In the beginning, when God created the earth, Eve nicked Adam’s apple and I got diagnosed with Lupus, I stubbornly resisted every drug I was offered. I was adamant that I’d manage without – save for a few ibuprofen when things got extra tough.
Six months later, when Lupus started to dig the claws in a little deeper, I was still in denial. I was reluctant to set off down a road with no end in sight. I was scared to start a medication I might never come off.
Roll forward a decade and oh, how things have changed.
As the years have ticked past and the conditions and symptoms have started piling up around me, not only have I stopped counting the pills I take, I’ve even started begging for more. Surely, this is not good?
I think I’m becoming a bit of a junkie.
The trouble with taking bucket loads of tablets every day is that after a while you start knocking them back like Smarties. You also start getting rather slapdash about the whole affair.
I’ve definitely become far too blasé for my own liking. I know this because the other day when I pulled out my medication suitcase for the weekly decant, I clearly didn’t have my mind on the job. After the 126 pills were all in their allocated compartments, I shook out the ones I was due to take with breakfast.
So I looked a little closer.
In place of the six white pills I take for vertigo every day, I’d somehow substituted them for six sleeping pills. Six sleeping pills that weren’t even the same size or colour – for that matter, they weren’t even in my current meds ‘line up’.
As cock-ups go that one could have been rather disastrous. I’m not entirely sure what that dosage of sleeping fairy dust would have done to me, but I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t have been good.
On the other end of the cock-up scale, I made a similar miscalculation that resulted in an entirely different outcome. The exact polar opposite of results, in fact.
A month or so ago, when trying to get an early nights sleep, my body was so wracked with pain that even the pressure of my bones resting on the memory foam mattress was making me feel nauseous. After unsuccessfully trying to levitate myself off the offending sheet, I reached into the bedside drawer with my one semi-functioning arm and fished out some extra painkillers.
Three long hours later and I was still laying there: eyes wide open in the dark and furiously trying to figure out what the hell was going on.
I tried hard to relax from my toes up to my temples – but was simply too annoyed at being awake. I tried counting leaping, sleep-inducing sheep – but was too irritated by their imagined bleating. I tried to think ‘mindfully’ – but was too wound up by my complete and utter lack of zen.
In the end, with a backward and ever so bitter glare at my sleeping, completely oblivious husband, I flounced off downstairs to the sofa with a pillow under my arm. There I lay, accompanied by the slightly perplexed dog and watching the mother of all tripe and trashy TV until well past 5.30am. I think at that point I passed out rather than fell asleep.
Later that day I discovered what went so very wrong. When scrabbling for pain relief in the dim glow of my phone screen, I had mistakenly grabbed at tablets containing caffeine. No big deal you’d think, but caffeine is a stimulant my body hasn’t consumed or experienced in over 15 bloody years. No wonder I’d felt wired.
Needless to say, I’ve now started to harness all of my powers of concentration when sorting my meds. I’m also pondering just how much I knock back.