Sunday, May 28, 2006

Holy Shit

I just saw an ad for a prescription drug that reduces the duration of periods, but the side effects may include "blood clot, stroke, and heart attack"!! Not that I know anything about having periods, but they can't be so bad that it's worth risking a heart attack, however miniscule the probability of that happening. The ad reminded me of this hardcore anti-depression drug taken by some kid in my dorm sophomore year that had "death" listed as one of the side effects. Scary.

Speaking of drugs, right after I sprained my ankle I trolled through a pharmacy in Chinatown looking for ancient Chinese remedies. I picked up a small vial of Yunnan Bai Yao, a white powder with a pungent smell that I remember from my childhood and is supposedly very effective for treating injuries. Later I read the instructions out of curiosity. The English translation was of course totally atrocious, replete with spelling and grammatical errors. According to the instructions, this drug can be used to treat gunshot and stab wounds in addition to "female blood conditions" (I don't have the instructions in front of me, but I think that's what it actually said), which put my puny sprained ankle problem in perspective, I guess. Each vial also contains a small red pill that's formulated to be especially potent to treat serious injuries. What's even more preposterous, the drug is supposed to be taken with alcohol if there is bruising. It sounds like my kind of drug, actually.

I called my dad, a medicinal chemist who knows a good deal about Chinese medicine, to inquire the rationale for taking the drug with booze. According to him, alcohol speeds up the blood circulation and helps carry the drug to the bruised area. Now, a drug with all these amazing curative powers would normally cost hundreds of dollars, but I got it for the incredible, mind-blowing price of ONE dollar. I took a few gulps of the drug mixed with water (not alcohol) to see what would happen.

Eight weeks later, I'm still walking around with an air cast and have to go to physical therapy twice a week. Elixir of immortality it ain't. Maybe I should have followed the instructions and taken it with some booze. I guess next time I have a really bad sprain, I will be taking it with a couple of Kamikaze shots.