Okay, I'm willing to admit it. I often have the television on as a sort of white noise. The background chatter keeps the room from being too quiet when I'm doing something else like cooking or catching up on social media, or even when I am blogging. I don't necessarily tune it out completely, however, and have been known to hurl responses at the program or commercial that is being broadcast even while I continue typing. (Incidentally, the telly is not on as I am writing tonight's installment.)
I noticed something the other day about a specific type of commercials, and had to point it out to Trent to make sure I wasn't just imagining it. It seems that the ads for almost every kind of medicine follow the same script. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that some medications are used for multiple conditions, but I don't think so. When one of these ads came on several days ago, I paused the program and said to Trent, "Now pay attention to this. No matter what disease or ailment they are talking about, they are going to say that their drug is for moderate-to-severe whatever it is." We then watched the commercial, and I was right. Trent has now begun paying very close attention to these ads, and he says I have them all figured out. Take a listen, and you'll hear, "If you suffer from moderate to severe Crohn's Disease/Fibromyalgia/Chronic Dry Eye, etcetera, ask your doctor about Miracle Drug Number Forty-Two."
Some of them actually have me split between wanting to laugh or yell at the telly. I am not an insensitive person. I know what it is like to have illnesses, both physical and mental. I also know what it's like to have visible symptoms of illness, and what it feels like when someone's curiosity overpowers their good manners and they feel compelled to point it out to you, or question why things look a certain way. That's why one of the commercials has me both laughing and yelling. You'd never catch me saying, "I was embarrassed when my five-year-old niece asked about my moderate to severe Plaque Psoriasis." Oh, heck no! I'd have a quiet little chat with her about what was going on. I'd also mention to her that people who look different might feel bad if others make a big deal about it. But I am not trying to sell medicine, so what do I know?
I guess all that I really know about the subject is that pharmaceutical companies walk a fine line. Yes, they create products that can alleviate symptoms of numerous illnesses. But the truth as I see it is that they are always going to work on developing medications that will make them the most money. If you disagree, I have one word for you: Viagra. So, they keep coming up with new medications, especially because when generic versions hit the market, they lose their exclusive earning potential. Yes, there may be five thousand people with a specific ailment in the world, but the earning potential isn't there, so nobody looks for a cure. Just like people with mild symptoms, they are orphans in the pharmaceutical world.
I'd really like to start seeing commercials for mild to moderate symptoms. Or at least saying something honest like "mild symptoms require less medicine, so we don't really care about how they impact your life." Or a commercial that says, "Does your family make you moderately to severely cranky? Maybe you should ask your doctor about taking a few days for yourself and visiting the Indian Hot Springs Healing Waters Spa in Idaho Springs, Colorado. Leave those demanding family members behind, pack your friends in the car, and come get steamed in our natural hot caves. Float in the warm waters of our chlorine-free, naturally-heated pool, surrounded by tropical plants and banana trees. We will temporarily relieve your stress with our aromatherapy massages and mud baths. Leave that moderate to severe anger behind, and refresh your spirits at Indian Hot Springs. We also have spa packages suitable for mild to moderate crankiness, including the newest chocolate therapy treatments. So on your next doctor's visit, remember to ask about treating that moderate to severe anger by spending a few days at our spa!"
I wonder if there are any treatments out there for moderate to severe sarcasm and smart-aleckiness. Who am I kidding? I wouldn't take them anyway!