Don’t Be A Pill

I can be a bit of a stubborn bastard at the best of times, which comes from a lifetime of having every adult around me dying to tell me how to eat, how to sleep, what medications to take and when to take them. As a child, I would often be resentful of having to wake up on the weekends to take insulin injections, to the point where my mother started getting into the habit of simply yanking down my pyjama bottom and injecting me in the buttock as she felt it simply wasn’t worth the fight. I’ve obviously gotten better as I’ve gotten older, but kids don’t usually understand the NECESSITY of the medication they may be on, and I was no exception.

In 2009, I faced a new aspect to my Diabetes therapy. I had just moved to Saskatchewan and got myself a new doctor. After a couple of appointments to “get to know each other,” he introduced something that I had promised I would never allow: pills. Don’t get me wrong; I have nothing against pills. They’re necessary, required and important. So long as they’re used for their intended purpose, that is. But I grew up watching my brother ingest dozen different pills, first thing in the morning and again around dinner time. And we all know how THAT ended as he passed away in 1991.

When it was suggested, I firmly told the doctor that I had no need or use for pills and that I had no intention starting on them. He then asked me if I took a multi-vitamin. Yes, I did. He was quick to point out that multi-vitamins were pills and I was voluntarily taking those, so why would I object to the ones he was proposing? Mostly, it was because I didn’t know what the pills he was suggesting did, so there was a fear of the unknown. This is where he actually took the time to explain the medications in detail and what they would be for, which if you’re even mildly familiar with doctors in recent years, they aren’t big fans of taking extra time when you visit.

Once they were explained, I learned that I would be taking a medication call “rosuvastain,” more commonly known as Crestor. This one helps prevent raising cholesterol. Not a problem I’ve ever know to have, but okay. The other one is Ramipril, which is commonly-used to treat high blood pressure and renal failure in folks with Diabetes. The explanation made sense until he the doctor pointed out that these were “preventative” measures… What the fuck?! So, I’m basically starting to take pills I don’t need? That’s like getting open-heart surgery IN CASE you eventually have heart disease…

I know, I was a little over-dramatic and it’s not really comparable, but what would think about starting to take medications you don’t need? Although renal issues are a recognized side effect of Diabetes, it seemed odd to me to take medication for it when, by all accounts, my kidneys were clear. Alright, he’s the doctor and I’m the patient, so I trusted him and accepted the prescription. I’ve been taking those two medications as part of my Diabetes therapy, ever since.

Flash forward to over ten years later. I’m still on both medications AND as of last year’s endocrinologist’s appointment, both medications have been increase to satisfy the demand of my body’s condition. In fact, during my last appointment with my endocrinologist, which was las February, tests showed that my kidneys showed some mild level of struggle, meaning that the medication was providing some active support. It kind of makes me wonder where I’d be at and how far gone I would be if I hadn’t accepted these “preventative” therapies.

I guess my point here today, is that it can be extremely important to take ownership of one’s health and be clear and understanding about what’s being put into one’s body. By the same token, preventative medicine can be an effective way of putting off some of the difficulties that one may face when dealing with Type-1 Diabetes. Although it can be difficult to take it on faith when it comes to taking pills, well-trained doctors will often be able to identify the need for such prevention early on, where the patient may miss it or be unaware. Food for thought…

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Shawn

I am a practitioner of the martial arts and student of the Buddhist faith. I have been a Type 1 Diabetic since I was 4 years old and have been fighting the uphill battle it includes ever since. I enjoy fitness and health and looking for new ways to improve both, as well as examining the many questions of life. Although I have no formal medical training, I have amassed a wealth of knowledge regarding health, Diabetes, martial arts as well as Buddhism and philosophy. My goal is to share this information with the world, and perhaps provide some sarcastic humour along the way. Welcome!

2 thoughts on “Don’t Be A Pill”

  1. I can’t help but be reminded of the expression that “Correlation doesn’t equal causality” here. At least not necessarily. Did the meds keep the problem from being worse, OR did they take the place of your body’s natural process, thus weakening it. Melatonin as a sleep aid is a great example. Take it regularly and it completely shuts down your body’s natural production of it.

    I’m no medical professional, BUT taking drugs to prevent a condition that doesn’t exist… seems like big pharma finding new ways to pad it’s profits to me.

    Remember our talk about how they haven’t come up with a single cure since Polio 60 years ago? But they can whip up a vaccine for COVID in 9 months. It’s ALL about the profits, AND most doctors get all of their continuing education credits via pharmaceutical company events. What do you suppose they’re pushing as a cure for everything at those symposiums? It ain’t yoga, lol.

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    1. I certainly agree with a portion of that, especially the last paragraph. I guess in the case of someone with Type-1 Diabetes, certain side effects and deteriorations are basically inevitable. In my case, renal failure and hypertension are two conditions that most if not all Type-1’s eventually get as a byproduct of Diabetes. Considering its inevitability, it makes preventative medicine “okay.”

      But I certainly agree with your comment about big pharma… They don’t focus so much on permanently curing conditions when they can continue selling therapies ad nauseam and continue to rake in profits. There’s a doctor in Alberta, I can’t recall where, who has found a potential cure for Type-1 Diabetes. I wrote about it in a post, I’d have to dig back a ways to find it. But his research is not just promising, it almost definite. BUT… he has no funding nor will he get any from the government or anywhere else. He’s depending on donations, which could take forever. And why would they fund him when they can continue to rake in the dough through the sale of insulin and Diabetes-related equipment? We number in the millions in Canada, now. 🤷‍♂️

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