Thursday, June 01, 2006


Ben Lee, a co-worker had his mom send some Chinese medicinal tea for me -- mostly to help with my kidneys and to improve my circulation. Seems to be working, which doesn't suprise me. Eastern Medicine has a lot of good points, but the thing I like is that it is proactive, rather than reactive, like a lot of Western Medicine. In fact, in China, if you get sick, it's considered the doctor's fault, for not doing his job of keeping you healthy. The teas I have taste really good, too. That's lucky, because some of them taste awful.

I just remembered something. For years, my family has considered my a hypochondriac. Time has proved that my stomachaches were NOT neurotic, they were kidney stones. As a form of karmic revenge, I now also seem to be the healthiest person in my family. Anyhoo, one very old running joke in my family is that for a long time I also asked my mom, "Are you giving me the right amount?" whenever she dosed me.

My family has probably forgotten the incident that led to this, but let me remind them:

I was very little and prone to high fevers. So I was down for the count with a high fever, and this particular time, I also had the screaming squits. It was common practice to give paregoric to alleviate the runs. So there I was, on the sofa, sick and groggy, and my mom doses me. Multitasking as always, she also is doing laundry, getting my father's lunch ready, keeping an eye on my brother, listening to the stereo and probably doing nine other things, too.

Ten minutes later, Mom's back, with another dose of paregoric. I tried telling her"But I just had some medicine!" but she wouldn't hear it, so I got mine (again).

About fifteen minutes later, I try to get up to go to the bathroom. Woowowowowowowowowooo! goes the room, and I discover that my legs don't work.
I drag myself back onto the couch and start yelling "Mommy! Mommy!"

Of course, Mom comes running. "What's wrong!" she says.
"My legs don't work anymore!" I say, strangely unperturbed by such a development.
In fact, other than not being able to feel (or stand on) my legs, I feel pretty damn good.
"Jodi, don't be crazy!" says Mom.
My family was always telling me not to be crazy, like that would work.
"Noooooooo! It's true! They don't work! And I have to go potty!"
"Get up!" says Mom and hauls me to my feet.
I totter there for a minute, and collapse in a small heap.
"Holy SHIT!" my mother shrieks, scoops me up, puts me in the car, where I slooooooowly slump
over, in a small heap.
My mother, with me in her arms, comes roaring into Dr. Miller's office. "She can't walk! She can't walk!" my mom wails.

Dr. Miller, ever so calmly, takes a look at me. Apparenly, I no longer have irises, my pupils are so wide.

"Doctor Miller," I say, "My legs don't work!"

"And why do you think that is?" at this point, he's trying not to laugh

"Mommy gave me a LOT of medicine. I tried to tell her I already had some!"

At this point my mom is in tears.

"Connie, do you know what the problem is?" asks Dr. Miller.

"No, what?"

"You're daughter is stoned out of her mind."


"Paregoric is an opiate. You just gave her a little too much of it and now she's stoned out of her mind. One dose is enough, Connie."

For years after that, I would ask "Is that the right dose?"

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