July 2, 2010
It was beyond believability that a multiple sclerosis patient would ignore the opportunity to postpone relapses to avoid nightly injections.
Don't get me started on the rant about following the instructions on a prescription - you know, the ones that suggest eating certain foods render the drug useless or dangerous.
It always was easier to understand why some chose to eat rather then buy medicine. Even with insurance some drugs require an impossible hefty payment in days of layoffs, leaky roofs and lingering financial obligations to feed your famly.
I remember being baffled at the weariness on my aunt's face as she sat at the kitchen table and worked her way through a shoebox of pill bottles. These were the pills that kept her disease under control, that enabled her to walk with less pain, that might give her more time here with us.
I loved her puffy face. I adored her cane, so useful for pushing items and fun to twirl. I liked her long, floaty dresses that spelled freedom so much better then miniskirts or shifts or polyester pants.
But now, with the wisdom that comes with age and experience, I understand so much better why some days the puffiness, the cane, and the dresses were/are burdens, obstacles and sacrifices.
I understand the weariness of working your way through bottle after bottle of prescribed medications. I understand why the possibility of promises in the pills may not be worth the side effects or even the time that it takes to take them, to order them, to pay for them.
Is it really necessary to self inflict the sharpness of the needle on a night when staying awake is preferable to sharing a mattress moved by another body? Why would one dose make a difference? Show me the research.
Can one grapefruit really hurt? How can it be bad to try to calm the burning sensation with the dryness of Saltines an hour before food is allowed? Why should one more tall glass of water be necessary in a body already retaining enough to require a bigger shoe size most days?
If I stop taking the medications, can I pretend that everything is all right? Just for tonight? Just for awhile? Just forever?
What if I apologize to all those I judged for choosing medicine vacations? Does that earn me the right to hide all the bottles, donate the blue box of Copaxone to someone or stop ordering the endless supply of symptom suppressors?
If I promise to never "yell" or critique the medical habits of others can I slide on some of my own?
Summer heat tends to worsen my multiple sclerosis symptoms so I know that is why I am not recovering as fast as I once did. I will not listen to the whisper that I've recovered as far as I will and this is the new stage of remitting. I have too many miles to cover, too many things to read, too many quilts ... well, you get the idea that there is much to do on my list of musts.