Thursday, January 12, 2006

Did ya ever wonder...

I have an in-grown toenail. It's hurts a little bit, but mostly it's an annoyance. My cycling shoes seem to put pressure on it when I'm riding, not so much that I'd avoid riding my bike. It's just always there on the edge of consciousness, a nagging little pain that never goes away completely.

I was wondering about the best way to treat this, so I looked for some websites. One of them had a series of gruesome photos of various toe and foot problems. Every description had a "See your doctor immediately!" admonishment. Every one! Surely when your toe is the size of a football, you'd have the sense to see a doctor about it, but these guys would have you in for an office visit simply for a bad case of mismatched socks! Podiatrists have bills to pay, but not at my expense.

That got me thinking about all the drug ads on television, too. Apparently, any problem can be resolved if only we have the right drugs. Antibiotics can cure infections. There's a host of things available for high-blood pressure and cholesterol. And don't get me started about Viagra.

Advertisers are required to advise patients of the side effects of each drug, however unlikely they may be. So in very fine print at the bottom of the screen, there's an advisory that covers all the bad things that can happen if you use the product. Often, one of the side effects is death. Yep, basically they're saying that if you use their product, you may die.

See your doctor immediately if you have:
Hives, rashes, uncontrollable itches, indigestion, malnutrition, frequent urination, infrequent urination, unexplained nightmares, foot fungus, follicular desalinization, myopia, flatulence, bronchial disturbination, or frequent mopery. Discontinue use if you experience hair loss, excessive salivation, auditory hallucinations, mood swings, foot fungus, halitosis, a sudden desire to read Chaucer, or unexplained death. Product may cause but is not limited to: sudden appearance of large, metallic spiders who sing opera.

Now, as far as I know, death is one of the side effects of living. No one gets off this planet alive, aside from some astronauts, cosmonauts, and a couple of guys in the Bible. So why worry about it?

There's no escaping the connection of drugs and cycling. I'm not going to dwell on the abuses in professional cycling, however. Since I'm primarily a recreational cyclist, I have to wonder if there are performance enhancing drugs for people like me. Now, it's undeniable that I could benefit from something that caused weight loss - not that I'm FAT - but I do carry a couple of extra pounds. OK, more than a couple. I'm a man who loves to eat married to a woman who loves to cook. Life is good.

I may do some time trials this year. So I could probably benefit from some drugs that alter space and time. Subjectively, that may make TTs a little easier. They're fun, if your idea of fun is pushing yourself well past your anaerobic threshold in an effort to put in a good time or blow up trying. Let's just say my times haven't been great, as attested by the buzzards circling overhead.

In my case, the risks of illegal drugs outweigh the benefits. I'm subject to random drug testing at work, so there's no way I'd risk my family over some dubious cycling achievement. I'll get high on "powerful gasoline, a clean windshield, and a shoeshine!"...a lovely line from Firesign Theater…or barring that, some strong coffee, a bit of alcohol now and then, ibuprofen, and the ever-present Icy Hot. That last stuff, Icy Hot, may not actually be a drug, but it's a powerful kid-repellent. If my bedroom reeks of it, my kids leave me alone to read or watch television in peace. I only LOOK dumb.

I'll have a strong tailwind on the way home this afternoon. That may be the best drug of all!


Blogger mags said...

Seems like we live in a society where there is a pill for anything. If you're fat - take this pill... People will do anything, but hard work.

I chose to believe that the use of PEDs in cycling is slowly vanishing. More controls and stricter penalties would accelerate that process.


2:51 PM  
Blogger Pete said...

You sound crabby. Perhaps you should take Panexa

3:02 PM  
Blogger George said...

Heck, just take a box of No Doze or a big handful of Sudafeds before your next ride.

You won't know what hit ya:-)

5:27 AM  
Blogger mags said...

Pain is becoming a foreign thing for many.


12:57 PM  

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