Category Archives: Health care

Miracle Drug Brings Dying Blog Back to Life

Finding work at the pharmacy in November has been part blessing, part pain-in-the-ass.  The blessing*: I have grown wildly interested in pharmacology (I’m talkin’ flashcards on my own time, son!) and have decided to pursue a career in the field, although retail pharmacy is losing its appeal, fast, which leads to the pain-in-the-ass part (instill 3 suppositories 6 times a day for half a year): my job, which I could have gotten directly after dropping out of high school the day I turned 16 in North Carolina, is unusually stressful.  In the past couple of months, I have experienced indigestion and hives, neither of which I could have described to you before this recent period; my head has felt as though it was filling with blood as it used to when I dangled from monkey bars, you know, back when I was having fun; and I have just generally been worn out and felt like doing not much else, physically or mentally, when I’m off the dreaded clock (which explains the near-death of this cherished online newspaper).

The required shallow-focus, make-you-reflect-on-our-over-medicated-society pic

What makes it so stressful?

First, the general public is an over-medicated monster who lives to be agitated (You’re going to have to call my doctor because I need that filled today because I’m going out of town for three years and my life depends on that medication and I know it’s your fault that I can’t get it.); the huge drugstores are way too hard on their pharmacists and, by extension, their techs (Get that order out in 15 minutes, even if they have thirteen medications and you’ve got two people working and you’ve been 25 minutes behind all day because one old lady took 35 minutes to counsel!); insurance companies live to agitate patients and pharmacists alike (Sorry, we heard that we could technically say that twenty Ambien could last thirty days and still be considered a sufficient quantity, so we won’t cover it or bother to tell the patient that we won’t cover it, and the copay has gone up, too– this will surely enrage her!); and drug companies kick back and watch it unfold, that is, until a generic hits the market (How could a just God let them sell oxycodone next to OxyContin?!  Doesn’t He know that we’ll lose money for our…uhh…the thing…what’s it…RESEARCH?!).  And all of this just happens, day in and day out, without ceasing, sometimes 10 days in a row because I have to work at two locations and be available all the time to make enough hours for myself, and it is exhausting.  The people who should have the power in the situation– the doctors and the pharmacists– are just caught up in the whirlwind of sick enterprise and it all just kind of makes me nauseous.

You may be thinking, Rob, how can see through all those awful tears in your innocent little baby eyes, and I would tell you it’s only because I can see an end to (or at least an easing of) my suffering.  In May when I begin grinding up the hill (that is, taking some prerequisite courses so that I can apply for pharmacy school) toward doing what I really want to do and earning a salary for doing it, I will have already started doing what I want to do– that’s the good kind of grind, the grind that gets you somewhere.  Plus, if I couldn’t whine about it all so half-heartedly on this dumb page, it would only indicate that I was hopeless and stuck in a place that I couldn’t talk about.

Thank you for reading.  This has been most therapeutic.

* I was going to put something like “take once a day as needed for pain” but it made me feel sick.

So Much for Real Health Care Reform

WASHINGTON, D.C.– Discouraging but unsurprising news: attempts to add any sort of public option to the soft, industry-friendly Baucus health care reform bill are dead.  Today the Senate Finance Committee voted 15-8 against the Rockefeller amendment that would have added a robust public option.  Those fifteen “nays” included five from scumbag, status-quo Democrats: Sens. Kent Conrad (D-ND), Blanche Lincoln (D-AR), Tom Carper (D-DE), Bill Nelson (D-FL), and– surprise– Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT).  Next came a watered-down symbolic gesture from Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), which was rejected by a 13-10 vote because, as Baucus says, a bill with a public option could not pass the Senate floor “at this time”.

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) makes a gesture.

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) makes a gesture.

In a related story, Republicans, with the help of the Spineless Democratic Caucus (SDC), are drafting the Resolution to Say “Suck It” to Poor and Uninsured American Citizens.  The SDC, with at least eight members in the Senate and 37 members in the House, has joined the fight against human rights here at home and plans to stymie any reform that treats health as anything other than a privilege.  More details as they become available.