We all get medical prescriptions from time to time. I did recently, and, as usual, I pulled out the ridiculously long insert with minuscule print explaining all the ways said medication might make me ill, or, you know, kill me.
The two-sided form—that unfolded to the size of an open newspaper and which appeared in multiple languages—indicated side effects might include nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps, headache, thinning hair, cold or flu-like symptoms, dizziness, trouble breathing, difficulty sleeping, and irritability, to name a few. I guess I should have been grateful that death wasn’t included this time, as it has been on previous prescriptions.
I realize the following statement was meant to reassure me: “Your physician prescribed this for you after considering your overall health and the good it might do.” I’m not sure it made me feel any better, but I took the stuff anyway.
The product, an…um…hormonal vaginal cream—There! I said it!—was meant to calm some pain and irritation from which I’d been suffering.
“This sometimes happens when you’re post-menopausal,” my gynecologist explained, not the first doctor who’s stared at me lately, pointing out my advancing age. “Take it three times a week at bedtime.”
“Yes, ma’am!” I said, with every intention of doing what I was told. The problem came when I assumed that the plunger was a dose. I took that cream for a week and a half, without noticing the little measuring scale on the side. That prompted me to read the outside of the box where my prescription explained that my dose was one gram. I quickly realized I’d been taking four times the required amount.
As you might expect, I briefly freaked out. I’ve never taken anything with “hormones” labeled on the box. Would I soon be feeling the need to don a pink tutu or perhaps hurl handfuls of brightly-colored sparkles into the air? Or maybe demand a mani-pedi with violet polish and rhinestones?
You might not be taking me seriously, at this point. But as a life-long, not-the-least-bit girly girl, I wondered if the drug might change me. Would I wake up one morning afraid of spiders? Would I discover a new-found love of dainty shoes? Would I lose my love of digging in the dirt for rocks? Might I rethink false eyelashes or check out my butt in the health club mirror in the hope of taking that perfect, backside selfie? Or, egads, might I opt for a Lifetime movie over a football game?
The more I thought about it, the more worrisome the idea became, so I phoned my doctor. A few hours later, her assistant called me back.
“It’s fine. You haven’t done any damage. Just take the prescribed dose from now on,” she said.
Whew! I relaxed, but I still wonder about that stuff in the tube. And, just now, an ad for frilly lingerie has appeared on my computer. For the first time ever, I’m tempted to look.
(Disclaimer: I made up that last part. Hell! I don’t even wear a bra. I’ll let you know if anything changes.)
The past and present collide when a tenacious reporter seeks information on an eleventh century magician…and uncovers more than she bargained for.
February 2, 2022
In 1939, archeologists uncovered a tomb at the Northern Arizona site called Ridge Ruin. The man, bedecked in fine turquoise jewelry and intricate bead work, was surrounded by wooden swords with handles carved into animal hooves and human hands. The Hopi workers stepped back from the grave, knowing what the Moochiwimi sticks meant. This man, buried nine hundred years earlier, was a magician.
Former television journalist Kate Butler hangs on to her investigative reporting career by writing freelance magazine articles. Her research on The Magician shows he bore some European facial characteristics and physical qualities that made him different from the people who buried him. Her quest to discover The Magician’s origin carries her back to a time when the high desert world was shattered by the birth of a volcano and into the present-day dangers of archeological looting where black market sales of antiquities can lead to murder.
REVIEW COPIES OF WOLF CATCHER AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST
Review/interview requests: firstname.lastname@example.org