Childproof caps…safety or just an old man’s nightmare.

So here’s the thing guys. Everybody knows by now that I’m an old geezer. I don’t try to hide it, in fact I use it to my advantage the best I can. But, I also have arthritis in my hands pretty bad along with several other afflictions that we won’t go into today. So I take what seems to be a semi-truck full of medications. Like all Americans, I have to purchase them at the cheapest place possible. That means Costco Home Delivery (your welcome Costco for the free publicity). My apologies to the local pharmacies but evil insurance makes me do it.

So where was I…oh yeah?

Because I buy my drugs online, they gave me the option to order them with regular screw on lids. Of course, being old and feeble, I chose yes. I assumed they realized that because I had arthritis it would be difficult for me to open the childproof lids. So I thanked them for their concern and left the website thinking how considerate they were for thinking of my well-being.

Well, my package arrived a few days later. A plastic bag sealed up tighter than an armored tank. After a search through various junk drawers to find a pair of scissors I managed to finally get the contents dumped onto the table. It appears that in the world of online medication the motto is, “why use one bottle when you can use three instead?” Yes, three bottles for every prescription and each one neatly sealed with a childproof cap. My immediate thought was that I had made an error in the ordering process. I’m old and that’s what happens to me a lot. But then, lo and behold, underneath the whole thing was another plastic bag filled with my screw on lids.

What am I to do I wondered. Then the answer hit me. I would enlist the help of the one person that I was sure could remove the caps with ease. So I asked the neighbors 5 year old daughter to give me a helping hand. Remember folks, if you have childproof caps, you better have a child around to get them open.

Alcoholism

My daughter-in-law posed a hypothetical question on Facebook the other day. “If there was a surgery to help someone fight alcoholism and have a long term success by 80% compared to AA alone…would you support it. I have to admit, like many of the comments I was at first very negative. Some valid points were raised, from it’s a spiritual malady to teaching coping skills and strategies. But wait, isn’t that what church groups and AA meetings are all about. They teach you how to live with alcoholism but they can never cure it; once an alcoholic, always an alcoholic.

Well, you know the backyard poet, I’m never content to just stick my two cents into the comment box and move along. I need to stick my pen into the pot and stir it up so to speak. You know, ‘In for a penny…In for a pound.’ So I jumped over to the American Society of Addiction Medicine to get the full scoop on the story.

According to them, the definition of Alcoholism is: “A primary, chronic disease with genetic, psychosocial, and environmental factors influencing its development and manifestations. The disease is often progressive and fatal. It is characterized by continuous or periodic: impaired control over drinking, preoccupation with the drug alcohol, use of alcohol despite adverse consequences, and distortions in thinking, most notably denial.”

Now, if I’m getting this right, primary means it’s not a symptom of something else. Chronic disease means an involuntary disability. Impaired control is the inability to limit alcohol use. So yes, if there was a surgery to cure alcoholism then I would wholeheartedly support it.

But let’s all remember, that once you have a leg amputated, the mind can still believe it’s there. Once the surgery is done to remove alcoholism, will the mind still believe it’s there? So the need for mental health support would move from teaching a person how to cope with alcoholism to teaching them how to live without it. And wouldn’t that be a great thing?

Another Rant on Things No One Else Gives a Shit About

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I overheard some co-workers the other day talking about how they can’t wait to go snow mobile riding this weekend. Here it is -19 Degrees (F) with a wind chill of under -40, snow and ice up to my nether region, and they want to go riding.

Let me run a little test here…how old do you think they are?

A damn sight younger than me that’s for sure. While they want to go trekking through some pine trees on an oversized go-cart somewhere, I’ll still be deciding if I even want to put on pants. And I can tell you another thing; this old fat ass ain’t sleeping in some tent in the woods…even in the summer. Hell, my idea of ‘ruffin’ it is spending the night in a hotel that doesn’t serve breakfast.

But it did get me to thinking about all those other things that the younger version of me was willing to do. That was before the wisdom of age came along and backhanded some sense into his punk ass.

So once I realized that the waitress at our favorite restaurant really wasn’t flirting with me, she just wanted her tip; it got easier to accept the other things that I was never going to do. Like, jumping out of a damn good airplane for no reason, hoping off some bridge with a rubber band tied to my ankle. Seriously, who in the hell was the first person to do that. What the heck was he (because you know it had to be a man) thinking anyway? I mean who in their right mind would be walking across a bridge and say, “Hold my beer, I’m going to tie this rope around my leg and hop off. It’ll be a hoot.”

What about latching on to some cable and sliding down the side of a mountain. Zip Line they call it; isn’t that why they invented cars and roads so we could take our time and enjoy the scenery? The bad thing is, we’ll stand in line for hours and pay hard earned money for a chance to kill ourselves. Now you know why there’s a gift store that sells underwear at the bottom of each one of those things don’t you.

Up here in Montana, they got this thing called the polar plunge. That’s jumping into a lake of freezing water. Can you say hypothermia and heart attack, not to mention the shriveling (I meant to say shivering)?

When I was a wee lad I never thought twice about things like roller skating or skateboarding in traffic, skinny dipping, cliff diving or streaking (I wonder why there seemed to be a lot of things that I did with no clothes on back in the seventies). I once even bicycled across Germany, just sleeping on the side of the road when I got tired. Back then, climbing onto a roof to shingle a house brought no fear at all, but now the higher I go the more I think about how big a hole I’ll leave after hitting the ground…and I know it’s going to hurt like Hell.

So I understand that I’m on the last pieces of what people might describe as a fairly uneventful lifestyle and I’m usually ok with that. But my youth does still call on me to join him on some dumb assed adventure from time to time and I have to admit that I roll it around in my mind for a bit. But I’ve recently found that I’m kind of fond of these grey hairs that are left on my knobby head and all my brittle bones. Of course there’s always the ‘warfarin guarantee’ that I’ll get covered in bruises or bleed profusely. That’s when I realize that the hospital stay (and a lecture from Mrs. B) just ain’t going to be worth the fun.

So I end up telling those youthful thoughts to run along and play without me. I’ll just sit here and soak up a little sun and maybe take a nap. Besides skipping work and staying home in my pajamas while drinking beer all day is something I can share with my youth.