Saturday 12 October 2013


I was a child of the fifties, sixties and seventies, which in my opinion (biased) were the best decades to live in. I am sure that other decades are nice, but for the shear joy of living and the changes that came about due to other children like me, there is no contest. I don’t want to talk about how great being born and living when I did was, but just to lay the groundwork of my life.

My generation were no strangers to drugs of all kinds, and experimenting with how those drugs made us feel and relate to the world around us. It was for the most part, a fun time. If it were possible to go back as a sixty year old guy and make some of those choices again, I am not sure if I would. I have the feeling that the teenage Ken would still make those decisions and wouldn’t regret them. Second guess the wisdom perhaps, but no regrets.

I was watching TV tonight and the show I was watching had commercials for drugs that are available to help with different afflictions. The commercials showed happy, active people going about their lives, hiking, gardening, golfing and generally enjoying their lives. The commercials hint that before taking the drugs mentioned, these people just weren’t enjoying themselves. So the drugs were a good thing…right?

Most of the people pictured were about my age and I suppose that is the demographic the advertisers are targeting. We are after all getting to the age when some of our parts are performing at less than peak. It takes us longer to get out of chairs, some foods just don’t sit well with us, places that aren’t supposed to leak have sprung leaks and we get strange pains for no particular reason at all. I look at the people having fun in those commercials and if I suffered from one of these diseases, I would be tempted to try the drug.

The problem is that while we are watching these people having a good time, an announcer is talking all about the possible side effects the drug could cause. Sometimes you could develop a growth on the neck, kidney failure, heart attack, temporary blindness and hearing loss to mention just a few symptoms. Oh yeah, they also mentioned anal bleeding. Anal bleeding! Anal bleeding! How sick would you have to be to willingly take a chance on your anus bleeding? Or, the other things too.

Another thing that just struck me is that they aren’t for the most part targeting medical professionals who understand these things, but they are going after you and I. Now, I can’t speak for you, but when I have something wrong with me I go to the doctor for her opinion and wouldn’t dream of suggesting some drug that I saw on a late night TV commercial. There was a time that I selected my own drugs, but I would never pick one if there was a chance of anal bleeding. I can’t imagine just how desperate I would have to be to buy one of these drugs or to demand that my doctor prescribe it for me.

I suspect I must have been watching an American TV show, because the Canadian doctors that I have come in contact with don’t ask my opinion on the drugs they decide that I need. Maybe in America the doctors will listen to the patient’s advice, but somehow I doubt it, even if it means their patients will be hiking, gardening, golfing and generally enjoying their lives.

I guess what I am trying to say is DON’T DO DRUGS!

Well, don’t do any drugs you saw on the TV that will make you feel worse than you did before you took them, especially if anal bleeding is a possibility.

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