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Jack Simpson - Medications can cause headaches

It is a common experience. We all end up sooner or later in a doctor's office for one reason or another. I've never found it to be a real fun place to be, have you? Oh, it isn't always that bad, because you are there seeking help and employees in the office are going to assist you.

Anyway, I've been to a family practice for quite a few visits lately. It seems that one pill messed up the effects of another pill, and I've got to take blood tests until an adjustment is made.

My arms are starting to look like a pin cushion from all the needles poking into me! Thank heaven the lab technician is so efficient or I might be sore as well. Insurance has paid for all of those little Band-Aids so far, or I might be asking financial advice from Joe the Plumber.

What is good about the tests we all take is when the nurse calls back, as mine did this morning, saying "all is well." Yes, the news was good and now all I have to do is keep on taking the prescribed medications until another conflict is encountered.

Changing medications is an adventure, isn't it? You end up getting a 30-day prescription, followed by a 90-day prescription to be sent off to some exotic locale to be filled. I get pills from Las Vegas and places in California; however, I seldom get the exact medication prescribed by the doctor. Why not? Well, because the insurance company will only pay for the generic version - so that is what you get. Do you suppose Joe the Plumber has this same experience?

You take the 30-day prescription to the local pharmacy and forget to ask for a regular cap. Nine-times-out-of-10, you'll get the child secure version, and that is a real headache for some of us folks! These troubling caps are childproof and they are seniorproof as well. Have you watched an older person try to push down and squeeze these things in the designated area? Even with glasses and in good light, it is hard to figure out some of these instructions.

If you have to take a pill in an emergency and are faced with a childproof cap, consider yourself in trouble. You might face a crisis before locating a knife, a pair of pliers, or a hammer to get the top off the bottle! Watch a senior citizen with a walker or a wheelchair trying to get pills out of a bottle with a childproof cap! Cursing and stomping a foot will not be all that helpful. Frustration reigns.

Maybe the next president will make healthcare a top priority, helping not only Joe the Plumber, but senior citizens fighting childproof caps and ever-increasing costs.

Jack Simpson is a former educator, veteran, author, and a law enforcement officer. His column appears each Friday.