Take Your Medicine
You might expect that once you get your diagnosis, you can breathe again. But many times, this is when the fight really begins. This is when you start seeing the specialists, doing the therapy and adjusting the medications.
Medicine is a great thing. Think of all the discoveries that have been made which have saved so many lives. But there is also a price to pay. And I’m not talking about the cost of the medication, which in itself can be a challenge. I’ve often thought when I see commercials for medications and you hear all the side effects, that maybe, you are just trading one problem for another.
I had such a regiment of medications, at times, it was hard to keep it all straight and not miss a dosage. I found an app on my phone (Med Helper) that would remind me throughout the day to take medications. Everyone around me knew my ringtone for medications!
Steroids are excellent for reducing swelling and pain; they were “wonderful” for me. I could walk around and do all kinds of things but I worried about what it was covering up. What was the real problem and was I damaging my body more by taking the steroids. Not to mention the rapid weight gain. I had just recently lost weight to my lowest weight since before pregnancy.; but now, I am back to my highest weight ever. Also, there are more severe effects on your organs if used for a long time.
By the time, I was diagnosed, I had already been on high dosages of prednisone for 6 months. I was placed on the right drug for the fibromyalgia pain and we began trying to reduce the steroids. But it would take a long time as we had to do this very slowly. The slightest reduction of steroids would cause my pain to return with a vengeance. [It took me nearly 10 years to get completely off the steroids.]
Even with Medication… There is Still Pain
Now I want you to understand that these medications only take the edge off of the pain. They bring the patient to a place where one can function .. at least a bit. When I visit the doctor or the therapist, they ask what your level of pain is on a scale of 1 to 10. Mine averages out at around 5 or 6. When the weather is bad, it might be 8 or 9.
I have learned there is a mental attitude you need to keep the pain at bay. It’s a big job, but having a positive attitude does make a big difference in how you can handle it all. Of course, there are days that are just plain bad, but if I work at it most days can be bearable.
A merry heart does good, like medicine, but a broken spirit dries the bones.Proverbs 17:22
The best medicine for that is laughter. So I try to find ways to keep laughter around me. Here are a few ideas …
- Share a joke or something funny on Facebook every day.
- Watch funny sitcoms. I like the old re-runs that are much cleaner.
- Watch comedy movies.
- Christian Comedian DVD’s [Tim Hawkins, Mark Lowry, Ken Davis, Etc]
- Reminisce about the good old days.
- Invite your funny friends over for a visit.
- The hardest thing to do is to talk positively. Don’t tell everyone all about your aches and pains. Of course, DO tell your health care people, but try to keep a positive attitude around your friends. It helps you and honestly, your friends don’t really want to hear about it.
What Medicine of Laughter do You Use?
Learn more about Mandy’s Journey with Chronic Pain.
I’m trying to write and share about my experiences. Just click here for a Table of Contents of what I have written so far.