Accepting Myself

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We are who we are and we must learn to accept that!    We vary in body frame sizes, body weight, and body shape.  Oh don’t misunderstand … I am NOT suggesting that we merely sit back and sigh with “I can’t help it ….  this is who I am.”  NOPE!  We must do the best we can to be the best we can be.

My point is that I cannot change my genetic inclinations, but I might control how I look and feel somewhat by taking responsibility for my eating and exercise habits.  Now I love cookies so much so that I claim ownership to the cookie monster title!  I have had to learn self-control by telling myself it’s OK to eat 3 cookies and not the entire batch.  The same goes for vanilla cakes …. it’s OK to eat half of a tiny slice and save the second half for tomorrow.  OH let’s laugh about my chip cravings every now and then …. a plateful vs. the entire bag …. ?!?!?  HA HA!  I’ve had to learn to say NO to these temptations before me every day and yes, I can do it with presence, awareness, and determination.  As a matter of fact, I have an affirmation sign on the wall just in front of my desk that reads “Just because it’s here doesn’t’ meant I have to eat it!”

I’m convinced that if I do my best, my body will be at it’s appropriate size and condition for ME, and I must not compare myself to my skinny friends.  Are you with me as well at this point in YOUR life?

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Here’s an excerpt from the early days.

 

George himself lied about his age to get away from home by entering the military in 1944. His fondest childhood memories were of his beloved bulldog Bosco, and George’s eyes teared as he would tell the story of how Bosco went goofy-crazy-happy when he returned home from the war while his mother turned her back on him in anger because he had left the home and not stayed to take care of the family.

 

It’s taking me longer than initially predicted!

Time Flies

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I don’t know where the time goes … I get to thinking I’ve got it under control and then I look at my blog and find I haven’t written in 2 months!  It FEELS like just yesterday that I was so engrossed in the Simvastatin series that I can hardly believe I’m in my 4th month of recovery from that nightmare.  I’m still having days of a very achy left leg BUT nothing even remotely like the pain that had me immobile last spring.

Three of my friends (ages 65-92) have heeded my suggestion to research, talk to MDs, and participate in their health treatments.  They bombard me with “thank you” every time I see them.  I say “To God be the glory and for the dizzy spells specifically.”

As for me, I’m still praying my muscle damage isn’t permanent because although I am walking without pain, my leg still does not have the flexibility and/or function it once had prior to Simvastatin.

So back to how time flies …. I can’t decide if I am better with a paper or electronic calendar …. I just seem to miss so many activities in life, spend too much time being a lug on the sofa with my cat in my lap, and just generally waste time thinking about how I should write a post and then …. oh, I’ll write it later and later doesn’t happen because I didn’t MAKE it happen!

Does anybody else struggle with time management like I do, and what helps YOU?  I am asking for ideas!

SO Much Better

And ready for some summer fun!

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In some ways in regards to my struggles with Simvastatin, I feel like I’ve been to hell and back. I look back and in retrospect I wonder why I didn’t take myself to the ER on more than one occasion.  I know I always worry about how much medical care is going to cost because even with decent insurance, the patient responsibility is high because of outrageous medical and hospital charges. I’ve learned a good lesson and that is to always take charge of my health by doing research and not stopping until I get answers and results.  I care more about me than my physicians do at any given time.

Anyway … I’m feeling great today.  I haven’t needed to take anything for any tightness or pain in 7 days and don’t expect to any time soon!  So I’m looking forward to some summer fun, and it seems fun is falling my way!  I almost don’t know how to deal with it, and that makes me chuckle … It’s been so long that having fun is like a new gig for me, and I have a lot to relearn.

I’m happy!

De-cutter For A Clear Mind

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So I’m definitely not a hoarder, or a pack rat, or a keeper of all things sentimental.  I am, however, a clutter clown!  UGH!

Every holiday break or any vacation that lasts more than 3 days brings with it the desire to de-clutter … and I do!  I just don’t understand how stuff just seems to reappear, though!  NEW stuff!  There are times I have actually experienced the “immobility” thing that goes along with too much stuff inside the house.  Eventually the task of cleaning out and sorting through begins to feel overwhelming, and then whoa … nothing gets accomplished simply because I just can’t do it.  Ever been there?

