Monday, April 28, 2008

Doc Reynolds' patent remedy

The Kinzig, which flows to the Rhine from somewhere in the Black Forest, handily connecting Kehl across the river to Offenburg

We had a busy weekend. We woke at 7:30 on Saturday, and commenced preparing for our guests that evening: Amynah’s intimidating boss, Brigitte, and her husband Alain. The politics of Amynah’s lab made this dinner highly unusual – no one else, bar one of the more senior staff, ever invite the big boss over. That we did was the result of my off hand thanks, upon bumping into Brigitte after my French class in Amynah’s institute, for her previous dinner invite, with the traditionally insincere “We should have you over sometime.”

Well, suffice to say, she took it seriously, and lo and behold, one week later she was gazing upon our delightful view and listening, uncomfortably, to our mice hunting tales (“You haven’t had any in the kitchen?” she asked, putting down her fork, “No! Oh course not,” says Amynah, without batting an eye).

Anyway, as a result of the fascinating conversation (it was, really) we got to bed quite late, and slept in quite late. As I am a delicate flower, and subject to developing thermonuclear headaches at the slightest provocation, this disruption of my routine threatened to turn into a monster migraine.

Now, I’ve developed a number of completely ineffective strategies to stymie an impending headache. Eating vast quantities of food, drinking lots of water, medicinal coffee, tactical napping, and exercise.

It being 23 degrees and sunny, we opted for the latter course, and hopped on our bikes and headed into Germany: destination, Offenburg.

I am sad to say that our increasing competence means I have no bike related drama to impart about this trip. The city (about a quarter the size of Strasbourg) is only 27 kilomters away, and the bike trails are clearly marked along the whole route.

However, my headache was getting worse, despite all the fresh air. On arrival in Offenburg, I sought out an open kebab place, and ordered what I’m sure is the largest “doner” I’ve ever rammed down my gullet. No dice. The following espresso didn’t help, nor the ice cream after that.

Dispirited, we made our way back home (pausing outside Kork, where an impromptu remote-control aeronautics show was in full swing, with biplanes, gliders, helicopters – even a parachutist!). Sunburned and worn out, we had a brief nap, which also did nothing for my head.

Finally, I popped into the bathroom to wash up for dinner, and my eye fell on a plastic bottle filled with small white, chalky tablets, marked "Tylenol." “Hmmm,” I thought to myself, “Perhaps I’ll try one of these.”

Fifteen minutes later my headache was gone. Perhaps next time I’ll try that approach, before the 55 km bike ride cure.


Natalie Joan said...

I'm all for avoiding the white, chalky stuff as long as you can. A philosophy that led to many days wasted in pain, but you get to be all uppity about not taking unnecessay medication.
I am however a new convert to the Advil gel caps... superfast relief.

Mark Reynolds said...

Yeah, I love the getting uppity about avoiding meds - I don't get a lot of traction with it around here, given that Amynah's a pharmacologist.

Victor said...

I guess you didn't learn the same schoolyard chant we did:

Drugs, drugs, drugs: all are good, none are bad;
Drugs, drugs, drugs: take them from your mom and dad!