Have you ever noticed that more often than not, the side effects for a particular drug are worse than the actual condition they’re trying to fix?
Take arthritis pills, for example. Let’s say it cures your arthritis completely, but then puts you at risk of having dizziness, nausea, kidney failure, liver cirrhosis, a stroke, a heart attack, blood clots, and a 21.4% chance of death.
At least you won’t have arthritis anymore, right?
My example’s a little extreme, but still, there comes a point when I’d rather have my original ailment than all the horrible side effects that may or may not occur.
(And here’s a side note to drug developers–I really appreciate all the work you’re doing to make life better for everyone, but please, if the side effects are going to be worse than the actual condition you’re trying to cure, perhaps you could spend a little more time researching? I mean, your commercials sound a little silly when you go on and on and on about all the ways I could die from using your product, but you gloss over them like they’re just a little case of the hiccups. Gambling with money is one thing, but I’d rather not gamble with my life, thank you very much.)
The reason I bring this up is because I’m currently taking antibiotics. And in case the first little bit there didn’t tip you off, I’m absolutely terrified of taking drugs. Antibiotics, painkillers, even cough syrup–I have an adamant hatred of them and refuse to take them whenever possible. I think it’s the fear of a loss of control that makes me hate them so much–I don’t like the idea of some foreign substance doing potentially bad things to my body that I can’t stop. (This is why I’ll likely never get drunk or high. Hey, at least my fears have my best interests in mind.)
This time, though, I had no choice but to take drugs. You see, both of my big toes are infected. Lovely, yes? The first one got infected two weeks ago, and the second one maybe one week ago. That’s about when track & field season got into full swing, and me practising for the first time this year in my running shoes apparently irritated my toes and they got infected. That’s not unusual, since I’ve got borderline ingrown toenails, but this time the infection wouldn’t go away.
Then add on top of that the fact that when I was sick near the middle of March, I pulled a muscle along my ribs from coughing so much. It healed up for a couple weeks, but then when track season started I sort of pulled it again, and then after that I sneezed while sitting down all hunched over, which felt like someone kicking me in the chest with steel-toed boots. My ribs were then excruciatingly painful when I tried to run or sneeze or laugh (isn’t that sad?), and I had to buy Rub A535, and between my sore ribs and my infected toes, I thought for sure my track & field season was over.
Because a side effect of having a condition is worrying too much about it and blowing it out of proportion.
Anyways, I went to the doctor to get my toes checked out, and she prescribed antibiotics for me. At first, I was just thankful I didn’t have to get my toes amputated–although I did have a backup plan in case that happened:
However, when I then realized that I actually had to take pills, as in drugs, as in the things that I fear, I was none too pleased. Because even antibiotics have side effects, and I’d rather have my toes chopped off than diarrhea. Not that I’ve ever had my toes chopped off, but I’m sure it’s better than diarrhea.
But my mom gave me some probiotics, the very opposite of antibiotics, which should help keep my intestines happy. This isn’t particularly great either, since probiotics are still pills, as in drugs, as in the things that I fear. And probiotics are lovely ginormous capsules with gelatin coatings that look a lot like plastic, and I don’t want to eat plastic, thanks, and so probiotics are terrifying pills to swallow and I hate them too.
At least they don’t taste like dirt, like the antibiotics do, and I have to take the antibiotics four times a day, hooray! I mean seriously though, it’s like a bunch of chemists decided they were going to make antibiotics, so they went out behind the lab, grabbed a handful of dirt, packed them into pills and labelled them antibiotics. In fact, that’s exactly how they did it. I would know–I’m a chemist, and I know what I’m talking about. (Sorry chemists, but you’ve given me dirt pills, so I’m a little bitter.)
Why dirt? Why does it have to taste like dirt?
But now that you’ve endured all my griping about these horrible pills I have to take (you should get an award or something) here’s the moral of this post: sometimes you really have to suck it up.
I tried for quite a while to figure out how I could make this okay, how I could make taking drugs not as scary or bad–make it into some kind of magical pony adventure, maybe–but I was stumped. No Phineas and Ferb to save me here, sadly. The fact was, I was just going to have to suck it up, take my pills, and get through the ten days till my prescription ran out.
It brings to mind a phrase I’m fond of: just soldier on through it.
If I want to be a warrior, then I’m going to have to learn that sometimes there are fights where I’m not allowed any shortcuts or advantages. I just have to soldier on through it till I’ve reached the other side. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, after all, and thankfully death isn’t a side effect of antibiotics.
I’ve had a common theme going these past few posts about laughing through tough times (Jennifer knows what I’m talking about ;) ), and yeah, I had a few exasperated laughs, as you can see throughout this story. But I can’t completely laugh my way out of this one, not this time. I guess I just need to make sure the side effects don’t get the best of me and I don’t blow this whole ordeal out of proportion.
Because in seven days, all my pills will be gone and I’ll have come out of it alive and stronger (and hopefully without infected toes.)
On the bright side, though, my ribs are feeling much better!
When have you needed to soldier on through something?
May you heal all your ailments–but without the nasty side effects.