Moss, is humor writer from Tennessee. She writes a
weekly human interest column about daily life and the funny
things that happen to everyone.
She has written for the Daily News of Kingsport, Griffin Journal,
Oakridge Now, Atlanta Woman Magazine, Aberdeen Examiner, Angleton
Advocate, and Smyrna AM, a supplement of the Murfreesboro Daily News
Journal. She has been
published by Voyageur Press, McGraw Hill, and the good folks
at Guidepost Books. Her articles have appeared in
numerous anthologies and other publications, both in print and online.
She is a
former board member and past Editor of the Columnists.com, website of the National Society of Newspaper
oldest and largest professional organization
for columnists. She is the Web Editor of
Humorists.com and a founder of the Southern Humorists writers'
organization. She is writer, editor, and webmaster of HumorColumnist.com.
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Online Since 1999
other day my doctor actually told me I could quit taking a pill.
Quit? There must be something wrong with me. Any time you start
taking a pill, you are supposed to continue taking it forever.
If the prescription runs out, the pharmacy calls for a new one.
"We've found out that after 10 years, you no longer need to
take this medicine," said the doctor. "It helps your
bones, but the bone created is not normal bone."
Not normal bone? Now they tell me ... after 10 years. I'll
probably be sprouting horns or getting a hump on my back any day
After a certain age, everyone becomes a pill popper. Sooner or
later there are medications lined up in the medicine cabinet
waiting to be consumed. I have pills of all colors. Pink ones
for allergy, yellow ones for arthritis, green ones for
depression, red ones for sinus, and boring white ones for
everything else. I only need a purple pill to complete my
I have a different pill for every symptom and every ache.
Actually, it's good that they come in different colors because I
can tell which pill I am taking without my bifocals. The generic
pills all seem to be white, however. Maybe dye is too expensive
or maybe it is only added to make the pill seem worth the money
being charged for it.
I seldom leave a clinic without a new prescription in my hand.
Doctors are not happy if you have something that can't be cured,
or at least helped, by a pill. The prescription pad practically
jumps out of their pocket the minute you describe a symptom. Of
course, patients also expect to have a pill prescribed whether
they need it or not.
Doctors don't really do the doctoring any more, insurance
companies do. They tell the doctor what can be prescribed for a
certain illness, preferably in a generic form. You can get the
higher priced, name-brand med, but you pay for it yourself or
pay a higher co-pay, at best.
My doctor suggested I try a different arthritis pain that was
cheaper. "The drug companies like for you to at least try
something less expensive," he said. So, I did. It was not
any good. It seems that whatever is bad for you and expensive is
what's good for pain.
When you can get a pill for your pain in generic form, everybody
is happy. The doctor gets to prescribe, the patient gets treated
and the insurance company gets out cheap.
What really upsets the medicine wagon, however, is when a former
prescription drug goes "over the counter" as Allegra
recently did. Insurance companies no longer pay for it, doctors
no longer prescribe it, and pills that used to cost a $5 co-pay
with insurance now cost $20 over the counter.
Who wins? Not the insurance company as you might expect, but the
drug companies. Although they can no longer charge a hundred
dollars per prescription, the demand becomes so great that they
can scarcely make pills and profits fast enough.
Doctors love sleeping problems. It's an easy fix. Most of the
stuff on the market has a side effect of drowsiness if you read
the fine print. We don't really need a pill that makes green
butterflies fly through our bedroom when half the stuff in
medicine cabinet causes sleep. Staying awake long enough to
take the pills is the trick.
When a drug commercial is on TV, it discloses all the side
effects of a drug. The challenge is deciding which is worse, the
risk of taking the pill or the risk of going without it.
Usually, by the time the commercial is done telling you about
the risk of heart attack, depression, loss of appetite, hair
loss, high blood pressure and suicide, you decide that the
illness is better than thecure.
No wonder I can't sleep.
The hardest part of all is not having too many pills prescribed,
or even paying for the drugs. The hardest part is remembering to
take the stupid pills.
Of course, there is probably a pill for that as well.
Copyright 2011 Sheila Moss
Nashville, TN 37219
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