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I never really understood the lyrics to that Rolling Stone song. I knew it wasn’t about a newfangled mop head or a Eureka pull-behind vacuum or the invention of Pledge. It’s about Valium.

This is my experience with Mother’s Little Helper:

I had been scheduled for an epidural. Now for those of you who have healthy backs and not in the know, an epidural is a big, long needle that is stuck through your back and into the nerves of your spine. The inflamed nerves that are causing leg pain and numbness are pumped with steroids to help with the symptoms that pinched nerves create.


Being needle phobic, even though I’m not exactly going to see the very long needle, I was understandably nervous. The doctor gave me a Valium prescription for two 10 mg tablets. He said take one when you leave the house and another when you’re half an hour outside of Tulsa.


By the time I got to the office I was three sheets to the wind. First off, we had a little trouble getting me on the table. I tried to put my feet on the stool so I could get up on the table. The stool seemed to have little stool legs that kept moving around. I had some trouble getting my feet on this moving stool.

The doctor’s assistant was a large guy and he picked me up and plopped me on the table. Then both of them, the doctor and his assistant, pushed me to the neck rest.

The doctor showed me the x-rays as he inserted the needle. It all looked like tinker toys with a pick-up stick going through them. He kept saying “Saxon, are you all right? Saxon, earth calling Saxon, this is Captain Kirk, can you hear me?” I was muttering and drooling by this time. I’d never been this high before.

Then it was over. The doctor and his big buddy managed to get me off the table and hand me over to Layce. They seemed to be smiling a lot—like they had some inside joke. I was released to Layce’s custody.

Layce stopped at Quick Trip to get us coffee and a snack for the ride home. All I remember was standing by the donut case…for a very long time. The sign on the case said they had kiwi-filled donuts. I kept looking, but they were hiding. Then a chocolate creamed-filled donut called my name. Then the kiwi one said, “Psst, I’m over here.” I decided to get them both. They seemed to need a good home.

In the meantime, Layce had gone to the restroom, got coffees and found me where she had left me—standing in front of the donut case. I was trying to get the little plastic bag open for a very, very long time. Layce took charge, opened the bag, deposited both donuts.

Next thing I knew I was in the car, my face covered in donut cream, and listening to songs that began with the letter “H” on my MP-3 player. Layce said I really got head-banging over Pat Benatar’s “Hell is for Children.”

“Did we pay for these donuts?” It suddenly occurred to me that I didn’t remember the cashier or any money passing hands.

“I got it covered.”

“Oh, good.”

I don’t remember much about getting home. I don’t remember reading half a book. I did take a nap in my recliner and about dinner time I was reasonably cognizant.

“Did I do anything stupid while I was a drugged up?”

“I’m not telling.”

I’ve been trying to reconstruct the scenario but it seems just out of reach. Call it a Mother’s Little Helper fog. Oh, I’d advise taking only one Valium at a time.

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