Monday, April 11, 2011

I=Ibuprofen & other miracle pills

I want a new drug
One that does what it should
One that won't make me feel too bad
One that won't make me feel too good
                        -Huey Lewis & The News (back in the day)
Ahhh... we so want the "miracle pill!"  I want a pill to make my pain go away, without making me sleepy or irritable. I want a pill to make me lose weight, without having to work out or eat less. I want a pill to make me a happy person all the time. I want a pill to make me beautiful, and rich, and famous. I want a pill to clean my house (is that possible?). I want a pill to fix all my problems, and all the problems of the people I love.

But, it doesn't work that way. I find that I am incredibly grateful that there are SOME pills that can help with SOME of my problems. Without significant painkillers, I wouldn't have been able to get out of bed at all. Without an anti-depressant, I wouldn't have wanted to get out of bed at all! Without the supplements that I'm taking now to re-balance my body chemistry, I would never have had the initial energy to begin exercising and to hope for a better future.

Pills cannot solve all my problems. I need to listen to my body: rest when it's tired; push during exercise enough to increase my strength without causing too much more pain; I need to eat properly and drop another 20 pounds. All of these things are up to me - nothing (and no one) else can do them for me. Ugh... I want a pill!!! (insert knowing chuckle here)

Pills can create problems, though. As the daughter of an alcoholic, I've seen first hand the issues of addiction. I have made my doctors aware of this family history, and we are extra careful with the medication I take. I really don't want to go down the road of addiction for myself... I've seen where it ends. But, even taking pills can be a trap. Especially for painkillers, once started, it's hard to stop. And, pretty soon, the original dose is not enough... so the dose is increased. And increased. And increased again. Even when carefully monitored and non-addictive, the cycle of pain and painkillers can be hard to break. If you have a choice whether to start taking painkillers, don't. Keep trying complementary therapies (see C=, earlier in April) or find different things to stay away from the painkiller trap.

What I've learned: I'm grateful for pharmaceuticals, but wary of them at the same time.

P.S. Ibuprofen is not a "harmless" drug. I used to take it regularly, more than the dosage on the bottle. Besides eating a hole in your stomach, it can cause kidney disease. I have a good friend who is working to avoid dialysis, and her troubles are partly due to ibuprofen consumption. Be careful, even with over the counter medicines. Like AA, "take what you need and leave the rest!"


  1. The first album (yes album, not CD) was Huey Lewis and the News Sports!

    I agree, I try to stay away from as much as I can, but admit if there was a drug I could take to "poof" and make it all "right", I'd seriously consider it!

  2. I try to stay away from medication, because in the back of my mind I know that most of it doesn't make the pain go away as much as hide it.

    I've had a bad run-in with thinking my back was ok after drinking meds for it. It wasn't and I ended up with sprained ribs. Now I prefer to know where I hurt.

    Good luck with all your attempts to improve your life!


  3. LOL....I actually laugh out loud when I read this. WHY? b/c I too have to take some serious medications. The dr just added 2 more to help with my diabetes. It's sad that I could choke a horse with all the meds I had to take. I pray that one day there will be a treatment that cures us completely and we can stop with all the meds. Good luck to ya!!!

  4. I am so glad I live in this day and age because you have choices. You can pick and choose what to take and what to avoid.

    I am a big believer in taking what you need to live a full and
    healthy life. My mom has arthritis and has a one sided view of drugs. Dont take any thing. As a result she has almost totally crippled herself from inactivity and greatly limited her life enjoyment. The most I can get her to take is ONE tylenol. Makes me sad and angry to see how she doesn't fight to improve her own quality of life. Two advil once in awhile would give her enough relief to at least take a walk and help the rest of her body, like maybe her heart?

    I am a big believer in meds (what you need and no more) and grateful I live today and not 100 yearsago.