Quick! How many of you out there in Fritter land have one of these things?…
Yeah, I thought so. This is a standard accoutrement at every dinner table around here. For those who are unfamiliar with this device, it’s a simple pill reminder box. Labeled with the days of the week, each compartment contains the prescribed doses of drugs which MUST be taken every day. And as you can see from this image, the drug business is booming. Don’t believe me? Here is another example:
And this ain’t even including the medicine cabinet in the bathroom.
The medical industry is alive and thriving in this part of the woods. Everyone up here in the back country is a slave to the health care warlords. The town where I am currently residing has several huge hospitals, bigger than most shopping malls. Surrounding said hospitals are dozens of clinics, offices, labs, and other torture centers. Most of the people here work as doctors, nurses, therapists, specialists, dentists, pharmacists, and all manner of witches, warlocks, and wizards. Instead of seeing people running around in fishing shirts, shorts, and flip flops, here you see every manner of person walking around in scrubs or lab coats.
Within my small circle of family and friends not a week goes by without somebody having a doctor appointment for something. A checkup here, a procedure there, and tests, always with the tests. Get your blood pressure tested, your hearing tested, your stress tested, something somewhere within your body needs tested all the time. And when said test results are returned, you can bet the agricultural collective you will be prescribed with new tests, new procedures, and of course, new drugs to treat what ever malfunction said tests have allegedly revealed.
The local pharmacies have lines of people waiting to pick up their latest wonder drugs, guaranteed to TREAT, never cure, always treat your ailments. Because cures are not a profitable enterprise. Treating the symptoms is very profitable. Remember, there is no money to be made in healthy people.
There are constant reminders everywhere telling people to go see a doctor. The local news always has a segment on the disease of the week. “Healthcast” is a favorite name for said segment. The network tv stations are full of ads for the latest wonder drugs. I noticed two things about these drugs. One, 3/4 of the ad is telling you of all the possible side effects, any one of which is far worse than whatever condition said drug is treating. And B, all these wonder drugs apparently slow down time and make you move in slow motion. Go watch a couple and you’ll see what I mean.
Cancer is a way of life here. It’s not if you will get cancer, just when. It’s guaranteed at some point in your life you will be diagnosed with some sort of cancer…no matter if you actually have it or not, you will be diagnosed with it. Why? Because the treatments for said cancer are numerous, expensive and profitable. I watched my father and grandfather both get diagnosed and then spend the last remaining months of their lives being subjected to all manner of medieval torture. They were pumped full of toxic chemicals, radiation, endless expensive shots, all of which did nothing except remove their dignity and destroy the quality of what life they had left. Said treatments did however, put a lot of money into the pockets of the doctors, labs, and assorted drug companies. Cancer is more than a disease, its a highly profitable market ripe for ripping off the unsuspecting and gullible. If you are a doctor and you tell someone they might have cancer, they will do your bidding, no matter what.
Obesity is another big one here and it’s real because you can see it. Everyone here is fat. Not a tad overweight mind you. They are fat. Living where the food is good and plentiful means everyone eats way too much. I know, I am guilty myself having put on about 10 or 15 pounds since I came here. Add in a tendency to go and chow down at any number of chain restaurants where the main ingredients are lard, salt, fat, and sugar, plus throw in an hefty appetite for beer, and you get a bunch of fat asses waddling up and down the aisles of the local grocerteria loading up their carts with cookies and crap. As a result, being as how obesity causes a ton of other problems like heart disease, diabetes, and worn out mattresses, the medical industry has a steady supply of patients with which to prescribe more drugs, more tests, and more treatments.
Then there are the support industries. Like the health insurance industry which makes out like bandits here. Endless policies to cover everything. Supplemental policies to cover what the other policies don’t cover. It goes on and on. And don’t forget the others who supply things like crutches, walkers, specialized beds, eyeglasses, hearing aids, and pill reminder boxes. No other industry, not even religion (and even the churches make a few bucks on the side with their bullshit counseling) can brag about having this much control over peoples lives. If memory serves, the healthcare industry accounts for over 20% of the economy, and as the population gets older, thanks to us baby boomers, business continues to get more better.
Where I currently reside, the healthcare industry is deeply rooted. 55 is the minimum age for residents here with most well over 80 and some hitting 90 or even 100. Every week there are specialists who stop by for things like blood screening or therapy. In home nurses are stopping by daily to visit and treat patients in the comfort of their apartments. The ambulance makes a daily stop out front every day. I joke there is a little door along side the entrance where you just lie the patient down on a gurney and the ambulance crew picks them up as part of their route. There is a special bus which comes by daily to take patients to doctor appointments. And someone is always making an emergency trip to the hospital for something.
You might have guessed by now I am no fan of the healthcare industry. To cast dispersions upon the medical industry, as I have, is considered the worst blasphemy of all. The doctor’s word is infallible. After all he or she went through the rigors of eight year of medical training so they are the experts and a worthless, uneducated slob like myself should shut up and obey the company line. But I ain’t stupid. I’ve worked in the corporate world and learned one thing above all else…Profits are everything. And there is nothing I have seen yet to convince me said healthcare industry is not profit oriented.
For example, I found out recently many of the local independent doctors have joined a corporate healthcare organization. It all looks good on paper, or electrons if you go to the website. A big hospital consortium with endless resources, up to date care and treatment facilities, highly trained staff. But look closer. It’s still a corporate entity. It provides a product…healthcare. It has expenses, staff, inventory, in other words all the things any other corporation has. So, is it doing all this for free? Hardly. It’s out to turn a buck, same as any other business. In this case it just happens to be healthcare. One of the rules I heard of regarding any doctor who joins this corporate hive is in regards to how much time they can spend with a patient over the course of a day in their clinic/office/torture chamber. The time limit? 15 minutes per patient. No more. 15 minutes to determine what is wrong and prescribe the treatments and drugs for said ailments. Don’t matter what the problem is, you get 15 minutes before you are shoved out the door with a handful of appointments to see other specialists and go get your prescriptions filled.
Now, I ain’t no expert by any stretch of the imagination, but it seems to me, putting a standard time limit on how long one should spend with one’s patient kinda defeats the idea of proper care and treatment, but what do I know. The healthcare industry knows all, sees all, and is infallible. Always.
I’m not the only one who sees through the bullshit here. Our favorite peanut wrote about her disillusionment over her healthcare. I have an aunt who is very petite, in her late 80’s and mean as hell. She tells the doctors to take their prescriptions and shove them up their asses. She’ll probably live forever simply because the angel of death is too scared to come knocking on her door. But give her credit for standing up to the healthcare warlords.
Look, I am sure there are good things in the world of medicine. No doubt there are some drugs which truly do what they are intended to do. But I look at all the drugs and pills in those pictures above and I can’t help but feel all combined they can’t be good for you. I firmly believe if you eat decent, not pig out, except on Key Lime Pie, get some exercise now and then, stay away from the things you know are bad for you, and go to the doctor only as necessary, you’ll be fine. To allow yourself to be manipulated into an endless existence of tests, therapies, drugs, shots, and other expensive and questionable procedures is as bad as willingly becoming a worker bee and slaving away for the corporate warlords.
I find the healthcare system to be rigged and nothing more than a con game to get one’s money. Like religion, they prey on ignorance and fear to make a profit. It’s an attitude which may well kill me someday but after seeing the way some of these older people exist…and it’s all they are doing is existing, not living, I’ll take my chances. No doubt, if I walked into a doctor’s office now and had a full physical and bloodwork, they would find a myriad of maladies for which I would be forced to take immediate treatments for. No matter if said maladies were real or not. The doctor is always right.
I don’t think so.