You have seen them, those cheerful bright eyed vibrant patients in the commercials for medications who look like the picture of health because of the latest and greatest medicine that the company is selling...
In cheerful voices throughout the commercial the company touts the magic in the pill and as the camera pans out on someone gleefully living better then ever before the spokesman talk about the side effects.
If I think about the different medications I have recently seen commercials for,the one I remember most is a new pill for skin disorders and a lady finally feels pretty enough to go get her haircut.. but for the life of me I cannot remember if there were side effects? Something about being tested for TB(but being part of the middle class TB isn't a concern for me and most designer meds are bought by the middleclass to upper class) but really, all I remember is how amazing that new drug is going to be.
Like violence, I think we have become desensitized.
Until Abby's body decided to boycott modern medicine and the Western diet a couple years ago, I would have NEVER given a side effect a thought. The fact that she had a severe reaction to motrin as a kid was a "fluke".. just some weird, super rare oddball thing and every time I put motrin in my mouth I NEVER thought I could have a side effect.. She was sensitive to a lot of medicines or a lot of others simply did not work, we honestly thought it was "just" Abby.
Now I know Abby isn't alone, a lot of patients suffer side effects.
As Mitochondrial Disease Awareness week approaches it gets me thinking of the different people I have talked with who have Mito from a medication. Or the different people in my life who take a lot of medications. It has me thinking again this year that maybe medicine isn't the cure all I used to believe. Just maybe now and then Medicine gets too far ahead of itself. As consumers, maybe we have more control and responsibility then we like to admit. We all look for that easy fix. Sometimes easy doesn't cut it. Sometimes easy can be more dangerous.
We know now that there is a rapidly growing list of medications causing Mitochondrial damage, some severe enough to handicap people for the rest of their lives. Some Cholesterol drugs, Some antibiotics and more.
When you have a severe sinus infection and your Dr. writes you a prescription for an antibiotic do you read the side the effects? Do you consider your family history? Do you research online to see how many reports of bad side effects have been made? Nope, you pop that pill and hope relief comes fast.
Today, we have more avenues and resources then ever before to educate ourselves on the growing number of medications, yet we usually don't bother. If the Dr and the Pharmacists say to take it? It must be safe "enough.".
We are desensitized and that could be dangerous.
We all want that quick fix, myself included. A pill to grow hair, a pill for sexual function, a pill for an ache, a pill for nerves..
So this week, when you go to fill your pill box take some time and look up each medication, vitamin and supplement.
Side effects? Is it doing what it promised? Did you have to take another pill to treat the side effects of the first pill?
Have you changed your diet? Your life style?
Just think about it. It is your body and you ultimately are responsible. As parents we are responsible for the medications we give our children.
Do you need the pill? Is it worth the risks? Did you ask your Dr. for the medicine or did he suggest it?
Go ahead and watch those commercials and advertisements. When you do, write down what they "say" and not what they "show you".
When you go through your own medicines and vitamins, make a list of ALL the side effects from each and every one. Do you have any of those symptoms of the side effects? Do you take another medicine to treat the side effects of the first medicine? Next time you see your Dr. ask about your medicines and make sure they are necessary and that both you and your Dr. feel the medicines are medically necessary for you.
It is too important, do not become desensitized, at the end of the day, only you make the decision to pop that pill in your mouth.