Tuesday, March 1, 2011

All The Drug Dealers Are Not on the Streets

All The Drug Dealers Are Not on The Streets

Let me do a bit of ranting. If you have a medicine cabinet full of pills, you really need to read this!

I just spent the last three years in and out of hospitals, medical clinics, specialists’ offices and being hauled with some regularity to ERs when I would go into a seizure or pass out in public. I have had every test known to the medical profession.

I gave up any chance of driving, spent my time in wheelchairs, pushed walkers across rooms and when things were doing well, I could use a cane get from room to room. The medications they gave me to control the seizures turned me into a zombie.

After a visit with one neurologist I was told there was nothing neurologically wrong with me and I should perhaps seek mental health treatment.  Finally, I recently decided to do some intense research on the medications I have been taking.

Bear in mind, every one of the dozens of specialists, hospitals and medical researchers I have been seeing for these three years, demand that I bring all my medications with me for every visit. Each visit starts with them looking over my meds before they even look my way.

One of my meds was Pravastatin, for high Cholesterol. After reading the usual warnings on the pharmacy paperwork, I went to the web and Googled, “Pravastatin side effects.”

I went to www.webmd.com and it referred me to a second website that referred me to a study on the side effects of Statin medications, by some doctors for the Journal of America Medical Association.

By this time, I had only been looking for maybe twenty minutes. Not a tough study. On the second page, half way down, they described, as uncommon but dangerous side effects, every one of the debilitating symptoms I had been suffering with for three years.

Not one doctor or medical professional in the dozens who had dealt with me for three years had a clue. I threw out the bottle of pills and within a month I was back to normal, able to drive, walk, talk and almost dance. Got my clubs out and will be that wild man in the foursome ahead of you one of these days.

When I spoke to several doctors who had missed this, each sighed and shrugged saying, “Well, yeah, those statins can be bad stuff.” End of their responsibility for such harm for so long.

Last week, still feeling like I was ten years younger., I was watching a TV commercial for a med, Celebrex, that I take for osteo-arthritis.

Because my wife was on the phone, I put closed captions on and for the first time, watched an old guy [younger than me] walk down a wooden walkway to a beach to play frisbee with his dog, happy that the celebrex gave him such freedom.

Then the bewares scrolled across the screen. Do not take if you have a history of heart problems [would my heart attack qualify?], over 70 [whoooah, got me there], have high blood pressure [Isn’t that why they gave me Benicar?] because, the warning said, this drug taken with these conditions could lead to death and at the least, give you serious stomach and digestive problems [hello! Anybody out there? I live with this stuff]

It also mentioned that it can cause rashes and lot of bad itching [That’s why the doctors have given me 15 different, unsuccessful itching and rash creams, lotions, sprays and pills that never work]

Well. I won’t bore you any more with my aches and pains. I got up, threw the Celebrex in the trash and a week later, all those symptoms left.

I am so happy that I can walk and enjoy life after such a long time of medical misery. I am thrilled. Yeah, the arthritis is a pain, but better than the constant digestive problems and the itching.

However, I took control of my own health for a change. You have to wonder what has happened to the medical profession. How could that many doctors and hospitals let such things happen.

Over the years of my suffering, the only help to any of my problems have been more medicines to mask the problems with other medicines. It is an endless, dangerous cycle

Today, the doctors have these cell-phone-sized computerized indexes of every medicine out there, with all the side effects and the problems that sometimes caused by using with another med. I am inclined to think these little machines, probably provided by some drug company salesman, share more about the kick-back the doctors get for prescribing certain meds than dealing with the toxic damage they can cause the patients.

End of my Rant.

Now, get your own pill boxes out and do your own research on the side effects. Because, if you are living the kind of miserable life I just went through, chances are you are taking medications that are doing you far more harm than good.

No, all the drug dealers are not on the streets. Many of them are in doctors’ offices and hospitals. Remember the adage, Buyer Beware? Well, now it is Patient Beware! Especially as we get older and those who care for our health seem more concerned about their bottom line than your health.

1 comment:

  1. As a doctor, I am proud you took control of your healthcare. Thank you, Ed! I learn much from patients when they do much of the research on not-so-common side effects. They may list them on TV, but I don't know many people that have them. They have to report any little thing, like a child developed a hernia during the study on the shot so therefore it is concluded that the shot can cause hernias, so how do I know real from reported bogus? You are one of the unfortunate ones. BTW, the electonic programs in my case are paid for by me and soon, the phone will also be paid for by me as it belongs to my employer. So, I encourage ALL PATIENTS to help us out, teach us, and take charge! I promise I will listen and haven't regretted it yet. I am a human, I am fallible, I am a sinner saved by grace and still sinning. Yeah, grace!!!