Paul's Internet Landfill/ 2021/ Medications


Recently I had some digestive problems. These flare up from time to time and are fairly unpleasant. As I age I expect them to become more frequent, until I am chronically ill. But for now they are sporadic, so I headed to the drug store to buy some drugs.

I am entering the phase of life of chronic illness. My eyesight is failing; my knees hurt more; my body is weakening; my guts act up more frequently. At some point I will be prescribed medications to take for the rest of my life. I do not know how I will afford them. I was looking at some of the over-the-counter drug prices, and they shocked me. I could take probiotic gut pills every day, but they would cost $20-30 per month. Imagine how expensive three or four or five prescription medications are going to be? I don't have insurance. I don't have a drug plan. Medical expenses not covered by our socialist health care system come out of pocket. Already I feel that acutely for dental visits; I am not looking forward to regular mandatory prescriptions.

In some sense I am already in the phase of life of regular medications. There is some chance that I should be taking glaucoma drops, and that I will go blind one day because I don't. I am supposed to be taking iron pills and B12 pills regularly because I am a stupid vegetarian; instead I take them semi-regularly. I do pay for a fluoride mouthwash each night, and that costs me over a hundred dollars a year. But if I skip these medical interventions I won't die immediately. That will be different when I am on statins or Metformin or insulin.

Of course, there is the matter of brain pills, which I also abstain from. There are many reasons I am not on brain pills, but the cost is certainly one factor.

The moral of this story is that as I age and my earning power diminishes, my medical expenses are going to go up. Even setting aside inflation (which is looking to be catastrophic by itself) it is clear that life is going to get more and more expensive. What is not clear is how much longer I will be able to afford to live.