Jewish World Review April 23, 2004 / 2 Iyar, 5764

Lori Borgman

Lori Borgman
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Consumer Reports

Being sick has never been so fun | Have you ever seen so many happy sick people?

They're jumping out of magazines, popping up on web sites and grinning from ear to ear on the tube. They suffer from acid reflux, rotten cholesterol counts and social anxiety disorders, yet they couldn't be happier if Ed McMahon showed up and presented them with a six-foot check.

One of my favorite guys in pain is the older gentleman with bad knees. He hobbles away to the doctors office, quickly returns home, greets his wife with a big smile and whips a bottle of arthritis-strength pain reliever out of his shirt pocket. Six seconds later the man and his wife are dancing in the living room. I can't remember the last time my husband and I danced in the living room. We don't have bad knees, but maybe we should try a couple of those tablets once every four hours just to see what happens.

The other day Debbie Reynolds spoke to me from my computer about a drug for over-active bladders. Debbie had such an upbeat, sunny, cheerful, Singing- in-the-Rain kind of attitude toward over-active bladder, that it almost made me sorry I wasn't part of the club. Debbie made an overactive bladder sound more fun than a shopping trip where everything you like is in the size and color you want and 60 percent off.

I am also fond of the older woman who suffers joint pain and is doing some kind of slow-motion martial arts in a park. What amazes me is that she's wearing Spandex. I don't know many women over 35 who would be caught dead in public wearing Spandex. The ad says the drug is for joint stiffness, but it must also do something remarkable for courage.

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And is there anyone with hemorrhoids who is not going to the theater? It's almost as if having hemorrhoids is a prerequisite to being a season ticket holder. Hemorrhoid sufferers always seems to be at a play or a movie or a concert when they start squirming in their chairs sorely regretting not using that new relief treatment with the cooling aloe-vera. Of course, sufferers who used the medication are sitting in their chairs, enjoying every moment of the performance, not twitching a muscle. It wouldn't surprise me if the next time we purchase tickets for the theater, the salesperson asks if we want the hemorrhoid or non-hemorrhoid section.

Then there's the good-looking man with high cholesterol running on a treadmill smiling like he's having more fun that he had on his eighth grade class trip to Niagra Falls when he got to sit next to Becky Hinkley on the charter bus. I've done a lot of things on a treadmill: sweat, cramp, huff and puff, lie about my weight and cheat on my time, but not once have I grinned from ear to ear. When the ad says, "Ask your doctor if this medication might be right for you," it makes me wonder if maybe I should.

These days, every ad for a prescription drug designed to curb panic attacks, correct irregularity or improve your breathing, makes life with health problems look like more fun than life without them. People on prescription drugs are dancing, shopping, touring museums, zipping down highways in cool convertibles, eating at exotic restaurants and going to off-Broadway shows.

Meanwhile, my reasonably good health and I are quietly amused lounging at home reading a book. Maybe they'll have a pill to fix that someday, too.

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JWR contributor Lori Borgman is the author of , most recently, "Pass the Faith, Please" (Click HERE to purchase. Sales help fund JWR.) and I Was a Better Mother Before I Had Kids To comment, please click here. To visit her website click here.

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© 2001, Lori Borgman