August 04, 2005

Your mind is moving low

Low would be one way to say it. Slid down a slope one day, with synaptic lapses intercepting their pharmaceutically determined roles. One day, I'm fine; the next, I'm weeping at too many people kissing on TV.

Maybe it's the middle-aged, midsummer blues. All I know is it's 95 in the shade, and I don't feel like going anywhere, not even on my annual roadtrip through New England, the friends and family tour.

I'm nostalgic for summers long gone, those years in Lake Placid, my summers in Bennington, where I had a legal release on file so the lifeguards were not responsible when I swam beyond the roped-off area in Lake Paren.

For several years, we made a family in Vermont -- me, Trish, Judith, Bryn, Kai, Mary and Jim, Wyn (in his way) -- but that was when my father was alive and helping to support his daughter the writer, that was when his daughter had more creative support, in the 1980s, when she was a Prozac visionary, not an antidepressant statistic.

Lake Placid? Summers of my childhood, summers of tennis, swimming and afternoon tea; evenings subbing as the glass-washer with my friend Jen at our uncle's hotel, where we stayed.

We had our glass-washing tricks down: busboy leaves tray of half-filled glasses on counter. We taste and swallow all -- wine appreciation for the young teenager -- then insert glasses in dishwasher, run it, and hope we're not too drunk to break anything, but probably not much caring if we do. Uncle Teddy had already fired the glass-washer; we figured free wine was the cost of employing us, and labor didn't come cheaper than that.

Fast-forward to Bennington, five summers of writing, dancing, swimming, talking books, hearing authors read fiction, poetry, prose -- adult summer camp, with plenty of time and space away from the phone, before the fax, before e-mail. People don't live like that anymore. We are way too plugged in as a society, and yet we connect less and less.

But I digress: this sudden mood swing descended, and I was at the shrink two days later, leaving with higher doses of my current medications. The list is long, but the warnings stay the same:

Caution: Medication with or without alcohol may impair ability to drive. Medication may impair your ability to drive or operate machinery. Use care until you become familiar with effects. Before taking non-prescription drugs, OBTAIN MEDICAL ADVICE. May cause dizziness or drowsiness. May cause blurred vision. (No caveats re: driving with blurred vision.)

Take or use EXACTLY AS DIRECTED. Do not discontinue or skip doses unless directed by your doctor. Carry a medical ID bracelet stating that you are taking this drug. USE CAUTION when operating a car or dangerous machinery (repeated on many labels).

Note that machinery is no longer "heavy," but "dangerous." How is this distinction made? How is a car a separate entity? When I'm driving, it could be a golf cart or a Mercedes; either way, you don't want to be near my navigational path.

And my favorite: Do not eat grapefruit or drink grapefruit juice within 2-4 hours of taking this medication.

Who paid for the research on the grapefruit/drug interaction discovery? That's the limit of my mind's curiosity at the moment.


Blogger The Misanthrope said...

...We are way too plugged in as a society, and yet we connect less and less.

That is so very true and sad!

7:33 PM  
Blogger Cattiva said...

Ah childhood...

If you find out the deal on the grapefruit, let me know. I'm really curious.

3:04 PM  

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