Pill Overdose: Are American Seniors Overmedicated?

Medicine Drug Pills on Plate

Medicine Drug Pills on Plate (Photo credit: epSos.de)

Would you take 24 pills in a day? Maybe if you’re over 80, you’d be spending a good deal of time sorting, categorizing, and remembering to take all your pills in order. Are these seniors too trusting of their doctors and the FDA (Federal Drug Administration)

I first realized the enormity of this problem  when my own mother was taking so many pills she was obsessed with the whole process. She was practically blind which made the whole endeavor pathetic. She was trying to distinguish her pills by their shapes.  When she wasn’t taking her pills, she was falling asleep throughout the day.

I thought it was because she was old, but my sisters and I finally figured out it was because her doctor was over-prescribing medicine. One pill for one condition, and one pill to take care of side effects.  When she would complain about how she felt,  he would throw another pill at her.  Being of the generation which never questioned their doctors, she would obediently do what the doctor suggested.

My oldest sister took my mother to another doctor who cut her medicine drastically. She stopped falling asleep in front of me, but she was still loaded down with medicine. At least she was conscious most of the day which was a vast improvement.

Is the FDA in Cahoots with the Pharmaceutical Companies?

I have a friend who believes there are a lot of natural remedies for the pills that the doctors prescribes. She doesn’t trust the FDA,(Federal Drug Administration)

FDA (trade union)

FDA (trade union) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

the pharmaceutical companies, and doctor training   “They teach doctors to treat symptoms not to prevent the problem in the first place,” she contends.

When I see all the older people loaded down with pills I have to agree. It seems really cruel to load these people down with all these pills they have to organize, sort, and take.

I wonder what their lives would be like without the pills? What if they ate the right foods, exercised, and prevented the conditions in the first place? Vitamins, and fiber?

I have to say, I do trust my doctor, and do take a pill she prescribed for my GERD (heartburn and esophagus) problem. She scared me with that word…Cancer. When I suggested I try a more natural approach, she told me it was too late for that. I am thinking about going to a doctor who believes in the more natural approach.

I refuse to take cholesterol pills. I figure I’ll take my chances. I would never take those awful blood thinning pills. All those horrible bruises old people walk around with are not worth it to me.

One might argue that people get so old these days because they take all these pills. What do you think?


10 Signs you’re a “Mature” Adult : A polite way of saying you’re old!

A Collection of Beatles Oldies

A Collection of Beatles Oldies (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

1. People with young kids look like teenagers to you.

2. People start addressing you as ma’am or sir.

3. You don’t know who is singing popular songs on the radio.

4. You don’t know that oldies are oldies and not the latest songs.

5. Your son turns to you and says, “You’re old.”

6. You’re daughter informs you that it’s time to get your hearing checked.

7. You have to dye your hair every 4 weeks instead of every 6.

8. You go to a museum, and notice you have to sit down by the time you walk from the car to the door of the museum. After finishing the first floor, you have to sit down again.

9. You don’t mind traveling in a car instead of taking an airplane because you’re no longer in a big hurry.

10.  You go to a plastic surgeon about your sinking eyelids, and she says, “I’m surprised you waited so long.”

When did you realize your were getting older?

Have you heard of Gerd?

I have a feeling that my stomach will rebel against me. I lie in wait, a rumbling builds and reverberates across the kitchen table. My husband says, “Are you all right? Should you be eating that piece of chicken? Slow down!”

I have paid the price of eating something that doesn’t agree with me. Too many years of eating pepperoni and mushroom pizza, and a bad coke habit. (the kind you drink). After one opening rumble the other noises follow gurgling, and undigested food trying to  make  its way up through my esophagus.

For many years my stomach was silent. I always told people it was like a steel drum. I fondly remember my college days, sitting in Quiznos Pizza with my friends. We could polish off  sub sandwiches, pizza, and real coca cola ( the kind you drink). We looked terrific, and our stomachs held steady.

For me those days are over. My digestive system has finally betrayed me. About a year ago things suddenly changed. I thought it was something I’d get over after taking a week or two of medicine. It seems like I’m stuck with this condition for a while, say about 40 years if I live to be 102. The official name is GERD .

It seems that food just doesn’t want to stay in my stomach. This condition is now easily controlled with the correct diet, and taking capsules for the rest of my life. Most of you reading this, probably take the very same ones! (Not the younger readers of course, they’re still wrecking havoc on their bodies without knowing it! )

The name of the pill was so long, I couldn’t remember it. Then, I found out it was a generic for another well-known pill that has side effects like brittle bones. ( Also some very disgusting side-effects that can occur.)

I won’t say the problems I had taking this pill at first, but it seems to have settled down. I tried going without it and it was great the first few days, but then I couldn’t eat again. And I do enjoy eating.

Homeopathic doctors have a whole different treatment for this. I am not sold on the whole homeopathic thing, so I’m not sure about it. Taking papaya before you eat is one solution. ( Probably standing in the middle of the room and saying 3 times, 
” I hate doctors and modern medicine,” before taking the papaya stuff is also a requirement.)

I am just so happy that there is a simple way to control this. I would hate to go through the rest of my life without eating or swallowing. So, I say, let’s hear it for modern medicine. Tell me your experience with GERD, and what you’ve done to solve the problem.