So here I am with a few weeks off work for a much needed break after all I’ve been through the past many months, and all I can think about is “get the clutter out!”  I started yesterday, and already I feel better about my domain even though only a few items are OUT!  It’s funny how to create order one must create chaos … ever notice that?  That’s where I’m at tonight, and I look forward to tomorrow feeling better about this de-cluttering thing I have going for myself.

Love an article I found on:

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&frm=1&source=web&cd=3&ved=0CCUQFjACahUKEwiuooKt-JXGAhWJaK0KHUpYACo&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.sheknows.com%2Fhealth-and-wellness%2Farticles%2F1017199%2Fwhat-clutter-is-doing-to-your-health&ei=H_6AVe6WMInRtQXKsIHQAg&usg=AFQjCNGxVh6pVZRzThWlROzIoOUPTdDt5w&bvm=bv.96041959,d.b2w&cad=rjt

The article reports that our messes lead to many types of stresses, some which include:

Mental clutter. Your mind becomes overwhelmed and your senses go into overdrive to process your surroundings.
Chronic restlessness. With an unsettled home comes unsettled emotions — your mind constantly short-circuits because you feel like your work will never be “done.”
Distraction. Instead of focusing on the task at hand, you might find yourself weighed down with feelings of guilt about your home not looking the way it “should.”
Wasted time. When your home isn’t in order, your frustration level soars when you can’t find simple, everyday items crucial to your well-being.

I can relate to all of these, and by the end of this week my goal is to feel clutter-free in my mind which will be evidenced by greater productivity in all areas of my life.  What say you?  Want to join me on THIS challenge?

 

Clothing Counts

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Beyonce makes a great choice, wrap-style dresses are always slimming.  From:  Do your clothes make you look fat? How to look 10 pounds thinner by changing your clothes
BY CHARLA KRUPP DAILY NEWS WRITER Thursday, March 11, 2010, 2:52 AM

 

Hey, let’s face it:  Sometimes fat IS fat and sometimes fat is an illusion we create ourselves by our clothing.  Yes, that’s right … sometimes we sabotage our efforts to look slim by choosing the wrong clothes …. especially bras (for the ladies)  and pieces with just way too much fabric and / or patterns.

I went clothes shopping last night for my 2015 summer uniform …. that perfect little summer dress I can wear everywhere, look acceptable, and stay cool without looking frazzled by the heat.  I wanted a skirt to wear with cute little summer tops, but all I could find were long ones which covered the entire bottom half of my body (too hot) or flowing mid-length skirts with lots of fabric which made me look HUGE!  Watch out for loose and baggy clothing that while comfortable for certain are very unflattering for most of us.  Some dresses I tried on had large bold flowers across the bodice which made me look even more endowed than I am, and then those horizontal stripes … Yikes!

I was thrilled to be able to fit into a size M at this point in my life and especially after wearing XL for so long!  In the past year not only have I lost weight, but I’ve apparently lost inches as well in spite of my mobility issues for the past several months.  If I can do it, so can YOU!  Ask me how!

 

 

MS and CoQ10

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Multiple Sclerosis is a chronic disease that damages the nerves in the spinal cord and brain, as well as the optic nerves. Sclerosis means scarring, and people with MS develop multiple areas of scar tissue in response to the nerve damage. Depending on where the damage occurs, symptoms may include problems with muscle control, balance, vision, or speech.  (From WebMD.com)

For the past many months when I had excruciating leg pain and could not walk, I feared I had MS.  People on the street would stop and ask me if I did because of my limited mobility, and that’s why this topic is of interest to me now.  Here’s some research I did not know about that you might find interesting if you know anyone who struggles with MS.

“Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a disease of the central nervous system that affects more women than men. It can be debilitating and difficult to diagnose, and fatigue and depression are among its many symptoms. New research shows that the common supplement CoQ10 can help reduce these symptoms.

