Posted in after the diagnosis, coping with chronic illness, coping with life threatening illness, living with chronic illness, Living with Illness

After Christmas Sales

When I was in college I had friends who went to college in the Boston area and would discuss the happenings at Filene’s Basement.  What happenings?  The pulling, tugging, and screaming to get the item they wanted at a rock bottom price.  Now we’re a couple of days past Christmas and all the stores are having these amazing sales hoping to rescue themselves from a less than stellar retail season.  They use those bargain busters to get you in the door hoping you’ll spend more than just that one item.

So how does this apply to your life as you face a chronic or life-threatening illness?  We all want the best deal, the best treatment, the best strategies for health and healing, but waiting for the cheap or the easy may not be in your best interest.  Health shouldn’t be something that goes to the company with the best ad or the biggest promise.  It’s like the retailers, they are selling an item and pharmaceutical companies are marketing to you just as a toy company markets to a child.

The pharmaceutical companies are banking on the idea that you’ll walk into your doctor’s office and demand a particular job.  They are counting on you being an empowered patient and asking the doctor for what you want.  The question is are you really qualified to make that decision?  What if the ads and marketing campaigns engaged you to begin a dialogue with your provider.  That’s how you become an empowered patient.  If you’re simply selecting your treatment protocol based on ads in magazines you’re only seeing a very small part of the story.  Don’t you want the whole story?  Isn’t your health worth knowing all the facts before making a decision?

Christmas is a magical time of year when we make wishes for things we want, need, or dream about throughout the year.  If you’re facing a health challenge then you are probably wishing for health.  You shouldn’t settle for what may be the obvious.  You shouldn’t dive into a bin with a host of other people hoping to fish out the biggest bargain.  The pharmaceutical ads shouldn’t be like the circulars in your local paper inviting you to get a door buster just so they make their quota.  Pharmaceutical companies have sales people just like the vendors of a department store.  These sales people are urging doctors to prescribe certain medications.  The magazine ads are there to get you to ask the doctor for their prescription.  It’s not a conspiracy, but it is about preying on you, the patient, who has insufficient information to make the tough decisions about your care.


I've lived my life in service to others. I'm focused on mental health and how it impacts our relationships, culture, and society. Through creative expression and narrative I believe we can impact change.

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