These Are 'Crazy' Times
(Column: Ask the Pharmacist)
Steve Kaufman, RPH
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I was originally going to write my article about patients who are being treated for multiple conditions and are being treated by many different doctors. Then the presidential election came along, and I wished Ken Steele could observe what was going on. I think he would enjoy it.

I typically work a twelve-hour day. Add on an hour and a half each way traveling and I realize my job consumes fifteen to sixteen hours of each day. When I get home I eat some dinner and look for something silly to watch on television to relax. This last two weeks the most entertaining thing I find on television is the news and watching the leaders of the Republican and Democratic parties argue over who won the presidential election.

I see two men with the same goal in mind, to become president of the United States of America and to make America a better place to live. However, the routes they take to meet the goals are very different and it's our job as voters to decide which route feels best. For example, if you were driving a car down the streets of Manhattan and asked two people how to get to New Jersey. One person might tell you to use the George Washington Bridge and another might say use the Lincoln Tunnel. Both will get you to New Jersey but you have to decide which is the best route to take.

I treat many patients in my practice who are schizophrenic, paranoid and/or neurotic. These patients are said to have mental illness. As I watch the election results and realize the next president of our country will probably be decided by a few hundred votes, do we see these personality traits coming out in the so-called "sane" people of our country?

I wonder if Mr. Gore is suffering from a form of schizophrenia. Does he hear voices that say "don't believe the recounts, you really won." What about Mr. Bush who feels every time someone wants to double check the vote to make sure they got it right they are trying to cheat him out of the election (sounds like paranoia to me). And how about every time one side wants to examine the written ballots the other side is afraid they will become contaminated.

Maybe we are all not so different after all. I'm only sorry Ken wasn't here to witness it. I will miss you, Ken. I will miss the long conversations we used to have and your leadership on behalf of the mentally ill.

Rest in peace Ken Steele.
Steve Kaufman, RPH, is Supervising Pharmacist, Manhattan Plaza Pharmacy, 619 Ninth Ave., New York, N.Y.
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