Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Telling a Republican they're no longer a Republican because they are now poor.


I have a new friend who needs to learn that because she is now poor, it does not make sense for her to be a Republican anymore.  I'm finding ways to break it to her gently. 

My new friend here at the senior complex said she was having trouble sleeping, so I offered to give her one of my Valerian.  A laugh slipped out of her chest and she said, oh those aren't strong enough for me.  Then she gave a 15 second litany of pharmaceuticals she takes, and that's just at night, to help her sleep.  Soon she let out another laugh, “Valerian aren't strong enough,” she said, “they do nothing for me.” 

Me, I take one Benedryl and get knocked out as soon as it hits.  I thought these were massively potent pills I was getting through Amazon, but my neighbor explains, because she is on so many prescription drugs, she can take Valerian and Benedryl and not even feel their effects. 

She said one of the drugs she takes “is for restless leg syndrome.”

I started to continue the conversation with, “I don't trust pharmaceutical companies,” but I'm pretty sure my new friend is a Republican.  For that reason I also didn't say “or any drug introduced since Ronald Reagan was President.” Instead I say:

“I don't trust any drugs that were introduced since the 1980s.”  

My friend starts to agree then stops herself.  

I continue, “Since deregulation, they've been getting away with too much.” 

My friend hesitates more, not sure how what I said conflates with what she's believed all these years. 

My new seventy-something friend doesn't realize the only reason she's Republican is because her husband was successful.  He's now dead and his long illness depleted their funds.  So she's not really Republican anymore, she's just voting that way out of habit.  I don't want to force this new truth in her face by starting political arguments, but I feel a need to help her as over the coming years the fact of her new income status makes itself more obvious in her life.  

I remember in about 2002 when it first happened to Lizzie and me. When we were living in our car on the streets of Hollywood those months, I realized, People aren't poor because they want to be poor.  And once you're poor, you're there and there’s not a whole lot of ways out.

I said to my new friend, “If I take too much Benedryl, I get restless leg syndrome,” and hoped that later she makes the connection that one of her prescription drugs is probably causing the symptom they're treating with another prescription drug, when she thinks about it. And that big pharma has put profits above her health in the "free market" she and her husband cheered all those years.  And a lot of things in her life today would get better if more people would just vote Democrat. 

My friend was married for 27 years to a man who was “in real estate” and they traveled between their two houses on different US coasts.  Now she lives in this lower rent senior complex and even though she drives and dresses better than anyone else here, she tells me she feels like she’s poor too, and I understand because from her frame of reference she is. 

Oh, and anti-depressants for pain

My friend is also taking an anti-depressant and every time she says the name of the drug to me, she adds, “For pain, I take it for pain.”  I've been down that road before, where corporate doctors prescribe anti-depressants pills as pain medication. 

Apparently a few decades back, when psychiatrists gave depressed people anti-depressants, the patients reported that they not only got happier, but in some cases their physical pain went away. 

Pharma execs saw dollar signs.  Now they could sell anti-depressants to emotionally stable people who were in physical pain.

Vastly expanding their customer base. 

Again, this was after Ronald Reagan.

So after a minimal amount of unmonitored testing, big pharma got doctors all over America to prescribe antidepressants to people when they are in physical pain over the last thirty years.   

I saw through this ruse after a few months of taking psychotropic pills for body pain, because I could tell, the pain was not getting any better, but the psychiatric drugs were making me more crazy than I had ever been before, and I've had my periods.  Not having any doctors paying attention to me for last decade or so, there hasn’t been anyone to convince me those drugs work when they don't.  

So I don't take pharmaceuticals and if I feel the need, I can take a Valerian root bought over the counter in tablet form and then lay down for a snooze. 

But maybe for now I'll cut back on the Benedryl.
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Meanwhile: Stay Happy . ke

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