I am so happy that when I open a new tab on Google, one of the 8 “frequent” sites offered is no longer my HMO!
That means I’ve been healthy enough, long enough that I’m not having to use that site often enough for it to show as a “favorite” – (something, I assure you, it has never been).
So I’m feeling pretty good about myself. Then I go to the gynecologist who looks at my records and says, “Wow, you take a lot of medications!”
First, fuck you.
Second, I’m 68, and it’s patch-patch-patch.
Third, a lot of what I am on is preventative – not for a condition. They are recommended by the HMO you work for, for people of a certain age. In fact I would argue that the statin (which I take every other day and is at the bare minimum dose) is a waste of good medicine because my cholesterol numbers have always been fantastic. The blood pressure meds (two of them – one is to stave off edema, which I don’t have but because my left leg swells sometimes because it has lousy circulation because it was almost cut off in a car accident when I was 17 years old – yes, Ferd, that one – my doctor thinks I must have edema because I’m a FAT old lady) and the other is actually for blood pressure) are at the bare minimum. And the Anastrozole is to help prevent the risk of returning cancer.
Fourth, I believe in better living through chemistry – especially when it comes to my mental health. If these meds help, they help.
I, basically, take 2 handfuls of pills every morning and I’m (mostly) done.
Oh and lets not forget the “other” pills I take – like cinnamon caps (which helps my morning glucose spike), Calcium and Vitamin D3 for bone strength because I had radiation treatment and Anastrozole depletes the body’s calcium. Oh and the Omeprazole – for heartburn because the HMO stopped prescribing it and now I have to do it OTC and if I didn’t take it the stomach acid would change my voice to sounding something akin to Tom Waits.
I am, however, eternally grateful that in my childhood, I learned how to swallow pills. I don’t know what I’d do if I was one of those people who struggle to get a pill down (much less 5 at a time). My stepfather even taught me how to dry swallow pills – something I totally avoid if I can because, I don’t know about anyone else, but I am just not that spitty kind of a gal who can accumulate enough saliva in my mouth to accommodate pills going down without getting at least a taste of melted pill (gack).
So parents teach your kids to swallow pills. Healthcare professionals, STFU about how many meds a fat old lady is on – unless you think there is a problem – and if so, be specific. “Wow! That’s a lot” is not helpful.