Yesterday my technical consultant used his chocolate-bunnies-for-breakfast buzz to post a web version of one of my essays on my website, "A Pill to Change Your Life," about my mother's death from the diabetes drug Rezulin. This was originally published in Fourth Genre, a well-regarded creative nonfiction journal.
The timing is good in light of Amazon's efforts to silence controversial voices because the essay talks about my family's fight to learn the truth about my mother's death. The drug company and the FDA had a lot to hide, but eventually much of the story did come out. The result of our struggle is not simple and not exactly happy, but I see now that we did help get the drug off the market in a very direct way, which saved many more people from our mother's fate. And we did something in spite of the tremendous resources of our corporate opponent.
Rezulin really did change my life, and I see its lingering side-effects in my reaction to the Amazon disaster as well as my decision to write erotica openly. I can't exactly say "I hope you enjoy this," but I do think this essay reveals something of me that I seldom show in my other work. If knowing the truth is in some sense a fundamental human "pleasure," then this piece will provide that at least.