Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Go ask Alice

The one thing we all have in common as we age is a lively discussion of bodily functions and what medications we take. Having been raised a Christian Scientist and not taking medications for the first 23 years of my life, I've more than made up for it in middle age. I take about four pills a day, twice a day to control blood pressure, cholesterol, and stomach acid. If that wasn't irritating enough, I now find that I have to take potassium supplements to replace the potassium in my body being leeched out by one of the blood pressure medications. It was much easier being a Christian Scientist (though I never could get used to having to go to Sunday School).

I know it is not an original complaint that the cures they give us cause more problems (for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction). But this is my blog and I have a right to rant about non-original topics once in awhile. Or even all the time. It's my blog. It's not like you are paying to come here. Though you should. These are pearls my friend.

What was I talking about, oh yeah, my medications. Doctors are quick to dole out prescriptions and they all come with these nifty lists of possible side effects and interactions with other drugs. Have you ever read these things? "May cause shortness of breath. May cause coughing. May cause internal bleeding. May cause you to stop breathing. May cause you to watch more Reality Television. " The lists go on and on because I don't think they are written by medical experts. Rather they are written by legal experts trying to cover the butts of the pharmaceutical companies who want to make sure you realized all of the risks before you popped their stinking little expensive pills. And don't get me started about the cost of the pills. It's gotten so bad, we have caravans of seniors making trips over the Canadian border to score Lipitor and Atenenol. I'm not looking forward to retirement and wondering whether or not I can afford my cholesterol medication and the medication required to battle its side effects.

Then there is the Pharmacist who doles out the pills. Can anyone tell me why it takes a minimum of 45 minutes to count out 60 pills, pour them in a bottle and slap a label on it? And these are people who went to school just to make sure you are getting the size, type and quantity of pills are the right ones. I have a degree in Journalism and I think I could fill the bottle with the right number of pills in under five minutes. Given the proper training and encouragement, I think a chimpanzee could fill the bottle in under five minutes. But this is just my uneducated opinion on the challenges of filling prescriptions.

Call me cranky, but I attribute most of my frustration to the side effect of being doubled up in the bathroom for two days wishing I hadn't let my potassium supplement run out.

Oh well, live and learn. I've got this white rabbit I'm chasing.




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