Archives for October, 2011
Why can't we celebrate one holiday at a time? Is that asking too much? I went to the store yesterday to buy Halloween candy and already the Thanksgiving and Christmas stuff is out. It wasn't like this when I was growing up. We used to anticipate and savor every holiday on its own. We didn't mash them all together. This holiday goulash phenomenon upsets me for a couple of reasons. The holidays stress me out. So many memories - good and bad - so much eating and drinking and shopping. So many expectations, which - let's face it - are nothing more than premeditated disappointments.
I'm going to weigh in on the trial of Michael Jackson's doctor even though I have not been watching it. My opinion is pretty simple: Doctors who prescribe benzodiazapenes or opiates without at least ASKING a patient about their drug an alcohol use are reckless. Doctors who prescribe benzodiazapenes or opiates to a patient whom they KNOW to be an addict or alcoholic are not only breaking their "First, do no harm," vow but are also criminally negligent (unless they have set up a medication treatment protocol that involves very strict monitoring). This is a phenomenon that really torques me. I write and talk about it whenever I can. If I had a buck for all the alcoholics and addicts who got a 'script for a benzo' or a doctor who either didn't bother to ask about their drug/alcohol use or wrote the script knowing they were addicts or alcoholics, I would be a very, very wealthy woman. Here is one of my favorite stories: I know a woman who was in a treatment center. During some very intense therapy she began having a severe anxiety attack. She was taken to the emergency room. After she was stabilized the doctor began writing her a prescription for Xanax - knowing that she had come directly from a treatment center and that she was a newly recovered alcoholic.
"Brace yourself," she said. It seemed like any other Friday morning. I went to the gym, took Dog to the park, made lunch and drove to work. I parked in the same spot. Swiped my security card at the same door and said "Mornin'" like I do every morning. My co-worker, Carol looked like she had been crying. "Layoffs." Three in my department - 24 overall. The layoffs and buyouts began at my company about three years ago. The company has offered generous severance packages and had always let us know when layoffs were looming. Not this time. Although they still offered generous severance packages, we had no warning.
Vacation. I have been on vacation. A vacation without cellphones, wifi or even my watch. The kind of vacation where time stands still and you forget what day it is. I slept until my body told me to wake up. I fell asleep when it got dark because at 39-degrees and 10,000 feet, up in the mountains where the mountain lions roam, there is not a lot to do after dark but talk, sleep and pray that the mountain lions and bears have full tummies. I did not read a newspaper or listen to any news. I stopped to say "hello" to every dog that crossed my path and ate jerky. I stomped around in streams, up to my thighs in clean, cold water attempting to fly-fish. I paid attention to my mood. Uptight at the airport - trying to figure out what I had forgotten. Negotiating for an upgrade on the rental car, trip to WalMart for camping supplies and provisions. Finally, we fished.