Patient dissatisfaction

_MG_9841

by Kit Murray

murrayki@mnstate.edu

Crohn’s disease, IBS, chronic migraines, anxiety, depression, diabetes … the list trails on. I’ve had doctors from all over the state tell me I have each of these, on top of others. I’ve had other doctors test me and say I don’t have some.

Recently, I tested negative for thyroid disease, but was given more medication for my acid reflux. It’s frustrating, as someone who is chronically ill, to deal with doctors and medical professionals who insist on upping dosages and not offering solutions.

Hundreds and thousands of dollars are drained from our pockets each year for medical insurance, medications and doctor visits, but what are we really getting from it?

Seventy percent of Americans take a prescription drug every day, and more than half take more than one. It shouldn’t be surprising at all — often we turn on the TV and immediately see advertisements for prescription medications. Drugs like those for ADHD in adults have side effects that go on forever: “confusion, change in mood, dizziness, upset stomach, numbness, dry mouth, light-headedness and sudden rage.”

The most frustrating line to hear is, “Just spruce up, you’re fine.”

Sometimes, it’s difficult to walk, I can’t breathe because my lungs are weak, or I have such a debilitating migraine I have to excuse myself because I can’t be in a lit room. I’m aware there is no “quick fix” medication, but it would be nice to be pointed in a direction that could cause some relief. Instead, it feels like I’m only worsening my condition and masking underlying problems.

It’s upsetting to know the medical industry is pushing pills left and right and encouraging over-dosage and faulty prescriptions.

Believe it or not, doctors prescribe drugs to patients not even FDA-approved to help with things like dementia and sleep disorders. If I ask my doctors questions about what the medication is they’ve prescribed me, they give me simple answers, and the pharmacist isn’t able to help me beyond that either. I want to know what the pill is doing, because most of the time, it doesn’t help. I want to know why it isn’t working — not to be given a stronger medication that makes me feel worse.

It’s a scheme — especially when patients want to think these professionals have their best interests at heart. Big Pharma doesn’t seem to focus on the effectiveness of prescribed drugs — rather they are focusing on how much money they can make off patients who may not even need that medication. John Oliver eloquently explains it on “Last Week Tonight”: “Drug companies are a bit like high school boyfriends, they’re much more concerned with getting inside you than being effective once they’re in there.”

Maybe one day, these companies will gain my trust again, but right now I’m fed up with this mendacious system.

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