One Month Under the Influence

I'm not a big fan of swallowing pills. Especially a big, horse-sized pill, the kind you have to position just so on your tongue in order to avoid it smacking your throat-wiener on the way down and making you gag. (I know, I know - it's called an uvula, but "throat wiener" is just so much more descriptive.) Does anyone else out there have a problem choking down pills or is it just me?

At the gym I see weightlifters nonchalantly popping handfuls of big honkin' vitamins (steroids?) in one gulp of water. Meanwhile, I have to meditate and calm myself before placing one pill at a time in my gullet: I live in fear of urfing on myself. Maybe if I use dog methodology it will improve performance: We could dip the pills in chocolate and The Varmint could act like he wants one. Then I'd get it down quickly.

I've been taking this heavy dose of glucophage for a month now. Sadly, each pill is the size of a mummy sarcophagus, so I approach the big brown bottle with a shiver each evening. I guess it proves how motivating an image of yourself as a hairy, zit-riddled sasquatch can be - I haven't missed a pill.

With this Polycystic Ovary Syndrome stuff, the big things are that you have to exercise every day and eat right (fewer carbs, heavily-reduced sugar intake, lots of protein and greens). The larger lifestyle change for me is a result of the glucophage: YOU CAN'T DRINK ALCOHOL WHEN YOU'RE TAKING GLUCOPHAGE. No cocktails. No wine. No beer. And this - wouldn't it figure? - just when my fabulous in-laws went crazy and splurged on the Most Beautiful Little Wine Cellar in the World for us for the holidays.


I love that wine cellar. Love it. And did I mention it is currently chock-full of yummy bottles of wine? Wine from Chile, Spain, France, Napa, Australia - some of it is 10+ years old. I thought, coming from a good Iri-germ-glish family, and being a gal that loves her cocktails, that when 100% devoid of alcohol my liver would fear a layoff, panic and send my body into withdrawals. But no! As-yet I am perfectly DT-less, so Gerald and the rest of you "friends" out there can pay up. I beat the odds, baby!

I'm actually feeling pretty darned good about this sobriety thing. I'm having tons of fun with half the slurring, and it's been great to watch The Varmint-Gone-Wild Variety Show that's sprung up as a result of his having his very own designated driver accompany him wherever he goes. Sadly after last weekend's party madness, he did mumble something about joining me on the sobriety bandwagon.

I hope it was quickly forgotten in the hangover fog, because he's damn good entertainment and I don't go anywhere without a camera these days. Eventually, I'll be able to skip a dose of medication if it's a special occasion and I really want a drink. So I will be able to have some of the good bottles in the wine fridge, which is a relief. But mostly? (This has surprised me greatly...) I want beer.Shanelvis.jpg


It's especially overwhelming when dining at Japanese and Thai restaurants. (They are my favorite). I positively yearn for a tall, icy-cold Kirin or a chilly Tsing-Ha: Beer is just so delicious with those cuisines - far better, in my estimation, than wine. I love the way beer works with the flavors of the ginger and the nutty sesame. I like the cold gush as it cuts the burn of the spices. Beer tastes perfect with rice... Crap.

I have to stop writing this. It's 8am and I just drooled onto my bathrobe. I need me some brekkers. Beer. . . I never would've guessed. Three cheers for my inner Homer Simpson.


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I am a writer and lazy artist who loves travel, architecture and design. Right now, I'm into photography. My fabulous husband (a.k.a. The Varmint) and I are also the principals of a San Diego-based creative agency - and new parents to the divine Baby Mak. Read More >