So medication does have a lot of unpleasant side effects. But there are obviously important reasons to take them that outweigh the side effects.
I have had a recent decrease in them. However, I am hoping to add the medication Aimovig for migraine (when it is covered by insurance and when doctors can prescribe it) and take away Tramadol. And add Ativan, for the vestibular migraine symptoms based on some research I have done for that class of medication and vertigo. It is possible I will have to stop the zopiclone (sleeping pill) as a result of this, due to sedating effects.
First, let’s got through the potential side effects of every medication
- It might cause exactly what you are taking it for. A migraine med may cause migraine. A depression med may worsen depression.
- Weight gain. I ace this one. Check that box every time
- Gas and bloating
- The possibility you might hallucinate a pink bunny rabbit
- The possibility you might get a rash on the entire body region
- The possibility you will have a prolonged existential crisis
- The possibility you will become obsessed with fanfictions
- A rare side effect of permanent ennui
- The rare side effect you find out the meaning of life (which is Monty Python). May cause you to sing ‘Always look on the bright side of life’
- May cause spontaneous combustion when exposed to sunlight. So drink water.
And here are the medications I take currently:
Okay, I have no idea what this actually does. I am told it is strong and good for pain. But, man, sure doesn’t feel that way. I must be really resistant to pain medications. Or I must be actually in an insane amount of pain. I speculate both.
However, there is a downside. The massive stigma with pain meds. So everyone thinks you must be an addict. Because obviously 100% of the people who take medication for pain become instantly addicted to it. Tylenol is a gateway drug you know.
This is for hypothyroidism because my thyroid doesn’t know how to thyroid.
Literally no downside. I am not even aware of it. The perk I was told would happen is that it would decrease my migraines. And sort of still ticked that didn’t happen.
I can Breathe! I CAN BREATHE. Obviously, this is a perk. And, clearly, my lungs don’t know how to lung.
So the perk of this is when I eat food it actually helps keep it in my body long enough to be digested.
(migraine abortive) The downside is you can’t take it every day. The perk, though, is it might or might not abort your migraine for the day… or some random duration before it comes back.
Botox (for chronic migraine)
The idea is this will decrease frequency and intensity and it sort of works. The perk is that you get botox and have no wrinkles on your forehead ever and as long as you are not fond of making expressions with your face this is totally cool. The downside? A lot of needles in and around your head area. A lot of stabby stabness.
The perk to this is the blissful heaven of being able to actually sleep. Side effects may include buying books online and forgetting you did. So you can surprise yourself with a book. And this is never a problem.
Abilify (Major depressive disorder)
This abilifies my brain to want to exist. May worsen depression, cause hallucinations, and make you become a compulsive gambler. However, the perk of not being in a deep, dark pit of despair is well worth it. I have the side effect of worsening depression and suicidal ideation with pretty much every anti-depressant. I was told I am pretty sensitive to them, so thus the option of Abilify. Which works spectacularly well.
So these are the medications I take for chronic migraine, fibromyalgia, Hypothyroidism, asthma, and major depressive disorder. I mean, not a lot of medication when you consider that other comorbid things need treatment. But, well, with chronic pain it is just very chronic and it will be there regardless of what you do. However, when I had completely unmanaged pain I was not coping well at all. Deep depression and suicidal. So managing it somewhat, along with other coping strategies and pain management goes a Long way.
The most common advice I get about my medications:
- Have you tried not taking anything? Like maybe all those drugs are the problem.
- Have you tried the natural approach? Like maybe avocados and Vitamin D would pretty much do it.
- Have you tried not having depression? I mean, if you need medication that makes you weak. And you should just be able to deal with it on your own.
- Have you tried just ‘pushing through the pain’?
- You should exercise. Have you tried yoga?
Most of these comments are because people do not understand all the things we do to manage chronic illness that have nothing to do with medication. And that medication just helps us cope better. I mean, I love mindful meditation, but without some sort of pain management, it isn’t going to cut it. So we balance medication with coping strategies. And, yes, alternative medication and supplements. And, yes, often if we can tolerate it we try to add in exercise or physio. We all have elaborate action plans for coping with chronic illness and chronic pain. Because if it helps, then we do it.