Tuesday, January 20, 2009

My medical-related high horse.

Another thing comes to mind when I reminisce about my hospital experience. They went through a lengthy question and answer session over my medical history, which is completely understandable. However, once they got to the "what other pills or medications are you taking?" part, I went into my extensive vitamin and supplement routine which includes:
Flax seed oil capsules
Red Yeast Rice
Vitamin C (Ester-C)
Chewable fiber tablets and
a Vitamin and mineral supplement.
They seemed to know what vitamin C was, but had to ask me to spell some of the others. I take the flax seed oil because it has Omega 3 oils, which are good for my cholesterol (and fish oil capsules repeat on me) as well as the Red Yeast Rice, which alone is responsible for dropping my number from 22o to 160.
I realized midstream that they didn't know what either one of these things are, and the reason is that they aren't made by Pfizer, Glaxo or Merck. Their world begins and ends with prescription medication, and they would have instantly known how to spell Lipitor or Zocor because that's part of their world. To them, Red Yeast Rice is radical therapy. To me, it's a plant extract and comes from the Earth.
I however, have thus far resisted the temptation to reduce my cholesterol or blood pressure with prescription medication, even though with my insurance, it would be significantly less expensive than what I spend in the vitamin aisle. There may be a time when I have no other choice, but as long as I can move myself, exercise and make my own decisions, the drug companies will have to depend on someone else for their income.
If I'm nothing else, I'm a man of principle. The easy road is the one paved by Pfizer, and it's why 44% of Americans are on at least one prescription medication and why Pfizer's headquarters is such a nice building.
I'll take their antibiotics because I'm not a Christian Scientist and I realize that it is (1) temporary and (2) pretty much the only way one can fight a virus. In fact, in most instances I'm grateful for the treatment, especially when the other option is death or dismemberment.
For the cholesterol-related issues, I believe that behavior modification is the preferred treatment. As Americans, we don't like to modify our behavior, which is why we paid $4 for gasoline and get fat on cheeseburgers. We like our stuff, and if there's a drug that allows you to still have some of that stuff, we'll take it and damn the side effects.
We'll deal with the upset stomach, abdominal pain, cramps, constipation, liver issues and muscle weakness and even say, "Thank God for Lipitor!" while we're running for the Pepto-Bismol.
It's such a small price to pay, isn't it?


Kate Michele said...

i refused to take there prescription pre-natals when i was pregnant...and instead took my own 'over the counter' vitamin pre-natals. they were not happy as you see im sure this hurt their kick back they were to get from the drug company :D

Anonymous said...

Actually, You can't fight viruses with antibiotics. That is why we have HIV still. You can vaccine against them but not fight with antibiotics. http://www.flufacts.com/about/virus.aspx

susan said...

Anthony, I can tell you stories about Big Pharma that would curl your hair.

YOu are one of the good guy, and said it brilliantly.
You rock.

=I like the pink colors.....