Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Need a Mantra Fast!

We had decided to throw away some money on a fancy seafood lunch on the porch/deck of the local tourist restaurant as a last fall fling.  The market was going to drop.  Our savings, which had finally climbed past their original high before the prior administration crashed the market with its deregulation of banks and investment firms, was going to thin once again.  One of the economists, those who rarely cry fire, said we should be prepared for as much as a 45% loss.  This time the crash would be because of love of power and the addiction to the sound of one's voice and the fear that one might be excluded from the club.  Even the rich puppeteers pulling the strings in the background were gasping at this monster they had created and backed off on their agenda because it meant they, too, were going to lose.  We were not confident they could stop the landslide at this late date.  Therefore, like sailors on the sinking ship we decided to drown ourselves in the last of the rum before all we had to drink was salty water.

I was a little mad pissed off and determined to order the most expensive item on the menu in self-destruction.  But since I live in 'good-ole-boy' land, that item was a HUGE platter of assorted fried seafood while the next was a steak and seafood heart-attack on a plate.  I kept seeing in my mind the type of person that would order this and with greasy fingers pummel it to breaded crumbs in no time.  Thus I ordered the crab-stuffed shrimp, not the most expensive, but hardly cheap for a lunch.  I ordered a glass of Chardonnay and fully expected to drink two glasses in celebration, but found one sufficient.  Hubby ordered the largest order of fried shrimp they had.  Then we also added an expensive tuna sashimi appetizer just for the hell of it.  As we selected excellent slices of raw tuna to dip into a soy and ginger and wasabi mixture I looked up and saw a woman working her way between the close tables from behind us and heading to the private corner of the deck overlooking the water in front of us.  She seemed a little unsteady on her feet as she grabbed a table with one step and then a chair with the next and I was wondering if she had decided to get drunk in mid-day.  She smiled at us as she passed and then proceeded to blue-tooth her way into some conversation as she faced the sparkling water.

She was pretty, pushing 40, and built like a stocky sex kitten.  She wore a soft blonde bob and dressed with casual chic.  There was some energy about her that caught my eye when she made eye contact.  When she finished her call she worked her way back past our table to the table behind us which was filled with other adults and children.  She winced as she leaned against an empty chair at our table.

She smiled and look at us and then said, "You two look like you have figured out this retirement thing."

I said, "I hope so." and then I asked if she was OK.  She looked in pain.

"Oh, 'Ma'am, I am just fine.  I am a warrior and working through this."

Since she clearly was open to talking and we were waiting for our entree, I asked if she had been in an accident.

"Oh, no ma'am, this is the result of a long story...an experiment on my body.  I was part of a drug trial at Walter Reed."

Because of her polite and frequent use of "ma'am" that clued me that she was either ex or current military or a southern raised lady.

She proceeded to tell us in a somewhat disjointed and lawyerly fashion that she was planning on an anonymous lawsuit so that others who had been in the same drug trial that debilitated her would get money when she won it.  She said that the drug had been 'black-boxed' now due to her campaign and while it was still advertised on TV, she said it could destroy lives.  She had taken it 10 years ago right before/after FDA approved it.  She was now being treated in one of the best, small, unknown and black hospitals in the city and she would not tell us its name...but "we could figure it out because we are smart people."

She also indicated she was married to a doctor who had lost his privileges at his hospital because he was outspoken and a warrior like her.  He now worked as an emergency doctor rotating through three hospitals in the area.  "We can afford this lawsuit and others cannot, so I feel it is right to pursue it."

We talked a little more about the illness although she continued to be cryptic because of her upcoming lawsuit and a little about how she had captured her husband when they first met knowing this was the love of her life and then she hobbled back to her family as they began to leave the restaurant.

Why people feel like sharing with us I do not know.  Hubby and I realized we must be looking our age, as she automatically assumed we were retired.  It was Memorial Day...so we could have both been off work...if we looked like we had the stamina to still work...which I guess we did not!  But we did look like the kind of people that one could share plans with for an anonymous lawsuit.

