Lone Beasley Publisher
The Ada News
We were talking about healthcare with U.S. Rep. Tom Cole when the congressman visited recently. The topic at hand was its great expense and Cole made an excellent point.
In a nutshell he said Americans don’t exercise, eat terribly, smoke too much and then go to the doctor and say, “Haven’t you guys got a pill for that?”
To be sure there are many other reasons healthcare takes up too much of our gross domestic product and we touched on those issues as well. Still, the one over which we have the most control is the one in which we take responsibility for our own habits.
That we don’t take good care of ourselves is not a new phenomenon. At least some who populated prior generations weren’t so great at it either.
Older relatives stockpiling a dozen or more pharmaceuticals struck me as sad to ridiculous while we visited them when I was a boy. At the time it seemed a better thing to just go ahead and die rather than spend a significant portion of each day ingesting the stuff that filled those tiny bottles with their “Keep Out of the Reach of Children” warning labels. As if.
Of course, that was then, and today I am one of those older relatives. And while it is true my medicine chest doesn’t contain a dozen prescription pill bottles, there are almost that many vitamin supplements there.
Nor do I have to wait for a snotty-nosed nephew to show up to be reprimanded for having them. My wife, who is only a year younger than I am, fills that responsibility nicely.
“Good grief!” she said, opening a door in our kitchen cabinet recently while looking for aspirin. “Do you have enough supplements?”
She is still waiting for a response.
Each morning finds me ingesting two aspirin for heart health and also to employ their caffeine to help kick start the day. A Vitamin B12 follows for (as its bottle advertises) energy metabolism. Three tablets containing calcium, magnesium and zinc are next, for bone health, with two capsules of Glucosamine Sulfate as chasers to shore up joints connecting the bones.
One daily CoQ-10 was recommended by a chemist friend recently when he found me staring at a store’s supplements aisle - for heart health both he and the bottle advertised. His profession gave him the aura of an expert, which carried a lot of weight at that critical moment.
Vitamins C (two tablets) and D3 (one tablet) both say they support immune health. Vitamin D3 is more specific, saying it supports teeth and bones as well as claiming to be the body’s preferred form of Vitamin D — that and sunshine, perhaps, the natural way to supplement vitamin D.
Despite my wife’s misgivings, it made me feel superior to my relatives of old by taking supplements rather than prescription drugs.
Or at least it did until realizing every supplement bottle carries a warning label saying “Keep Out of the Reach of Children.”