Feeling disheartened this week. After thinking I had my health under control, it decided to throw two middle fingers in my face.
Two weeks ago, my stomach had a familiar nauseous feeling. The bouts of nausea were followed shortly by multiple visits to the bathroom. Since being diagnosed with GERD (or reflux) back in February, I’ve had my fair share of these episodes. They usually last a day or two, but this time extended to over a week.
I went to my family doctor to see if there was anything I could do to curb this flare up. Thankfully, she informed me that this happens and that it was likely only a short-term issue. Thank fucking God. However, to ease the flare, she upped my one medication to twice a day and added another to my nighttime regimen. This brought my total number of prescriptions to 6 a day and 3 vitamins.
I’m only 32 years old. Why in the hell am I on so much medication?
I rationalized this increase as only temporary. It would only be this much for the next two weeks, and then I can go back to my usual routine. While at the family doctor though, she also put in a referral for a cardiologist. She reviewed my recent blood work with me, which overall looked good. My cholesterol was at its lowest in five years. I was no longer in the pre-diabetic range with my sugar. She asked me to go to the cardiologist though as a preventative measure. I have a long family history on both sides of heart disease, heart attacks, and high blood pressure.
Magically, I managed to get an appointment within the week. I checked in, and I had no idea what to expect from this appointment. I went in with an open mind and waited a couple minutes for the doc to show up.
In walks in a middle-aged bald man with his white lab coat. He reviews my history briefly and made his mind up within a minute or two of knowing me. “This appears to be genetic. It might be best if we start you on medication.”
Another one! And he went on to say that this was pretty much a permanent change. If I came off these types of medications that my cholesterol would just skyrocket again.
I hung my head in disappointment. The doctor wasn’t budging on this option. After my two-week stint with my stomach meds, my total medication count would come to six. I looked right at the cardiologist and asked, “Am I on a lot of medications for a 32-year-old?”
I didn’t need to listen to what he said past that. Your body and health are meant to be some of the few things in life we have control over, right?
Real take. I always despised the idea of taking medications for anything. I will usually try everything else before it gets to the point where I need to take a pill for relief. I’d much rather go their the hard work to make lifestyle changes or go to therapy weekly if it’s an option.
My mom made a somewhat realistic joke though. She said, “If I went to as many doctors as you, I’d probably be on ten medications.” She has been going through her own set of health issues that come with aging. The big difference between her and me is that I actually go to the doctors if I feel like the issue is getting out of control.
You know what though? It just proves that I am actively trying to take care of my health. The harsh truth is that there are many factors at play with our very bodies that we do not have full control over. Genetics, physical trauma, accidents, psychological trauma. There is only so much we can actually do. Those pills fortunately and unfortunately help with my quality of life and help me fulfill my humanity. It’s still a hard pill to swallow.
– The Caring Counselor