Monthly Archives: April 2009

Revealing Words

A reader recently sent me an e-mail. This was the last paragraph:

Lastly and please don’t take this as being bold, I want to keep read­ing and one day read that you are noth­ing but happy and ful­filled. I would never post a com­ment because I am too shy and also pretty prone to being embar­rassed by peo­ple who are cooler than me (and I con­sider peo­ple who blog as peo­ple who are cooler then me), but many times when I read your entries I feel like I am watch­ing a pro­tag­o­nist in a favourite movie or re-reading Siddhartha. Does that make any sense to you? I’m cheer­ing you on and I’m in your corner.

It made me won­der: if she wants to read that I’m happy one day, does that mean that I’m not happy now? It forced the real­iza­tion in me that the answer is no. Obviously no. Life isn’t great. But do I only write about the bad stuff? I’ve always believed that you have to suf­fer to cre­ate. I’m one of those, so maybe this is the case. I imag­ine it’s the oppo­site with my Tai Chi or table ten­nis part­ners, who must think my life is per­fect, because of how happy I am when I’m doing those activities.

It also made me won­der how much of myself is revealed here. Someone once told me that she sees two dif­fer­ent sides of me: one who is seri­ous and intim­i­dat­ing from the things I write, and another who is easy-going and relaxed over the phone.

So what comes through in my words? Certainly not every­thing. But it’s the same as any­thing else, because it’s hard to get a total pic­ture of some­one, unless, per­haps, you spend an appro­pri­ately uncom­fort­able amount of time with them.

Restless Night

Starbucks Coffee

On nights like this, when I’ve been in the house by myself all day, I have a crav­ing for some­thing. Not just for a taste, but an expe­ri­ence, among the lights and the shadows.

A while ago, I found the right place with the right ambiance. A place with­out the dis­trac­tions of my house. Where I can write with­out think­ing of what other work I should be doing.

I always tell myself that I’ll go tomor­row. It’s always tomor­row (the same day that most diets start). So I force myself to get in the car and drive.

When I walk in, I have to remem­ber the nomen­cla­ture. Tall means small, grande means medium, venti means large.

Along with this crav­ing comes a thirst for some­thing sweet and warm to drink, hark­ing to the days I lived unem­ployed, and my favourite thing to do was drink all sorts of strong cof­fees and teas. My stom­ach will pay for this later.

The cups always feel nice in the hand. Maybe I’m a sucker for good design — the pure white, the clean lines, the tex­tured insu­lat­ing sleeve with promi­nent cor­po­rate logo.

Sometimes, I need to go out to be alone. A warm drink is com­pany enough.

Conflicting Medical Advice

One of the drugs I’ve been pre­scribed for my col­i­tis, Asacol, is delay-released, which means it has a spe­cial coat­ing that makes it travel through the stom­ach, and absorbed only in the colon. This spe­cific brand is released in the left and end of the colon, which is where my col­i­tis is. I often get con­flict­ing advice about how to take the drug:

  • The instruc­tions that came with the med­ica­tion say it can be taken with or with­out food
  • The first phar­ma­cist told me to wait an hour after eat­ing before tak­ing the pills
  • The sec­ond phar­ma­cist told me I didn’t need to wait and could have it with food and other medications
  • The third phar­ma­cist told me that delayed release drugs should be taken on an empty stom­ach, and may have con­flicts with other drugs
  • My gas­troin­testi­nal spe­cial­ist told me I could take it with food

It’s gen­er­ally taken that the doctor’s advice takes prece­dence over any­thing else. But as a per­son who works in the med­ical indus­try, where doc­tors are fre­quently revealed to be incom­pe­tent, I know that not all of them know what they’re talk­ing about.

Scary, for an indus­try in which we put so much blind faith. Who am I sup­posed to believe?