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Someone is always taking me to the doctor for a check up, and I hate going. Many times, at the end of the visit, the doctor will drag out a prescription pad and say, “I think I’ll give you some blank. Then he or she spouts a long medical name and casually inquires, “Are you allergic to that?”

Let me count the ways, I mutter under my breath. “What’s in it?” I ask.

I’m wary because over the years, perfectly benign doctors have nearly killed me, trying to get me well. They have given me rashes that drove me crazy and put me in the hospital (Tetanus), Accutane that almost melted my bones while I was on deadline, Ace inhibitors that gave me diarrhea, ditto another that went the other way (we are talking concrete here) and one that is bad for my kidneys but good for my heart (Altace). Oh, I’ve learned what not to take. No Iodine in my MRIs, for instance.

I think Americans seriously over-medicate. The TV advertisers scare me. “Take blank,” they say. “It will cure your depression if it doesn’t kill you, because in certain cases, it has proven fatal. BTW, you might want to stop taking these pills if they make you suicidal. And don’t drive your car or you could have a wreck.”

I think my all-time favorite ad is the one touting love pills for ED. It’s the slyest, most insidious, brilliant sales campaign I’ve ever seen. What guy have you ever met that worried if he got an erection lasting over four hours? Me either.

Sleep commercials drive me bonkers. One advises, “Don’t start this medicine unless you have eight full hours to devote to it.” Hello. The model probably has two kids and a horny husband. Eight hours? Fuhgedaboutit. Then a throw-away voice-over reminds us that most sleep medications can become addictive. Ya think?

The pseudo-doctors on TV don’t mention how hard those meds are going to hit you in the pocketbook. I’ll break it to you gently. Most times, they cost over five bucks per pill, per day. Or ten if you have to take two. Sheesh!

Next time the doctor asks me how I feel, I’m gonna smile, cross my fingers behind my back and lie. “Doc,” I’ll say, “I’m fine. Really, really fine.” Then I’ll go home, get plenty of rest, drink lots of water and get well all by myself.

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