eat. Not that that’s a bad thing. Other than her jealousy over my dad marrying my mom, my grandmother, Pauline—aka Grammy—was a pretty darn cool gal.
In the early ’70s, when I was a teenager, Grammy discovered “health food,” and started reading Adelle Davis, proclaiming the virtues of whole grains and macrobiotic diets, and buying us grandkids carob candy—which we thought was pretty weird, but nevertheless devoured greedily (since is was almost like chocolate).
Grammy had always been, shall we say, overly concerned with her health, and soon became obsessed with nutritional supplements and vitamins, mastering with relish the art of pill-taking. I remember watching—mouth agape—as she would swallow four or five enormous pills all at once, with little liquid and nary a gag.
My father has followed to a certain extent in his mother’s footsteps, and of late has become quite the vitamin and supplement enthusiast himself, researching, purchasing and organizing them for both himself and my mom. (Granted, they also have prescription pills, too.)
I used to chuckle at Dad’s breadbox full of pills. But then the other day, as I was taking my pills, I realized there were an awful lot of them. I decided to count just how many there were. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven….eight (gulp)… nine, ten….eleven!
Oh my god, what has happened to me? I wondered, startled at the number.
Here’s how it occurred: Several years ago I started taking a multi-vitamin and a calcium supplement, upon the advice of my doctor. To those, I soon added a Metamucil pill (those of you my age or older will know why), fish oil, and glucosamine (for the joints) to the mix (I also give Rosie these last two).
That makes five.
Then, several weeks ago—sick of the menopause-triggered bouts of depression and short-temper I had been experiencing—I went on line and learned that soy and other various supplements have been found to help with the havoc wreaked on the body by the hormonal changes that happen to women my age. So, I bought a bottle of “menopause pills.” (I also bought a huge can of soy protein powder, which I’ve been making into “shakes”—which tastes a bit like sawdust—every day. It seems to be working, though it could just be the placebo effect. But then, who really cares why it works, as long as it does?)
So that makes six pills a day (plus a tasty shake).
The kicker was when I started feeling like I might be getting a relapse of the cold I had last month, and also noticed I seemed to have a build-up of mucus in the lungs: Now I was also taking Echinacea, vitamin C, two Ibuprofen, and an expectorant pill.
Voilà! That brings us up to eleven.
No, I can’t swallow more than two or three at the same time, so I’m no Grammy. But just give me time….