Wednesday, 26 May 2010

The solution is not the pill


She’s the teaspoonful of sugar
Beyond having medication prescribed by my doctor, I have a treatment advisor, someone who helps you navigate the maze of dealing with multiple drugs and how those could affect your quality of life – physiological, mental, social and everything else.
Whilst the specialist could give me the general view of expected side effects, she told me how best to handle the situation and wanted to be informed if I had any adverse effects. Basically, like the old school song – The teaspoonful of sugar that makes the medicine go down.
We agreed last week that I would go on the new pills on Friday night and since it was a long weekend, Monday being Pentecost, it was the sensible thing to do – the more socially embarrassing part of the pills I was giving up was diarrhoea bordering on incontinence – it is over now, the detail I cannot yet cover as to how it really bothered me.
Where is my slumber?
So, after the fourth day of taking the new pill, I called the treatment advisor, the only serious side-effect I noted was I was not sleeping – my eyes were closed but I was too aware through the night as if I was awake.
Something about being on medication seems to leave you in the most vulnerable position to be persuaded to take a few more – I do need medication for the core elements of preventing a relapse but I would not resort to ones that offer me a prop for continued existence.
Not if I could help it
Immediately, she suggested I go on sleeping pills – No, I do not want drug-induced sleep – we need to find a way of managing this regime of medication to align with my body-clock or tiredness.
I did strongly resist taking that advice the more she tried to persuade me of it being the best course of action to take – in the end, we decided, I will take the new pill at midnight, close to when I retire at night – I am somewhat a nocturnal person, I am more active towards the end of the day, we’ll review the situation on Thursday.
If it means I take the pill at some seriously odd hour to get my sleep and avoid the feeling of being stoned, we would find that time but sleeping pills are just completely out of the question.
Surely, not everything should have the first resort of pill-controlled sense of wellbeing and in this case, I pray it is neither the first nor the last resort – it should never be part of the solution.

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