Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Halloween Candy

I realized this evening that I take a lot of pills every day. In addition to the Remicade treatments I am now receiving by IV, these days I take at least seven pills every night. Three are vitamins. One is an iron supplement because my body is still rebuilding its iron stores from this summer, when I was seriously anemic from the undiagnosed autoimmune disease. The second is a combination fish oil/flax seed supplement, because supposedly both of those things are good for people with RA. The last is a general women’s multivitamin, because I figured my body is pretty messed up so I am probably missing out on something I need!

The other four are drugs. The first is a thyroid pill that I have been taking every day of my life since I was diagnosed with my other autoimmune disease in kindergarten. That’s right, I already had autoimmune disease number one – RA is actually number two. The first one is called Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, where my immune system attacks and destroys my thyroid gland. So I’ve been taking supplemental thyroid hormones since I was five.

The second pill is birth control, which is pretty much mandatory when you are on RA drugs that result in pretzel babies, should a baby happen to occur. Though I must say (perhaps mom and other family members might want to skip the rest of this sentence) untreated RA pretty much serves as birth control all on its own. The third pill is an antibiotic that the doctor gave me for a rash under my arms that may or may not be a side effect from one of the other drugs I am on. It seems to be making the rash go away. The last evening pill is ambien, a sleeping medication, which is supposed to help me sleep better. But I still haven’t been sleeping that well or feeling rested when I wake up in the morning.

So that covers the pills I take in the evening. In the morning I take another dose of the antibiotic, and I also take my daily dose of prednisone. Prednisone is a steroid that is supposed to be helping with the RA pain, but I honestly don’t feel like it is doing that much. But I am on a pretty low dose of it, due to yucky side effects, like weight gain. Honestly, I would probably be worse off without it. However, even with the prednisone, I usually also take several pain killers throughout the course of the day, just to get me through my classes and errands and whatever else needs doing.

On Sunday mornings, I take six methotrexate pills. It’s a weird prescription that requires you to take six pills, once a week.

It’s a lot of pills to swallow. Especially after a long day where I still feel like I am far more exhausted than the few things I managed to accomplish today merit.

But a good friend of mine, who has some experience with health issues of her own, told me that I should think of my medicine not as a burden but as a blessing. She said that I should view the medicine like candy – something to look forward to because it will help me. And I think she might be right. Trying to stay positive about my situation has really helped me get through this so far, so I guess it could also work with my medicine. Maybe the power of positive thinking can actually help my medicine help me feel better.

So, I’m really going to try to think of my medicine like candy. And it must be Halloween!


A said...

Maybe you could draw little Ms on them to help you get the better candy visual... or roll them in a sweet candy coating. ;)

~kelly marie~ said...

Yay for Halloween candy! I love the idea of a candy coating :). Ahh, if only. I also wish my pills were fun colors.

Unknown said...

that is such a cute and helpful way of looking at it!

just pretend they're candy corn! for some reason i have the idea that you have an unreasonable and passionate love for candy corn.