April 4, 2011 1 Comment
For years I refused to take medication. Now I do. I won’t go into the journey I took from not taking any medication whatsoever, for any reason, to taking medication for my epilepsy. That’s another post for another day.
I will say that it was a hard decision to make. It was a hard pill to swallow, both figuratively and literally.
All medication has side effects. No medication is a cure.
But the abled tend to forget that. We disabled should be dutiful broken bodies and take what is given to us.
On paper, or a computer screen, my side effects aren’t “bad.” There are many that are much worse than mine.
But they’re still something that I wouldn’t have to deal with if I weren’t on medication. And these side effects are something I’m going to have to deal with as long as I’m on medication.
The side effects and risks are something we have to weigh against the benefits of the medication. Is it worth it? For me, is the constant dry mouth, the drowsiness, and the certainty of partials and seizures were I to suddenly stop taking the medication worth its benefit of guarding against potential partials and grand mals? Not to mention, the “side effect” of having to remember to take two doses of medication, the actual swallowing of the pills, and the injuries I’m sure to suffer from the said partials and grand mals (the ones I’d have if I were to go off of the meds for some reason).
Like I said, the labeled side effects of the medication aren’t as bad as many others are. The higher number of labeled side effects increases the burden of both the decision and the consequences of taking the medication.
Then you have the actual financial cost of the medication, and the trip to the pharmacy. Sounds like no big deal; if you’re able-bodied, have a car, and money isn’t an issue.
These are questions we must ask ourselves to decide: is it worth it?
I’ll say it again: drugs are not cures. We’re not considered “healed” if we take them. We not considered “normal” if we take them. The things that are taken away from us by society for our conditions are not given back once we take drugs. I’m still an epileptic regardless of whether I take drugs or not. My meds do not “fix” me, my brain, my “abnormal” brain waves.
I ask myself every time I wake in the middle of the night with a bone-dry mouth: is it worth it?
I ask myself every time, the many times a day I have to run to the bathroom for all the water I drink to keep my mouth moistened: is it worth it?
I ask myself every evening I calculate just how late to take my evening dose so I don’t dose off before I want to: is it worth it?
I ask myself every time my schedule messes up my dosage schedule and I have a series of partials: is it worth it?
I don’t know.