(*disclaimer* : this is not a post meant to bash modern medicine, rather a post to open ones eyes to see the possibility and impact modern medicine can hopefully have one day by providing more cures to people’s chronic illness’. I am more than thankful for modern medicine as it’s kept me alive for over 2 years now and without it I would be a very very ill human being.)
Sunday morning is usually pill sorting day in my household, in fact it’s quite the event. To paint the picture of what takes place it’s usually about 4 different pill cases and 11 different prescriptions, once you have the basics you must sort precisely which pill goes in which holder and how much of that pill checking once, twice, and maybe even a third time to make sure you’ve got it all correct. In the beginning of my diagnosis I left this task up to my mom, she knew the doses, I was just the one that swallowed them however I’ve gotten to a point now where I am able to sort, and place the pills in their correct locations. A confusing task indeed that MUST be repeated every week, add the multiple trips to the pharmacy you make in a week for the refills, new medications, and occasional dosage change. To sum it up when one takes an Advil for a headache they use it to relieve the pain, after that it’s gone and probably won’t come back for quite a while. Well when you take someone that’s chronically ill what used to be one Advil is now 28 pills a day and these aren’t little Advil’s they are high strength medications (for example, the medication Zofran, I take for my Gastroparesis is the same pill given to people on Chemotherapy to help ease the pain.) To stress my advocating for a cure for POTS I decided to lay out just how many pills I swallow in ONE WEEK. Like I said, this picture you see is only ONE WEEK worth of pills, that is 127 pills swallowed in one week, 504 in a month, not to mention the other as needed medications. It’s mind boggling to me really that we have all of these medications to treat or at least attempt yet we still have no cure. Even crazier is that most of this dosing is just a guess and check, when one medicine doesn’t work you kick it out and try another one until eventually you either (hopefully) find one that works or are all out of things to try. I often hate to take my pills in public because it’s a reminder to me of how different I am, you just eat food to survive but I, well I rely on these medications. I know in the grand scheme of things I am more that 28 pills a day and it doesn’t define me at all unless I let it but it’s often so hard to wrap your mind around the fact that these medications are essential to your everyday life if you plan on making it out of your bed in the morning. Not only do you just have to take them but with many you have to sit upright for 30 minutes after you take them or you must take them with food or else something else will occur in which you will need another medication to fix. I often more times than not find myself being asked if I took my medicine and usually I will have but every now and then I don’t I like to sit and pretend I don’t need them and imagine what it’s like until I’m then awoken by reality and my mom chimes in and makes sure I have or that nasty wave of dizziness floats over my body as I stand. The point is that I am a face behind “Modern Medicine” and I am a face still waiting for a cure. My voice will not be left unheard and my story will not be left unshared. Modern Medicine doesn’t fix everything and it definitely doesn’t have a magic pill I’ve yearned for and dreamt about however I will continue to fight for one and intend on it until the day I die. As a good friend of mine always says, “Awareness is Key”.