Big Pharma and I have had a relationship ever since…

I did a number of strange things in my younger years. Like whistling my way home at 4 years old, underneath a fall moon…..to be greeted by Mom's wooden spoon. Like delivering Christmas cards on my bike, in a rare Victoria snow…..at 3 am. Well they all got there before Christmas! Like using a long hose as a makeshift volley ball net across a motel pool in Princeton, BC. I couldn't understand why the owner was more bent out of shape than the hose. It didn't break and he had no net. My parents sided with him.

But what led to my diagnosis as manic-depressive (this was 1986) was my actions on one brilliant Sunday morning in June. I arose at 6 am, seized with the desire to know how fast Swan Creek flowed. This information would then determine if my newly built 2 foot radio-controlled model tug could make scale speed bucking the current. I pulled on a dressing gown over fleece pants and donned gumboots. Taking with me a tape measure, a length of string, and my watch I ran across to the creek.

There I measured out 100 feet on the string and laid it carefully along the straightest part of the creek edge. Then I collected chips from the adjacent cedar trail. I tossed them one at a time, precisely calibrating their watery progress from one end of the string to the other.  I repeated this until I found the average to be 3 mph or 2 knots. Yes! If little "Debra Dawn" could hold her own without being swept downstream, she would be making scale speed.

I returned home, flush with scientific victory. "Where the hell were you?" my(first)wife demanded. Excitedly I told her and the reasons why. She looked at me coolly and quietly made an appointment with a psychologist later that week. Big Pharma and I have had a relationship ever since.