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Thursday, September 08, 2005

I feel MUCH better now!

I'm not sure if anyone particularly noticed, but I've not written lately. There's a simple, though slightly unlikely explanation for that. I've been afraid to write.

You see, two months ago I started taking Wellbutrin (a.k.a. Zyban). It's an antidepressant that often helps people quit smoking. Being "lightly" depressed and wanting to quit smoking, it seemed to be the right thing to do. And indeed I did quit smoking! Things were going wonderfully. My plan was to keep taking the Wellbutrin for three months or so, as they say the mental addiction to nicotine should start easing up after ten weeks. Unfortunately, now that I'm on week six, I'm noticing odd symptoms.

The past two weeks or so I've been VERY edgy. Of course I blamed it on withdrawal. I've also had odd spurts of uncontrollable anger. My heart has been racing. My insomnia has been MUCH worse than usual (which was pretty bad to start with). It's been very hard to focus on things; following a thought through to its conclusion has been almost impossible. Depression loomed. The thing that got my attention, though was the paranoia. While I've always had a healthy dose of paranoia, I thought it was odd that I was suddenly convinced that the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court died just to spite me because he knew I wouldn't like Bush's selection of a replacement.

Writing my thoughts and opinions in a public forum probably wouldn't have been a good idea.

So, at the urging of my wife, I started poking about the Internet to see what could be wrong with me. I was, of course, very careful to use a public, non-traceable computer so the government couldn't track me down. I eventually figured out that Wellbutrin will sometimes have that effect on people. Hmmm... So just yesterday I quit taking the happy pills. My urge to smoke isn't any worse than it was before, but my heartrate is already back down to somewhere approaching normal and I haven't been nearly as angry as I have been lately. No little spurts of adreniline. And I realize now that the government probably doesn't really care who I am - least of all a recently deceased Supreme Court Justice.

All in all, I feel MUCH better now. I'm back. Hurray!


On a different note, has anyone but me (and friend Dan) seen the Red Stripe Beer commercials? Great stuff! You can see them on the Internet, too - just go to www.redstripebeer.com. It's almost as good as www.talklikeapirate.com, but not quite.

Tonight is the opening night of the 2005 NFL season. Patriots against a certain team, who shall remain nameless, from the left coast I used to like watching until they hired Randy Moss. I really and truly used to enjoy the good ol' Silver 'n Black. But then they agreed to take former Buccaneer and full-time loudmouth Warren Sapp (a man once remembered for a friendly rivalry with Green Bay quarterback Brett Favre, but now remembered only for dancing around in front of an opposing team's coach yelling obscenities and acting like a fool). I still watched the nameless Oakland team, but without joy. Now they hired Moss, who, in spite of once serving jail time (battery and smoking dope), persisted in trying to run over a Minneapolis policewoman a few years ago whilst smoking an illegal substance and acting like a fool. source Classy guy. Go Pats!

Well, I just lost my good mood. Some of you may remember that a couple months ago I was diagnosed with high cholesterol. I now have a new diet, more exercise and another little pill to take. I don't feel any better, really. Besides having to pay for the little white pills, we just now got a bill for $600 for the lab work at the clinic. That's two weeks' wages. I worked half a month for that money. The main problem is that our insurance (United HealthCare) has changed their policy, and neglected to inform ANYONE of the change. They used to cover blood work as part of the copay, but that's no longer is the case. Now it's out-of-pocket. My wife called United HealthCare representative, Terry Cantrell, who works at Bill Markve & Associates (located in the very prestigious and upscale Dakota Dunes community), only to find that we are indeed boned to the tune of six-hundred dollars. Mr. Cantrell shifted the blame to our doctor's office (Family Health Care of Siouxland), who in turn shifted the blame to the company that processes the labwork, LabCorp, a publicly held company. If I had any money left (which I don't as they already took all my moolah) I'd invest in the company (ticker symbol LH on the New York Stock Exchange). They're on track to make their rich stockholders a LOT of money, mainly by taking it from poor folk. I'm not sure who to write letters to, as everyone in this whole chain is pointing fingers at someone else, so I'll probably complain to the whole bunch of them.

You know, this wouldn't have upset me nearly as much if they'd just been up front about the whole deal. "We think you may have high cholesterol. It'll cost six hundred dollars to find out for sure." Okay, I'd grumble about that, but at least I wouldn't feel like they're stealing my money.

Harrumph, grumble.

1 Comments:

Anonymous VJP said...

Ahhhhh yes, the high chlorestrol (sp?)curse...for years skinny me ate lots of wonderful cheese and real butter and ice cream and lunched on choco-chip cookies and never even felt bad. Suddenly, blood work and I am diagnosed with this cruel problem. I elected to try mastering my foe without the use of that expensive little ill and you know what - I did it! I increased my exercise and studied nutritional stuff and learned how to eat well without deprivation (well not much deprivation) and I SHOCKED my doctor when I sustained my normal count for a year...Just gloating a bit I guess, but my real point is that doctors often just fork over the magic pills and you pay for them and you really could have the joy of being the master of your fate and at no additional cost! Don't ask me to give up the glass or two of red wine each day though! 8-) VJP

3:22 PM  

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