Thursday, August 6, 2009

Makin' Strawbabies

remember, when your arguments suck, make up opposing arguments that are even worse.

A Disease By Any Other Name Would Still Be Really Impairing:

Why is restless leg syndrome always the poster child for people who hate pharma advertising? Both my fiance and I clearly have it, and you know what? It's really not very much fun not being able to sleep, nor are the cramp-like sensations that accompany the uncontrollable urge to kick your legs.
As Susan said, the mental image accompanying this is just delightful.
Whether this is an actual condition that genuinely requires prescribed medication to treat is outside my knowledge, but it sure sounds like an excuse to sell people tranqs. And Megan? Abilify.
While we're at it, hooray for the commercials which informed me of the existence of Ambien CR, because I have the sort of insomnia that frequently wakes me up at 4 am. I had to browbeat a doctor--who said his patients were frequently groggy in the morning--into giving it to me. Well, apparently my liver chews through Ambien like my dog goes through three pounds of prime dry-aged steak, because I feel great the morning after I've taken it. I don't want to say Ambien CR is the best thing that ever happened to me. But it's in the top twenty, maybe the top ten.
So she has a decent doctor who isn't auto-inclined to medicate, and she goes with what the tv says instead of the doc to the point of forcing his hand. And this is a good thing. Megan also knows that her liver isn't being negatively affected by the Ambien, because she likes it too much.
If you've never had insomnia, it doesn't sound like a big problem. I know, because I, always a champion sleeper, developed insomnia in my thirties--in my twenties, I used to make fun of a coworker who couldn't sleep. But it turns out that not sleeping for weeks on end can really destroy your quality of life, which is why we're against doing it to prisoners at Guantanamo.
So not giving folks unnecessary medication is a form of torture. Banning pharma ads, like we used to in saner days, would violate the Geneva Conventions. Megan is a trooper and made it through her torture sessions, but most of us aren't as strong as she is. Don't take steps to make life less stressful by, say, providing Americans with health care, medicate them.
Here's something else that mystifies me: the progressive derision for Viagra. Here's a group of people who are opposed to abstinence-only education on the grounds that it is simply not possible, or for that matter worthwhile, to persuade teenagers to keep it in their pants. They go into convulsions every time a Catholic hospital refuses to dispense birth control, or pay for its employees to buy same. So why the fixation on Viagra? Sexual dysfunction may not be a disease, but it's still a problem. Considering how vital most progressives seem to think healthy sexual functioning is to people in their prime reproductive years, you'd think they'd be happy that we can now help more people participate in this vital sphere of human life. Instead, ED drugs are the poster children for Drugs Big Pharma Wasted A Ton of Money On Rather Than Developing Something Useful*.
As she notes, Viagra was discovered by accident. As she doesn't note, we're not ragging on Viagra, we're criticizing the efforts to make yet more boner pills in different forms with different windows of effectiveness and which make your penis turn different colors instead of find treatments for actual diseases. And we often make note of the fact that conditions rich old white men suffer from seem to be very highly prioritized by the rich old white men who are in charge of the industry. Megan, however, is just glad the bosses can get it up for their 22 year old trophy mistresses.
Well, we don't need birth control either--we could just decide to be celibate--but I don't hear so much complaining about the commercials for Seasonale or the HPV vaccine.
I can't even tell you what the point she thinks she's making here is. Apparently no one would be on birth control if they hadn't allowed big pharma to start advertising on tv three decades after the pill was invented.
I take the point that we're "medicalizing" normal parts of the human condition. But I'm not sure how useful that insight is. Disease and early death is a normal part of the human condition, and thank God we've medicalized it! I can live with a headache, so should I retire to a dark room rather than "medicalizing" my condition and taking an aspirin?
At the end of the day, whether or not these people have a medical condition, they still can't sleep or have sex. Given that most of us are very fond of both, I'm not sure why we're writing off drugs to treat those problems as ephemeral frippery.
How much bullshit is packed into that conclusion? Restless leg syndrome and impotence are not equivalent conditions, no matter the jokes we might make about the latter. However, and this what Megan willfully fails to note, the problem isn't that we have pills for impotence, it's that we have several pills for impotence and they're still trying to develop more, because it's such a lucrative market, while actual life threatening conditions are deprioritized for lack of potential profits. Medical science should not work that way, but Megan pretends that's the only way it could. Soon there will be a pill to take so mosquito bites don't itch, though it will give you diabetes. But hey, there's pills for that, too. And there's pills for the side effects of those pills, and so on.
And Megan? Abilify.

I felt like I owed a longer. Now I don't feel that way.


Dillon said...

Some side effects of Ambien:

Hallucinations of varying intensity
Altered thought patterns
Impaired judgment and reasoning
Uninhibited extroversion in social or interpersonal settings
Increased impulsivity


Zolpidem (Ambien) can become addictive if taken for extended periods of time, due to drug tolerance and physical dependence or the euphoria it can sometimes produce. The release of AmbienCR (zolpidem tartrate extended release) in the United States renewed interest in the drug among recreational drug users.

Megan: "I had to browbeat a doctor into giving it to me."
"I don't want to say Ambien CR is the best thing that ever happened to me. But it's in the top twenty, maybe the top ten."

Anonymous said...

"I used to make fun of a coworker who couldn't sleep. But it turns out that not sleeping for weeks on end can really destroy your quality of life..."

And here she's found yet another way to tell us that she's a narcissistic b--- with absolutely zero self-awareness.

clever pseudonym said...

As a chronic sufferer of insomnia - the kind where you don't sleep AT ALL, not the kind where you find yourself waking up two hours earlier than usual - I wonder if that co-worker didn't reel back and punch her in the face. How clueless can one person be as to how much of an utter BITCH she sounds like when she writes this stuff? "I totally used to make fun of that guy who went bald from chemo, then I found a cyst in my breast and realized that cancer was like serious and stuff."

Don't even get me started on not realizing until well into your thirties that sleep depravation causes huge functional problems. Poor thing had to learn the hard way by waking up early and then instantly ran to Doctor Feelgood for some Mother's Little Helpers. I've never taken a pill in my life for this shit. What a fucking WIMP.

NutellaonToast said...

Actually, I've found that most people pish-tosh medical ailments that don't have visible manifestations. I've seen it in friends and I've experienced it myself with chronic pain and hypersomnia.

Downpuppy said...

What I broke my head trying to say here is look at the damn pattern: Megan is a pill seeker, always has been.

The sockpuppets weren't having any, nosiree.