As related in Part I, I have never been tempted by illegal drugs. Why would anyone want to put that stuff in their body?
Neither has occurred to me to "talk to my doctor" about any of the drugs hyped on TV, especially after those legal disclaimers! There is even one which says pregnant women should not even touch their stuff! I think a one-size-fits-all disclaimer could be used: "Don't Use This Drug If You Actually Have the Problem It Is Supposed to Remedy; Or If You Have Ever Been Sick a Day in Your Life; Or If You Will Ever Get Sick With Anything Ever Again For The Rest Of Your Life." Why would anyone want to put that stuff in their body?
I have, however, contributed my fair share to the Lily Foundation with my own drug history.
May 23 1996, was the first time anyone ever said there was a problem with my heart. They proceeded to keep me 10 days in the St Louis University Hospital while every student-intern on staff had a crack at trying a different test on me. I had very good insurance. This was all new to me, so I went along with it.
A few weeks after getting out of the hospital our oldest son drove me to Indiana to look for a place to live. I was supposed to check my blood pressure if I had "symptoms" and someone suggested Lynn's Pharmacy. They had one of those test-your-own-blood-pressure machines. I've been going to Lynn's ever since and he and his staff have always been very helpful;
On July 28 1998, I had what I am reliably informed was a Myocardial Infarction (yeah, a heart attack). I left Union hospital with about twelve prescriptions. I was on my way.
Since 1998 I have been hospitalized so often that one nurse at Union, Patrick, knows me on sight. In all of this I have developed my own conspiracy theory: There is some kind of unspoken agreement that every doctor who can get in to see you while in the hospital can only get paid if he/she prescribes something, or changes something you're already taking. I have had "referrals" for doctors who came to see me about things I did not have:
Unknown new doctor: "how long have you been anemic?"
Bewildered patient me, "say what?"
Every doctor wants to give me a new drug and then needed a follow-up appointment. After heart surgery in 2006 I sat down with the pharmacist and threw out four new prescriptions for which I had no need. Between last September and this October there have been about a dozen changes in dosages or new prescriptions. I just got to stop meeting with these guys.
Here's the thing -- Look at what warnings came with medications I picked up last week: "May cause pain, headache, dizziness, blurred vision, back or joint pain, weakness, lightheadedness, mood changes, and (best of all) irregular heart rhythms." Aren't those the problems I was taking all those drugs to prevent? Why would anyone want to put that stuff in their body?
David L. Lewis is an observer of and sometimes commentator on life who may be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.