Since being diagnosed over 6 years ago I have become very blasé about “popping” pills. There have been times in my treatment when I have been taking 12 pills before I had even had my morning wash. I guess I tried to be as ignorant as possible to what I was taking in a blind hope that they would offer some relief from my Crohn’s Disease symptoms. No matter what my ailment, there always seemed to be an extra pill that could be taken.
Even now that I am more educated to what the medications do and how they work, it doesn’t stop me dropping a pill a soon as something doesn’t feel quite right.
If I feel nauseous I take a pill, if I get a headache I take a pill and if my tummy shows any sign of not being in any way cooperative then I will take a pill.
It is not until you make a conscious effort to monitor or restrict the amount of medication you take that you begin to notice just the quantity of medication you are reliant on.
Alongside my Mercaptopurine I was regularly taking a dose of Imodium and paracetamol. It had become a habit, a routine of popping pills not necessarily because I needed them but more a pre-emptive strike on what may come. Then there is the varying array of stronger painkillers I have stashed in my drawer for when I feel even worse than normal. My joints hurt most of the time and my bowel cramps and strains most days too; this is just my normal life, so why should I not try and deal with it before it happens?
After many years of this disease my pain threshold has moved on. Generally I can withstand much more pain than my old self could, so why was I finding the need to take so much medication?
I guess normality is wanted by each and every Crohnie. We want to live a normal life where our bodies don’t hurt or disrupt us.
I made a conscious effort to take the drug use down and go back to using medication if and when required. The only medication I try to take now as routine is Mercaptopurine.
This is actually quite difficult. Not all my aches and pains disrupt life, they are just annoying. So how do you decide what needs pain relief or what requires Loporimide? If I have 1 loose bowel movement do I need to strike or do I wait for a second just to be absolutely sure I need a pill to help block me up? Does an achey tummy mean later I’ll be in agony or will it pass?
I know if I don’t take action swiftly then all hell may break loose later but then again, maybe I’ll be totally fine and the symptoms will pass.
We become so reliant on medication that I believe we forget that they are toxic. Our body does not like them and has to process them. The more pills you take the more your body fights. As you see with alcoholics or other drug addictions, your body eventually gives up and cannot cope. I am terrified that I will damage my body. I know it is unlikely as my pill usage is relatively small and insignificant but it is still a niggle that plays on my mind.
Also I do not want to become resistant to the medication. I know of people who need morphine regularly but the more they have the more they need to control the pain. So what happens to them if they get a blockage and need something to control the pain? Morphine is lovely and is such a great relief when you are in A&E or after an operation, I would be gutted if I became resilient and couldn’t have it.
Don’t get me wrong I don’t want to stop all medication and become a hippy. I don’t want to feel guilty for taking a pain-killer; I just want to ensure I am taking them because I need to.
Even as I write this I have had to have some cocodemol just because my gut is aching and churning away. I am gritting my teeth and pretending life is normal. I need to be “normal” for a couple of hours – so let’s drop a pill and enjoy life.
I have been a little rough recently. Really tired out and losing weight. I’ve not had a symptom’less day for quite a while. I am struggling to focus on tasks and finding work very difficult. Unfortunately my drug use is way up but on the plus side I seem to be in control and nothing has got that bad that I need hospital treatment.