Here we go again … I’m back on the medication roller-coaster and I really hate this ride. About three hours ago, I started an increased dosage of my strongest long-acting medication. I can already feel the side-effects, so I know this isn’t going to be fun. This isn’t like one of those medications that you can take a partial dose of to see how it affects you and then not take it again if you don’t react well. This is a 3 day commitment to the new dosage and there is no going back. I shouldn’t drive during this time and I’m scared to sleep so I will just sit here. Maybe watch some TV and work on my blog, unless I start feeling too sick to do those things. I’m one of those people who is always cold. I keep the thermostat set on 75 degrees or higher most days. Not now though. This medication makes me hot, sweaty, and uncomfortable. I keep turning the A/C down more and more but it makes no difference. The heat isn’t coming from the air around me, it’s some sort of weird side effect from the higher dosage of medication. I know this well because when it comes to side effects, I get them all. I have a heightened sensitivity to my body and I notice even the most subtle changes. I’ve been through this before. Hell, I should be a professional by now but it’s hard to get used to living like this. Knowing that I rely on so many medications to get me through each day and help me cling to whatever thread of normalcy is left in my life. It’s hard but it’s also necessary because I am a fighter and I will not give up; I can’t. Will it be like this forever? I don’t know. It very well could unless I encounter remission or a cure.
I should be thankful, and I am, that I do have one doctor who I believe truly cares about me. Her specialty is pain and she knows that I have a lot of it. She also knows that neither of my chronic illnesses have a cure, so the only thing she can do is keep me as comfortable as possible and find that delicate balance of pain relief while still maintaining the ability to function, think clearly, concentrate, do my job, and complete the necessary activities of daily living. It has taken a LONG time for she and I to build a mutual trust. She has been my doctor since December 2012 and it’s only been in the past 6 months that I believe she has started to really understand me. Maybe that is because I have finally started to trust her and talk to her like a normal person instead of freezing up with the usual high level of anxiety that I am overcome with in the presence of doctors. If she knew my life story, she would know that I have struggled with anxiety forever and I have had endless negative experiences with doctors, which now makes them a trigger for heightened anxiety and sometimes panic attacks. Regardless, I have somehow managed to overcome it with her and I am so grateful.
I wish that our doctor would help my husband as much as she has helped me. Maybe it is because I have been a patient for longer than he has and they have yet to find that mutual trust and common ground. Maybe it is because I am a woman, but I doubt it because women typically achieve lower levels of pain relief than men, according to statistics. I think it might be because she knows and respects the fact that I still have to work and remain strong enough to be the sole source of income, insurance, and everything else that it takes to keep our little family afloat. I have to do it alone and the sheer weight of that responsibility is overwhelming. Knowing that I cannot fail, that I hold my husband’s life in my hand because he MUST have constant medical treatment, is a heavy burden to bear. The stress is suffocating at times, but our love gives me strength. Many people in my situation couldn’t and others wouldn’t, continue working through the pain, fatigue, medication side effects, and horrible symptoms that I face each day. For me, there is no choice.
I hope and pray that something changes for my hubby soon, because he desperately needs more help than our doctor is willing to give and I don’t know how long his body and mind can endure the torturous levels of pain that he experiences each day. My heart breaks a little every time I see him suffer, which is often. If I could trade him places, I would, in a split second. I don’t know how his pain compares to mine, but I know that I would do anything to take it away even if that meant taking it on myself. Unfortunately that isn’t an option, no matter how much I pray for it to be.
It appears that I have gotten off on a tangent, and my mind has drifted somewhere from the original topic at hand. I guess that is fitting because for that I can blame these freaking medication side effects. Well, not entirely, because my mind seems to work that way all on its own fairly often. 😉 If I can ride this out, hopefully my body will adjust quickly and I will benefit from the change, which if I’m lucky will reduce my pain levels a little bit. Until then, I just hope it doesn’t make me too sick (or something worse). That reminds me, I think it’s about time for some anti-nausea meds.
See you soon! 🙂