Saturday, November 5, 2016

Side Effects




I want to kill myself, but I'm feeling much better.

Navigating chronic illness seems impossible at times. The amount of work that goes into simply getting through the day can be astronomical, even when you're not doing much of anything. 

And then there are the medications that can do miraculous things. And that can cost far more than the hundreds or thousands of dollars a month these treatments often run. The side effects of some of these live-giving medications can kill us. 

I am currently on one medicine that makes me highly susceptible to infection and taking it could possibly lead to me getting a rare and untreatable form of cancer. I just started another medication that can worsen depression and make one suicidal, among other things. 
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But these treatments also do wonderful things like give me the ability to get out of bed each day, to walk, to use my hands...to be a functional person. They are truly a blessing.

The drugs that are supposed to stop my disease and improve my life could kill me...or make me want to kill myself. These are the risks many of us take in order to merely be able to function most days. 

The reality that we're putting our lives on the line in order to be able to live them is overwhelming at times. 

The choice to take these risks has been worth more than I could ever express. Life on these meds has been the difference between feeling like I'm going to die and being able to live life. It has brought me from feeling trapped in a dysfunctional body to wondering just how much function I can coax out of my body...from despair to hope.

"I want to kill myself, but I'm feeling much better...wonderful!" That thought ran through my head as I read the possible side effects section of my newest psoriatic arthritis treatment. I laughed at the thought, because that's what I do. Without a sense of humor, I don't think I'd make it through life with chronic illness ... or the possible ramifications of the treatments. 

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