I’ve been dealing with a rashy spot on my lower leg for a month or so. Seemingly resistant to lotion and not showing any signs of disappearing on its own, I phoned my dermatologist for an appointment to get it checked out. My grandfather was a dermatologist. Back in the day they combined dermatology and urology. I was telling my doctor this and he explained that STD’s, such as syphilis and gonorrhea were less controlled back then and resulted in skin as well as urological consequences for patients. Hence, at the time it made sense to commingle the specialties. Ahhhhhhhhh. Nowadays there’s a specialty for everything. If you go to a podiatrist he’ll tell you he’ll treat your little toe but if your big toe is involved he’ll have to refer you to the Big Toe Podiatrist across the courtyard. Naturally if he only specializes in big toes his fees go up accordingly. You can’t win.
The spot turned out to be more of an annoyance than a threat requiring a topical ointment. I was handed a script and sent on my way with instructions to return if things did not improve significantly within a few weeks. Let me preface this story by saying although coming from a family of physicians, I’m not big on medication. I take what is absolutely necessary, but avoid any additions to the group if at all possible. Rick, unfortunately, keeps the pharmacist in cheeseburgers with his pill case filled and new additions being added on a regular basis. He actually takes some pills to counteract the side effects possible by the other pills he is taking. I’m never sure if we’re cured by all these drugs or they’re actually part of the problem.
Dutifully I showed up with my poorly written prescription at my pharmacy counter. I was told it would be ready the following afternoon. Returning as indicated, I gave my name, swiped my card and waited for the amount. The pharmacy clerk informed me this particular medicine wasn’t covered under my insurance. Apparently a number of skin and optical medications are not covered, she went on to explain. Really? Skin is the largest organ in our bodies, and eyes, in my estimation at least, are fairly essential. Seems like both deserve some respect. “Fine”, says I. What’s the damage?” “Two hundred and ninety-two dollars”, came the reply. WHAT! “Does a vehicle come with that?” I handed over a pharmaceutical discount card and after factoring that in the price dropped to two hundred and eighty-eight. Much better. Right.
Adding the total to a credit card I was handed a small plastic container with a tube inside the size of the end of my pinkie finger. I asked if Vaseline came with it. She was not amused.
This brought to mind a news story I saw recently about a drug for AIDS patients originally costing $7.50 a pill. The manufacturer suddenly raised it significantly to $750.00. I would assume this was done sensing there was money to be made off people who need this medication to survive. Greed at it’s very worst. How do these people sleep at night?
Regulation of the drug industry might be helpful. I have a daily medication I take for asthma. It’s a fabulous medicine that comes in a plastic dispenser with 30 treatments in each dispenser. The monthly outlay, without drug coverage, is $310/dispenser. I have a friend who worked in the pharmaceutical business for years. She told me these cost very little to manufacture and the markup by the time they reach the consumer borders on obscene. It is obscene when you think in an affluent society like ours people who need these medications go without because they don’t have the money to pay for them.
The problem is we’re a captive audience. If you need a medication you have to belly up to the bar and pay the going rate for it. Hopefully you have drug coverage, but certainly like in the case of my skin meds, this doesn’t guarantee you won’t have to pay dearly for it.
Not sure what the answer is here. I know a lot of people turn to Canadian manufacturers to cut costs and some people head to more dangerous places with less stringent regulations on top of what is produced. I read somewhere some of these places produce medicine that isn’t really the medicine it is supposed to be, and one place actually sent pet medication. That’s scary. I might develop a sudden craving for Whiskas.
As usual I don’t have an answer to the problem. It seems to me that in the case of medicine costs should be kept within a reasonable and attainable place in order to provide for all those who need to take it.
At any rate thanks to the car payment I doled out for my skin meds, the spot is making its way off my leg. I often wonder what people did before all this modern medicine was available. Suffered with whatever ailed them or worse I would suppose. I’m thankful we have them at our disposal but hope they work towards keeping the costs down so those of us not in upper 1% can access them.
My rant for the day.
These fajitas are just the best. The bit of sweet mixed in with the spicy flavors takes them over the top. Yum.
2 onions, sliced thin
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 green bell pepper, seeded and sliced in strips
1 orange bell pepper, seeded and sliced in strips
1 yellow or red bell pepper seeded and sliced in strips
4-5 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
10 grapes, halved
2 Tbsp. lime juice
8 large flour tortillas
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. lime juice
2 tsp. cumin
2 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. hot paprika
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper (or to taste)
Whisk together marinade ingredients. Flatten chicken breasts between two pieces of plastic with a mallet to 1/2″. Slice lengthwise into strips. Place in large resealable plastic bag and add chicken. Squish around to cover all pieces and allow to marinate at least 2 hrs. in refrigerator or overnight.
Place onions in bowl of ice water.
Add Tbsp. of olive oil to large skillet. Over medium high heat add chicken to hot oil working in three batches brown chicken about 3 mins. on each side until nicely browned and just done. Add oil as needed for each batch. In last batch add grapes and cook and stir until just brown. Keep warm.
Drain onions, patting dry with paper towels. Heat 1 Tbsp. of oil in same skillet and add onions. Cook for 2 mins. Add garlic. Cook for 1 min. Add bell peppers and cook and stir for 10-12 mins. or until onions and peppers are tender but still crisp. Put chicken back in skillet and add 2 Tbsp. lime juice stirring to combine. Should be sizzling.
Place tortillas on microwavable plate. Cover with damp paper towels or damp clean kitchen towel. Heat on high for 1 1/2 mins. Wrap in tin foil to keep warm.
Serve with salsa and sour cream if desired.