Day 32 of Free to BE YOUng: How Many Prescriptions Are Too Many?

We need to know the interactions of drugs and supplements that we take!

I meet some people who blindly take and seem to brag about every blessed drug their various doctors advise them to imbibe. I question: Could they possibly be mixing up a doctor for the need of a kind father or mother? This of course relates back to an earlier discussion on our need to lovingly care for ourselves as adults. A doctor isn’t a parent. I consider my doctors as consultants and people with whom I make co-decisions about the health and care of my body.

A dear friend, let’s call him Joe, bragged about how many drugs he was taking and “needing” in what I thought was a bazaar way. And I know, I brag about how few drugs I take. So much for bragging!

He was seeing four specialists and they were all prescribing several drugs. His pharmacists should have warned him of the interaction dangers of the ten drugs prescribed by these four specialists. The pharmacists failed to do this service which the food chain promised that their pharmacists would do. And, of course, his four doctors should have monitored all the drugs Joe was taking!

I realize now, Joe was undoubtedly addicted to Vicodin, one of the ten drugs. He often complained to all the specialists of the pains from a spinal injury he received in his 30’s. Because of drug interactions—and in his case too many relaxants for various pains, Joe fell asleep while driving in broad daylight and slammed into a tree with his hands at 10:00 and 2:00 on the stirring wheel (an unwise decision ever since airbags have been installed in steering wheels) and sitting too close to the stirring wheel and airbag (another unwise decision). Upon impact the airbag shattered one shoulder and both wrists. Joe also received a severe concussion caused by sitting too close to the airbag.

Ten years later, Joe is left brain damaged all because he took numerous drugs from four different doctors. He wisely consults a nurse once a year to supervise the drugs he takes. AND he leads a limited life into his late 70’s. He’s not allowed to drive and he misses the freedom of the road. Thankfully Joe can afford to live in a senior center with transportation services. He eats healthfully, walks his dogs, takes supplements wisely, and reads his prayer book daily.

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