The doctor will hear you now | Boomerland |

2022-07-31 12:43:36 By : Ms. Maggie Wong

The ads come rapid fire during the nightly TV news.

Got ear rust? Nose rot? Eye rash? Ask your doctor if Shirizzy, Shirdizzy or Shirfizzy is right for you.

Baby Boomers, whose backs go out more than they do, perk up their ears when they hear the latest cures.

Got a problem? Take a pill, the ads suggest. It’s easy. Only later do we learn it’s as expensive as a vacation to the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

Perhaps susceptibility to drug-ad magic is a generational thing. The Greatest Generation survived lard in Aunt Edna’s marionberry pie and July days without air conditioning and lived to be 95. Baby Boomers are 60 or 70 and may not survive the next stiff breeze.

My sympathy is with doctors. If TV viewers followed up on all these ads, there’d be lines out the clinic door and down the street of people in “distress” — because it’s July and not a good time to line up on the sidewalk.

Most drug ads come with disclaimers. Even viewed on large-screen TV, the disclaimer type is the size of germs.

Written by lawyers to prevent lawsuits, a typical disclaimer goes like this: Tell your doctor if you have internal bleeding, heart palpitations, an obsession with dust mites, a compulsion to track down “godless Communists” and the irritability of a wet cat.

The TV ads also “promise” the drugs are within reach of more than just Powerball winners.

“If you can’t afford your prescription, Big Pharma Inc. Ltd. Corp. may be able to help,” the kindly commentator says. Anyone with the brainpower of a rutabaga, though, knows the odds of getting significant financial help are about the same as finding an affordable ticket to a Bruce Springsteen concert.

Already taking other drugs? Beware.

“Ask your doctor about interactions,” the happy grandfather narrator says, “which can cause blindness, swelling of the heart and a desire to play Lawn Darts with the grandchildren.”

This is not to make light of health issues. Some drugs might be the key to quality of life in our golden years.

Most Americans, though, are too dependent on pharmaceuticals, which cost nearly three times as much here as in the rest of the developed world.

Even so, some doctors are happy to write prescriptions.

My doctor is different. If I asked my doctor about some drug I saw on TV, he would tell me I was watching too much TV. And then he would ask who won the latest episode of “America’s Got Talent.”

Since my doctor studied about 30 years to earn his degree, I trust his expertise.

Still, I try not to get on a first-name basis. Faced with $5-a-gallon gas, a seemingly never-ending pandemic, housing prices where a two-holer outdoor toilet costs as much as a ranch house back in the day, and steak that costs as much as a similar sized piece of magic carpet, we have enough bills already.

We know one illness could push us over the cliff into Povertyville. We could find ourselves living in a tent under a bridge in a part of town where the soundtrack resembles that of an old “Rifleman” show.

Boomers are a big part of the audience of evening TV news. Each night we see a parade of fires, crimes, accidents and pharmaceutical ads. The ads showcase drugs with names that sound like clouds parting and a light emerging from heaven.

My doctor is having none of this mystical nonsense. He says Shirizzy is about as effective as putting another man on the moon, and compares taking Shirdizzy to hanging from monkey bars over asphalt. Shirfizzy, he adds, will empty my wallet faster than a New York City pickpocket.

My doctor says turn off the TV and consider a daily walk and bicycle ride as prescriptions. He is so mean.

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