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Life’s painful problems

Unless you never watch television, you couldn’t have missed the ads talking about people who have been suffering with shingles, which is chicken pox in adults. If the ads seem over the top and exaggerated, they aren’t. I’ve been dealing with this unbelievably painful problem now for over three weeks.

There have been many times I’ve wanted to run outside screaming. Today, at last, I am beginning to feel some relief. It is still terrible, make no mistake, but at least I feel that relief may be on the way. In the meantime I wish to apologize to my son — who has had to live with me through this — my doctor and especially my pharmacist who put up with me through mess.

In the midst of all of this the government added a new regulation; which says that certain medications cannot be dispensed with reissue and each time the doctor must designate a new prescription. It has caused a real problem with dozens of patients, doctors and all of their suppliers. I really do understand, since one of my medications falls into this category. My poor pharmacist had to put up with me during this new problem.

Getting home with my new medications, I sat with my son Doug. He listened patiently to me complain about this unbelievable pain while trying to watch one of our favorite television shows. Then my least favorite commercial came into view. I think I screamed out loud: “Marie Osmond, I don’t care if you’re on a diet” were the words that came out of my mouth. For some reason, Doug and I suddenly laughed.

It was about that time I needed to do a new column for the paper. Hurting as I did at that moment, I really didn’t feel like it. However, you do what you must. Doug then said something about “why didn’t I do a column about the darned commercials that drive us all crazy?” I do realize that to pay for the privilege of all of the wonderful shows we must have commercial sponsors

There are some that I don’t just think go over the top for repetition, but go way past that. That diet commercial has to be at the top of the list. While I’m at it, how about no more mention of the families Bush, Clinton or Osmonds. Please go into obscurity and be happy as normal, every day people, and not celebrities. Personally, I’m bored to death seeing your names each and every day.

Doug began to laugh, for just as I was talking about the problem of what to write about, a commercial came on for a particular new medication. I leaned over and pulled a monthly magazine off our coffee table and shuffled through the pages. There was an ad for the very medication they were talking about on the screen. I passed the publication to my son and told him to read it.

Just pretend you’re a patient who must take this particular medication. Be careful, friends, you could suddenly have high blood pressure, break out in a rash, have painful leg cramps, sleepless nights and possibly lose use of your right arm, or something along those lines. Have you ever really read one of those ads that follow a message that says this medicine will cure your ills? The side effects might be worse than the aliment.

For some, the problems connected with taking medication may cause more problems that the malady. Perhaps the drug company warnings are to cover any future legal issues? Focusing myself on more pleasant things, I’m looking forward to the rest of the day; watching some of my most favorite television shows. “Blue Bloods” has been running re-runs and tonight is Thursday night football. Last night was “Chicago PD” and the night before “Chicago Fire.”

There are others, especially “Scandal” and “The Good Wife,” two more I really enjoy. This year has many great new shows that take my mind off living through this painful shingles problem.

I understand it can last over a month, and I’m nearing that time. In the meantime I am so thankful for television and TV dinners. It’s too difficult to cook right now.

As painful as my shingles are, repetitious and obnoxious commercials only add to the pain. To the inventor of TV’s remote control, thanks, you saved my sanity.

Edna Van Leuven is a Churchill County writer and columnist.