My mother was a “legalized junkie.” Her words, not mine.
What that meant, of course, is that she was on so many pills (many with synergistic effects and the ability to have you floating like Deepak Chopra) for her anxiety, bipolar, back pain, heart issues, etc., that it was like she was a junkie. She needed them to live or else, the withdrawal could and probably would kill her. Some of them, since without a balance for the interactions each pill had with her body (for instance, her hydrochlorothiazide, a blood pressure medication, took a lot of her potassium. So, she needed potassium pills et al), would kill her–with or without a withdrawal.
The day she died from that “catastrophic” heart attack, some of my stepfather’s first words were along the lines of “it was probably the medications and all those damn side-effects. People don’t know the shit they’re putting in their bodies.” And, while, I think that’s true (have you heard a medicine commercial? You can die from taking something–that isn’t blood or heart-related–that’s just supposed to keep your dick hard. Imagine what some of the other medicines could do) to a degree, it’s not.
My mother, “legalized junkie” and all, forwent a lot of these medications. She didn’t want to take them or have the surgeries suggested because:
- she wanted to die on her own terms.
- she didn’t want to be “The Medicine Man,” even though in some ways, she already was.