First of all I have to say that I am a very lucky person because I am not on any kind of medication and I will be 65 in September of this year. My sugar and blood pressure is good. I try to get some exercise everyday. Several years ago, my doctor put me on Actonel for osteoporosis. I took it for five years and started having problems with my esophagus. Then, they put me on Prevacid for acid reflux and took me off the Actonel because they thought it was causing the problems with the acid reflux. I took Prilosec, Prevacid, and whatever medicine my insurance would pay for at least another five years. They told me I would have to take the acid reflux medicine for the rest of my life. I lost some weight, started exercising, and on my own I cut down to a pill every other day for the acid reflux. This worked and after about three months, I went to one every three days. Eventually, I quit them altogether. I quit eating after 6 p.m. at night and I quit eating huge amounts of food at one time or “pigging out” as I sometimes did. I started taking vitamins and calcium regularly. Today, I have no problems with acid reflux and I don’t have osteoporosis. My bones have even improved!
I met Bob five years ago. He was on all kinds of medicine. Bob took blood pressure medicine, diabetes medicine, cholesteral medicine, fluid pills, arthritis medicine, an aspirin a day, and several others that I can’t even remember. He slept all the time and once when he was driving I noticed him “nodding off” and screamed at him before he ran the car off the road. I thought he had narcolepsy because he would be sound asleep in a matter of minutes. It seemed every time Bob went to the doctor he put him on another pill of some kind. A couple of years ago we were trying to do some work in my yard and he started staggering around in the yard and thought he was going to pass out. We thought his sugar was low and I got him some orange juice. Later, he left for his house, got home and passed out on the floor and cut his head open. He managed to call his daughter and 911. Bob spent several days in the hospital with pancreatitis. The specialist took him off the fluid pills, the arthritis pills and some others saying they were causing him more problems than doing him good. Today, he takes one pill for his blood pressure if he needs it! His sugar is good, his cholesterol is normal and he feels great. He takes a small nap in the afternoons and never sleeps during the day other than his 35 minute nap. We mowed my yard with a push mower all spring, he runs the weedeater, we walk, and enjoy the yard work. Bob will be 72 in October.
Bob is living proof that more medicine doesn’t always make you healthier and can make you sicker. I recently read where one-third of the tests and treatments we get are estimated to be unnecessary, and avoidable care is costly in more ways than the bill: It may lead to dangerous side effects.
Did you know that too many CT scans increase the risk of cancer? Supposedly, back pain is the most over treated condition and most people would get better without it. One in five people that get back surgery end up having a second surgery within ten years.
Sometimes, doctors give in to a patients demand for medicine rather than explain why they don’t need it and tests are performed on elderly patients that would not benefit from the treatment due to age.
I certainly know that there are people out there that have to have their medicine and benefit from taking medication. I just think we need to be fully aware of the side effects of certain pills especially when you are taking several prescribed medicines.
Do you or don’t you take medications? How do you feel about them? Have you been able to reduce your medications or are they increasing with each doctor visit?
Thank you for your comments.