Friday, August 8, 2008

the drug den

I think pot should be legal.

That said that I feel like a complete and total fraud even just saying the word "pot". It seems like a total square such as myself shouldn't be allowed drug slang, my vocabulary relegated to include only the word "marijuana". Or perhaps, when feeling particularly outspoken, "the wacky tobacky". Years ago an old friend took up smoking as a full-time hobby (even securing and subsequently losing a job at a bong shop). He had once been as innocent as I still am, but I knew we were no longer on the same playing field when the word "weed" flowed smoothly from his lips. And he didn't look like an impostor saying it.

I have smoked pot exactly once in my life and only in Amsterdam where the indulgence was entirely legal. We were in the beautiful city for four days, at museums and cafes. On our journeys around the town it was impossible not to walk past countless "coffee shops" and I knew at some point I would build up the courage to venture inside. It took until our last day in the city to finally cross a shop's threshold, asking the jovial man behind the counter to peruse the menu for me, as I couldn't begin to decide for myself which variety to order. He seemed thrilled at the possibility to serve a true virgin (in once sense of the word, anyway) and took great care in selecting a small bag of green for me. I was far too intimidated to smoke in public, certain that I would look foolish as I choked and sputtered on the first foreign smoke to ever enter my body. (To this day I have never inhaled even a cigarette.) So bag in hand we set off, back to our hotel room which I'd comically stocked with oranges and Pringles, in preparation for "the munchies". My (now) darling husband had smoked many times before (cigarettes daily and the other on various occasions throughout his youth), but it had been years since he'd fumbled with rolling papers and it took much time and copious cursing to finally construct a pathetic joint. I didn't cough, didn't look particularly stupid as I inhaled deeply and enjoyed myself thoroughly. I didn't get the munchies but did find myself suddenly very ready for some action (unfortunately it seems the drug sometimes has the opposite effect on men). I can say nothing bad about the experience and sometimes look back on it with a longing to replay that night. But I don't. I'm just not a drug do-er.

I do my best not to take medication when I am feeling unwell. Perhaps it was growing up in my father's house, surrounded by natural supplements and homeopathic treatments. I remember him treating a wart on his thumb by taping a fresh slice of garlic to it daily. (Gross in more ways than one, I know, but it's true and it worked.) Sore throats were attended to with hot water, lemon and honey (and occasionally a bit of whiskey), rather than nyquil or halls. Headache remedies consisted of nothing more than quiet, dark and sleep. It was better to let our bodies heal themselves, rather than cover symptoms with pills and liquids. And better still to find the source of the ailment and fix it.

Although I've never strapped a spice to my thumb and occasionally take advil to combat a headache, I still do what I can to avoid medication. I fight through illness without trips to the doctor or copious amounts of antibiotics. I still find quiet to be the best solution to a headache. I hope to someday give birth to a baby using no pain medication (although I will never say never).

And yet, at present I am taking 10 pills, one after another, every single night. And this is the easy part. In a few weeks I will start the shots: fsh produced in the ovaries of genetically modified hamsters, the purified urine of post-menopausal nuns, a synthetic decapeptide with high antagonistic activity against naturally occurring gonadotropin-releasing hormone. And then come the patches, to be followed closely by both progesterone suppositories and progesterone in oil, ensuring that both my crotch *and* my ass get in on the action.

I received a box brimming with this medication on Wednesday, not to mention the needles and syringes I'll use to administer it. I am so thankful to have it, to know that science has been able to compensate for the shortcomings in my and my husband's bodies. I even look forward to the first injection (much like I eagerly anticipated swallowing of the first of many birth control pills on Tuesday). But I would be lying if I said I don't sometimes look at that box and wonder how I got here. How I went from being someone who treats UTIs with cranberries to a woman who willingly (and sometimes gleefully) pushes the plunger on a syringe containing so many foreign hormones and synthetic substitutes, straight into her bloated abdomen.

Clearly I got confused along the way. How could I spend a lifetime passing on pot and ibuprofen only to find myself fiending for a shot of the good stuff: the nun pee?


Lifeslurper said...

LOL! Amber....yes I am sure we can all recognise something of ourselves in what you have written. I know what you mean with the ole cranberry juice UTI cure, then to go to such opposite extremes with so many chemicals for IVF. Here I am having never smoked or drank in my entire life, but my last IVF cycle (which was supposed to be short!) saw me administer over 30 needles to myself on top of swollowing Clomid. We now have a second refrigerator operating to house the over-supply of Puregon (Follistim). Packets of fine needles for Puregon pens and medical swabs seem to be stuffed in every available cupboard. Oh my!Here's to our new chemically 'controlled' lives! No one can say we weren't willing to go to great lengths to achieve our baby dreams!

G said...

oh honey i am right there with you... although i did partake of many a drug in my youth, it has been many years now... and i am definitely one to stay away from the headache and cold meds... i can't even remember the last time i took one... and yet i went through seven boxes of gonal-f and 3 and 1/2 boxes of menopur this cycle... crazy.

but, whatever it takes... it has to be worth it in the end.

Shelby said...

Hi Amber,

I found your blog through lifeslurper's page. You write beautifully and your sentiment on drugs is so close to mine. I fight through headaches with a cold, wet cloth rather than ibuprofin, and just use a neti pot rather than sudafed when I'm sick, but am in turn requesting the highest dosage possible for my Clomid. I feel ya, girl!

Harmony-ious said...

Nun pee, eh?? Oy.

Amy C said...

Was there another, more recent post, that is gone now...or is the crack that I have been moking since my negative test :-) I swear there was another post after the drug den post. Anyways, thank you so much for your sweet comments on my post!!

JenM said...

Amazing isn't it what we will do for this dream of ours? Good luck with your pills and needles.

Nun pee. Crazy isn't it? I would much rather tape garlic to myself and eat cranberries, but unfortunately that isn't going to cut it.

Penny said...

You gotta love the nun pee. I'm an addict myself.