Jewish World Review April 23, 2004 / 2 Iyar, 5764
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
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.
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
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
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© 2001, Lori Borgman
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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