Pills – love them or hate them?

I have a love hate relationship with pills.

I recall coming home after my gall bladder operation and I felt excruciating pain like nothing before and all I needed was for it go away, so I could rest and recover. The problem was that by taking the painkillers I was in minimal pain; however, I was hallucinating and couldn’t sleep as a side effect. I stopped taking them after 8 days of no sleep (plus I had started seeing some seriously weird shit), and moved to a strong paracetamol instead. Frankly, I couldn’t wait to get off them.

My mum has taken a variety of pills most of her adult life. It’s been difficult to watch her take a concoction of drugs to be able to function. Though at one stage she was so over-medicated (and mis-diagnosed), she was not functioning at all. Thankfully through various interventions, the number of pills has diminished over the years, and I am thankful that she has a better quality of life for having taken them.

I was recently at the pharmacy waiting to speak to the pharmacist about an eye infection my daughter appeared to have. I sat a few seats up from an elderly man, who was waiting patiently for his script to be processed. He looked over and whispered with the hint of a smile, “We’re here for our lollies, aren’t we?” I looked over to him a little confused, and he went on to clarify, “We can’t live without our lollies, can we?” I politely nodded my head and looked away. And I felt really sad.

Here was this elderly gentleman in perhaps his late 70’s, around my dad’s age, who had resorted to live out the rest of his days relying on his lollies. Not questioning why he needed to take them, just accepting that they were the answer to his ailments. Now I don’t know this man or his personal circumstance, but I know of a generation older than me that doesn’t question very much, and one that revere’s the practice of ‘quick fixes’ through repeat prescriptions.

Popping a pill is so easy and it makes my headache go away in a minute. I’ve since realised so does peppermint essential oil and I know what’s in that.

I can’t help but question what the hell is in the pills we take or do I want look for an alternative where possible?

I’ve decided. Will you?

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