Monday, January 25, 2010

Ibuprofen, the middle-aged drug of choice

Over the winter holidays we spent a week with my college friends. We attended Reed College, Portland, Oregon from 1979 to 1983 and let's just say that there was some experimentation that went on in those years. For example, one of the people in our group once wrote a piece, circa 1981, called "Fear and Loathing in Disneyland" under the moniker Pigbitch S. Thompson. My children read my blog, so I'll just leave it at that.

I left most of that behind me the second I graduated. Between 1983 and 2005, I drank some serious beer in law school, smoked an occasional, er, cigarette, and focused most of my drug-related attention on caffeine.

At some point caffeine ceased to serve me and I phased out "real" coffee, switching entirely to decaf, and green tea. Many people, I hasten to point out, represent drinking decaf coffee as "caffeine free" but this is not quite true--here's a chart from the Center for Science in the Public Interest that shows the relative caffeine content of various popular beverages and decaf definitely has caffeine--caffeine content chart. Also, I go into shakes and headaches if I don't have any decaf or green tea.

After giving up serious caffeine, I pretty much cut out alcohol. It seems to lower my immune system, give me headaches and cause me to make poor choices in food and behavior. You know the old saying, "1 martini, and it's under control , 2 martinis, and it's under your belt , 3 martinis and you're under the table, 4 martinis and you're under the host." Well I'm a lightweight, I'm more like, "1/2 glass of wine and I've eaten a box of cookies, uploaded a video of me dancing on the table wearing only a napkin and fallen asleep."

So my current drug of choice is Ibuprofen (street names: advil, motrin). on the container it says "do not take more than 6 tablets in any 24 hour period" Ha, I'm lucky if I make it to lunch without taking 8.

And I'm not alone. At my 25th college reunion when I pulled out Vitamin I, I was rushed by my classmates.

"Dude, can you hook me up?" they asked me. "If you could just give me 2, or 3, 4 would be better, man" "I was just about to drive around Portland looking to score..."

"Yes," I said, pouring the beautiful little red tablets of the generic Ibu into their hands (I don't spring for the gel caps, it's quantity man, not quality).

"And I have Benadryl and Sudafed too."

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