Sunday, June 19, 2011

Blog Jam

For your pleasure, an old photo from 2005.

Well, I am shocked, I tell you, shocked, that it could be some Big Pharma drug I was on that caused my recent depression and other side effects. I mean, this is unheard of, right? Big Pharma run all sorts of clinical trials before releasing any kind of new drug to the general public, right? And then we have the added layer of government protection, our tax dollars working in stringent oversight provisions to save our lives if Big Pharma pulls the wool over our eyes and just pretends it did some testing and monitored negative effects. Right? It's never about the 5 billion dollars and climbing they make from this particular drug. I mean lives come before grubby dollar always, right? Right?
Elsewhere I notice something I had dismissed before in how family talk to their elders. There is a gentle, almost hidden patronization in the tone. Pay attention next time.

"Oh is that so, Daddy, well, well, you could be right."

"Oh Mummy, you little weasel you, you forgot to zip up your coat. Naughty, naughty!"

What I find even worse is the complicitness of the elders in this behaviour. I imagine they find it easier than asserting themselves. As if by this passiveness they don't make any waves. They maintain the status quo by buying into this second toddlerdom bestowed on them by their children or other relatives. It is what's expected from them after all.

And then, when I'm alone with these elders, we have a normal intelligent conversation about multiple topics.

Should this be filed under "I've seen the future, baby, and it is murder" department?
And in the "oh me nerves" division, the play looms ever closer and I find most of my waking thoughts are with the coming debut, swinging between euphoria and rockbottom "ohmygawd what have you done now?"


  1. meds! they often cause as many problems as they cure.
    and re seeing the future.....yes. i spent four hours at my mother's yesterday. she is nearly 85 and is sharper than i am in many ways....and very easily confused and frustrated in others. i am already plotting how i can make it to 85 without these problems. but of course that's what everyone wants....

  2. Should be the first "suspect"!! Recently my mother-in-law was put on a prescription for memory problems (minor) and became almost comatose because of it! The doctor mentioned only "mild nausea" as a possible side-effect! Hope you are feeling better.

  3. Bill Maher once described the real axis of evil (he was talking about situation in the USA, but same everywhere I suppose): The pharmaceutical industry/the food industry/the insurance industry.

    Re patronising - I pledge never to be complicit. I hope that if it ever happens to me I'll respond with a suitably barbed response...something Dorothy Parker might have said.

  4. No question but that medication can contribute to the dog hanging around. I've wondered that about me more than once. Once I get the move done, I'll be going back to see a family doctor I used to visit for a long time - will be a good conversation to have with him.

    Speaking of which, two days to go, so few posts around here for me lately. Once the movers are done and I get ready for the move, I'll be back online more regularly.

    Sorry I'll miss the play - I've been following your journey with it. Have fun with the project.

    Be good to yourself.

    Maireann croi eadrom i bhfad!

  5. A drug should have been your first suspect. Always suspect a drug. I sure as hell do. Remember my nice herbal sleeping pills that made me depressed?

    As to complicitness, maybe these old people are just grateful that they are being talked to so kindly. Maybe that is more than they hoped for.

  6. I don't notice people talking to me in a patronising way, but maybe I don't yet look quite old enough to qualify for dotty-old-person status.

    Indeed, prescription drugs can have all sorts of alarming side effects like depression. I'm extremely sensitive to drugs of any kind so I try to avoid them all. What were you taking the drug for anyway?

  7. I'm scared to death of prescription drugs and have been lucky enough so far not to have to take too many.

  8. One drug I avoid when that sinking feeling hits: alcohol. Amazing how my mood lifts after a week or so off the sauce. But then I generally loosen up some and have a drink or two and take up drinking again until I have to back off once more.
    I take no other drugs, and my dr. does not recommend them for me. She is very conservative that way. Almost any drug makes me feel dreadful, even aspirin.
    As to patronizing the elderly: have you ever noticed the social interactions among women when men are around vs. when men aren't around? How much smarter, wittier, and just plain great company women can be in the absence of necessity to meet male expectations of their behavior? It is hard not to play into the stereotypes of expected elderly behavior, too. Generally, I ignore put downs and insults and consider the source, as long as they are not too egregious.
    I must add that ageism is not nearly so bad here in Hawaii as it is on the Mainland U.S., due, I think, to the Asian cultural influence.

  9. Join the club on the wicked meds! My hands are still burning, bright red and extremely painful. The list of medications that I am allergic to grows by the day.

    Somewhere I read that all medications are made for Mr/s average but only 60% of all the prescribed meds actually work. How many people are average?

  10. Bummer.
    But at least you know what caused the miseries. We take pills for something and then we take pills for the side effects. And so on.

    Don't talk to me about kids patronising their elders. I probably did it to mine but I'll be damned if I let anyone do it to me. And I can't see you holding still for a dose of "there, there . . . ." either.

    Your play? Go, slay 'em.

  11. The side effects of medication are sometimes worse than the condition they are supposed to treat, particularly if you are on them long term. One particular prescription of the Pill left me suicidal enough to be within two paces of stepping in front of a van. Within a couple of days of stopping taking it, my mood had done a complete 180 turn; it was scary how much my life was ruled by a little white tablet! I hope that this is medication which you can stop taking easily.

    Looking forward to hearing about how well the play has gone!

  12. I wouldn't rule out pharmadrama if I were you. Those drugs are capable of anything!

    I like to hope I don't speak to anyone differently because of their age. I don't even go gagga for babies and loathe baby talk, which doesn't help them learn to speak anyway in my view.

    Though aside from deafness considerations, maybe many people assume that an elderly person is so bored by their long experience of life, they have to tease them to make sure it goes in?

  13. Catch me up - what DID you do?

    And about the elderly thing: I'm already practicing saying aloud "F**k you!" or "shut the F**k up." Or we could say something like this to our kids: "You're not so old that I can't take you over my knee and spank that patronizing whine right out of you."

    No? Well, maybe I'll practice something kinder and gentler - or not!



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