Friday, November 16, 2012

Antibiotics and Western Medicine

I went to Rite-Aid to fill a prescription for an antibiotic earlier this week. When the pharmacist, a stocky woman who doesn't make eye contact, ran through my information she asked me if my address was correct. "P.O. Box 158?"

That was my address when I lived in Rumford nearly ten years ago. That shows how often I fill prescriptions.

This got me thinking about the various ways I avoid Western Medicine and avoid going to hospitals. This plus three and a half hours in an emergency room waiting for the diagnosis I told them upon entry to be tested while I sat there stewing in the germs of the guy with the flu on the next bed. Thanks for that.

Generally I avoid hospitals. I don't take any regular prescriptions for anything. I've been blessed with a pretty healthy body that isn't failing me yet. I do use a lot of natural medicines such as teas and oils to treat minor conditions.

I just read this morning on that approximately 37,000 Americans die by overdosing on prescription drugs each year, one every nineteen minutes. Which means that if I take the time to go back and edit this, two people will die by the time I publish this post.

This brings me to the ultimate question: When is our government benefiting us, and when is it simply absolving us of personal responsibility and micromanaging our individual choices?

For that matter, when is it simply our drug companies making sure they suck every dollar out of us that they can get?

After all, who owns the hospitals?

Some people have been known to overdose on antibiotics, thus poisoning themselves. Antibiotics kill organisms. Large doses of antibiotics kill large organisms. I am an organism. I get this. But I am also ultimately responsible for myself and my own well-being.

If I want to take a bunch of antibiotics shouldn't I have that right? Do I need someone else to tell me what I am allowed to put into my body?

I need to be educated on the medications before I take them, but I educate myself on the ingredients in my deodorant and on the food I put on my plate.

Is that antibiotic going to hurt me more than that 32 oz bottle of Barcadi will hurt the woman in line for her insulin in front of me at the pharmacy? Or more than the chemicals being shoved in our food and cleaning products? The government legalized known cancer-causing agents that benefit the food companies so it isn't much of a stretch to believe they are also making rules intended to benefit drug companies instead of individuals.

If I don't believe that the benefits of a certain vaccination outweigh the risks shouldn't I be allowed to refuse it?

Through self-diagnosis we obviously could cause ourselves more harm than good. But there is a very defiant part of me that feels like it should be my right to screw up my body if I want to.

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