It has been said that a cat has nine lives. I doubt any of us would truly want nine lives – one is painful enough sometimes. The sands of time in your lifetime clock are slowly slipping from one end to the other. How will the quality of your life be in your end years?
My mom is 89 years old and until recently, has been in excellent health. Suddenly, about six months ago, she developed a rash on her eyelid. Off to the doctor we went and returned with a diagnosis of “allergies” and a prescription for eye drops.
The rash spread from one eye to the next and the itching, swelling and pain ensued. Off to the ophthalmologist and more prescriptions and yet another diagnosis and still no relief. Still another doctor appointment and we received more tests and another diagnosis and were handed a new word in the interim: blepharitis.
Since my mother has experienced a flare up of Rosacea from time to time, the Blepharitis diagnosis seemed to fit her profile and a prescription of Prednisone was prescribed. But, there is one slight problem here – Prednisone is a synthetic corticosteroid drug and prolonged use can be harmful to the body. Thus, the doctor refuses to keep mom on the drug for long term.
Herein lies the problem. My mom has lived a great life, enjoyed terrific health up until now and is still going strong at 89 years of age. The Prednisone is the only drug that appears to keep the Blepharitis or whatever this condition is at bay.
Why not allow her to live on a low-maintenance Prednisone script for the rest of her life? It seems to me to be a Win-Win solution. Her eyes will remain clear, there will be no pain, no itching and no discomfort which will result in restful sleep and better overall health. Prednisone is relatively inexpensive and she could easily afford it – even if the insurance company (or Medicare) refuses to pay for it.
Even the Pharmacist at our local hometown pharmacy agrees with me. He said, “If it were my mother, I would be fighting for low-dose maintenance of Prednisone.” Why should she suffer if there is a drug that will keep this at bay?
So, I ask you – as your lifetime ticks away – will your doctor be willing to hold your hand and write the scripts you need to live a quality rest-of-life? Or will they withhold treatment because (even though you are 89 years old) there may be long-term effects?
It’s almost too ridiculous to imagine.