Medication Nation

My maternal grandmother was one of my best friends. I remember a lot about her, how she smiled, her favorite sayings and all of her advice, both good and bad. But I also remember the plastic grocery bag full of prescription meds she carried with her everywhere she went. We carried it fishing, to the bean field and definitely to doctor appointments. It was on one of those visits I decided that I absolutely hated medication.

My husband hasn’t had the same experience, but has the same disdain for meds. In fact, I find myself trying to coerce him to take antibiotics when necessary. Those baby germs can be deadly. So when our infant son was diagnosed with SVT (a Supraventricular tachycardia) few months back and doctors urged long term medication, we were in sync; absolutely, positively not.

SVT is described as any rapid heart rhythm and the most common preventative medicine is Digoxin. We were asked to begin a twice a day dose that would most likely continue until our son was 3 or 4-years-old. So my husband asked all the appropriate questions including information on studies of long-term effects of this drug on children. We were told, few studies existed and none were on long-term effects, but “it’s completely safe.”

After our own research and consultations with doctor friends and parents we decided against the medication regimen. Especially since our baby was diagnosed with Pneumonia the next day, treated and recovered. Yesterday was his 6-week follow up with the pediatric cardiologist and we were amazed how many times we were asked to explain our decision not to use the medication. In fact, it was the first question they asked despite his positive health report. Test after test and everything checked out. God is good and prayer works.

So if my son is fine, why do you keep asking me about giving him medication? The best I can come up with is it’s the society we live in. We are a medication nation. In fact the Wall Street Journal reports that 25% of children under the age of 18 in the United States are on prescription medications. We medicate everybody for everything from blood pressure to behavior and people think it’s okay. Now, I am not blaming doctors and won’t begin to get into any of the prescription drug company debates, because I’m not sure who or what to blame.

One of my doctor friends once shared that most patients expect to receive a prescription in exchange for their co-pay. In other words, adults don’t want to hear ride the cold out or use diet and exercise to control your high blood pressure; they want the quick easy solution. Pill popping is acceptable and prescriptions are readily accessible. Think about it, there’s a drug store on every corner.

As for me I’d rather hit up the local natural food store and farmer’s market for solutions to ailments than to fill every prescription I’m given.  So, no the Taylor children are not accustomed to taking medications and I plan to keep it that way.

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One thought on “Medication Nation

  1. Its good to hear I’m not the only one who doesn’t put things in his/her mouth when told to do so by someone PRACTICING medicine.

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