Pills Can Be Hazardous to My Health

Anyone who knows me, knows that I do not take a lot of medication.  I’ve been blessed to not have many illnesses or chronic health conditions in my life which is a significant factor, but the other big factor is that I can’t take pills. I mean, obviously I can, but it’s not easy and certainly not a pretty sight.  For some reason, my throat closes up, I lose my breath, I gag…it’s pretty awful. Of course, as one ages, certain things do require attention.

               Over the years, I’ve added a fiber chewy to my daily regime.  This is such a blessing because they are little gummies and I can pretend they are candy! 

               So gummy fiber chews were an easy addition.  Then came the Vitamin D deficiency my doctor noted.  I was fearful at first, but those pills are ridiculously tiny.  So tiny, in fact, that it’s impossible to shake just one out of the bottle.  I usually get a handful and it takes many minutes to get them all back into the bottle, with just one left outside. Not only are they small, they’re slippery and they roll around on the counter and onto the floor – where they may be found at some future unspecified point.  But, easy to swallow, once you’ve finally gotten just one out of the bottle. 

               Then came the magnesium.  These are for my muscle issues and work very well.  They are small tablets, but not coated.  Five out of six days, I can swallow them without incident.  But on that 6th day, the edge hits the side or back of my throat and I gag a little.  Unpleasant, but doable.

               I was doing fine  until I found out that I needed to add glucosamine-chondroitin to my diet every day.  I cheerfully went out and bought a bottle, because anything that helps reduce my joint pain is a-ok by me.  Until I opened the bottle and discovered these “pills” are the size of my big toe! 

               My husband, my soul mate, and my chief supporter said things that really didn’t help, as he threw back his head and consumed three similarly sized vitamin pills himself.  First there was, “oh you can do it,” then he said, “just relax,” and added (my personal favorite), “it’s all in your head.”

               Maybe so, but there is no way I’m going to get that down without major trauma and possibly death.  So, I did the smart thing and cut it in half.  While I was doing this, my husband got very serious and said, “Honey, I think it’s psychosomatic.  Your throat is easily big enough for that pill.”

               Pah.  Shows what he knows!  It’s clearly esophageal-somatic.  I’m telling you, I can choke and gag on a milkshake or thick soup. I’ve been known to have my throat close up just by drinking water!  So I know this particular issue is all in my throat, and not my head.

               Now there are two halves of the immense pill on my napkin, just staring back at me.  Honestly, they are still bigger than the magnesium tablet.  I began to wonder if I should cut it in thirds, but too late.  I bravely grabbed the first half, relaxed as much as I could, and tossed it back.  It went down okay.  I tried the second one, and of course, it stuck a little in the back of my throat, one rough edge scraping the side.  But after several sips of water, it did go down.

               Tomorrow?  I’ll try cutting it in thirds.  And all I can say is, my knees better improve – a lot!

I’m Not a Dumb Dora

Dublin, Findlay, Worthington, Middletown, Lebanon, Grove City, Greenville, Hamilton, Midford, Loveland, Toldeo, Hudson, Powell, Delaware…what do these cities have in common?  DORA!

               And no, not the explorer of animated fame.  DORA stands for “Designated Outdoor Recreation Area.”  In Ohio, section 4301.82 of the Ohio Revised Code, makes it legal for municipalities to designate special areas for outdoor drinking.  Worthington, for example, approved this because some eateries in the downtown area were unable to offer “full service” outside, because fencing would limit the pedestrian traffic on sidewalks.  So, DORA allows more outdoor dining.  (Well, at least, more outdoor drinking.) Further, it allows for “large scale events” would be “less restrictive.” That’s because DORA allows for patrons of such events to circulate freely throughout these large scale events (the ones that we really shouldn’t be having right now).  So, there you have it.  The wonderful freedoms we enjoy so much.  We enjoy them so much that Worthington, along with the 14 other Ohio cities listed above – oh, and about 13 more than that –  have all approved DORA for their towns.

               Maybe you can already tell that I’m not a fan.  I mean, listen, I enjoy my drink as much as the next fellow.  In fact, give me a good glass of wine, or a little bourbon on ice, and I’m generally a happy camper.  I just don’t really need to take that glass of wine or bourbon and wander around the downtown area, or sit at a picnic table (unless it’s the one on my patio), or use it to enjoy a “large scale event.” Honestly, for most large scale events –once I feel safe again at them (which at this point will be sometime in 2025) – I need both hands free.  What I don’t need is a sloshy drink in one hand while I get a buzz to enjoy the pumpkins, or ice cream, or strawberries.

               But that’s me.  Apparently, many are excited by DORA.  What fun!  Now we can have “full service” dining by walking around with a beer.  We can enjoy the outdoors – motorcycles roaring by, cars without mufflers, kids on skateboards – you know, all the fun stuff of a municipality – while sipping our scotch. Hooray! Oh, and there’s more.  In some places, businesses can put up a decal of some sort to let us know we can take our drink in and shop.  If those businesses are open, of course, when I’m choosing to dine (i.e. shop and drink). 

                Now I can have the exciting adventure of taking my DORA cup into a business with the decal indicating they are not participating so that some poor schmuck making minimum wage can politely ask me to leave.  There’s more!  Because I’m drinking, I won’t be wearing my mask.  Or, I’ll be wearing it as a chin guard, so they can also politely ask me to wear my mask in their store.  This will give me permission to call them names, swear at them, and all manner of amusements. 

               DORA sounds like something I’m really going to love.  I can see why so many cities think it’s good for “business.” There’s just nothing like expanding freedoms, especially when it involves alcohol.  Because heaven knows that when we drink, we make our best decisions and behave the most appropriately.

