Life's a bastard...but sometimes it lets up

The life and times of an ordinary Dublin girl. Follow her journey as she finds out working from home really ISN'T about watching Oprah all day and that perhaps men aren't really all bastards.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Scientists - I'm against them

DO you know who I hate? Scientists. Scientists and people involved in the production of medication, particularly a new drug/product I've recently been forced to start taking.

Allow me to explain. I have Crohn's Disease, a disorder of the bowel and while I'm now very very well following surgery last year, I still have times where I need to use the bathroom. Urgently. (I apologise for the image I conjured up there.)

It was getting a tad bit boring (particularly having to bolt to the loo from the table after every single bloody meal) so off I toddled to the doctor to explain the predicament.

'No worries, sure haven't I the very thing,' sez he.

'Questran it's called - here's your prescription.'

So delighted with myself, off I skipped to Ye Olde Apothecary Shoppe (de chemist) and gave the prescription in to the nice woman behind the counter.

A few minutes later she lugged out an enormous box of small sachets of powder and thumped them down onto the counter with a breathless 'here we are'.

My spidey senses went into overdrive. You see, I've been in the 'suspicious sachets of powder that I'm going to have to drink' position before, and it's never pretty.

Sure enough, it turns out that three times a day I've to add this orange 'flavoured' sachet to water and drink it down in order to stop me being in the loo all the time and true to form, it tastes like sick.

I'm sorry, but it does. And it has the same consistency too. It's powdery and watery ALL AT THE SAME TIME and it tastes like undiluted orange squash - that's been under your stairs since 1976. How they expect anyone, let alone someone who has A PROBLEM WITH THEIR DIGESTIVE SYSTEM, to stomach it is beyond me. Yet, it appears this is the best that science can come up with.

Which brings me to the title of my post. Scientists, I'm against them. Who makes these drugs? Who sits in a lab and thinks 'I know, I'll create this stuff which will slow down the bowel and give some relief to SUFFERING people...but meh, fuck it, I'll make it taste like sick'? What control panel of tasters and volunteers and drug trial people actually drinks this stuff and goes 'you know what? It's not bad!' instead of telling the truth and refusing point blank to OK it until something is done about the taste? Who? Who are they, and why haven't they been shot dead by now?

Why is it that we can send men to the moon (or fake it really well anyway), cure cancer, create test tube babies, communicate online, have surgery to change our bodies, travel at the speed of light (or sound whichever it is) YET it seems beyond the realms of possibility to create a medicine that doesn't taste like sick?

This isn't the first time I've had this problem either. From time to time, if I've been particularly ill (doesn't happen much anymore thank Buddha) I have to drink rehydration fluid/salt yokes which also come as a powder sachet and also taste like arse.

While I was being diagnosed with Crohn's and they were doing all sorts of tests to find out what it was (involving A LOT of probing, ooh Matron) I had to drink FOUR LITRES of a laxative to empty my system totally so they could shove a camera up there to see what was going on (beautiful image, I know) and yes, you've guessed it, that also tasted disgusting. Seriously, awful. It was salty and thick.

So imagine drinking four litres of salty thick suspension. Now, imagine drinking said suspension when you've been seriously ill for a year, can't eat, have the runs up to 14 times a day, vomit at least four times a day and have such a pain in your abdomen that at times you scream with it. Trust me, it's the stuff of nightmares. That's the one that still gets me annoyed to this day. The only purpose of that product is to clean out the system so they can see what's going on inside SERIOUSLY ILL PEOPLE, yet they still, STILL can't get off their arse and try to make it a bit easier on folk by improving the taste.

Sorry, I've rambled on there, but pure laziness like this on the part of the scientific/pharmaceutical industry really gets my goat. Yes, I appreciate your efforts in making the drug and finding cures for things, but for the love of Jaysis, make your products at least halfway decent tasting! Particularly if they're aimed at sick people who have trouble eating and drinking and digesting!

So needless to say there'll soon be a nice letter from me winging it's way to the CEO of the Questran company with a sachet of the stuff enclosed, inviting him/her to drink it and then explain themselves.

If I don't get a satisfactory response, I'll be forced to hire an armed gang of militia men, take over the manufacturing plant and force feed the stuff to everyone in sight until they agree to change the taste.

That is all.

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