Nutritional researchers compared the degree of fatigue and depression experienced in 48 MS patients who were given either CoQ10 or placebo. At the end of the study the researchers reported significant improvement in both fatigue and depression among the supplement takers. Among the placebo group…continue reading this week’s Health News You Can Use.”

From heartmdinstitute.com

Short Lesson on CoQ10

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Did YOU know that there are two types of CoQ10s available on the market:

Ubiquinone and Ubiquinol

The latter is the one recommended for more efficient absorption in the body, and 50-200 mg / day is recommended based on your body’s need.  For example, my body is trying to REPAIR muscle damage from a statin drug, and so I want to take 200 mg / day.  Don’t just believe me …. Do your own research and talk to your physician.  Be your own best health advocate!

Heres a starting point:

“What happens when you stop taking the drug (statin)?
Based on studies of actual muscle biopsies, muscles do not uniformly recover on their own. They need help. First and foremost, they need more coenzyme-Q10. Taking CoQ10 as a supplement will help reverse statin-induced mitochondrial damage. It also helps regulate normal cellular respiration.
But as I’ve said before, buyer beware.
Look for a CoQ10 supplement that says Ubiquinol on the bottle. Your body absorbs this chemically reduced form much more easily. If the bottle says “Coenzyme Q10” or “CoQ10,” it’s probably Ubiquinone–the less well-absorbed chemical form. I recommend taking 200 mg of Ubiquinol daily with a meal as part of a statin recovery plan. (For everyone else, I recommend just 50 mg a day.)”

From http://www.drmicozzi.com/the-science-of-statin-recovery

 

 

Food For Health

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Low-Fat or Low-Carbohydrate Diet: What’s Best for Your Heart?

By T. Jared Bunch, MD

Published Sep 4, 2014

Recently I met with a patient who was in his early thirties. He had been treated for high blood pressure for almost a decade. He came to me because he was in atrial fibrillation and felt short of breath and noticed his heart was racing.

We talked about his abnormal heart rhythm and that he was developing diseases that we typically see in older adults. I asked if his family also had abnormal heart rhythms or problems with their blood pressure. He said yes, but with each generation the problems were coming earlier. When I asked him why he thought this was happening, he said that everybody in his family struggles to maintain their weight and he was the biggest of all.

He also said, “I am going to start on a diet and exercise.”

His wife said, “I am going to write that down and hold you to it.”

He then said, “I am committed. What diet is the best for me?”

Are YOU committed to YOUR health and wellness?  If so … GREAT!  If NOT … WHY?

What is getting in your way of being the best you can be for whatever time you have on this earth?

Life After Simvastatin

This is the final entry on my story about Simvastatin (part 11).

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Day 1:  A couple of hours into the day I noticed I had less leg pain and thought “This is a remarkable difference in pain level.”

Day 2:  Half way through the day I noticed even less leg pain and thought “This is a significant improvement.”

Day 3:  A minimally painful day … more than yesterday but not as much as usual.

Day 4:  WOW!  Am I almost walking normally vs. my usual-of-late waddle/hobble/limp?  But wait … this new hip pain … maybe I need to lower my shoe lift and I did (from 10 mm to 8).

Day 5:  I can’t believe this … just an ache.  I’ll take a couple of Advil instead of 8.  Think I’ll try a good walk with the dog, and I did.

Day 6:  New hip pain when I walked the dog, and it hurt so much I had to stop and lower the lower lift from 8mm to 6.  Voila … pain gone!

Day 7:  Am I starting to sleep better?  I think I actually fell asleep promptly without dizziness and though I awoke mid-night … I did fall back to sleep rather quickly.  Minimal leg pain today.  Somebody at work told me I looked pretty today.  I thought “Gee … makeup and hair the same.  Wonder why today?”

Day 8:  Feeling like I can walk again, and so I head out with the dog.  OOPS!  Short leg is too high again and I lowered the lift to 3 mm.  Am I noticing greater clarity and brightness in my vision today?

