A medicated life

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Hand with pillsIt is concerning that medication is the thing that keeps me getting up and participating in life. I would say I have a love/hate relationship with it right now. Medication that is.

The reason I love my medication is that it does positive things to my body that I cannot do myself, like keep my blood pressure down, dull the throbbing pain I feel in my feet and hands and stop the nerve pain all over my body that drives me crazy. Because of it’s help, I can go to work and do things in my life other than lay in bed or sit on the couch.

The reason I hate my medication is that it doesn’t fix my pain completely and it gives me all sorts of random side effects, one of which is to make the pain worse (yes I know, that is ridiculous) and make me fatigued and foggy. So, sometimes I still do end up in bed or on the couch feeling very useless.

When I feel like that I wonder if there is any point in taking my medication at all. However, if I think constructively I know that the extremity of the pain and fatigue without medication is much worse than when on it. In other words, my medication has a positive effect overall. Plus, this new medication, the one I am currently referring to as the miracle drug in other posts, should have a lot more impact in a positive way, in a few weeks time. Hopefully.

Sometimes I need to take more and more pain killers to get me going and keep me going throughout the day. This is not a good habit to start. So I’m stopping with that.Glass of pills

However, can it be seen that all this taking medication is not only a reliance on medication, but a slow slide into becoming addicted, physically and mentally? If you have to take a medication, and are not allowed to stop it abruptly due to the side effects, then are you not already addicted anyway?

Let’s explore…

Medical definition of addiction:

Compulsive physiological need for and use of a habit-forming substance (as heroin, nicotine, or alcohol) characterized by tolerance and by well-defined physiological symptoms upon withdrawal;

broadly : persistent compulsive use of a substance known by the user to be physically, psychologically, or socially harmful—compare habituation

Medical definition of habituation:

1. The act or process of making habitual or accustomed
2a. Tolerance to the effects of a drug acquired through continued use
2b. Psychological dependence on a drug after a period of use—compare addiction
3. A form of nonassociative learning characterized by a decrease in responsiveness upon repeated exposure to a stimulus

Thank you Merriam-Webster, it appears I had the wrong word. I am not becoming addicted, that only relates to harmful drugs (hmmm, that is subjective). I am becoming habituated, as definitions 1 and 2b above explain.

Right now I am 41, will I have to keep this up forever? Probably yes. When I was last at the rheumatologist, he said that I would be visiting him for ever. Thats like 30 to 40 years or more. That’s ominous. And, that’s a lot of money.

I guess I can’t think about whether I like this new reliance or habituation of medication or not.

It just is. Move on.

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9 responses »

  1. I feel the exact same way about medication. My illnesses are however, mental. I still fear the dependence I yearn for those pills. Without them I feel empty, I waste hours are the smallest of things, go into raging fits, and even harm myself all to collapse and wake up an hour later not realizing what I’ve done. I fear the day that I may no longer be able to purchase or maintain health while taking these pills. Taking medication for mental illnesses seems somewhat ironic.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’d think we could reprogram our minds, our bodies, do something more natural to replace whatever it is that is missing, stimulate whatever organ or process is not functioning correctly. However, medication is what helps, unmedicated just doesn’t work.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I have heard that it is possible to ‘think’ your way into curing yourself. Similar to the power of the placebo effect. Our mind is very stronger, its potential is fearful to myself.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I have now accepted that medication is part of my, but mostly Anthony’s, life and despite the fact that I don’t like that we have to take meds (him for PD and me for depression), without them he would be totally bedridden and I would probably be a basket case. So I am re-wiring myself to love the meds, and the science and scientists that developed them. Before I was kind of rejecting them. Hope this makes sense!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I was quickly becoming addicted to pain meds too until I realized all I thought about was pain pills. I started taking Kratom instead which is a natural painkiller/mood enhancer. I haven’t had one tramadol or hydrocodone since I started taking this. It also eliminated my need for xanax. It’s worth a try. You can’t use it daily but every other to every two days, and the effects are amazing. Google it. It have me my life back.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. It also hate having to depend on meds to function but I hated how I felt without them (incapacitated) even worse. My pain management clinic is good about distinguishing between addiction vs physical dependence. I like this article’s perspective http://www.healthcentral.com/chronic-pain/coping-279488-5.html which takes it a step further, also explaining tolerance and pseudoaddiction. They are all so similar that some could say they the same thing but recognizing the subtle differences makes me feel a little better about it all. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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