August 20th, 2019

Reiss’s Pieces

This very morning, I decided that I would contact the Keurig people and see if they could help me with my coffee maker, which is driving me crazy! Lately when I try and make a cup of tea, it only gives me about 1/3 of a cup. Now that might not sound too bad but in the morning hours when I need that tea boost, it drives me crazy. I called the number that I thought was in Waterbury but turned out was in Georgia. And the representative that answered my call was very pleasant and really tried to help me. However, she ultimately gave me the same advice that I had been given before. And although I really don’t think that it will work, I am going to try again, because I really need a full cup of tea!


As I listened to this nice woman, I began to think of the many products that I have bought that don’t give you any opportunity to fix a problem. And these days, I think that we all spend a lot of money to purchase something, and that we should be able to make an attempt to fix it before we have to throw it away or replace it. For me the worst part of this is that something that I have liked and used for a while now has to be replaced. That’s just not right! Of course, when I was young, there was always someone who you could call who would fix just about everything. Which immediately brings to mind – what happened to the handyman who knew how to repair your toaster, your hair dryer, you radio/TV and your vacuum cleaner? And not only could he repair all your electrical appliances, he did it with a smile and a very inexpensive bill. I guess the friendly neighborhood repair man has just gone the way of the dodo. But I am happy to report that the Keurig does have a few friendly people around the country who will answer your phone calls and make an attempt to help you.


For some reason, the thought of getting help to repair something brings to my mind those tremendous lists of side effects that accompany almost everything that goes down your throat.


I was riding my stationary bike yesterday and as always, was watching TV at the same time. And one after another, advertisements popped up on the screen. They offered medications that would help or cure almost every ailment that I ever heard of… and several that I never heard of. Well, these offerings were bad enough, but almost every single one of them then listed the most horrendous side effects that I had ever heard of. As I pedaled away, I started to think that the disease or ailment was almost a lot better than the side effects!


Now, I know that the manufacturers of these medications are just trying to cover their own rear ends and make sure that if and when you take their product that you know what to expect and what might happen to you. But come on. What I want to know is how many people have actually come down with these peculiar effects? And if there are more than a few obscure individuals, then maybe you should never, ever try them. I know that I have arthritis in my hands and my back and I would love to take something that would leave me pain-free, but I also think that I would rather suffer from the pains that I have than try and be brave and live with the horrendous and frightening side effects that the medication could offer. And if you think that I am just making this up, let me tell you about last summer.


Last summer, while at the Cape, I was recovering from carpal tunnel surgery on both hands and really bad pains in my back and legs. After conferring with both of my doctors, I was given medication that was supposed to help with the pain. And truthfully, it did work. But what it also did was make me not only sick but dizzy and sort of “out of it.” And when I was talking to one of my daughters on the phone, she asked me what was wrong? She could tell, over the phone, that I wasn’t myself! When I told her how I felt, she told me to stop taking the medication, immediately. (I should mention that two of my daughters and my son are RN nurses and one is a physical therapist.) When I stopped taking the meds, I immediately felt better. Of course, I still had hand and back pain, but I was lucid enough to cope with it. And now, I assure you, I don’t take any of that particular type of medication.


Today, I still have lots of pain in my back and legs but I don’t take much medication at all. I find that most of the prescription meds that are good for what ail me, make me feel terrible. I am working with my doctor to find something that might work. Right now I am just using over the counter meds, but as I said before, they also have side-effects!


Maybe what I should do – and perhaps you should do also – is try and figure out how to live with your pain and not suppose that there is a magic pill that will cure everything. When I think back about my grandmother (who lived into her 90s) I know she had arthritis in her hands and probably elsewhere, but she never really mentioned it and I don’t believe she took much medication. Back then no one thought that they should be given a medication that would cure everything and allow them to live pain free. Maybe we should try and figure out how to live comfortably and with as little pain as possible, and without filling up on medications. What do you think?

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