The Joy of Supplements

Today’s random health report

Photo by Myriam Zilles on Unsplash

Dietary doomsday may be upon us. For instance, how’s the eicosapentaenoic acid?

And should we be REALLY worried about it?

There’s food — as in breakfast, lunch, dinner, nosh — and there’s Supplement. I grew up on meat & potatoes plus a few vegetables, old-fashioned stuff you cook and eat. But the world seems to be geared to popping pills for daily needs, so I supplement with the best of them today.

One of my children told me to take turmeric with curcumin, so I started swallowing those yellowish pills a few years ago. I have no idea why; sometimes I think they give me desert-sand breath.

Then there’s fish oil. Does everybody take daily fish oil? I sort of think so. That’s where you get the eicosapentaenoic acid. It’s a “fatty acid,” which doesn’t sound particularly yummy when you think about it. Plus, I used to take pride in never having dropped acid.

I am more than a little suspicious of it all. Big Pharma, I think, did a mind control thing on my primary care doctor, the one who said I really should take extra iron, and calcium with vitamin D, and if I’m not mistaken she threw in the fish oil. There is no fish oil capsule smaller than a quail’s egg. After I while, I got a new doctor.

Mostly, I am fascinated with CoQ10. Seriously, now. Had you ever heard of CoQ10 before it began starring in every other commercial on MSNBC?

CoQ10 — I’ve been researching this, no easy task — is an enzyme. More specifically it is “Coenzyme Q, also known as ubiquinone . . .” Most healthy people have plenty of it, but maybe — maybe — scarfing a little more might help with one’s blood pressure or metabolism or headache. Apparently, nobody much knows. Just reading about it gives me a headache.

In the small print of the CoQ10 packages are warnings about diarrhea, nausea and heartburn, little things like that. As to whether taking this happy little supplement can actually do any good, phrases like “the evidence is conflicting,” or “it’s uncertain that adding CoQ10 will have any effect” proliferate.

Maybe we should go back to kale and blueberries.

Last Minute Midterm Week Survival Plans

Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

Next Tuesday is election day. On Wednesday I have a root canal.

Clearly, something’s wrong with my planning mechanism. For all I know, I scheduled a colonoscopy for Thursday and just forgot to write it on the calendar. There is a limit to the amount of pain one can endure; I’m hopeful about the midterms but not unrealistic. Next week should at least have included a spa day, if I had only hired a scheduler.

In the olden days there were Secretaries.

CEOs, district managers, sales representatives, all those guys — they were all guys — had secretaries. (Who were all girls. The olden days were before girls became women. You could’ve been 75 years old, but if you were a secretary, you were still one of the girls.) Secretaries kept their bosses from missing meetings or dinners, knew where everything was, found stuff. After a root canal, any good secretary would’ve scheduled a spa day.

I was never a secretary, and certainly never had one. Reporters had editors who seldom created order and usually complicated daily life. I did, of course, immediately after picking up a BA in Art, go to night school to brush up my shorthand. I can still cover a mean story with the help of my efficient speedwriting, but the rest of what they taught at secretarial school passed me by.

And today I just need a secretary. Secretaries were displaced some time in the 1980s by electronic organizers: digital diaries that straightened out address books and calendars and dental appointments. These were eventually displaced by computer systems way too complicated for anyone who can remember what a secretary was. Computer organizers were eventually displaced by old-fashioned humans who discovered a whole new career choice: the professional organizer.

I actually have a professional organizer. For a very large fee she occasionally breezes around my apartment collecting stuff, say to take to the tax accountant so I don’t lose my mind or go to jail. Worth every penny of that fee, she replaced the organizer/financial secretary I did have, who was called a Husband — the very top of the household line. (He, however, may he rest in well-earned peace, operated with amazing efficiency out of seeming chaos, probably because he used to have a secretary.)

If I live long enough to master the switch from my beloved PC to this MacBook Air that threatens my sanity and blood pressure, the theory is that I will then have a brightly lit computer calendar synchronized with my iPhone and life will suddenly be ordered and peaceful.

This, however, will not happen before the midterms. Prayer may be my only hope.

Modern Laundry 101

Erik Witsoe on Unsplash

Do I really want to start the laundry back home, in the middle of a lobster dinner at the Ritz? Perhaps.

Or maybe it can wait.

