I’ve been having a lot of pain at my knees and elbows, so Sunday night I tried Capzasin, an over-the-counter pain reliever containing capsaicin, an ingredient in red pepper. It’s natural, OTC and recommended by my doctor, so it’s got to be good stuff, right?
10:00 Applied Capzasin, There was a little burning, but the makers say that’s normal.
11:30 Woke with horrible, HORRIBLE burning. Turned on the light and saw the skin on my elbows and knees was fiery red.
Helpful advice on the package recommends washing with soap and cool water if the burning becomes intolerable. If that doesn't work, try dish detergent. If that doesn't work, try vegetable oil.
1:00 Nothing worked and the pain was getting worse. In fact, the repeated washings carried the red pepper downstream, resulting in additional pain and redness on forearms and shins. Time to wake the husband.
Husband blinked twice, looked once, freaked out. The package warnings also say if skin becomes red or blistered, see a doctor. Husband thought we should head to the ER for a fun-filled night with our still-sleeping 7-year old.
Nothin’ doin’. Not unless my arms and legs burst into blue flames—which seemed a possibility. Instead we tried again with the soap, detergent and vegetable oil in various combinations. Still no relief.
1:45 Googled “Capzasin burns.” Found hundreds of complaints, some citing blistering and scarring. One victim found relief by applying cold milk to the burned areas, which we figured made at least as much sense as applying red pepper.
1:50 Pain and redness began subsiding almost immediately.
3:00 Back to bed with my arms and legs swathed in milk-soaked paper towels and iced dishtowels.
6:30 Most of pain and redness gone.
6:35 Remembered how much I love pharmaceutical pain relievers. (See 12/31/08 blog post, “High for the Holidays”.)
OK. So here’s the latest in summer camps: cooking camp. For a small fortune, we sent our 7-year-old son last week to learn all about kitchen sanitation, grocery shopping, veggie chopping and bread baking.
Of course the best way to learn is by doing, so at camp he made his own lunch and washed his own dishes after he ate. Then came the very coolest part of all: He spent the afternoon cooking and brought dinner home for the three of us every night!
He made a grown-up mac and cheese with smoked Gouda, ham and mushrooms; a Greek lasagna with béchamel; and a meatloaf listed on the menu as Not Your Mother’s Meatloaf, so he left out all the veggies I usually add.
Saturday morning we attended graduation where he received his own monogrammed apron and toque, and we bought a personalized DVD with pictures of Jack working in the kitchen and eating lunches with the other kids. (It looks like he’s the only one who needed a stool to reach the workstations.)
All week I dared to dream that Jack would someday make someone a good husband, and that he would take after me and grow up loving to prepare and eat good foods. His father didn’t pass on that gene. His father gets home from work earlier than I do, and so used to make dinners. But I could only eat so many boiled hotdogs, and BBQ potato chips don’t really qualify as vegetables, so I’m in charge of dinners again.
This week we’re back to our usual drudgery of making our own dinners, while Jack’s back to his regular camp and swimming every afternoon. But I’ve been thinking about a coworker’s suggestion: Why stop at cooking camp? I’d pay a thousand bucks to be able to send my son to laundry camp for a week.
The curriculum could include things like washer settings, stain removal, sorting to prevent thinks like shrinkage, fading and bleach spots. He could learn those sophisticated techniques to avoid ruining clothes by overstuffing the washer and then leaving them on the hottest Wrinkle Guard setting for hours.
My son would learn how not to ruin clothes like his father does, then he gets that pathetic look when I start screaming at him for the hundredth time about how he’s ruining brand new clothes, and don’t bitch about the money I spend on clothes, and if I didn’t have to keep replacing them … then he gets all defensive and starts screaming asinine things like “Screw it then! I was only trying to help! … You don’t appreciate anything I do! Don’t you dare! Don’t you dare talk about my mother! My mother is a saint and you’re …”
But I digress. It’s summer again, and I guess no matter how old I get, I still slip into summer daydreams.