I was recently bedridden for an extended period of time, with not much energy for anything other than watching daytime television. I had not done that in years, and there were two things that shocked me. One was how bad the programming was and the other was the plethora of commercials for drugs. Depression, osteoporosis, headaches, impotence, birth control, bipolar disorder, menopause…you name it. If there is a condition, there is a drug.
Now don’t get me wrong. I am not against proper use of medication. Meds can be lifesavers, literally. But when there are commercials that advertise free samples of heavy duty drugs with only three seconds allotted at the end with a fast-talking voice telling you of the side-effects that can either permanently disable or kill you, something isn’t right.
Over the course of a year’s time, Dan was prescribed more than TEN medications, and there is no question that many of these drugs not only did not help him, they hurt him and hindered his recovery. A couple of them even gave him a whole new set of problems (more about that in another post).
So now you’re thinking, “Well, why did you let him be so heavily medicated?” Good question.
Well, there are lots of reasons these mistakes were made. First and foremost, we trusted Dan’s doctors to do the right thing.
We were desperate and were willing to do anything to help our son get well.
Dan was nineteen, considered an adult, and could make his own decisions regarding medication (more on that at a later date also).
When Dan was in a residential program for nine weeks, we did not even know what medications he was taking until after the fact.
When I did question side-effects that Dan was exhibiting, they were often down-played and even ignored by some of his doctors.
Of course hindsight is a wonderful thing and we have learned our lesson. Question. If the answers aren’t satisfactory, question again. If something still doesn’t sit right, investigate. Go with your gut feelings. They’re usually right.