Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Popping pills

i've been in the lag week between my prescriptions running out and a refill getting authorized. It's just one of the things that annoys me about my insurance, but I try to keep things in perspective. Bureaucratic insurance is better than no insurance at all, and fitting a doctor's appointment into my work schedule has always contributed to the delays. I'd rather wait a week for my prescription refills than do without them, and without this insurance, that's where I would be. Getting sloppy about taking my medication daily meant that my normally staggered refill schedule all came together, so for the last week, I've gone without blood pressure medicine, diuretics and anti-depressants. There's nothing like being bloated, anxious, obsessive, sleep deprived and hypertensive all at the same time. If I'd had PMS as well, there's no telling what kind of destruction would have been in my powers. I could have rivalled any comic book super-villain.

Now that those little bottles are in my hands, I already feel better. The placebo effect kicks in before I even take the first pill. That sense of relief is strong enough to make part of me question whether or not I need the damn pills in the first place. I know this springs from a lifelong aversion to taking prescriptions that was firmly reinforced by my mother. She regarded even the need for prescription eye wear as a weakness that will power should overcome. I'll never forget the lecture I got for going into bifocals when I turned 36. If I needed them that young, what was it going to be like for me at her age? As was my wont, I just nodded, said yes, momma, shook my head and chuckled inwardly at some of her nuttiness. She would have never used these words, but mind over matter could have been one of her mottoes. It was both her strength and her weakness, and I've recognized only in the last couple of years just how much of this train of thought I've carried with me.

My physical reality is that today my blood pressure was 138/83. That's much better than the 190/140 it was the day I started blood pressure medication. It's somewhat worse though than the 115/75 it was two weeks ago. From having tracked my weight loss, I know that I've gained as much as 11 pounds in one week before when my diuretics ran out. (I am expecting a gain this week as well. I can feel and see it.) I know in detail what the lack of anti-depressants means. Ignoring the mental and emotional effects, I know that I would be getting more than a couple of hours of sleep a night if I had been on them this last week. I know that the lack of sleep is aggravating the restless legs syndrome. I know that the muscles in my shoulders wouldn't be quite as tight from letting the anxiety sit there. I also think that my blood pressure would be lower if I weren't quite so leery of anything going wrong.

I don't like that I do have a sense of relief from having mother's little helpers in my purse, but I do like knowing that help is out there. When it comes to something as important as my health and well being, I'll gladly take whatever help is out there. I'll just swallow my distaste for medication along with my pills.



Blogger alphawoman said...

I don't think any one should be made to feel ashamned or anything else for popping pills ( could not resist) modern medicine....? We live in the miracle age. Enjoy the results! (hope you don't gain as much as you think!)

April 11, 2007 5:41 PM  

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