Pass the Bullets

The heatwave that swept across California has finally abated but the lingering effects are taking its toll on my family. If certain factions in our society have their way, the only thing left to do will be to pass the bullets to end our suffering.

It all started a week ago Wednesday on a trip to the valley, during the sweltering heat. Our little family piled into a borrowed air conditioned vehicle to treat ourselves to dinner with the grandparents. After sharing a lovely evening we made our way back home.

I don’t know if I picked up a bug during one of our shopping stops or if I simply had too much of a good thing and the air conditioning got to me but the next day I was sick. It began with a sore throat and progressed to full-blown stomach flu. My head ached, I felt like I had been run over by a semi-truck on steroids. My nose was running a marathon and I could hold nothing down. It was like Mount Vesuvius had errupted all over again.

Being the resourceful person that I am, one without the benefit of medical insurance, I decided it was time to take action. I had some Coricidin HBP left over from my last cold and began to treat the symptoms of my illness with little results. I used some Triaminic strips trying to sooth the fire burning in my throat, followed with some Chloraseptic spray for good measure and without relief.

For 7-days I lay in bed, unable to function normally, suffering through fever, sweats and chills – all the while living off popsicles. We purchased some Mucinex D, which left me feeling dizzy and very dried out but provided little actual relief for the rest of my symptoms.

On the 8th day of my illness my husband came down with the bug. Here’s where things get real interesting. At least we had purchased five more boxes of Puff’s on our shopping excursion the day before because we were going to need them.

2-days later, still fuming because someone in their infinite wisdom decided to pull Coricidin D off the market and stick me with this HCP crap, I went shopping for an alternative, something – anything to make me feel better and get me back on my feet again.

I made my way carefully down the hill to Sonora, still suffering from burning eyes, a runny nose and all the other nasty little symptoms no one talks about in polite society. At the grocery store I carefuly examined each package of cold medicine, comparing ingredients and trying to match them up with each of our complaints, so that we could finally resume our lives.

I settled on a 20-count box of Non-Drowsy Sudafed, multi-symptom Cold & Cough formula and a 12-count box of Alka-Seltzer Plus, Cold & Cough. I figured that ought to do the trick. If one didn’t work the other should and I could save myself another trip to the grocery store.

The clerk had other ideas. At the checkout things were going smoothly. I was anxious to pay for my goods and be on my way, until… The checkout clerk calls the manager over, who proceeds to inform me that I am not allowed to purchase two boxes of cold medicine.

“What do you mean, I’m not allowed?” I asked indignantly.

Since when do I need permission to take care of myself? Who thinks they have the authority to dictate what I can purchase and how many?

The manager informed me that a new law had been passed in California that limits my purchases of cold medicine to one box. I was never informed of this new law. I was sick, I was upset and I was irate. The manager finally said that I could make two separate purchases to obtain the needed items, so I calmed down, slightly. But then the logic of it sunk in. If I can make two separate purchases to buy cold medicine, what was the point of passing such an oppressive law? What purpose could possibly be served?

On my way out of Albertson’s, I stopped to apologize to the manager for making a scene and his response still has me seeing red. He told me that he had just received an e-mail informing him that Albertson’s may quit carrying over the counter cold medicines and that our government in all their wisdom is considering passing a law to require customers to have a prescription to purchase them.

I simply responded that we don’t even have a doctor and that if such a law was passed we might just as well keep a loaded gun handy, so that we can shoot ourselves when we get sick.

I haven’t seen a doctor since 2001 and I don’t plan to start seeing one now. I don’t know if what the manager said was true but I do plan to get to the bottom of this. If this information is true the media isn’t reporting it.

Nothing is going to prevent people who want to make illicit drugs from doing so. Criminals should be punished for their wrongdoing but what kind of a country will be left with when honest people can’t even care for themselves and their children? Is this just another way for the government to impose controls on its citizens by forcing them to pay to see a doctor?

Removing cold medicines from the grocery shelves will effectively create a new caste system. Those who have insurance will be able to see a physician, those without insurance will be forced to suffer without any kind of treatment available, effectively being priced out of the healthcare market.

This new policy would push the cost of healthcare even higher as the demand rises and low cost alternatives are banned from use by the general public. I guess it’s time to stock up now and pass the bullets, please.