time I graduate to the next level of drug, I have to sign a waiver. All the possible side effects are listed. Like the Apple update license agreement, it is too long for any human to read.

Except for lawyers, I guess.

I used to have an old Polish gastroenterologist. While many found him off-putting, I enjoyed his frankness.

Doctor: [Heavy Polish accent] So, Ron, we need to try a new drug. It’s called an unpronounceable scientific name, but goes by the cool street name of Inhibitol.

Me: Is it registered for use in Canada? (Lots of drugs are only registeredĀ for use in the US)

Doctor: Yes, it’s registered in Canada. For horses. But initial studies seem hopeful.

Me: Are there any side effects?

Doctor: Yes, there are quite a few. The worst are going off your feed, neighing at your spouse, and defecating in public.

Me: Doesn’t sound so bad. I’ve done all of those things on some other drugs.

Doctor: Well, here’s the waiver.

Me: Give me the summary, Doc.

Doctor: In addition to opening yourself up to equine encephalitis, the main other side effect is death.

Me: Don’t sugarcoat it, Doc. Give it to me straight.

And then I sign it.

I know what you’re thinking. Why on earth would you sign a waiver to take a drug that has death as a possible side effect?

Because I am desperate for health, and I hold out hope that the next drug is the miracle one.

So far, I haven’t found it.

To be continued …

One Comment

  1. Thanks for sharing. A difficult journey for sure. I admire your sense of humour, and know that many of your days are not that funny!


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