Day 9:  Went to a happy hour with ladies I haven’t seen in a while.  They told me I looked “glowing” and my eyes appeared clear.  They asked if I had a new man in my life and of course I chuckled at that one!  I am walking soooo much better without pain although I still have to manually lift my leg to cross it.

Day 10:  Feeling some pain today which was resolved with a couple of Advil.  I also decided to try reducing the shoe lift again to not using one to see if that might help as well.

Day 11:  WOW!  Just an ache on the side of my thigh … praise God because I think He has put me on the track of restoring my health and wellness!

Day 12:  TODAY!  I am sleeping better and feeling better when I get out of bed in the morning.  My wobbling at that time takes only a few steps to resolve.  NO MORE KNIFE-LIKE STABBING PAINS IN MY THIGH, and I am walking normally without shoe lifts (glad I didn’t toss my flip-flops prematurely).  I can cross my left leg slowly with focused intent with some tightness and ache but definitely without pain.  My blood pressure numbers are good and my morning fasting glucose numbers have dropped 20-30 points.  I haven’t had a dizzy or drowsy spell nor a leg cramp since off Simvastatin.  Naturally my mood has improved, and I am looking forward to starting other projects I have been thinking and talking about for a couple of years.  All this is just 12 days!  God is good, and I thank Him for the dizzy spells that took me to the cardiologist who let a light bulb go off in his head to help me.  I’m continuing to hope and pray that I am one of the lucky ones who will not suffer with Simvastatin side effects for the rest of my life.  Thanks to my friends who have prayed for me because now I think I’m off that “long black train”!

 

There is no doubt Simvastatin and all statins (according to the research) saves lives.  There is also no doubt that the side effects can cause death (according to the research) for some people.  Don’t just believe me.  Do your own research.  Take charge of your own health.  Doctors are great and to be respected; however, they are also human and therefore imperfect.  I’m probably going to fire the first 4 physicians I consulted during these past couple of years about my leg pain.  I’m also going to research supplements to help me maintain my own health issues without resorting to statins in the future.  So far I am learning a lot from mercola.com and drsinatra.com … both renown physicians in the field of health and wellness.  Any suggestions from readers of this blog are welcomed!

 

This is my story, and I’m sticking to it!  HA HA!  As for YOU … never make decisions to change or stop your medications without first consulting your physician.

 

I wish you all health and wellness in your lives, and remember to share what I’ve posted with others you know who have a decision to make about cholesterol medications called “statins”.

 

 

 

 

Finally Help With Simvastatin

This is a continuation of my story about Simvastatin (part 10).

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Like I wrote early on, I have struggled with side effects of Simvastatin for years.  I consulted 4 doctors about my leg/muscle pain.  Not one of them picked up on the possibility of a bad drug interaction for me.  Not one of them advised me to take COq10 with Simvastatin to protect the heart and muscles from this drug.  And of course as time went on, my symptoms increased in type and intensity.  I was truly suffering.

 

After a scary dizzy episode, it occurred to me to check with a cardiologist because after all, this could be a symptom of a heart problem, and I had not yet researched Simvastatin.  So I made the appointment and I’m glad I did!  He scolded me for not monitoring my blood pressure and glucose on a regular basis (anymore) and confirmed that dizzy spells COULD be either heart or glucose related. He told me to monitor both for a month, get a blood test, and return with my notes. So I did. One month later my blood test showed an AC1 of 6.5 (not bad for D2) and solid blood pressure reading in the safe zone, so he ruled these possibilities out of the equation.  We started brainstorming!  Not a blood clot because I’d be dead by now because it would have traveled for sure.  Not a cancer because something would have shown on blood test.  Then he lightly put his hand on my thigh, and I winced in pain.  How about a side effect of a medication?  He shared information about Simvastatin and advised I stop It and see what happens because after all …. It’s the only way to know and besides, my cholesterol numbers were very very low so much so he said it’s worth the chance for a few months.  OK!  I’ll do it!  Of course by now I’m willing to do ANYthing to feel better and maybe get my life back.

