I went to the doctor today, and Blue cross gave me a questionnaire about smoking. If we are going to do national health care, the government has an obvious interest in our quitting smoking. I was supposed to confess in detail about my succumbing to this, the one sin left in our society, and sign up for their literature and programs. And if you, dear reader, are getting to know me yet at all, you will know that down the side, in place of my expected confessions, I wrote things like “Why is U. S. tobacco more carcinogenic than foreign tobacco” and why do we not study the difference between organic tobacco and the fertilizer/pesticide/additive tobacco, so that we might know what is causing the cancer related to smoking.” And when I was done, I wrote across the top:
We can help you stop prescription drug abuse
I have a chip on my shoulder about prescription drugs, especially the psychological drugs, and of these, especially the anti-depressants. Our ignorance regarding psychology allows an opening for the prescription drug companies to market their remedies on the authority of medical science, when in truth, the understanding of the soul is not nearly as accessible to our science as the knowledge of the body seems to be. This was my conclusion from the smorgasbord of psychology schools that at best make up the curriculum of the modern psychology B. A. I wrote about this in three endnotes on psychology in my 1997 dissertation on King Lear (pp.280-283, notes 28-30 to Chapter Five.
But the chip becomes rage when I consider what was done to my mother. They had her on about 6 different drugs, including Adderall and blood pressure medicine, from so many different doctors that they could not keep track of the interactions. She became so mean and angry that no one could get near her in a decline over four or five years. I was the last of her four offspring to be able to take her for groceries, for example, and still she would get mad at me for example for a month at a time when I said “Your lucky to have this house,” like, count your blessings. “Lucky!” she shouted, “I worked for every….” So for long periods, no one but the Jehovah’s Witnesses and Civic Concern could help her. Finally, after new blood pressure medicine was dropped on the floor and killed one dog, the other died of sorrow, and she suffered organ failure. She spent a month and a half in U of M hospital critical unit, where they spent about 5 million dollars to save her. She had Medicare, but their only interest other than compassion was probably to study the case: They never did figure out the cause.
This is of course my own version of these things- let others write theirs. We would read to her full page printouts of the “side effects” of Adderall off the internet. From the days of “Mother’s Little Helper” in the sixties, when the doctors fed uppers and downers (the addictive Velum) to almost all the housewives to cure the tensions and emptiness of daily life, the doctors, a bit like auto mechanics, always have a diagnosis that ends in “you need me.”
I have heard on the radio, defenses of the use of anti-psychotic drugs. These may indeed be useful when a person is submerged in a dream world while they are awake, and would die or not be able to go outside if left on their own. Again, these things are a last resort, but not a first resort, to be used with great caution, not the utter abandon which the industry would have us, and even the doctors believe is according to medical science. I am quite ill of seeing people messed up on an experimental antipsychotic, since medical science has determined that they should try various things until they find something that seems to work. Again, they literally do not know what they are doing, because our psychology is not knowledge, and is not based on science. The side effects od anti-depressants fit with the hypothesis that these toxic drugs are at the root of our public mass shootings, and their use in our society coincides with the rise ion these incidents. But like the harmfulness of the additives in tobacco, no one will even consider, in a disciplined study, if this might be true, and there is surely no money yet for such a study.
My doctor thinks my high blood pressure (some 140/7?) calls for a prescription of blood pressure medicine, which I refused. While he was listening to my breathing, he asked, and I confessed to smoking weed, “but we can’t afford it.” He did not suggest, and I did not ask for a medicinal card. Medicinal weed is often too phosphorescent, and the dope you kind makes us tired, so it is not much good anyway. Plus there is the list. I could get such a card, though, and, interestingly, the way our law is worded makes me legal, at least by state law. But the truth is in my Marijuana blog, and the prohibition is unconstitutional in about three different ways, if one could gain access to the courts with the argument. But that “umpirage of an impartial third” is denied the poor, who have no access to the courts.
My doctor also said the twitch in my face, which makes it hard to work or read, and may land me on disability, is due to caffeine. I often say that I drink so much coffee that if anything kills me, it has to be that. Something will get us sooner or later. He thought cheese was the cause of my high blood pressure, and the advice is to cut it out. It is often my only protein, eggs and cheese, and I don’t much like eggs without cheese.
Later I remembered what I know, that plaque from my bad teeth has stuffed my arteries. Despite brushing and flossing quite well, I got the gum disease from small problems that could not be addressed when there was no health care, and we were stuck teaching as career adjunct faculty despite a PhD. Next I will go with my new Obamacare card to the dentist. With a wound, it is important to keep it as clean as possible, and I credit Listerine with my survival to date. Any infection or toothache must be cleaned out, and is usually caused by food stuck in the gums.
That we end prescription drug abuse will not be popular with the huge, multibillion dollar short term interests of the prescription drug companies, but it is crucial to our efforts at national health care. Again, like the trouble with the courts, no one is going to fix it, because their making too much money at it. But the problem has begun to be recognized. That is why I do not side with either party on the health care issue. As with welfare, something has to be done, but the solution is elsewhere, in integrity. Something must be done- praise for the president. It is also unconstitutional to make people buy something and especially to present them an IRS bill they cannot afford. Since something had to be done, Obama went ahead and did it. When we realize later that it is unconstitutional, we will find another way to pay for it. Congress has the power to tax us for the general welfare. But congress does not have the power to get blood from a rock, nor to make us wards of the IRS when no blood comes. Part of the problem is that so many expensive things are now possible for our medicine. But the part we can do something about is to end the corrupt payoffs from drug companies to doctors, inspiring the doctors to tweak that diagnosis and collect from the taxpayers.
We, the valetudinarian Americans, spend so much time caring for our bodies, and so little caring for our souls. Then we do address our souls, our science admits only rat training techniques long known in circuses and neurology, based on the new discovery that parts of our brains indeed light up when were thinking or suffering or loving or learning or meditating or listening to music or remembering. Then without ever wondering what these things are, we take the normal for a standard and apply drugs to restore something that looks right to common sense and fashionable opinion. Just don’t smoke, and the taxpayers will pay, for this and the cleanup from the side effects. But hey, that is what we have learned through the Ritalin method of education.