Medications. I am trying to think objectively about medications. Nope, I can’t. Here’s the deal. There are meds that cure things, like antibiotics. There are meds that mitigate problems without necessarily effecting a cure, like heart meds. There are meds that fix the problems other meds cause. There are meds that cover up symptoms rather than eliminate problems. Meds that help with fibromyalgia fall into that category. We have become a take-a-pill-and-fix-the-problem type of society, so it is easy to think of covering up as curing. There’s a pill for everything, right?
Personally, I’ve failed so many medications, antibiotics, antidepressants, pain medications, etc, that meds have fallen into the enemy category. The side effects outweigh any benefit I get from them. Some have caused hives or rashes. Some make my muscles twitch hard enough to wake me from a sound sleep. Some fog up my head so much I can’t function except to stare blankly into space or a TV. Some make me just a little manic. Aside from side effects, however, there are two reasons I avoid medications:
- When putting your mindset on feeling better and shifting focus on pain and illness to feeling well and possibly taking a med to cut pain, it is possible to miss or have covered up important genuine, non-fibromyalgia symptoms. While not thinking about pain has helped a great deal to reduce pain for me, I have to stay mindful of the possibility that the stabbing pain in my abdomen could be appendicitis (it wasn’t), or the stabbing pain in my rib cage is actually a pulmonary embolism (it was). There has to be some common sense about ignoring or covering up pain.
- Taking a pill each day or multiple times throughout the day reminds me that there’s something wrong with me. It’s an action that reinforces exactly what I want to eliminate. Every day at 1:00 PM I take a mild, low-dose antidepressant, and every time I take it, I am reminded of the reasons I take it. There is no disconnecting the action of taking the pill from the reasons I’m taking the pill. When I take a handful of supplements at the end of the day, I am reminded again. Even though I know both the antidepressant and the supplements are beneficial with very minimal side effects (I occasionally stop taking supplements to see just how beneficial they are), they still serve as a negative reminder of what I am working through.
Of course, not everyone has the same problems I have with meds and if you find something that works as well for you as the people in the commercials, excellent. I have read that one of the marks of fibromyalgia is sensitivity to medications, and it would be very interesting to find out more about this correlation…. More to check into….