Jan 20, 2010

They have a pill for that.

I rarely take over the counter medications. During my childhood years the contents of our “medicine” cabinet were one bottle of aspirin, one bottle of hydrogen peroxide and a box of Band-aids. Everything you could possibly need to fix any ailment or injury.  Aspirin was good for headaches, cramps, colds and flus (along with some OJ).  Stomachaches were cured with a glass of Vernors (gingerale).  Nothing you could do for the mysterious ailment known as "growing pains" except to "grow up".

The neighbor kids were the exact opposite. They had a medicine for every ailment imaginable. Pepto Bismol, stool softeners, rash cremes, allergy medicine, Midol (which is basically just pink aspirin). Those kids were always whining about tummy aches and headaches and cramps. What a bunch of pansies.

My childhood has made me; 1) leery of medication in general and 2) unsympathetic to those who take medication for every little ailment, ache and pain.

I do a cost-benefit analysis every time I am thinking about taking something. Does the discomfort I am feeling warrant the side effects of the medicine? I think I'm in the minroity. They have a pill for everything these days and it’s totally acceptable to pop all these pills.  We are even encouraged to ask our doctor about them.   Do people know, or care, what they are doing to their livers?  Give your body a chance to correct things before you ask for the latest and greatest pill to fix it.  I think pills for insomnia end up causing more sleeping problems than they cure.

Now it's spilling over into medicines taken for cosmetic purposes.  Botox, nail fungus and the latest, a prescription drug to thicken your eyelashes.  We really are insane.  If you ask me this is where we're going to get the medical resources to provide health care for everybody..... live with that yellow toe nail and let people get medical care and attention that is actually needed. 


  1. Amen. Whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger. Suck it up, people. Unfortunately we appear to live in a "woe is me" society and not enough people seem to understand the difference between true hardship and a minor bump in the road.

  2. That commercial for the eyelash crap is without a doubt the most annoying one I have had to bear in a long time. The part where Brooke Shields is dancing almost makes me barf....so I drink a glass of baking soda in water and that helps. What does dancing and a shower of some sort have to do with eyelashes and why would anyone care about eyelashes unless your name was Maybelline. I grew up with aspirin, baking soda and toothpaste..... if those didn't work I stayed sick.

  3. You are so right on this, when possible give your body a chance to heal itself. The whole antibiotic resistance issue has alot to do with misused and over prescribed antibiotics. Docs are just as much to blame. It's so easy for them to prescribe something a patient asks for, warranted or not.
    And yes, healthcare would be alot better off if so many people didn't have "an illness of the day", and if docs would prescribe tests according to standard of care and not because of fear of lawsuit. There are people that don't get necessary care and others that see a doc or specialist unnecessarily because of what's going on in their heads. Halthcare is too important not to have a balance.

  4. I am SO with you! The most I'll take is Tylenol if I'm really hurting. As a person with Crohn's Disease I've been offered every sort of pill imaginable, and guess what? they all have a side effect that's WORSE than the disease. So what do I do? try to avoid sugar and white processed flour (not good for digestion) and go to acupuncture every three weeks, and I've been Crohn's-free for three years. And I bet I've saved a lot of money in prescription costs and my liver is thankful :) Now if only everyone else would question their doctors before popping a pill we might all save a lot of money.

  5. Strange - I want to jump in and agree, but I honestly can't think of anyone I know who runs straight for medicine. Most everyone I know goes the holistic route, even when they're combating side effects of chemo.

    On the other hand, I was raised with similar attitudes. I don't think we were even allowed to be sick (not that there was much they could do when you're expelling flu ingredients. Ha.)

  6. My parents' medicine cabinet was like your neighbors' cabinet...full of every over-the-counter pill known to mankind. I swear, that's why I'm such a wuss now and not very resiliant to pain. :)

    But believe me, I have a well-stocked medicine cabinet...but that's also a holdover from my Girl Scout days of "always being prepared." :)

    I do agree that "pills for insomnia end up causing more sleeping problems than they cure," though. I had a friend who was addicted to Ambien and had a HELL of a time getting off of them and getting back to normal sleep patterns. That is dangerous stuff, people!

    But my coworkers enjoy that I always have a Tums or Advil when they are in need. :)

  7. We always want a pill to fix everything from being sad to being bald. the world just wants an easy fix

  8. A co-worker of mine's wife is a doctor and she recently took over a fellow doctor's patients and was amazed at how many of them had been taking prescriptions that they didn't need. When she tried to deny them pills, explaining that they were unnecessary, they were not happy to say the least. Good for her. I think we need more doctors (and vets for that matter) who are interesting in your overall lifelong well being, rather than making money off of the latest and greatest cure-all pills and procedures they convince you to pay for.

  9. My attitude,and my medicine cabinet are exactly like yours!..With the addition of whiskey,for medicinal purposes...Really.

  10. GBox - Tell me about it. We are the biggest babies. I try not to sneer when I hear about somebody's battle with this or that, but it's tough not to. Must be hard for you not pull out the old "Have you ever been in a coma for a week?"

    Rosemary - I thought it was a joke at first. When they started the mandatory listing of the side effects I thought to myself.. are there really people who would risk this for thicker eyelashes? Apparently so.

    Scarlett - The medical profession is as much to blame as the pharmaceutical companies. Kind of like a tag team whose purpose is to keep us coming back for more.

    Kate - Perfect example of taking control of a situation through lifestyle changes instead of supplementing bad habits with meds.

    Booda - I think that's a California thing isn't it? To be more healthful and natural. Although now that I think about it California probably tops the per capita list for eye thickening prescriptions written.

    MHP - I meant pansy in the most loving and respectful of ways. I am married to somebody who also has over the counter remedies for everything. I admit they have come in handy now and then.

    Mom - It's why we're such easy prey.

    Miss Erica - Not surprising at all. They probably used to have the prescriptions filled over the phone without the bothersome visits to the doctor's office.

    Sling - Oh we had that too.... a little bit on the gums for a teething baby and also a very good sleep aid.

  11. Random, you and sling made me laugh...there's nothing wrong with the old wine cask as well - I am amazed at how many of my relatives and friends over medicate - Everything impacts on your brain and liver etc...but at least you get a bit of pleasure from a glass of wine...