 

This is when I started my research, and I just don’t know what I was or wasn’t thinking to have not done it sooner.  Unfortunately the research reports that some people improve with discontinuing the drug, and others do not.  As a matter of fact, I read countless reports of symptoms continuing to worsen after not taking Simvastatin which sounds like a death sentence to me based on my own experiences these past years. I could only hope and pray I would be a lucky one. We’ll see what happened to me next in my final post about his topic.

 

More stories …..

http://www.peoplespharmacy.com/2014/02/06/statins-irreversible-muscle-damage-als-like-syndrome-and-myositis/

http://www.drugs.com/answers/how-long-does-it-take-a-statin-get-out-of-your-471204.html

Diabetes and Simvastatin

This is a continuation of my story about Simvastatin (part 9).

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My cousin told me her physician was very upset because she stopped taking Simvastatin after a blood test showed diabetes level glucose readings for the first time in her health history. The doctor asked her, “Well wouldn’t you rather have diabetes (type 2) than high cholesterol and risk a heart attack?  Hmmmm …. Tough call or is it?

My glucose readings have been well controlled with diet, exercise, and minimal meds since it became a medical concern 5 years ago … until lately.   I’ve been puzzled by fasting numbers being in the mid 100s until I read the research on Simvastatin side-effects.  Of course I must remember I haven’t been able to exercise because I’ve barely been able to walk for goodness sake   Which comes first … the proverbial question?!?  I am mentioning it though in case someone who has never had those elevated numbers (like my cousin) might notice an increase and want to have a conversation with an MD about it.

TBC and here’s something worth noting …

From mayoclinic.org

Increased blood sugar or type 2 diabetes
It’s possible your blood sugar (blood glucose) level may increase when you take a statin, which may lead to developing type 2 diabetes. The risk is small but important enough that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a warning on statin labels regarding blood glucose levels and diabetes. Talk to your doctor if you have concerns.

Depression and Simvastatin

“”This is the continuation of my story about Simvastatin (part 8).

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HA HA HA!  After all I’ve shared with you … who WOULDN’T be depressed for goodness sake?  AND just because mental health is my gig doesn’t mean I was immune to this aspect of Simvastatin.   Sure, I have had several sad events occur in my life during the past 3 years, and THAT type of situational depression is normal.  I knew though that resorting to a life of solitude for as long as I have is not normal and especially so for me because by nature I am a most social animal!   For me regarding this depression what was most troubling was the persistent thought that would creep into my head every night  for several months. It said, “Just get a butcher knife and cut the damn thing off (my painful left leg) because it’s nothing more than a dead tree stump.”  THIS MENTALITY IS NOT ME!  I had to FIGHT this thought …. It was so very strong and difficult to control.  It made me wonder if this is what suicidal patients struggle fighting with prior to receiving treatment.  Hmmmm.

Yes, there is much more to the depression aspect of Simvastatin than the obvious, and here it is ….

“A recent article by You et al calls into question the potentially beneficial effects of statins in the treatment of depression, and even more significantly, the article suggests that statins prescribed for cholesterol reduction may actually cause depression. Since cholesterol plays an important role in neuroprotection, low cholesterol may adversely impact neurotransmission, thereby increasing the risk of depression.  Earlier research has demonstrated that patients may be vulnerable to depression, violence, or suicidality during the first month of statin use, with a reduction in risk following that initial period. You et al challenge this contention, stating that depression risk may increase with long-term statin use.”

 

TBC and if you are interested …

Read the entire article at http://www.empr.com › Features

Dizziness and Simvastatin

This is a continuation of my story about Simvastatin (part 7).

