May 6, 2003

Of ills and pills …

I am not too well again – according to my parents, this is seasonal since the sun is right overhead (which is true – I mean that the sun is right overhead …) and also according to them, this would not happen if I cut my hair <g> – which I’m not so sure about since they’d blame an earthquake in the Kashmir on my hair if they thought they can make it stick and it would do some good in convincing me :p Anyway, I indeed am sick but this has prompted a couple of questions for me. The first came about when my Dad said that I was in a lot of pain/discomfort but I wasn’t showing it. Now I really don’t think I’m in that much discomfort but the question is how do you know? What is a lot of discomfort to my Dad might not be a great deal to me since I believe that it’s no big deal if you can bear it. So how do you know what’s a bad pain/ache and what’s not? Isn’t it all subjective? Not that that question has any relevance to anything else but it just popped into my head since I’m always left wondering as to what yardstick other people use to measure stuff like this that they cannot really know personally … I might ask somebody if they were in a lot of pain but I don’t think I’d look at them and say that they are in a lot of pain unless they are screaming their heads off :p Or something like that …

The other question was about medicine. I usually hate to take pharmaceutical drugs (or Western medicine as we call it here) for a variety of reasons – the main two being that I believe in letting the body fight whatever it is that ails you first and that I don’t like to take pain killers for everything since I believe that they become less and less effective as time goes on if you take them for every little pain. Or maybe I’m just a masochist :p Anyway, I usually prefer to take herbal remedies unless it’s really bad and I need to go to a doctor and then s/he prescribes something for me. Even then, I usually get off the medicine as soon as I start feeling better :-)

Now the thing was, that there was an article in yesterday’s paper about how one of Australia’s leading pharmaceutical companies was in trouble due to poor production practices – it said that they even collected powder on the floor and put it back into the production line regularly. And this is a company which made over the counter pain killers like Panadol, Paracetemol, Panadine etc. Not that I’m saying the herbal stuff is any better since they are basically off the floor anyway – they dry the stuff on the ground and then collect it and package it but it’s not usually in pill form – so you can wash the stuff, clean it up and make a tea that you use instead of taking a pill with all the dirt off the factory floor. What I’m beginning to wonder though is how safe are any of these medicines or remedies if the people who are producing them are so careless? I know there are regulations in place to prevent such things but this Australian company has been charged with regularly misleading the regulators as well. So I guess it doesn’t always work.

Should we resort to growing our own herbs and making our own medicine? But that probably would also mean that we are also safer growing our own food as well since you don’t know what sort of chemicals go into anything we eat. Sometimes I begin to wonder if technology is such a good thing if this is what we’ve come to but then again, this is not the fault of technology but rather of those who wield it – they’ve lost sight of the human factor … that it is human beings who’ll ultimately use the contaminated stuff that they produce to make a quick buck. That it can indeed be themselves or their loved ones buying the stuff they produce and subsequently falling ill. Why is it that we never think of these things? I don’t know …

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Tags: Personal, Real Life, Reflections
Posted by Fahim at 6:32 am   Comments (1)