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Meet the Columnist

Columnist, Sheila 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 Columnists, the oldest and largest professional organization for columnists. She is the Web Editor of Southern
Humorists.com
  and  a founder of the Southern Humorists writers' organization. She is writer, editor, and webmaster of HumorColumnist.com

    To carry her weekly column in your newspaper, or to republish an article, please contact her. It's that easy. 

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Pill Popper....
 


Pill Popper

The 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 now.

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 rainbow.

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
 
 



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