Friday, July 16, 2010

Too many wheelbarrows, not enough porch swings

MARK’S ARTICLE – July 16, 2010
“The horror of side effects”

Did you hear the latest about vitamin D? Yeah? Well, I’m pretty tore up about, too. I would’ve just as soon not known. Just makes me wish Kay didn’t read so much.

We were doing our breakfast thing last week. We’re sitting at the table and I’m eating my Wheat Chex/Grape Nuts combo. I invented it. Only, I don’t buy the real Grape Nuts, I get the Kroger brand called, Nutty Nuggets. The box is bigger and it costs less. I can’t tell the difference. Of course, if you threw in some road gravel, I’m not sure I could tell the difference.

Where were we? Right. We’re at the table and I’m eating cereal, Kay’s eating… something healthy. Since I can’t read and eat crunchy stuff at the same time, I’m just munching. Kay’s got the newspaper in front of her nose.

“Uh oh,” she said. “Says here that Vitamin D will wheelbarrow you.” Of course, she didn’t say wheelbarrow. She said “constipate.” The term calls up so many horrible visions, that I’m just gonna call it “wheelbarrow” for our purposes today. Try not to get mixed up, or this is really gonna come across as stupid.

Where was—Oh, yeah. After many decades of study, some smarty-pants discovered that Vitamin D can give you a serious wheelbarrow problem, and he decided to share… his findings. Not the wheelbarrow.

Do you have any idea how long I’ve taken Vitamin D of a morning? About two years now. I take Vitamin D3 to be exact. No idea what the “3” stands for, or if there’s a “1” or “2”. Truth is, I don’t even know what a Vitamin is. Do you dig for ‘em? Pick ‘em? Suck ‘em out of fruit? Who knows? I’m sure Kay does.

She’s what started it all. A couple of years ago she commented on how little sun I get. She said it after I stepped out the door in my shorts. She noticed that my legs were a bit white. And, they are. I know that. Here, let me show you. No, no, it’ll just take a second. I’ll-- Well, okay. Take my word.

Anyway, Kay said that we get Vitamin D from the sun and since we weren’t getting much sun, we should probably take some D. She suggested D3. No idea.

So, I’ve been taking the stuff for two years now, all the while wrestling with the side effects. Turns out I’m taking several things that have been known to load your wheelbarrow. Way too many things.

All my pills are meant to make me healthier… help me to look young, help me sleep, see and bend down without staying down. I’m one of only three men in the county who are taking iron. I don’t know why those other two yahoos are taking it, but I’m taking it ‘cause I’ve got the jimmy-leg. Cowboys call it “restless leg syndrome.”

I didn’t know I had it till the third time I went to the sleeping clinic and got diodes glued to every body part that has hair. The doctor looked at the results of my tests and said that, among other things, I’ve got the ol’ restless leg. Gave me a blood test and said I’m low on iron.

I’ve been taking iron tablets now for about a year. The doctor recommended I eat a lot of fiber ‘cause the iron can really cause wheelbarrowation. Of course it does. Even if it didn’t, the mere suggestion of it would give it to me.

One time when I was with the brothers, I was eating a boiled egg. Dennis says, “How can you eat those? They give me the wheelbarrows.” Sure enough. No problem before, but now I can only eat eggs scrambled or over easy. Boiling, demonizes an egg. Don’t know if you knew that.

I also take a few pills for some other problems. I don’t wanna go into all of ‘em. Baylor University is doing a study. I take one pill for my eyes. Seems I’ve got retina problems from a cave movie. I’ve mentioned the movie before. There were monsters in the cave, so we kept lighting flares so we could see ‘em. We shot the cave scene a hundred times. No telling how many flares we used. The doctor said I should’ve kept my eyes shut. Obviously, he hasn’t been around that many cave monsters.

Good news is, my retinas aren’t getting any worse. Probably because of the pill I’m taking. I’m also taking stuff for… well for a lot of different problems. Many associated with my head. It’s a mess.

Fortunately, I’ve got Kay to read all the side effects of every pill. I’d just as soon not know, but she thinks I should. The subatomic-sized print that comes with each pill bottle says that among a hundred other things, the pills “may” cause wheelbarrows or porch-swings. I’m using “porch-swings” in place of diarrhea. A vile word it be. I’ll hear no more of it.

Anyway, when given the choice between wheelbarrows and porch-swings, I think we all know what my body is going to choose. Just once in awhile I’d like to get porch-swings. I need porch-swings. But, noooo. I’m one of the chosen few who are destined to push a low-tired wheelbarrow through life.

I see a lot of you think this funny. Dennis does. Dennis thinks it’s a hoot. He’ll make up stuff to mess with my head. He’s liable to call and say, “Hey, bro, did you read what cinnamon will do to you? Yep, one sprinkle is the same as three boiled eggs.” Anybody need to borrow a brother?

It would be so interesting to know what it would be like if I had never known of side effects of stuff. Would I be like normal people? Am I, in fact, allergic to knowledge? Is that what it is?

I’ll let you know what the doctors at Baylor have to say. They’re pretty excited about this. One of ‘em told me to just keep doing what I normally do, or else I might skew the findings. Right after saying that he recommended I cut down on cookies. Everybody's a comedian.


To see Mark and restaurant reviewer Brad Meyer’s second video review, go to You Tube and type in "Brad and Mark restaurant review" and click on the the picture of us with the gray screen behind us.


  1. I love me a good porch swing! No wheelbarrows for me, please! Just started taking D3 and some of the most wonderful fish oil liquid. No joke, I could drink the whole bottle in one sitting. Not going to. Stuff costs an arm and a leg. Do you have any idea how hard it is to swing or wheelbarrow, without an arm and leg?

  2. I think I was born in a wheelbarrow... well, that makes no sense. -- You like the fish oil? I hafta get the no after taste kind or I'll be belching fish most of the day. I'm sure that's more info than anyone cares to hear. And, I never tho't of it. But, there's just a buncha stuff that both arms and legs are needed for. I need to keep in mind how blessed I am to still have 'em. -- Happy week, Cora!