So I'm just driving along, loving on my Jesus, my devil, my Obama doll I keep folded up in my back pocket for ethical emergencies, and the ethereal rods and pixies animating the rolling pictures before me, and studying on my malaise.
Then I spot Christ Jesus' telephone number.
I had been wondering what the hell was going on with my snuffled sinus, compounding lethargy, squeaky eye issues, and low (even lower than usual) libido. It all seemed to coincide with my recent move deeper into the urban interface of SA.
Was it a change of wickedness? I didn't think so. Too much kale? Unlikely. Cheap corn tortillas? Must compare intake with Kelly cancer sufferers.
With news reports today, itís finally starting to clarify and take shape, like butter and cookies clarify and take shape, respectively. Itís the spiraling craploads of dumped hospital antibiotic residue, antiflatulence medicines, cancer-therapy drugs, skin lotions, narcotics, mood elevators (narcotics, said that), and blood-fat regulators.
U.S. hospitals and long-term care facilities annually flush millions of pounds of unused pharmaceuticals down the drain, pumping contaminants into America's drinking water, according to an ongoing Associated Press investigation.
These discarded medications are expired, spoiled, over-prescribed or unneeded. Some are simply unused because patients refuse to take them, can't tolerate them or die with nearly full 90-day supplies of multiple prescriptions on their nightstands. http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/2008-09-14-drugs-flush-water_N.htm
Few of the country's 5,700 hospitals and 45,000 long-term care homes keep data on the pharmaceutical waste they generate. Based on a small sample, though, the AP was able to project an annual national estimate of at least 250 million pounds of pharmaceuticals and contaminated packaging, with no way to separate out the drug volume.
One thing is clear: The massive amount of pharmaceuticals being flushed by the health services industry is aggravating an emerging problem documented by a series of AP investigative stories ó the commonplace presence of minute concentrations of pharmaceuticals in the nation's drinking water supplies, affecting at least 46 million Americans.
Now, I know that whatever cholesterol-regulating medicines lurk below in the Edwards - a far larger and far cleaner aquifer system than many of the towns and cities studied for this report (though also one that goes straight from the pump to my tap) - is not likely to be in quantities that would do me harm. But what of the total cocktail? The "cumulative impact" science writers are always fretting about.
It's the five-million $$$ question that earns you a "good question" and "we don't know." Life is cumulative impact.
Bottled water's no better than tap. Likely it's worse than our relatively pristine supplies - outside Leon Valley, anyway.
But I'd feel better if the San Antonio Water System at least screened for the stuff. That way, when I call Christ Jesus (as I plan to do), I'll be able to tell him just how many parts-per-billion of mood elevators and gas pills I've been absorbing and it won't hurt my feelings at all when he tells me me to chill out for a while. To go roll some grass, or in the grass, or whatever.
"You know," a corner-office pixie just may chime in, "exercise is a natural at working toxins out of the system," before leading me around the maypole before we all settle in for a good old-fashioned drug-induced orgy in the headwaters of the San Antonio River.
I would, but, like scientists tell us our fish already know, those flushed anti-depressants can cause sexual dispondancy. For my part, I'm resolving less pills and more kale.
[Image-groping peeps: Top pic is truck on Broadway, shot during today's narrative-building meandering. Bottom sexy pixie pic is courtesy of http://cowshell.com/buffalog, whoever that is. Me likey, tho.]