The People's Chemist

82 Year Old Nurse Speaks Out: Stop Over-Diagnosing Elderly!

Sheila* is a registered nurse who reached out to me after reading my blog calling out America’s obsession for prescription drugs. Not only is she living young at 82 years old, she’s also helping others do the same by speaking out.

“I got so fed up watching people get over-diagnosed, over-medicated, over-treated in general, and so often not getting better,” she wrote. “It’s refreshing to find someone with a background in medicine who isn’t afraid to mention that the king isn’t wearing any clothes.”

Sheila is one of many nurses who have witnessed unacceptable practices of over medicating at hospitals, doctor’s offices, and especially nursing homes.  Fortunately, she isn’t afraid of calling it like she sees it.

I love her for this! It takes real guts. 

Old age is supposed to be enjoyed with dignity, not a drug overdose.  Instead, our respected elders are booked into nursing homes or assisted living quarters and tucked away prematurely in a sarcophagus of prescription drugs.

I call this The Retirement Effect – People working their entire lives for the so-called benefit of health insurance only to be drugged to death.  It starts with the side effects of senility then ends in premature death.  The entire charade is blamed on old age and prescriptions are pushed as the answer.  (Keep the heart beating just long enough to extract millions of dollars from “barely alive” patients.)

Family members who don’t speak out against this atrocity are nothing more than accomplices.

The interview below is further proof of “one nation under drugs” — how Americans are getting enslaved by their ever-growing love affair with prescription meds. From this retired nurse’s perspective, more drugs are clearly NOT the answer! 

Instead of dehumanizing the elderly – the people who lived long enough to pave the way for our own lives – we need to help them get off drugs as outlined in Over-The-Counter Natural Cures Expanded so they can enjoy their golden years, not be suppressed by them.

* name changed for privacy.

1. How many years did you work as a nurse?

I worked for a total of 15 years as a nurse.  I took a hiatus so that I could raise my children while they were growing up. After that, I went back to being a nurse for another 12 years…then retired at age 70.

2. Why did you get into nursing?

I went into nursing because I was fascinated by it from the time I had my tonsils out when I was six years old. The nurses were so kind. I guess it appealed to my altruistic side.

I wanted to make sick people comfortable and help them to get better. The ideal of Christian love, so well exemplified by the Daughters of Charity who ran that hospital, was a big influence.

Things have changed since then. I’d never go into nursing today due to its aggressive drive to overmedicate patients.

3. Can you recall one or two examples where a patient was clearly over-diagnosed and over-medicated?

Yes. A friend’s elderly mother was going crazy. Not ordinary dementia, not Alzheimer’s, not senility — just plain crazy. Her son went to visit, saw her behaving like that, and raised heck after he found out how many medications she was on.

Some good person, maybe a second-opinion doctor, suspected she was toxic from the many medications she was on. A good number of them were prescribed to counteract the bad side effects of the original ones. They took her off all meds, and in a short time she was completely normal. I believe they eventually did put her back on one or two meds, for legitimate reasons, but she was fine from then on. (Most of the meds had been completely unnecessary.)

Doctors should keep in mind, better than I think they do, that older folks don’t metabolize these foreign substances the way a young person can.

Here’s another example. The same thing happened to one of my sons. I had to raise heck to get them to recognize they had turned my son into a zombie, and start cutting back on the meds. Today, he takes nothing and has no depression, no odd ideations, no tremors. He lives independently and is cheerful and in charge of his life.

4. What are the long-term effects of a person being over-medicated?

The long-term effects are not just feeling bad and not being able to function well — there’s also physical damage to many parts of one’s body, primarily the liver and kidneys, from the toxic nature of synthetic foreign chemicals, which the human body was not designed to recognize, process, or use. Pharmacological companies put out synthetic vitamins that are worse than taking no vitamins. No wonder the anti-natural people claim that vitamins are harmful. But they fail to note the research, such as it is, has been done on the synthetic vitamins which make up about 90% of those sold.

