Saturday, September 22, 2012

Wherein I am Judgmental

I'm usually not the judgmental sort.  I'm not saying this as a boast or anything, I just notice that a lot of things don't phase me, and I've had other people (including my own sister, who I don't particularly get along well with) tell me they value my lack of judgement.

There, of course, some subjects in regards to which my neutrality goes right out the window.  These include the obvious such as bigotry, charlatans of all description (and often those who buy into them), folks who say "nucular", etc.  Another one of these subjects is willful ignorance.

The other day I'm in the pharmacy, waiting patiently to get my anti-leukotreines before the places closes.  There's a guy at the counter engaged with one of the pharmacists.  He looks to be in his 50s.  He's got the beer gut, and ball cap, and there's obviously some issue.  As near as I can tell, there's a big bag of pharmaceuticals with his name on them, but he's not actually prepared to buy all of them.  The pharmacist has actually resorted to tearing the bag open, and is going though the bottles and canisters one by one to determine what the guy is going to take.  It amuses me at first, because rather notably the pharmacist is speaking in normal volume about all this personal medical crap, except when she says the phrase "stool softener".  So apparently it's ok that we can piece together this guy's medical issues, but it's embarrassing that he's a little constipated?  It's this amusing thing that gets my attention so moments later I'm completely eavesdropping on the pharmacist's side of the conversation (I can't hear the dude talking).

The pharmacist is pulling bottles out of the torn bag and telling they guy what's in them: Tradjenta, Lipitor, Advair, Dylacor...  She's giving him simple descriptions of what the medications are for "It's to lower your cholesterol... It's an inhaler, for your lungs, to help you breathe..."  This is where the judgement starts.  I'm amazed that this guy is taking all these things, but doesn't actually know what they do or why he's taking them.  Doesn't he think?  Isn't he interested in his own health?  Then I start to notice how very full the bag is and how many of these drugs are for things such as cholesterol and blood sugar.  I look at the guy's big belly, and then the judgement really flies, "What the fuck, dude..." I'm thinking, "You know you could ditch half that stuff if you just got up off your ass every now and again."

I'm not really proud of this, but I'm not exactly ashamed of it either.  I know that health issue such as high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes are multifactorial problems and that those who suffer from them are not at fault.  I also know that for many people, these things can be mitigated by diet, exercise, and lifestyle.  Looking at this guy it's clear he's got not got much of a handle on these things.  Yes, cleaning up your health is damn hard (I certainly have issues with it), but can't you make some kind of effort?  Even just a little moderation and movement can make a difference.  I see people like this chowing on some greasy fast food with the extra-ginormous fries in their pick-up trucks (with the engine running), and I just wonder: How can they not know?  How is it they don't understand what they're doing to themselves?  Or more importantly, how is it they know, but they're doing nothing to change? Are they too lazy?  Are they too stubborn?  Have they given up?  Have they chosen not to care?

It's so very frustrating to me to see people who choose not to take an interest and become and active participant in their own health and well-being.  It is a form of willful ignorance to know that your lifestyle is having a detriment, but to continue living the same way.  I have no sympathy for such a lack of involvement.  Am I alone in this, or do other people get frustrated in seeing it as well?

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