Sunday, April 20, 2008

Prescription Drugs

A few years back my father developed a sickness that was accompanied by a fever. His doctor diagnosed the problem and wrote out a prescription. “What would have happened if I lived before our era of prescription drugs?” my father asked. “You would have died,” replied the doctor. What used to drive us to the grave now compels us to go to the pharmacy to get our prescriptions filled.

All three of the children we have brought into our home from Ethiopia have come with some medical conditions. As the doctor describes what they have it sometimes seems serious because they are not the type of things we have here in the States. Then he writes out a prescription and instructs us to make sure they take a particular pill for a few days.

The simplicity of it all is amazing - take the magic pill for however many days and then this thing they have been living with for years will go away. It is far easier than dipping in the Jordan.

Not only is it simple, I get paid to do it. I drive to Giant Eagle with my $1-off-per-gallon-of-gas-for-a-new-prescription coupon which saves me $30 in gas. Sometimes the drug is on the 400 drugs for $4 list and I end up making $26 bucks on the deal. If not, I pay the $10 co-pay and only make $20.

When administering a prescription drug to my kids, I will tap one of the magic pills out of the bottle and into the palm of my hand. As I look at it I reflect on what good this pill will work in my child’s body. I also reflect on how our world has been structured in such a way that many people don’t have access to the medicine they need.

James tells us: If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, and one of you says to them, "Go in peace, be warmed and be filled," and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that? (James 2:15-16)

I am truly blessed to live in a home where I have access to the prescription drugs that my family needs. But I must not forget those who do not and I must find a way to try to get them “what is necessary for their bodies.”

2 comments:

Michelle Riggs said...

The US throws away so many medications, just because they have expired. They are still safe and effective, but because of date, they are not used to cure people who desperately need a cure. In Oklahoma doctors and pharmacies are required by law to destroy medications once they expire. Millions are dying of treatable diseases and we are wasting resources that we don't even want anymore.

Katie said...

This has been rolling around in my head for a few days. If it's too personal to share, I understand. But I'm curious, what type of medical conditions should someone be prepared for if they were adopting from Ethiopia?