Like a dummy, I once let a doctor talk me out of dessicated thyroid and switch to synthetic. It did me almost no good, and finally a different doctor said, “Oh you’re on such a small dose, you don’t need that.” So I quit. Well, when my hair started to fall out big time, and I couldn’t get warm, I finally was given the proper lab test, put back on dessicated thyroid, started on iodine, and have been a new woman ever since.

5. Do you recall any examples where a patient refused to take prescription meds, but a doctor bullied them into doing it anyway?

Yes, me. I’m ashamed to say that I was talked into taking Fosamax (used to treat or prevent osteoporosis) and Levoxyl (used to treat hypothyroidism). But after I read that Fosamax can eat your esophagus, and the Levoxyl did me no good, I quit both.

I have always refused to take estrogen – bioidenticals – and the like, even though doctors seemed to think it was important not to feel discomfort while going through “The Change.” Phooey. If you can’t stand a few hot flashes and night sweats for a couple of years, you’re a sissy. It’s nothing compared to cramps and giving birth!

6. You mentioned “the king isn’t wearing any clothes.” Can you explain more on what you mean by this?

Well, when the emperor is marching through town in his birthday suit, while everybody humors him by pretending to admire the imaginary fancy duds he claims to be wearing — until a child tells it like it is — there’s a pretty big disconnect! 

I see the same disconnect when doctors refuse to look at facts that dispel their pet theories — disproven theories such as “saturated fat causes cholesterol,” “cholesterol is dangerous,” and “nutrition has nothing to do with health or recovery from illness,” etc. With few exceptions, their minds are closed and padlocked, but as long as Big Pharma has money connections with medical schools, nothing will change.

This just points to the fact that modern medicine pretends to have THE answers. Too many people refuse to go through the trouble of taking charge of their own health or researching things on their own, but instead will swallow whatever the doctor says and/or prescribes. Brave souls who question and resist this are put down as quacks.

7. Why do you think so many people today are “over-diagnosed, over-medicated, and over-treated”?

I think people are “over-diagnosed, over-treated and over-medicated” because that’s all the doctors know and are trained to do. The profession isn’t called “medicine” for nothing! They call it “medicine” because they only study disease and only use medications.  They don’t study health, or nutrition, or the connection between those. They don’t study the wisdom of the ages for natural, non-harmful ways to preserve health, or in case of illness, at least do no harm.

And dare I say, they seem to have a pretty cavalier attitude towards side effects and toxicity from drugs. I’ve been told more than once the “benefits outweigh the potential dangers.” In most cases, I don’t think that’s true.

8. Whose fault is this?

I am not blaming anybody. There is definitely a place for treating traumas, broken bones, etc., with modern medical technology, but I think some of it goes beyond what is reasonable. Like too many unnecessary C-sections, for instance.

Whose fault is it that people are “over-diagnosed, over-medicated, and over-treated”? Well, I guess the short answer would be the medical schools. They are probably sincere — just sincerely wrong in my humble opinion! They generally refuse to look at the wisdom of the ages. Seems like they’re afraid to appear as though they’ve been mistaken about anything.

They don’t like being challenged by non-medical people, as in “What medical school did you attend, Mrs. Think-You-Know-Something?”

About the Author

My name is Shane “The People’s Chemist” Ellison. I hold a master’s degree in organic chemistry and am the author of Over-The-Counter Natural Cures Expanded Edition (SourceBooks). I’ve been quoted by USA Today, Shape, Woman’s World, US News and World Report, as well as Women’s Health and appeared on Fox and NBC as a medicine and health expert. Start protecting yourself and loved ones with my FREE report, 3 Worst Meds.


The People’s Chemist provides these articles for information only. They are not meant to provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, and do not replace professional medical advice from a medical doctor. I am not a doctor and would only “play doctor” if I was with my wife. In fact, I have not even read Grey’s Anatomy.

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