OTC Drugs R Us

I just threw out the unused portion of a sample pack of Celebrex. I'd seen the stuff advertised on TV but I guess I thought it was allergy medicine, so when I had some tight back muscles a couple of weeks ago and was laying on the floor with a tennis ball wedged into my spine (which gave me the heavenly sensation of having someone's fist pushed directly into the muscle knot using somewhere in the neighborhood of exactly the right amount of pressure to make tears spring from my eyes), I was surprised when Jack showed up with a fancy prescription NSAID. He got it off a friend who wouldn't be caught dead without a full pharmacy at his fingertips. I would say that this friend's family doctor must be a real pushover, but after my experience of going to the walk-in clinic, asking for a drug that I may not have necessarily needed, and then getting it, I have come to realize that for years I've been mistakenly operating by the notion that doctors aren't allowed to just wing it. Or put another way, it was news to me that some doctors will hand out whatever a reasonably intelligent-looking patient asks for. When I was a student in the U.K. way back before the Morrissey-Marr alliance was severed, I went through a fairly severe emotional crisis at one point and the only place I could think of to go for help was the student clinic. There I described my plight to a surly bitch in a white lab coat who wanted to know why I'd been so stupid as to waste her time with a non-physical complaint. Disgusted by the tears wetting her floor, she grudgingly handed me a tissue and then handed me off to a younger and more sympathetic colleague. When I screwed up the courage to ask doctor #2 for something to help me calm down and sleep, shook her head and kindly told me that this wasn't America, doctors didn't just hand out sleeping pills willy nilly in that green and sceptered land. Apparently the British fall asleep merely by pulling up their bootstraps and going down the pub for a pint or seven. That's what I did, anyway.

So anyway, it was a couple of weeks ago, my back was sore, I took the Celebrex, I had sex with my husband, and then I made some eggs for lunch. It didn't take long for me to start feeling sort of ill, but I didn't connect the queasiness to the medication right away. I was sad to realize that it had finally come to this: sex makes me sick. No, actually I wondered if maybe the eggs had been off. I dizzily took to my bed for the next fourteen hours, interrupted only for a couple of late night barfing expeditions to the land of cool tile and regrettably unscrubbed porcelain.

It turned out that the sore back muscles were a precursor to a mild viral infection that left me with a dry cough for the next few days, and despite the fact that I know, I know, I know to avoid extra-strength everything, I was too lazy to go up to my acupuncturist for a bottle of Wise Judge (you can laugh, but that shit works) to loosen the grip of my cough, so I started swigging NyQuil at bedtime instead. Seriously, I just came out of the NyQuil coma to write this.