Apr 23, 2011

Pills Are Bad M'kay: Healthcare, Pharmaceuticals, Capitalism, & America


So, in an effort to "fix my problem," my latest doctor prescribed me a drug called Detrol.

Quick back story: I have mysterious ailments that doctors can never seem to get a handle on. For years I was misdiagnosed with a mental illness only to discover it was a blood sugar problem. For years I was on meds that did horrible things to me that I was never even supposed to be on! So, now I am super cautious about putting anything into my body without research and trial and error in a safe zone with witnesses.

This time we did a blind study. Jeremy read the side effects, while I did not. I took one pill and would report any side effects that I felt. Y'know, to avoid hypochondria.

Well, first up this morning I felt like HELL. It was like I drank 1 million beers last night I felt so hung over. Then I sat down to my computer and everything went blurry for a second. Then it happened again but longer. Then paranoia set it. Now I'm having trouble keeping track of my thoughts and as I type this I have to go back and reread sentences to make sure I didn't leave out whole words (something I noticed while trying to compose a tweet earlier).

I am a writer (whether I get paid to do it or not), so I kind of need my eyes and my mind. I need to be able to use my memory. And I remember everything.

So, anyway, then I read this:

New York Times reporter Melody Petersen, who wrote the book Our Daily Meds: How the Pharmaceutical Companies Transformed Themselves into Slick Marketing Machines and Hooked the Nation on Prescription Drugs (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2008), said that "the most outrageous thing" she saw covering the pharmaceutical industry was a PowerPoint presentaton on "Creating a Disease," which created a disease called "overactive bladder" for the purpose of marketing Detrol. Doctors try to manage incontinence in non-pharmaceutical ways, she said. Detrol became a blockbuster, said Petersen, despite the adverse effect of severe memory problems.[1]
Oh for fucks sake!!! Can't they do anything right?????????????

So, it's a made up stupid disease that doesn't even exist with a stupid pill that does horrible things to you all so a CORPORATION CAN MAKE A BUCK.

No one cares a fuck about your health in America.

No one.

In fact, they want to keep you sick and keep you coming back for more meds.

They want health insurance private so they keep you trapped in a 9 to 5 office job chained to your desk all so you can have the privilege (not the fucking right) to healthcare that doesn't even care about you only the money they make off of you.

You are cattle.

You are a dollar bill.

You mean nothing to them.

Except money.

It is Capitalism, after all.

Capitalism is the opposite of progress.

You wont get the best care, you'll get the one that makes them the most profit. Well, then it must be cheap for them and expensive for you. If it's cheap for them, then it's not the best. It's the worst with ballooned, inflated prices so that the crumbling, dwindling middle class can cough up a few more dollars, y'know, instead of sending their kids to college, all so that Mr. Pharmaceutical CEO can buy a new yacht.

No fucking thank you if I could move to France I would.

Or England.

Or Canada.

What I would really prefer is to stay right here in America, but we fix this damn country and make it smart again. You cannot cater to the masses and expect greatness. It doesn't work that way. That's like "design by committee" - you will not invent a light-bulb this way, you will only get internet porn. See what I mean?

As a side note, this may be why I can't make a buck on a necklace. I use top quality materials. Real gems, real silver or gold, etc. Thus, the base product is already expensive. In order to make any kind of money, I have to charge more than normal work-a-day folks can spend on luxuries these days. If I switched to plastic and random metal, I could make money. I'd be a better Capitalist. But I'd be producing shit. And I can't get behind shit. I can't sell shit. I can't stand to make shit.

How can we get back to a place where we, as a country, make quality products we can get behind?

I want to be able to TRUST my doctors. Not think of them as drug dealers for pharmaceutical companies, because, in reality, that's all they are these days.

I just want to be well and safe and happy and healthy and I don't want to get that from a fucking pill. I want a real health professional to help me get better, to find out what's causing all the problems and prevent them.

Is that too much to ask for...in America?

PS: Every time I go in, they ask "Are you on any medication?" And I say, "No," they look at me incredulously. They implore, "Are you sure? None? At all?" "Well," I reply, "none aside from medical marijuana for chronic ovarian cysts." To which, they typically wave their hand in dismissal. "That doesn't count." Why is everyone so shocked all the time that I don't take a prescription pill everyday? My grandmother didn't until the day she died at a ripe old age. I think our society is just totally screwed up and that we're doomed Roman Empire style... Is it too late for us? Or can we cease this downward spiral?
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