Until I was hospitalized 1 1/2 years ago for a perforated ulcer,Â I was only on one daily Rx medication: the Â one pill for keeping my hereditary “borderline” blood pressure under control. However, my “provider” felt she needed to add a calcium supplement to prevent osteoporosis and aspirin to prevent a heart attack and a decongestant, in lieu of just standing upright and blowing my nose. And then, during the hospitalization, Protonix was added (I can live with that). As was Norvasc which resulted in severe hair breakage and loss. I just dumped that one. And a bunch of drugs that caused fluid retention and more drugs to cope with constipation (which I never experienced). Lots of drugs prescribed; few that I took.
Now why did I need all these drugs, and even more that I just didn’t take? Well you know my bandwagon about the pill pushers in this country. And why did I even have a perforated ulcer? Too many inappropriate drugs prescribed for back pain., osteoporosis,Â nasal congestion! Â (I have idiopathic scoliosis and a spinal fracture which didn’t bother me at allÂ for many yearsÂ when I lifted heavyÂ bags of books).
So now, without health insurance (yes; one of the 47 million Americans), I am trying more and more to reduce any of this junk, these chemicals, that I put into my body. Why? The side effects. And the cost! Â Maybe it is my BP med that is making me a little tired , not the aging process? By the way, the insurance company DID NOT PAY FOR ALL OF MY HOSPITALIZATION AND MEDICAL CONSULTANT EXPENSES.Â Surprised? I had to. After a “lay off” due to downsizing at work, with no income, and no insurance. (even though I had worked as a manager for a HEALTHÂ insurance company!). Who pays for all these medications? I go to a local neighborhood clinic that is low cost, for the blood pressure med. But anything else? Well check into Partnership for Prescription Assistance (PPA). They have been most helpful with the drug that will prevent another ulcer.
Â As a health professional, I have encountered patients/clients/members who are on as many as 21 medications each day. This is incredible. Who is monitoring this regimen? How canÂ people keep this straight? How do you do this? And what is really necessary? And what interacts with what other medications?Â Â Contraindications? And what are the side effects? And who is helping to monitor this? No one. Does your doctor/provider/”prescriber” have time to do this? Of course not. And what if all these medications have the resultant side effect of confusion?
Â Oh! The answer! Health insurance companies are now providing programs like healthy living support programs thatÂ have nurse case managers who give advice to “members”. The nurse case managers are the gate keepers who help the “members” manage their medications (often from many states away) and keep costs down for the insurance companies (don’t go back to your doctor’s office! that will be a bill that the insurance company will be expected to pay). Just call me, your case manager.Â the nurse case manager Â can talk with you afterÂ he/she enters your data into 47 computerÂ screens.
Â So what to do? Think about who you vote for in the next election, and why. No; we don’t need another layer of bureaucracy. We need a WELL THOUGHT OUT PROGRAM FOR NATIONAL HEALTH INSURANCE. So that we can be as progressive as other developed countries. This is just one little step. Think about this.Â Don’t just go along with a candidate who says she/he supports health care. You need to look way beyond that kind of statement. What is really in mind? What kind of program? Managed by whom? Who will be in charge? Who will do the oversight? THINK!