Funnying a problem when you live far away — how to get your pills. You can't.

Well, anyone who is someone knows the UK is a pioneer in medical research, medicines and medicare; it boasts NICE, the National Institute for Health-Care Excellence. (So, it should really be NI-H-CE.) Anyone who is someone knows that the U of K lords it over the world with its NHS, just about the best anywhere, and that includes anywhere in all the other worlds the space scientists will reveal to us in the future.

            Now, please to peruse once again the photo of three tablets. I’m sure you can tell the difference now and also when you are one hundred and three…but I digress. At the ripe, old age of thirty-nine I was diagnosed with high blood-pressure. The pill I take in the evening is lisinopril 10mg. The photo reveals lisinopril 10mg in one form and lisinopril 10mg in another form, both prescribed by a doctor in Sheffield, both manufactured in the UK. I showed him my Italian version which I have also photographed. It is prescribed by my Italian doctor and it is Lisinopril DOC Generici 20mg. The English doctor laughed when he saw it and said, “I’ll give you 10mg tablets.” I now have 10 and 20 mg tablets.

            I live for most of the year in Thailand and if I can build up a supply of high blood pressure medication it is of great help and saves me a lot of bother. The 20mg tablet is infinitely preferable. The 10mg tablet when it runs out can well put my blood pressure up!

            Tough, tough, very tough cheddar!

            And rightly so. The UK is precise; Italy less so. The UK doc. laughs. The Italian doc. says it’s all too fiscal over there, nodding towards that part of Europe where lie those strange-shaped islands we recognize as the U of K.

            I went into my local Boots three months past and asked for baby aspirin (75mg). You don’t need a prescription and it’s a tablet related to helping the heart by thinning the blood. I take one every day and have done so for years. That day, for the first time, I was refused the tablet and told to come back at 2 p.m. when the qualified guy was back from lunch. I stepped up the road and bought it immediately in a differently named chemists shop with different staff.

            Take a look at those tablets just one last time, pleeeaaassseee. Now which one is infinitely sexier than the others? Now that’s the one I love! Yep, the one on the right. Forbidden tablets are far tastier than those state-sanctioned ones, and they last a bit longer. That’s about twice as long. I break the 20mg in two, something I can still manage to do successfully at the moment, something the UK forbids me to do. Well, not really. It just doesn’t give me the chance.

            Never mind. Mustn’t grumble. (And, please, don’t tell this rebel to his face, “Tough cheddar!” Remember my high blood pressure.)

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