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Vanity is Vanity! All is Vanity!

The writer of Ecclesiastes states that everything in life, apart from God, is nothing but vanity, and a chasing after the wind. This is indeed most certainly true. Work without God is meaningless. Relaxation without God is meaningless. Wisdom apart from God is meaningless. In fact he says all is meaningless and a vain chasing after the wind. None of this is true more so than vanity itself!

We live in a culture that is one of the vainest societies the world has ever known. That's saying a lot considering the history of cosmetics and beauty dating back to the times of the Egyptian Old Kingdom period.

We are obsessed with beauty. Not just feeling good, but looking good. It reminds me of an old Saturday Night Live skit which said, "It is always better to look good than to feel good. And darling, you look marvelous!" Commercials bombard us with the promise of more youthful skin, a healthy complexion, serums that take years off of our face, giving us tighter skin, fuller lips, or less bags around our eyes, or thin sexy bodies. It is all a bunch of bunk, however, for none of it actually works or shows lasting results. But that doesn't stop us!

For the rich who can afford it there is the vain promise of cosmetic surgery, breast implants, Botox injections, and other radical forms of trying to recapture the beauty of youth. Have you seen some of these folks? The results are less than flattering, as one can easily tell by the oversized and mutated lips, taught skin and a general wreck of their body demonstrates. They literally look like a walking parody of a human.

Now this effort of vanity knows no limits. People will do literally anything to look young and be thin. This includes taking medication that is intended to treat other illnesses and diseases. A prime example of this are the ingredients of the newer classes of Type II Diabetes medications. Medications such as Ozempic, Monjaruro, and Trulicity are wonder drugs for treating, and in some cases completely reversing the effects of Type II Diabetes. I am currently on Manjaruro for Type II Diabetes. My PCP prescribed it for me when my A1C level hit an all time high (for me) of 7.8. I was grossly overweight, and unhealthy. My diabetes had to be reigned in. This medication has done wonders for me. I went from a 7.8 to a 5.8 A1C. I am almost in the "normal" zone for a person, being free of diabetes at the levels I was at, previously. As an added bonus which I was not expecting, I dropped 50lbs and I look and feel great! Therein lies the problem.

This class of medication is the panacea we have been waiting for. In all my 57 years of life I have seen adds touting miracle weight loss pills, weight loss diets and routines, and a whole host of harebrained products that tell us we can eat whatever we want and still lose the weight. The VAST majority of these claims are completely bogus, and unhealthy. But here comes along these new Type II Diabetes medications, and they are the true weight loss miracle drugs of vanity we have been waiting for for over the last 50 years! A sure and certain weight loss scheme with a guaranteed and proven track record. Just get injected once and week and see the pounds come melting off! What a miracle! The only downside is that people like myself, my secretary and many other members of my congregation (in fact all Type II diabetics) are unable to get the medicine we need to treat our diabetes, and in some circumstances, keep us alive.

I have been without my dose of medication for over two months due to a nationwide shortage. It is a shortage not just of this drug, but also of every drug in this class. It's not only the shortage of the drug itself, but the prime ingredients of the serum that focuses on weight loss. There is none to be had, anywhere! Without access to this drug, my A1C goes back up, my appetite returns, and along with it glucose levels rise and weight returns. We return to people being at risk of heart attack, stroke, hypertension and a host of other, deadly illnesses.

This shortage is all caused by vanity. Wealthy folks who can afford injections are getting the drug without the added chemicals which treat diabetes. But this then leaves a shortage of those much needed ingredients for those of us who depend on it, not just to look good, but to live!

I have heard that the insurance companies have cracked down in covering these medications due to overprescribing abuse. People who may be helped because they are at risk of becoming diabetics (pre diabetes), or those who suffer from morbid obesity, are denied access to these medications. Most insurance companies will only cover those who, like myself, have a diagnoses of diabetes. But that does not stop those who can simply afford to pay out of pocket.

I’m sure that Big Pharma has no qualms about selling these chemicals to the highest bidders, thus leaving a shortage for the diabetes meds. And the driving force behind it all? Vanity! People want to lose weight and look good. They want to fit in a dress two or three sizes smaller. They want to fit in the jeans they wore back in college. They want to look good when they go to the beach. They want to attract people who think they are sexy. There’s a host of motivations, but in the end it boils down to the sin of vanity. Pure and simple.

Now, folks like me can not get access to our medications. I went to every pharmacy in Slidell and I was not able to find the dosage I needed. The ONLY place in town that had a stock of Monjauro was the pharmacy with Slidell Memorial Hospital. The only dosages available, however, were in smaller doses than I needed. I had to go back to my doctor to get a prescription for a lower dosage. He wanted to keep me at my .50 dosage, and all they had was .25. So he ordered me a script of the .25, but taking two injections at a time in order to keep me at the .50 dosage. The hospital gave me a three months supply of the .25, which because I need to take two shots per week is only 1.5 months. Insurance covered it for three months at .25. This means I will have to go without the medication for 1.5 months. Of course I can simply take one shot a week, at half the effective dosage. Something is better than nothing? What a world in which we live.

I am calling for regulation of this class of drug. It should only be available for those who are actually diagnosed with diabetes, morbid obesity, and pre diabetes. It should not be used as a weight loss miracle drug of wonder! I have read that many of these folks who are taking it for vainglorious reason are suffering horrendous side effects and even death. A lady in Australia died while taking Ozempic for weight loss. She was not diabetic. She wanted to drop a few dress sizes to get into a skimpy dress she wanted to wear for her daughter’s upcoming wedding. She felt the side effects, but ignored them, wanting nothing more than to look thin and beautiful. She died due to those side effects, one of which was extreme constipation. She was buried in the dress she so desired to wear. What did it get her? She missed her daughter’s wedding (left the family in turmoil) but never looked better. Oh the vanity of it all! A chasing after there wind.

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