Thursday, 11 November 2010

Yet more pills to take. I'm starting to think I ought to feel unhealthy!

Like so many of us who've seen more than a few dear friends depart this life prematurely, I do feel grateful my good health; never having had a serious illness; never having been in hospital; never having broken any bones - yes, I'm truly fortunate. However......
My doctor has now put me on yet another medication, which like the others prescribed, are designed to keep my blood pressure in check. So with these newly prescribed statins to go with the 3 others he'd previously prescribed, and with the recommended daily aspirin, as well as the multi-vitamin supplement (which I've been taking for over 30 years to top-up my vegetarian diet), the daily odourless garlic tablet (I dislike garlic in food, but know it's purported to have heart-beneficial properties) and daily cod-liver oil for my ageing joints (my sole contravening of veggie lifestyle, something I do feel guilty about) and quinine tablets (to prevent those dreadfully agonising night cramps, which I've had a lifelong tendency to suffer) - I now take a total of 9 different daily tablets. Compared with some people that's not many at all, but for someone who is otherwise healthy? It does seem oddly excessive.
Whenever I tell the doctor (or nurse) that I sometimes marvel that I don't rattle as I walk I always get the same answer, along the lines of "Well, it's better than being dead, isn't it?" which sounds to me somewhat melodramatic though I do understand the reasoning, even though the efficacy of all these tablets can't be positively proved. It's a bit like being on a vital life-preserving drip needed to keep me alive, albeit a mental drip. Oh well. Quit moaning, Ray, and count your blessings! "One, two, three, f........"


  1. Did you get a seasonal flu shot this year?

    Taking so many pills is a pain. I hope you don't have trouble swallowing (the pills, I mean). My mother-in-law has a major mental block about swallowing pills and nearly chokes every time she takes one. I tell her to raise her head back and let gravity pull the pills to the back of her throat before swallowing, but she won't listen to me.

    Hope you are otherwise well :-)

  2. No, Larry. I haven't had a flu jab for well over 10 years now. (I used to take one every year around this time.) I never seem to get flu now, or even a heavy cold. My doctor says that my 'luck' is due to my not having a social life where I come in close contact with others. So far so good, but I fear that when I eventually do next get flu it'll take hold with a vengeance.
    I did used to have great trouble swallowing pills, but now I just put it in the mouth followed by a glug of water and it's usually sent down okay.
    Yes, I am indeed otherwise well, thanks - as I trust you are. Thanks for asking.

  3. Swallowing pills whole? Not me! Never have been able to. Always have to chew they up.

    Good health is certainly a blessing and long may you enjoy it!

    I hate the way our medics have the American habit of multi-prescribing!

    Neither Pete nor I have succumbed to the pill race as yet but we certainly have friends who take dozens.

    But they keep moving the goalposts as far as blood pressure goes - with what used to be considered OK now deemed 'a bit high'.

    Personally I think I'd rather carry on living with that than start down the slippery slope of maximising drug companies' profits!

  4. Me too, Micky. I also used to have to chew them up first but now I've got the knack of letting my tongue push them to the back and then a swallow of water (nearly) always washes it down whole. At least that way you don't taste them, which can be really nasty sometimes.
    There have been so many changes of opinion on the benefits of a daily low-dose aspirin that I wouldn't be sure what the latest recommendation was if my doctor hadn't known what the latest thoughts are.
    One of the few advantages of being over 60 is that I get my prescriptions free; of course, in cases like mine the drug companies will be paid by the NHS.

  5. I am always concerned about taking pills. But I suppose that we must trust the docs.

  6. Yes, that's the nub of it, Stephen. Our life really is in their hands - and if they make an error.......!

  7. Ray, don't feel too bad about the cod liver oil. All people living within modern society(even vegans and vegetarians) are still using some animal products. If for no other reason than the existence of vulcanized rubber.

    It is used in tires, shoes, and almost all mechanized items have some vulcanized rubber as stoppers, internal pulleys, or spacers. That means even if they don't buy things with animal products they are still using them in their daily lives.

    I think the real goal for vegans and vegetarians should be to reduce usage as much as possible. I think they should try to get others to see how easy it would be to replace many of their favored animal products with animal friendly synthetics. Its all about reducing suffering for me. By that definition you've done more than enough.

    Don't worry too much about the amount of pills if you think they are necessary. You are a broad, rational thinker and you are well informed. That gives you an edge above much of the population.

  8. You take those pills and be good to yourself, you're such a sweet man :)

    I used to have to take about TWENTY PILLS a day for hiv. Now I take only one (such a relief). It is no fun to choke the little suckers down, I know.

  9. Kyle, you're very reassuring, for which I thank you. But there's part of me that will always feel uncomfortable about the cod liver oil, largely because it's so blatant; it's even in the name! I know that it's virtually impossible to be totally consistent, but it still plays on my conscience. Then there's also the matter of plants being measured as registering 'pain' when uprooted/separated from their 'parent' tree bush etc. Oh dear! The time when all foods are artificially produced in any textures and flavours desired (and it WILL come, even if only after 2 or 3 centuries), and everyone eats what they want to without any killing being involved cannot come too soon for me.

    Mark, I'm amazed to be flattered in such a generous way by such a nice guy as yourself. Thanks ever so much, pal.
    Yes, I'm aware of being fortunate in not having to take as many pills such as you used to. It must have been a real nuisance and a pain, not to mention the need to watch that you don't miss any, day after day. My mum, in her final years, had about a dozen to take daily. But if only my needs could also be combined into just the one tablet.....