Wednesday, October 28, 2015
Smells Like Bullshit, Episode 33,456,897
We're laboring over here -- laboring to get Sophie off the drugs that she was put on over eight years ago, numbers 21 and 22. I'm not going to tell you about it -- I have about ten times that many posts on this blog that recount the trials and travails. I rolled my eyes today when I read an article about presidential aspirants' medical marijuana platforms. With the exception of one Republican (Rand Paul, who's one weird mother in all other respects and therefore not someone I would even remotely consider voting for) and nearly all Democrats (whose "scores" vary from Hillary's C to Bernie's A), the statements were identical in their ignorance. I'm not going to talk about that, either, because immediately after reading Chris Christie's platform, I downed all the bottles of Sophie's cannabis oil, shot myself up with a few syringes of rectal valium, popped a couple of Onfi and ran my fingers over the Vimpat dust in the pill cutter we're using to divide the thing so that we can wean her off of it. I rubbed that on my gums.
I'm feeling fine.
A friend of mine told me about a ProPublica site called Dollars for Docs. Have ya'll heard about this? Basically, the amount of money a doctor gets from a pharmaceutical or medical device company for peddling their wares is public information, so you can type in any doctor's name and see just what he's being paid to do, along with treating you or, in my case, your child. Sophie's doctor was paid a little over $300 in 2014 by a drug company, but the head of the UCLA Pediatric Neurology Department, a doctor who is quite cordial, whom I've interacted with for nearly twenty years and who is superficially supportive of cannabis oil for the treatment of epilepsy (and I say superficially because there are plenty of neurologists in his department who are openly resistant if not downright condescending about it which leads me to believe his leadership behind closed doors is -- well -- different) received $100, 771 in 182 payments from August of 2013 to December of 2014.
Guess what pharmaceutical company gave him the most money as "honoraria?" For "travel and lodging?" For "speaking" and "education?"
Guess what drug Lundbeck makes?
Dr. Sankar also received handsome amounts for peddling the vagal nerve stimulator and several other drugs, including Vimpat.
You can't make this crap up.
I don't think I need to state that this has got to stop -- that pharmaceutical companies should not pay doctors ANYTHING to promote their drugs or devices. And if this is impossible, doctors should be required to wear uniforms plastered with all the pharmaceutical and medical device companies that sponsor them -- a sort of NASCAR-style lab coat and scrubs. That way, when we bring our babies to them, we can just scan their bodies and know with whom we're really dealing.
I'm not sure why we, as patients or caregivers, can possibly trust these doctors to act in our best interests or in our children's best interests when these physicians are being paid large sums of money to peddle and promote drugs, medical devices or surgery.
Is this out of line to post on my blog? Will I be lobotomized, perhaps, for expressing my disgust and frustration? That was, in fact, a neurological procedure performed as late as the mid-1950s on those deemed mentally ill and ironically was discontinued when pharmaceutical companies stepped in.
Pardon me while I peel my child off the floor where she's seizing as she withdraws from Onfi and Vimpat and then go work my ass off to obtain and then pay for the cannabis oil that has actually helped her, even as politicians make asinine comments about marijuana and physicians call for "more research" and Children's Services if we step out of line and start giving the oil ourselves.
This is not the time to tell me that some drugs are great. I know that. Nor is it the time to stand up for good doctors. I know they are out there. I also don't pretend to imagine that my rant will make one bit of difference (even as I type, I can hear the fascistic drone of Donald Trump's voice on the television in the living room, the king of capitalism himself -- taken seriously).
What I do know is that I will trust no one in the medical community to know and do what's best for me or my children if they're on the dole from pharmaceutical or medical device companies.
Now I'm going to lie down on the bed in a stupor and contemplate the universe.