New, but Possibly Not Improved

Last week I was on a tangent about the fact that on our new phones (iPhones, androids, cellular of any kind), there is no “hang up” feature.  I mean really, if you don’t have a landline, and especially if you’ve never had one, you really are missing out on one of life’s guilty pleasures-hanging up on someone and knowing what they hear on the other end. 

               Improved phones probably makes sense.  Now we can email, get text messages, take and post pictures, read the news, and play games – all on our telephone. In order to do all these things, the makers have taken them from flip phones to large rectangles.  So large, in fact, that you might as well carry around a computer tablet. I mean they don’t really fit well into any normal pants’ pocket and unless you carry around a tote bag, they don’t fit in clutches or dance purses very well.  You might get the phone in, but you won’t get your keys, lipstick, or money in there with it.

               So in my humble opinion, the “new, improved” phones stink.  And the biggest way they stink is that now people expect everyone to have their phone attached to their hand at all times to be at someone else’s beck and call.  To go out for an evening and not carry your phone, apparently, is some kind of social gaffe that’s nearly unforgiveable.  Some folks think it’s unthinkable.  Again, this is just my opinion, but if I take the time out of my life to be with someone, then I don’t appreciate them whipping out their phone every two minutes saying, “Sorry, I have to take this.”
               Of course, in the last year, I haven’t been with anyone, so maybe that particular pet peeve will have resolved itself.

               There are a couple of other products that modern technology has made worse through improvements.  The first is alarm clocks.  I realize that most people use their phones to wake up these days.  (Again, with the all-purpose phone).  Sadly, phone makers don’t make phones loud enough to wake me, or anyone, up from a sound sleep.  All it does is run my battery down.

               Then there are digital alarm clocks that can wake you with lights, music of your choice, or the sounds of the rainforest.  Well, none of these actually wake me up. They just change the dream I’m having to something else.  I need that little, gold, wind-up alarm clock that, when it rings, sounds like a five-alarm fire warning.  It was much less expensive than any digital clock I’ve purchased and much more effective.  It also didn’t depend on a battery or an electrical outlet – I just had to remember to wind it every night.  I could always program my phone to send me a reminder, if that’s an issue.  Then I’d have the best of both worlds.  But try to find a real alarm clock these days.  Good luck.

               Pencil sharpeners.  There’s another big fail. All those battery-operated pencil sharpeners are terrible.  First of all, they work effectively for about two days. Then, as the juice in the battery lowers, they don’t sharpen the pencil at all.  You spend about five minutes pushing that pencil in and twirling it around and it comes out as dull as when you started.  Now, the electric ones are wonderful, they will chip firewood if you need them to, but who wants a massive box on their desk, that has to be plugged into an outlet? They are large, unattractive, and have to be put on a level surface with nothing in front of it when you use it.  Honestly, the grinder ones that we had in school are small, clip on anywhere, and always worked.  I don’t think we can improve on them, but someone felt that it was too much work to rotate the handle, I guess.

               New, maybe, but not always improved. 

Ongoing War with Technology -Part 3

Although I have an ongoing war with technology, I fear I am losing, possibly because I lose most battles.  Fortunately, we have a son who can come into the fray and rescue me.  But I fear he thinks I’m a complete do-do bird most of the time. 

               Recently I’ve had three incidents with technology that have left me feeling battered, bruised, and bewildered.

               The first was Instagram.  I manage two different Instagram accounts for two local businesses.  This is a really easy as all I do is post a picture every day of something the store sells on that store’s account.  Usually I add a cute message with it about the product.  It takes all of four minutes to do both stores. 

               So it really ticked me off last week when I couldn’t get a picture to post.  The little circle would appear in the middle of the picture like it was processing, but would never finish.  I got online and found several alternatives to correcting this “freezing” of Instagram. 

First, they suggested I wait a while and try later.  (Thanks for that insight!) I waited several whiles, and it never worked.

The second suggestion was to delete the accounts and start over.  Pah.  No way was I doing that!

The third suggestion was to power off my phone completely and when I “re-booted” it, it would likely work.  I was skeptical, but in fact, that did work.  So it only took me a day and a half to post two little pictures.

The second escapade I had with technology was also on my phone.  Every once in a while, I get included in a group text by someone I know, but with other people whose numbers are not in my contact list (usually because I don’t know them).  This means my phone – and I’m sure it’s a feature I’ve installed inadvertently and don’t know how to eliminate – will not allow me to view or delete texts from these “unknown” numbers.  So the little green icon on my phone for text messages has a little red number “2” showing, indicating that there are two unread messages. But I can’t see these messages, so I can’t delete them.

I’ve learned two ways to eliminate this problem on my phone. One is to hurl the phone into the toilet and flush, but that’s not practical.  So I tried the rebooting and guess what?  It worked!  I was able to view the original text and delete the strand.  I suspect this was fluke, but into every war a little luck must fall.

My last battle was over a power outage.  We had one of those little blink-out power outages – the television went off, both computers, and all the digital clocks (except the one on the stove, which made no sense).  We got everything back easily except one computer.  It would not turn on.

We tried unplugging every cord from the back of the computer and replugging them.  Nothing.  We unplugged the cords from the hard drive and replugged them in.  Nothing.  We took them out of both computer and hard drive and then reinserted.  Nothing. 

Finally, I called our son and asked for any advice – short of buying a new computer – he might have.  This is what he said:  “Look at the hard drive.  Is the light on?  If not, turn the on/off switch to ‘on.’”

You know what happened, right?  Turns out, turning a machine to “on” will often turn it on. You’d think I’d learn some of these tricks by now, but I guess it’s all just too technical for me.

Is this the way our parents felt about remote controls for televisions?     

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