The news these days concerning over-used health care and far-too-accessible highly addictive painkillers and prescription drugs is alarming, no doubt. Even more alarming are the people who perpetuate these dangerous and critical errors all the while unknowingly perpetuating their very own stereotype. Yes, I’m talking about the Baby Boomers.
This past weekend, I was privy to a conversation between four members of this particular demographic while they were seated around a table at a local fast-food establishment. My entry into the room began with one of the husbands mentioning to the other couple that he was encouraging his wife, a hapless woman seated directly across from her husband, to have work done on her eyes for, as he put it, the benefit of her patients who visit her clinic and over which she must lean during which time they get the full and sagging effect of her face. Why not spare them the sight of her middle-aged and slightly sagging skin, after all? I’m sure his wish for her to get an eye tuck was out of strict beneficence for his wife’s patients.
What was even more troubling was her all-too-willing agreement with his line of thinking. Yet, no one once questioned the husband in asking what areas of himself might be tightened up to the pleasure of his wife. Looking at the man, I could easily, if so inclined, pick out any number of defects he might have considered correcting for, as he put it, the sake of others. It was all I could do to not expound on those ideas as I sat just a few feet away, gathering data.
And so the conversation progressed, where each person seated at that particular table went on to say how doctors are “butchers” and how if they truly cared about their patients’ welfare, they would send them home with real painkillers like Oxycontin, rather than a measly half dozen Tylenol 23’s to “barely tide them over” during their recovery.
In each story recounted, they described in nauseating detail the ordeal of surgery and the infections which arose therefrom, but always, ALWAYS the conversation came back to how “peppy” and “awesome” the painkillers they’d received as post-surgcical therapy had made them feel! There was no mention of how quickly they were able to recover as a result of the doctors’ skilled work on their bodies, nor for the physiotherapists who helped them recover post-surgery. Their attention was strictly focused on the pills, the quantity of pills and how “great” the pills made them feel upon taking them. Spoken like true addicts, if you ask me.
So, what we can derive from their conversation is this: These people, seated at a fast food establishment care nothing for their overall health (otherwise they might not have been seated at a fast food restaurant sucking back floats). We can also ascertain that they are perfectly willing to undergo any manner of surgery, whether or not it is actually necessary, just to get their hands on opiates and painkillers, legally prescribed to them by their “butchering” doctors who were, after all, only trying to help ease their so-called suffering. Taking it one step further, we can also deduce that the more Oxy’s they get their hands on, the better, and who cares how those pills are used as long as they don’t have to feel ANYTHING. Never mind that their kids and grandkids may very well be eyeing the Boomers’s stash of pills for their own recreational uses. And why not? I mean, it’s not like their parents and grandparents have set an example of dealing and coping with life’s various issues without using narcotics and opiates, is it?
Well, here’s the thing. Life is pain. It starts off as painful labour, resulting in even more pain as that little body your mother exuded grows continually to whatever height and weight it was meant to be, and then some. And not just physical pain, but emotional and intellectual pain. Pain is an absolutely necessary part of life. Without it, how do we expect to learn how to cope and to grow and to realize that for every moment of hardship, there would be no reward? We become who we are through the trials of our lives. Why, then, would anyone rob themselves of such a rich tapestry of life by blacking it out through opiates and self-obsession?
I take further exception to the fact that these people who apparently rather enjoy their endless doctor’s visits and surgeries and who are, in essence, over-taxing the health care system (as is their generation’s habit of exhausting every possible resource like so much plague before them) to the point where it is doubtful to younger Canadians like myself will ever enjoy the benefits of this socialist system which was meant for ALL Canadians. It is looking more like we will end up with an American health care system, forced that way because financially our government simply could not keep up with the ever-increasing and unnecessary demands placed on it by healthcare addicts such as these four greedy individuals. Couple that with their increasing usage and enjoyment of government pension plans to which I have had to contribute, but will likely never get to enjoy, and you wind up with a very bitter, cynical and jaded follow-up generation of people who have paid all their lives through employment deductions for services which will never be enjoyed by them, while the previous generation drains it dry and leaves it not only bleeding, but in a terminal state.
To the Baby Boomer Generation I have only this to say: GROW UP AND FOR ONCE DEAL WITH THE MESS YOU CREATED!