My new Bash automatic washer (names are being changed to protect the innocent) arrived recently, along with an instruction book designed for someone with an advanced degree from MIT. But I got through it (I do have an MFA in Short Fiction,) followed all the instructions, ran the Drum Clean cycle and am now happily doing the laundry that has piled up since my former Bash died of natural causes. In hindsight, I feel it was morally wrong – or improper at best – to have let my old Bash be carted off with hardly a notice.

Here’s what my new Bash can do – I’m still reading the instruction book, but I think I’ve got it. If I scan the QR code, and program everything else – i.e., I’m also going to need to go buy a Voice Assistant – I will be able to call home and start the laundry in the middle of the main course. Do I wish to receive Push Notification when the cycle is done? That would be, say, during dessert. I may pass on the Push Notification.

Engin Ukyart on Unsplash

No offense to the high tech Bash designers, but what’s wrong with getting off the sofa the old-fashioned way and doing the laundry myself?

I have a long history with laundry. Before we got the fancy new washer with wringer attachment that was rolled over to the sink to run the water in – I was about 10 years old at the time – my mother had a washboard* forheavenssakes. Google it.

At the end of the Instruction Book are several pages of Problem/ Possible Cause(s)/ Solution for one’s further entertainment. My favorite is (Problem) Water does not appear to be filling in; (Possible Cause) Water taps not turned on; (Solution) Turn on water taps. I mean, really. They think I’m smart enough to scan QR codes and call the Voice Assistant in the middle of my dinner party, and I don’t know to turn on the water tap? Following the P/PC/S pages are another few pages of further information about the little emojis, symbols and dotted numbers that may light up. I think this is for the protection of the Bash people against claims of mental collapse caused by mysterious emojis blinking all over the laundry room.

Speaking of which. The final pages of the Book are all about Limited Product Warranty and “effectuated warranty coverage,” because of course there are warranties for all these technological wonders. With limits. After a time, “Bash is under no obligation, at law or otherwise, to provide you with any concessions, including repairs, prorates or Product replacement . . .”

I may go find a washboard.  

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*there’s even a story inspired by the 1940s Maytag washer in forthcoming Marshallville Stories! Publication date: April 19th. Hope you’ll pick up a copy.

Today’s Miracle Drug

photo medication pills on white plastic container

(Serious side effects may occur . . .)

photo medication pills on white plastic container
Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels.com

As a public service, I have begun a trial regimen of the medication reported to be an answer to today’s needs. In case you have not yet taken such a step of your own accord, I am reprinting, below, the instructions and some minor cautionary details that came with my supply:

Enclosed please find your 30-day supply of Perfecto99. Taken as directed, Perfecto99 will improve your overall energy level, brain function  and ability to achieve life goals.

Common side effects may include muscle pain, headaches, nausea and diarrhea. Do not take Perfecto99 if you are or plan to become pregnant..     

Clinical trials have shown Perfecto99 to be as good as, or better than all similar supplements currently awaiting FDA approval.

Call your doctor if you have problems urinating, or if you notice involuntary or uncontrollable muscle movement, as these can be permanent.

Perfecto99, now the global leader in extending average life expectancy, has been shown to improve activity and longevity among Caucasian, AAPI, Black and LatinX populations. Even a few Swedes.

Perfecto99 can cause intestinal problems, serious abdominal pain and sometimes fatal bleeding. Also, occasional burning, crawling, itching, numbness, prickling, “pins and needles”, or tingling feelings have been reported.

Don’t drive, attempt to stand on your own or operate heavy equipment within 24 hours of taking Perfecto99. Just stay in bed and feel sorry for yourself.

Before starting Perfecto99, we recommend a thorough examination by the physician(s) of your choice, including but not limited to bronchoscopy, endoscopy, colonoscopy and cross-check by a qualified podiatrist.

Get help right away if you experience swelling of the face, mouth or tongue, or if you notice a rash appearing on extremities. In rare cases, severe upper respiratory tract and chest infections leading to death have been reported.

Perfecto99 contains alphanomaic acid, which has been shown to offer immediate relief for listlessness, joint pain and stressful family arguments.

Do not take Perfecto99 if you are allergic to its ingredients, or if you have Guillain-Barré syndrome, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Alzheimer’s, Bell’s palsy, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or long-haul Covid. We may have left something out here.

Our trained Perfecto99’ers stand ready to take your calls at 999-888-7220; simply follow the prompts and do not despair. If you are dissatisfied in any way, a full refund will be promptly sent to you or your survivors.