Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Do You Play Around With Your Medications?

I have such an ambivalent relationship with my meds. They are my hero and my accuser.

They accuse me of still living with a chronic pain condition. Their little pink and yellow and sometimes blue fingers point at me and say, "You thought you escaped, that pain would be no more. But pain is just underneath the surface of the numbness we provide. Mess with us and you invite pain to step up."

And my meds are my hero. They protect me from my true nemesis -- pain. They are always there for me. And when I let them, they do their job, ceaselessly, heroically.

So why do I keep messing with them. I continually try to get them down to the next lower level, and then the next lower level. I cut them into halves and quarters. Then I scrape off molecules from the quarters until there's only a few nano-particles are left. The more I can pare away from my meds, the more healed I feel I am.

Not true. Maybe in some alternate universe, but not in ours. I always drop down a teeny bit too low and smack up against a relapse. And the relapse isn't reparable simply by going back up on meds by one step. The relapse soon becomes a cascade of pain that requires that I go way back up to the top of the medication mountain.

So I climb back up, take the highest level of meds, and am grateful that they work to take away the pain. But I carry my pick-ax with me. On the ready to chip away at the med mountain as soon as I stabilize.

Meanwhile, Richard is calling out words of encouragement to me to. "Don't worry, you'll get better."

Do you play these games with your medications? What are your reasons?


Toni said...

I do exactly what you do and I don't take medication for pain! I take it for the symptoms that accompany my mystery disease -- which for lack of a better label is called Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Basically, I got sick in 2001 with a viral infection and never recovered. It's as if I have the flu 24/7.

So, I have medication to help with sleep; medication to help with heart palpitations -- the kind you get when you have the flu or serious jet lag; medication to help with night sweats.

And I do exactly what you do. I got myself a pill cutter from the pharmacy but found that it was inadequate to reduce my medications by the tiniest of fragments that are my goal. It sits unused.

I mostly fiddle fiddle fiddle because the medications are the one thing I have some control over as far as my health goes. So, sleep a little better last night? The next night, I cut a fragment off that particular pill. But it makes no sense, I know, because eventually I'll be back at the dose that works for me.

I can't believe I've found another person who chisels away at her pills!

Barbara K. said...

Does that make us both chiselers? :-)