Monday, November 07, 2005

what the fuck is restless leg syndrome???

i'm watching the espn sunday night nfl game last night and during the commercial, decided to see what i could find to occupy my mind for the two minutes or so before the game commenced. i'm not sure what channel i landed on, but the commercial had me intrigued from the moment i saw what looked to be the most comfortable recliner chair ever being spotlighted. at first i thought it was a commercial for the chair, so i paused to see it was about.

imagine my surprise when i realized it was a commercial for yet another pharmacutical product listing ad nauseam its attributes in combating restless leg syndrome. restless leg syndrome??? what the fuck is that???

according to the commercial, the symptoms are:

1. the desire to move the legs
2. motor restlessness in unusual sensations or discomfort
3. wanting to move more when you're still
4. feeling all of these things mostly between the hours of 6 p.m. and 4 a.m.

so in other words, if you like walking, become uncomfortable when you feel a little different, want to move after standing still and like to go dancing on the weekends, you're probably suffering from restless leg syndrome.

so now you've gotta take a pill to combat against this ailment. lucky for you, there's one available! just one a day will take away that pesky desire to have a life, leaving you the lethargic, listless, mind-numb shadow of a human being you are supposed to be, and the side effects aren't bad at all. all you have to worry about is abdominal pain, abnormal dreaming, abnormal muscle movements, abnormal vision, amnesia, anxiety, arthritis, bronchitis, confusion, constipation, decreased muscle movements, diarrhea, difficulty breathing, dizziness, drowsiness, dry mouth, eye problems, fainting, falling, fatigue, hallucinations, headache, increased sweating, indigestion, joint pain, leg swelling, nausea, nervousness, pain, paralysis, respiratory tract infection, runny nose, sinus inflammation, skin tingling, sore throat, swelling, tremor, urinary tract infection, viral infections, vomiting, or weakness*

in the big picture, those are very small inconveniences when considering the more dangerous aspect of living with legs that want to move. i'd much rather have blurry vision leaving me unable to read my book while sitting on the toilet after suffering from the diarrhea that has me shitting every half-hour of the day, hallucinating about dubya choking on cheney's penis while i vomit into the tub nearby.

pharmacutical companies make it seem like there is a pill for every little thing deemed abnormal with our bodies. i just took a self-test for a general anxiety disorder here and just by answering yes to the question of often feeling irritable and having difficulty sleeping somewhat, i was told i might be suffering from generalized anxiety disorder.

which is curable with their pill.

you see where i'm going with this? these pharmaceutical companies have got folks thinking the natural response of our bodies to the act of living is now somehow full of abnormalities that can be "fixed" by taking a pill. feeling a little anxious? that's not normal. worried? shy? feel like getting out? not normal. take this pill to relieve you of the desire to see those things not as abnormalities but as a few stones that make up the foundation of your existence. instead you're supposed to view those things as the obstacles ultimately preventing you from obtaining any level of success or happiness in your life.

all of this is not to say that there aren't serious ailments requiring pharmaceutical treatment. however, the difference is that the drug companies, having realized they can't maintain their high level of profits by only treating the people suffering from these more serious ailments, are now making it seem as if we're ALL suffering somehow, and therefore need a pill just to get through the day. this is a very dangerous practice because the possible result is a society of folks who aren't inclined to actively seek out the happiness and success for themselves or to empower themselves by taking their problems into their own hands and finding solutions no matter how difficult the solution is. the possible result is a society of folks who have pills labeled for every emotion, plopping one in their mouths when the moment calls for it.

and while i kind of like the idea of being able to take a pill labeled "feels like an orgasm", it means little without the engagement of the senses and the mental and physical intimacy that can only come with the physical act building up to that moment.

so do me a favor, pharmaceutical companies. spend less time on terrorizing folks into thinking they're abnormal when they're not, and focus more attention on finding an actual cure to the diseases that making taking your products necessary.

*taken directly from the site advertising this drug.