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For the past few months I had been having dizzy spells that I could not account for because they were of a different type than ever previously experienced.  I would either wake up and have one within 15 minutes of being up and around or have one when I climbed into bed at night.  Either way, it would start with feeling like “something is not right … something is happening to me … I think I’m going to faint!”  I got light-headed, had to use the toilet IMMEDIATELY, and then the waves of movement began similar to motion sickness.  I would make my way to the kitchen and pour myself a glass of water, sit down and drink it, and then focus on breathing techniques to calm my body down because by now my heart would be palpitating out of fear no doubt, but who knows … ?  This routine helped me to chase the dizziness away as I describe it, and the spells lasted anywhere from 5 – 30 minutes.  The positive was that once departed, the spell was gone until the next one set in on another day.  In time, another day became a daily event that I wrote off to possibly being dehydrated and figured that since the dizziness passed when I drank the water my theory was confirmed.  But the research says …

 

From http://www.news-medical.net/drugs/Zocor.aspx

Ask your doctor or pharmacist to answer any questions you may have. Tell your doctor if you notice any of the following and they worry you:

constipation, diarrhoea, wind

stomach upset or pain, feeling sick (nausea)

headache

dizziness

These are the more common side effects of ZOCOR.  For the most part these have been mild and short-lived.

 

And from http://www.westonaprice.org 

Dizziness is commonly associated with statin use, possibly due to blood pressure-lowering effects. One woman reported dizziness one half hour after taking Pravachol.18 When she stopped taking it, the dizziness cleared up. Blood pressure lowering has been reported with several statins in published studies. According to Dr. Golumb, who notes that dizziness is a common adverse effect, the elderly may be particularly sensitive to drops in blood pressure.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Insomnia and Simvastatin

This is a continuation of my story about Simvastatin (part 6).

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I come from a long line of insomniacs, and when I started getting only 3-4 hours max of sleep at night I thought I had grown into one of my family members.  This started towards the end of 2012 and I dreaded the night.  Now one might say how COULD I sleep with all the pain and cramps I was experiencing, and that’s what I thought as well.  The problem was that no matter what type of sleeping aide I took, NOTHING helped.   I would drag my sorry self out of bed when the alarm went off SLOWLY because of the muscle pain and think to myself “how oh how will I get through this day … surely only by the grace of God!”  One could conclude that insomnia leads to fatigue which leads to drowsiness, and yet they are all listed as separate symptoms on the side effect lists for Simvastatin.  Geez … what a struggle!  It took me 1-2 hours to fall asleep and then I would awaken after 2-3 hours and it would take me just as long to fall back to sleep.  You can see how I felt exhausted when the alarm finally went off in time for me to go to work and be an employee.  UGH!  Read on … and always remember to do your own research and talk to your MD before making a decision to stop taking Simvastatin.  I wish I had done it sooner!  TBC.

 

Having trouble getting a good night’s sleep? One of these drugs might be the problem.
by Dr. Armon B. Neel Jr., AARP, April 8, 2013

Statins are used to treat high cholesterol.

The top-selling statins are atorvastatin (Lipitor), lovastatin (Mevacor), rosuvastatin (Crestor) and simvastatin (Zocor).

How they can cause insomnia: The most common side effect of all types of statins is muscle pain, which can keep people who take them awake at night and unable to rest. In the worst cases, the pain caused by statins can be immobilizing.

Studies show that statins can interfere with muscle growth by inhibiting the production of satellite cells in the muscle. Muscle weakness and aches throughout the body can be symptoms of statin-induced rhabdomyolysis, a breakdown of skeletal muscle that causes muscle fibers to be released into the bloodstream, sometimes harming the kidneys.

Researchers have found that fat-soluble statins — which include Lipitor, Mevacor, Vytorin and Zocor — are more likely to cause insomnia or nightmares because they can more easily penetrate cell membranes and make their way across the blood-brain barrier, which protects the brain from chemicals in the blood.

Alternatives: If you’re among the millions of older Americans who haven’t been diagnosed with heart disease but are taking these drugs to lower your slightly elevated cholesterol, ask your doctor or other health care provider about making changes to your diet and getting regular exercise instead of using statins. You also might try lowering your blood levels of homocysteine — which is linked to high cholesterol — by taking a combination of sublingual (under-the-tongue) vitamin B12 (1,000 mcg daily), folic acid (800 mcg daily) and vitamin B6 (200 mg daily).

Ask the Pharmacist is written by Armon B. Neel Jr., PharmD, CGP, in collaboration with journalist Bill Hogan. They are coauthors of Are Your Prescriptions Killing You? (Atria Books).