Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Chemical happiness: it’s a dog’s life

I had one of those a-ha! moments yesterday morning when I was speaking on the phone to a client who was wanting me to make (as my mother used to say) a silk purse out of a sow’s ear, and who was not hearing why, given that I had neither silkworms nor pigs in the material he’d given me, not the vaguest chance of making so much as a… okay, I’m sorry, this metaphor has run away with me, let’s just say the source material was crap and I was really struggling to make it into anything other.

Because it’s not acceptable business practice to scream into the phone, ‘Who do you think I am, Jesus??!’ to someone who’s paying you good money, I just ground my teeth and stared at the ceiling. But horrible things were happening in my body: the nerves at my extremities were flailing to break through my skin and inside my head the temperature had reached such extremes that I expected the top of my skull to pop off. Surely this can’t be good for you?

And, just then, on the point of loss of either (a) consciousness from apoplexy or (b) income from irrational behaviour, I realised: I need drugs. Strong drugs. And don’t come with your herbal hippie shit. Give me real chemicals.

I’m not talking about mood stabilisers (as someone who is close to me and who knows about these things, suggested, when I complained to him very shortly afterwards) because I’m fairly fond of my general mental instability. I just want, when things seem to be spiralling momentarily out of control, something that will calm my nerves, reduce my brain temperature to boiling, and remind me that somewhere over the rainbow blue birds do indeed fly. For, say, a couple of hours or so.

So I had two large, stiff Jacks. Which, incidentally, do make everything seem better more or less instantaneously, but then also lay you down to sleep for several hours during an inconvenient time of the day.

In the interim (and goodness me, isn’t my life full?) Hullabaloo the Monster Baby had leapt wildly off the verandah (of course) and broken a small bone in her paw – for which my favourite person on the planet, my vet, prescribed Rimadyl, actually a med for arthritic conditions in dogs but also usable for hounds (like mine) who tear off dressings in 0.3 seconds and Won’t Stay Still.

I gave her her first dose this afternoon, and boy was I jealous. She schlepped around, grinning, for a while, then went and found a quiet corner, curled up and slept for about an hour. (Very similar effects to those achieved with two large, stiff Jacks.)

But when she woke up, she was the very picture of pleasantness. (Not, it must be said, an after-effect of two large, stiff Jacks, and especially not when taken in the middle of the day.) The cats whipped their tails across her nose and she just smiled, where usually a chase of Cannonball Run proportions ensues. The unbelievably annoying miniature sausage dogs across the road (who never, and I mean NEVER, shut up) barked themselves into a frenzy, usually a signal for Hullabaloo to add her voice to the general mayhem, but she just sighed, rolled over, and waved her paws dreamily in the air. Walk Time came and went (this is obviously a problem as I can’t walk her at the moment because, you know, her paw is broken) and she didn’t stare at me with laser eyes – she just meandered outside, lay down and looked languidly at a leaf. Dinner time, normally a moment of embarrassing hysteria (you’d never believe these dogs eat, and like queens, every single day, the show they put on when they see actual food!), was accepted with a calm and grace I’ve seldom seen outside a Zen meditation centre.

Here, at last, was exactly what I required! Powerful, instantaneous happiness! A clear and total lack of any kind of pain or stress! I wasted absolutely no time in hopping on the Net to find out what’s in Rimadyl, because obviously that’s what I’m looking for.

Alas, if something seems too good to be true, it usually is. Not only are the chewable tablets liver-flavoured (although for anyone who’s eaten magic mushrooms, taste is a small inconvenience that can, with concentration, be overlooked), but one of the side-effects of the active ingredient, carprofen, is death.

(Don’t you love these pharmaceutical info thingies? Often, the side-effects of, for instance, an anti-diarrhoea medicine is – diarrhoea. Or a headache tablet is – headache. Or something intended to stop seizures – causes seizures. God.)

Anyway, I do occasionally want instant calmness but I’m not sure if I want to be so incredibly chilled that I have no pulse.

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Jack said...

Stay with us stiff Jacks.
We wont kill you like Rimadyl but we'll hopefully make you feel like you've died and gone to heaven...

Muriel said...

An inspiring thought...