Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Worst Headache is Trying to Open the Pain Medication Bottle

January 21, 2010

The Worst Headache of Your Life

Leave it to the good people down at Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. to come up with a fabulous way to determine the magnitude of the American consumer’s headache. The bottle says you should take the medication if your pain is, and I quote: “The worst headache of your life.” But let me back up, lest I delete one single syllable of this story.
The contemplation of the topic came about recently when my husband and I were sitting together in that comfortable silence couples enjoy when they have been married longer than “The Eagles” have been together, broken up, gotten back together, broken up again and gotten back together for reunion gigs as of press time.
It is after these times of conversational calm that my husband and I have our finest, deepest, most thought-provoking interactions of our married lives. As we sit and wait one evening for midnight to approach, or the end of our daughter’s swim team practice, whichever comes first, we broach yet another topical springboard that allows for solid marital bonding.
“Hey, did you know that you need to be drinking a full glass of water with these headache pills?” my spouse asks as he palms the sweet bottle of relief that will make the rest of our waiting time, oh, that much easier.
I warm to the topic and provide my own special brand of insight. “Huh. No, I sure didn’t.”
Being a good reader and thorough to boot my husband goes on to read aloud the measurement by which I will determine the velocity of my headaches in the future and ends with, “You’re supposed to ask a doctor about the medication and tell him if this is the worst headache of your life.”
Believing nothing he says, unless it is reiterated by an outside party, I look to where his thumbnail marks the spot. It takes me a span of time before I can even focus on the writing scribbled on the side of the bottle, those freaking words are as small as ant droppings.
The back of this particular label has got to be THE smallest printing ever and I thought car companies held that particular distinction, what with their ability to put a television advertisement disclaimer paragraph onto the head of a pin which usually contains the words, “will not cover any moving parts.”
Even the small performers at the Ringling Brothers Circus consider these fonts too tiny to use. Believe me, if your migraine wasn’t uncomfortable before, this will rapidly become the case as you decipher the directional hieroglyphics.
I know my migraine meds are a fine product because there is an equally fine soap opera actress who is working toward a fully vested 401K plan by providing testimonials to that effect. Evidently she too was a migraine sufferer who, during the course of her day job where she was getting married twice a week, foiling murder plots right and left, all as he looked for her long-lost son, was finding this particularly challenging when suffering migraine-induced brain blasts.
Picture an excruciatingly painful headache. No, wait, don’t picture it. Feel it. You can barely think, rendering you incapable of reading, let alone following, directions though you know that the Surgeon General, Attorney General and several Brigadier Generals have all strongly advised against ingesting any prescriptive substance before determining the recommended dosage.
From prior experience you know that you have approximately 3.5 minutes to ingest some sort of painkiller, otherwise, you can kiss off the rest of the day, possibly week. As a full-blown migraine headache hurtles down the pike toward you, riding the Pain Express, screaming, “All aboard!” there will be no other stops once it arrives.
You frantically attempt to read the label, conjugating heretofore unconjugatable verbs. It is at this point that I humbly suggest you move on to the method I’ve adopted successfully for years. It’s called the “shake out” method. After besting the miserable childproof cap you turn the bottle sideways and shake it over your hand. However many pills come out to play, that’s how many you ingest. The plan has its flaws, but so does an aching cranium.
When you attempt to gain entrée into your health practitioner’s office for an appointment, no mean feat these days, you can use the pain relief advertising copy to your advantage by putting your own personal spin on it. When asked by the medical assistant why you need an appointment to see the doctor you can reply, “Because if I don’t get one I’m going to become the worst headache of your life.” Would you like that appointment at 10 o’ clock or 2 o’ clock?

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