Tuesday, March 08, 2005

...Pains in My...

I preface this by admitting that I am about the world’s least reputable source on any issues relating to science. I got a “D” in high school Biology and would have surely failed high school Chemistry had a good friend of mine not obtained a copy of the answer key to the final exam, allowing me to strategically place the correct answers onto the 3x5 card we were ironically allowed to use as a “Cheat Sheet” for equations and formulas. The only science course I took in college was a G.E. required Biology class that I took during the Summer, which tended to be far less challenging than during the regular Fall and Spring Semesters, and I took the course Pass/Fail so as to not screw up the good cumulative GPA I had built up.

However, I think I’m on to a great conspiracy theory: The pain reliever industry is a sham.

I suffer from fairly frequent debilitating headaches, usually brought on by one of the following factors: Not having coffee in the morning (or not having enough), going too long between meals or having my contact lenses dry out on me.

Like most people, when I feel a headache coming on or when the pain becomes too much to bear I take aspirin or Ibuprofen. I’ve tried virtually every brand, have tried increasing the recommended dosage and have even tried higher mg prescription medication. I think I took more of my wife’s post-giving birth pain medication than she did.

It never works. Like yesterday. I was in Palm Springs with one of our technicians trying to fix a long-standing issue in a system we installed for one of our biggest clients. Somehow we managed to fix the customers problem, but in doing so, created a newer, larger problem that took hours and hours to get right again. We couldn’t just break for lunch and leave them with an unusable system, so we worked continuously until the problem was fixed, which meant not eating until nearly 4 PM, when the damage was already done. To make matters worse, I had decided that morning to give my own car a break from yet another long drive and instead took the new work van we just purchased a week or two ago. Which was fine, except we’ve recently discovered the van has a previously unforeseen issue of making an obscenely loud, eardrum shattering rattling/banging noise anytime its speed exceeds 60 MPH. I would have been pleased to return to the office and be able to get back into my own car, except I remembered that I had thrown the propane tank in the back of my Explorer because it needed to be refilled, which meant I had to hear that bouncing and crashing around the entire ride home.

I had stopped at a gas station to buy 2 extra strength 500mg Bayer before leaving Palm Springs. It was probably 2 ½ hours between my taking the aspirin and returning to my home. My headache, if anything, was worse by that point. The aspirin, as usual didn’t do shit. In fact, I can think of no time in history when I’ve had a headache, took aspirin, had the headache disappear and was able to get on with my normal routine.

You know what made my headache disappear last night? The only one surefire cure to any headache I’ve ever had? A nap. Although I guess last night’s can’t really be defined as a nap since it went from about 6PM to 7AM this morning (I was reminded again last night that I married the most wonderful woman on the planet who happily took over my usual evening take care of baby duties so I could recover).

But I guess there’s no money in “TAKE A NAP”. Seriously, barring hardcore painkillers like Vicodin or Codeine, do over the counter pain relievers ever work? For anyone? What a fucking scam.
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