Whenever I pick up the newspaper, I find medical news contrary to previously reported findings.
It's just a matter of time, for example, before someone discovers that deep-fried Oreos are an excellent source of anti-oxidants and a possible preventative for heart disease. I pray for that news to come, but why couldn't the New England Journal of Medicine have released the research before the State Fair began?
Now there is some perplexing medical news for me to digest. I read that the sleeping pill I take may not be effective in getting me a better night's rest, but may, in fact, only have an amnesia effect. In other words, I may be up all night pounding the pillows, tossing and turning, but when I awaken the next morning, I don't remember having trouble staying asleep. Just what I need: something else to keep me up all night.
The more I thought about this, the crazier it made me. I then read that patients who take the prescription may sleepwalk, as well, which means I could be wandering throughout the house getting in all sorts of trouble, then in the morning not remembering anything.
I experienced this in college on occasion. You know, up all night cramming for a test, then not recalling a thing the next morning. (And I was drug free then.)
Maybe it runs in the family. My younger brother used to be a sleepwalker. He'd actually get up and grab a rod and reel from the garage, then walk out the front door at three in the morning. My mother wanted to call the doctor, but my father said we needed the fish.
I asked my wife if she had noticed anything odd over the past several weeks-anything out of the ordinary. "Well, I've been trying to figure out why we're always out of cat food," she responded.
That scared the heck out of me. Especially since I've gained a few pounds the last month or so. "Anything else, Mary Ellen?"
"I notice now in the mornings that your bathroom is spotless. All your pill bottles are back in the cabinet. Your toothpaste tube has its cap on it and all the towels are folded on the rack. Gee, maybe you are walking in your sleep."
"Mary Ellen, do you really think it's possible that I get up in the middle of the night and walk around the house and don't remember?"
"Of course it's possible. You don't remember a lot of things."
"Like last week you thought you took the garbage out to the curb, but the stench from the garage said otherwise; you swore you had covered the lawn chairs before it rained, but that big stain on the seat of your pants is evidence to the contrary. And you to tried to convince me you had watered my plants when I was out of town, but look at them."
"The flowers on the mantel look exactly the way they did the day you left."
"Those are my silk flowers."
Last night I put sticky notes around the house so if I started sleepwalking, I could jot down what I did and maybe it would jog my memory. In the morning, I discovered that I had gotten into the fridge and polished off the remainder of my wife's homemade chicken cacciatore.
I'm glad I made a note of that. Sometimes I forget what a good cook she is.
Dick Wolfsie has written 12 books and has been a television personality for 30 years. His humor column appears Saturdays in The Times.