Anyway, I know a little about the FDA and have a friend who had worked there.  I know how budget constraints over decades and political interference and the pressure from the pharmaceutical industry had compromised its mission so much, and I guess I now saw what might or might not have been the result of a rush to market drug in real life.

But then we really don't need a gov'ment interfering in our lives, do we?  Pharmaceutical panels are just as concerned for our health and safety as insurance panels...right?  (I have got to stop this anger or I am going to need drugs...Om mani padme hum....OMG!)


  1. I did a little detective work and came up with Levofloxacin and tendon ruptures. Not sure if I hit or missed but it certainly sounds painful.

    Of course the pharmaceuticals and insurance and government care about our well being.

    Yeah, right. Sigh. Now, I want seafood.

  2. If the state of the union were not so horribly depressing it would be funny. Why is it only the comedians can see the truth, and why are we laughing at ourselves for not seeing it? I'm allergic to seafood but I'll still sit at your table with you...

  3. The "last" lunch sounds like a good idea.

  4. Good luck to the lady.
    Drug trials going wrong, that happens everywhere, pharmaceutical companies need human guinea pigs.

    I hope you enjoyed your meal; going all out for something expensive doesn’t always come off, does it. The number of times i’ve worked my way through an expensive meal and regretted it!

  5. My favorite is a crab louis. Levofloxin and Cipro (Ciprofloxacin), also is implicated in tendon ruptures.

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  7. How about "lions, and tigers, and bears, oh my." Or maybe scream therapy.

  8. On our recent foray through Eastern Oregon which is really considered redneck country, it was interesting to listen to ordinary people talk about their dismay over what had happened and not blame dems or Obama (maybe we had a leftie look) and then turn on whatever talk radio station we could get, which would always be right wing and listen to those people sound like the ones waving the Confederate flag and demanding impeachment. Even the right wing host couldn't get logic out of one of those haters. There are real people who are right wingers and are not nutso-- they aren't the ones on talk radio.

    I figure if we just hold on through the craziness, we won't lose anything by what the stock market does this time either. It's when you need to sell to get the money that you lose out. OR you have money in some company that totally goes bust. That's the risks though always of stocks and why someone needs to watch where they invest and not go for the promised huge rewards but stick with steady and solid.

  9. Just think, the way we are going this time, we will do it all again in 4 months. I've been thinking about taking a walk on the beach and sticking my head in the sand. :)

  10. Funny, just yesterday, I was purging files and stopped to look through one of our mutual funds. It has just gotten back (plus a few bucks) to where it was when we invested in 1999 or so. LOL I, too, wondered if next quarter's statement will show ugly numbers again. Maybe the husband and I should have a all-out meal, too.

    Your "retirement look" story is funny. :)

  11. I'm old enough to remember how it meant something when the FDA approved a product, and how rarely products were removed from the market.

  12. I,too have become the recipient of the confidences of strangers. I guess it's my age but also a genuine interest in the lives of others that I didn't have when I was young.

  13. I think I will start posting views out my window instead.

  14. Well, now that it's all been said and done, it does appear that some small good has come out of this recent governing debacle: the Senate Dems and Repubs coming together to work out a solution... and it sounds as though they are willing and planning to work together on other issues in the future. Finally a shred of maturity and maybe even a teensy hit of selflessness? One can only hope.

  15. Very nice comment on Ronni's blog this mornning.

  16. Some folks are just more approachable than others, n you must've appeared so, plus concerned about what might have been wrong with her.
    It can be much easier for some to open up their problems to un-involved strangers than closer folks.

    There is no doubt rx drugs can affect people differently, n are potentially harmful. I avoid them when possible. I tend to be very sensitive to medicines. I can't count my bad reactions-

    Drug companies comprise 25% of our economy, n they want you to be on a daily, life-long course for their profits. I'll do my best to avoid that

  17. Gigantic fried seafood platters have been a staple for me. Nothing to worry about there. I've never had a heart atta...


  18. Great storytelling. I kept wondering how she could sue if she knowingly agreed to participate in a drug trial.


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