Ricochet is the best place on the internet to discuss the issues of the day, either through commenting on posts or writing your own for our active and dynamic community in a fully moderated environment. In addition, the Ricochet Audio Network offers over 50 original podcasts with new episodes released every day.
Please excuse the ramble of this post; things are still a bit fresh. My mom died this past weekend at the age of 75, and she was an old 75. Her health had been impaired since she survived an aneurysm (it didn’t burst) more than 20 years ago. Since then, she’s been on a host of medicines prescribed by a host of doctors for her ever-mounting medical issues. But I didn’t have a full appreciation of the pill trap she was in until this week.
To be certain, my mom didn’t do much to help her health situation. Her diet was horrible. She didn’t really exercise. She was a homebody. And on. And on.
However, as we, her children, cleaned out her house, we found scores of pill bottles that still had medicine in them. (I should put scare quotes around the word medicine.) We collected the pills for proper disposal, and they filled a gallon ziplock bag to the brim like a bizarre bit of sand artwork. It was my job to clean out the room where she kept all of her paperwork. I found a few hundred prescription refill notifications – each with two pages of patient information and three to five pages of drug side effects and interactions. The volume of paper wasted to cover butts (legally speaking) is astounding, especially since they’re almost certainly rarely read.
Indeed, I find it impossible to believe that any one of my mom’s doctors really understood how all of the drugs she was put on really interacted or the long-term consequences of her being on those drugs. She certainly didn’t and couldn’t. And she was on some for a very long time. (I won’t get into the list of drugs she was on, but we’re not talking baby aspirin here.). And what did all of those do for her? I don’t know. But I think it’s reasonable to think that in the long term, they were detrimental to her health. I can’t imagine it being any other way.
All of that is not to say that had she not been on so many medications she would not only be alive but healthy. I’m not so naive as to believe that. But I can’t imagine they really added life to her years. They were, the pills were, the easy answer for doctors to give. And the easy answers for Mom to follow, at least in theory. They were easy until they took over her life and the living of it. Then she was a slave to them.Published in