Stodghill Says So

An opinionated posting on a variety of subjects by a former newspaper reporter and columnist whose daily column was named best in Indiana by UPI. The Blog title is that used in his high school sports predictions for the Muncie Evening Press.

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Location: Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, United States

At the age of 18 I was a 4th Infantry Division rifleman in the invasion of Normandy, then later was called back for the Korean War. Put in a couple of years as a Pinkerton detective. Much of my life was spent as a newspaper reporter, sports writer and daily columnist. Published three books on high school sports in Ohio and Indiana. I write mystery fiction for Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine and others. Three books, Normandy 1944 - A Young Rifleman's War, The Hoosier Hot Shots, and From Devout Catholic to Communist Agitator are now available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other booksellers. So are four collections of short mysteries: Jack Eddy Stories Volumes 1 and 2, Midland Murders, and The Rough Old Stuff From Mike Shayne Mystery Magazine.

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Saturday, May 26, 2007

Splitting Pills and Stuff

Well, I split my Zocor pills this morning. If that doesn't sound very exciting to you just remember that at my age you take your fun where you find it.
I've never really understood why I have to split them even though I know they come 40 mg. per pill and I'm only supposed to take 20 mg. I'm sure I can't be the only one in the world to take 20 mg. so why don't they make them in that size? The people who need 40 mg. could take two unless whoever manufactures them would put them out in both sizes. Makes sense, doesn't it?
The really interesting part of this story is that they have changed the shape of Zocor pills. They used to be shaped like a shield but this shipment from the VA turned out to be round. Could the VA have mailed me the wrong stuff? Not likely. Anyway, quite a while back the VA sent me a little pill splitter and I'm pleased to say the round ones are easier to split than those shaped like a shield.
So the pills are all split. Thought people might like to know that because when I told Jackie she said it sure was a load off her mind.
* * *
A few years back when I got out of the hospital they gave us a bunch of prescriptions for pills I was supposed to take. We went to Walgreen's and had them filled. When they handed us a bill for $375 I darn near had to head back to the hospital. And that was for a one month's supply.
There was no doubt in my mind that I had to do one of three things: quit taking the pills, find a cheaper source of supply, or just go ahead and die and get it over with.
I decided to go with the second option because the VA would fix me up with the same pills for $64. I figured I was entitled to a bargain price because some of my experiences in the Army sure were no bargain.
* * *
All this business with pills made me recall that I have outlived three of my life expectancies. It began when the fighting in Europe was all over back in 1945 and a doctor gave us a little talk. He said those of who had been in combat with the infantry for any length of time could knock 15 years off our life expectancy, which for normal people was 72. All of his listeners had been in combat with the infantry for a goodly length of time. The Army likes to give occasional pep talks like that.
Being a couple of months shy of my 20th birthday I wasn't too concerned about that. Fifty-seven sounded like a long way off considering that not too far in the past my prospects of making it through the day weren't all that good. In fact I never gave it another thought until I was 56 and the only reason I did then was the wire service editor dropped something he had taken from the AP machine on my desk. He thought I might like to see it because it said that earlier estimate was revised and I could deduct only eight years from my life expectancy. He had no intention of running it in the paper because it was a boring story and nobody would be interested in seeing it. It's not likely that any paper in the country ran it.
So anyway, now my new life expectancy was 64. Well, that came and went and before I knew it I had also passed the original one of 72 years for normal people. I don't know if they even have life expectancies for guys just a little shy of their 82nd birthday. If they do, I'm going to give it the same amount of consideration I gave the last three.
I do wonder, though, who it is that comes up with this kind of nonsense. There were plenty of old people around when I was a kid and at the beginning their life expectancy was something like 43. The thing was, if they avoided cholera, and if they avoided TB, and if they avoided Yellow Fever and all those other fevers that were around back then they lived as long as men and women live today. Just don't tell that to those people who spend their time figuring out life expectancies. If they believed you it would shoot down their whole careers.


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