How do you start your day? Does your breakfast contain a line of pills (and I don’t mean vitamins) longer than your middle finger? If you open your medicine cabinet too quickly is there an “orange avalanche” of pill bottles? Have you succumbed to the slick marketing of pharmaceutical companies like many of my baby boomer friends who daily whip out an array of drugs for restless leg syndrome, elevated cholesterol, reduced bone density and sleep deprivation?
If you read any magazine and look at the ads, you’ll see that the pharmaceutical companies have medicalized just about every illness, condition and quirk. Not only are drugs shamelessly marketed directly to potential “patients” but to the physicians who would and do prescribe them. My 27 years of experience consulting on products liability and medical malpractice cases as a legal nurse consultant have caused me to be very suspicious of pharmaceutical companies and the diseases they create, and of course, very agitating to my personal doctors.
My Italian grandmother lived a long life and never took a single prescription drug. In Italy, food is the drug, and she proved to me first hand that what I shove into my mouth directly impacts my energy level and the state of my health. Relax, this isn’t a blog on diet. I don’t advocate any particular diet but I try and stick to a Mediterranean diet (mainly for the spaghetti), it’s what keeps me a healthy size 4 (I wish).
I’m a small woman at 5′ 2½”. When I was diagnosed with osteopenia my physician immediately recommended Fosamax®. Considering all the side effects of Fosamax, which I’m intimately familiar with because of products liability litigation, I rejected it outright, but I know others who haven’t and others who won’t when their time comes (good luck chewing your steak).
Instead I increased my vitamin D, calcium and vitamin K intake; hit the weights in the gym a lot harder and added a little jump roping; all without the help of estrogen (natural, artificial or otherwise). It took some serious discipline but in one year I had gained significant bone mass – at a time and at an age at which the vast majority of women lose bone mass.
My physician couldn’t believe it and in fact, seemed almost upset that I did it without her help (or her meds). Surely I was an anomaly. No matter the evidence, there was no way she was a believer. She continues to practice medicine like the typical pill-pushing physician who’s been brainwashed by the pharmaceutical companies. Thank God I’m a nurse and can think for myself.
But most consumers can’t, so that’s why the book Our Daily Meds: How the Pharmaceutical Companies Transformed Themselves into Slick Marketing Machines and Hooked the Nation on Prescription Drugs by Melody Petersen is one of my favorites on the pharmaceutical industry. Not a day goes by that I don’t read about a new drug’s serious side effects and the products liability cases generating from them. This book focuses on the institutional deception of pharmaceutical companies and is a must read for all Certified Legal Nurse Consultants who consult on pharmaceutical products liability cases, and even medical malpractice cases. The author discusses physicians’ less-than-appropriate relationships with the pharmaceutical industry and how it’s marketing, not science that drives these companies.
You won’t need this book to tell you what you probably already know, but it will help you think differently about your legal nurse consulting business and the CLNC® services you provide to your attorney-clients in this drug-dependent age.
Add this book to your “must reads.” And be careful what you put in your mouth – remember doctors used to endorse cigarettes once upon a time.
Success Is Inside!
P.S. If you want a truly eye-opening book on food and diet, try this one: Good Calories, Bad Calories by Gary Taubes – it’s not a diet book and not a light read but will change your thinking (it got Tom off beer).