Tuesday, April 28, 2009


So to best explain why I was protecting my deck from ninjas at 1 AM, I need to talk about my prostate.

(I don't think there is as single sentence as simultaneously intriguing and off-putting in the English Language. No, don't try.)

Without getting too graphic (yeah, I know you're disappointed), when I went in for my checkup, the bloodwork had an elevated PSA (Prostate Serum Antigen). PSA may be a indication of prostate trouble, but can be affected by other factors, which give a false positive. So I met with the urologist and we decided to eliminate those other factors, which include potential infection.

And to address that end, I've been taking ciprofloxacin.

Now, I have been very fortunate (touch wood) to not have to take anything heavier than tums. So a daily regimen of an antibiotic is a new thing for me. And I so I read the (huge) list of warnings about the drug side effects - effects including dizziness, drowsiness, hives, rapid heartbeat, hallucinations, paranoia, stomach cramps, diarrhea, nerve damage, sensitivity to sunlight, joint sensitivity, headache, fever, skin rash, trouble sleeping, and nightmares.

I think the nightmares come from reading the warning labels. The drugs may come from doctors, but the warning labels definitely come from lawyers, and include every possible effect. We could probably solve the street drug problem merely by giving them the same level of information.

In any event, since starting the regimen, I've been keeping track of potential side effects, and save for the continuing head cold (note: Cipro does not work on colds or flu), have been pretty safe (again, touch wood).

Until last night, when I was awakened by some chance noise - teenagers at the school or some animal in the backyard. I was awake, and within a matter of moments absolutely convinced that someone was out of the back porch outside the bedroom. Upon finding nothing (and not hearing anything else), these mysterious someones became ninjas who were watching, waiting for me to go back to sleep.

The rational mind said this was goofy, but the irrational mind was in charge, and waited by the door to the porch for the ninjas to make their move. Paranoia is a side effect of the drug, apparently (check the laundry list above). Fortunately, I had the antidote, in the form of the Lovely Bride, who instructed me to quit clowning around and come back to bed.

Now, most people know about cipro in the wake of the anthrax attacks of about eight years back, when a large number of concerned and powerful individuals were downing the stuff in hopes of evading the potential of infection. Now, given the possible side effects of the drug, maybe the last eight years have ANOTHER explanation. Just a thought.

Keeping an eye out for the Ninjas. More later,