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L’il Sis has been going to see a homeopathic doctor to deal with some of her troublesome medical issues. After a barrage of tests, the doc discovered that her adrenal glands are not working properly (among other things) and she needs supplements to kick start the recovery process. The most important of these is Vitamin B. Even I know the importance of this vitamin.  It’s why I down handfuls of my ‘Stress Ease’ tabs daily.The only thing that limits my intake is their size — they’d make a horse choke.

When L’il Sis first became vegan, I was concerned about her getting all the nutrients she needs from her meagre diet of kale, hemp seeds and tofu. (Okay, she ate a bit more than that, but the point remains: it was likely that she wasn’t getting everything she needed). She learned about nutrition and became very careful about eating balanced meals. And yet, here we are. She needs more Vitamin B — STAT!

I talked to her on the phone the other evening  and noticed that she seemed a bit distracted. “Did I call at a bad time?” I asked.

“Oh, no. It’s fine. I’m almost finished ‘shooting up’!” she announced nonchalantly.

“Shooting up what?” I yelled, not sure if it would be worse if she were actually shooting something with a gun or ‘shooting up’ in the sense that she was injecting herself with drugs. I’d made it through the awful teenaged years with none of my kids doing drugs (well, except for a teensy-weensy bit of pot) and here she was, in her 30s, stabbing herself??!!

“My vitamin B,” she answered calmly. “I needed a faster delivery system than pills,” she explained.

“Harrumph…I bet that’s what all the druggies say…”

“Mom! They’re Vitamin B shots. The doc could bring me in for her to administer the needles but that would cost me more. If I stab myself, it’s cheaper and easier for me.”

“But you used to be so queasy about needles. How are you okay with this?”

“Please, Mom. You forget I stab myself twice a month with my Humira needles. I’m SO over my queasiness! Although, it’s amazing how suspicious pharmacists can be. I went in to get the stuff and the guy looks warily at me and asks who will be ‘delivering’ the meds to me. I told him that I was doing it myself and he looked aghast.

L’il Sis continued what she perceived to be her logical, in-no-way-remarkable explanation: “Oh, I’ve done this before, I told him. I’ve given myself needles before and I’ve also given shots to tiny birds. I know precisely how far into the dermis you must go, I know about flicking the needle to get any air bubbles out… I even told him how I used to practice on oranges to perfect my technique. I don’t think he believed me. I mean, how many people give needles to birds? But he was giving me points for originality…I’m just glad I didn’t have to wrap a tiny bird leg with a band to find a suitable vein. That would have finished me!”

“Yes, I can also bet the pharmacist had the narc squad on speed dial as you tried to convince him of your innocence!  Remind me to bring you along if I ever have a tax audit! I’m surprised you didn’t regale him with the story of how your little parrotlet and Gill’s parakeet got The Clap and had to be given antibiotics for weeks!”

“Oh, I should have! I’d forgotten about that episode. Well, Mom, in fairness, when we were in high school, we were shown so many ‘health films’ about not doing drugs and watched so many ‘stoner movies’ for fun, we knew pretty much everything about where to find drugs and how to administer them…and that was before the Internet. Everybody did! Ironic…the schools thought they were teaching us one thing; we learned something else entirely. To be fair, though, we all turned out pretty well without resorting to nasty illegal drugs. And I never thought I’d view the ability to give needles as a valuable life skill.”

Did not see THAT one coming — nor, I’m sure, did the school health department. Unintended consequences all around…