I’ve noticed that so-called “healthy” people often think of medications as cure-alls. Have an ear infection? Take some antibiotics and viola! All better! Gee, that was so easy. But venture beyond your basic, easily-diagnosed, known-cure issues, and it gets more complicated. Constantly queasy? Take this and you’ll just be constipated instead. Trouble breathing? Just use an inhaler. Oh, but watch out for the jitters. Auto-immune issues? Would you prefer the drug that will make you permanently infertile, or should we just skip that and go right to chemo? Oh yeah, these are real fun decisions to make.
The thing is, in the big battle between the side effects of meds and the symptoms of illness, there’s no winner. When the symptoms are worse than the side effects, it’s time to take the meds, but that doesn’t make it fun and it certainly doesn’t make it easy. Every day (or week or whatever) you choose to take a pill or get a shot or otherwise receive something that you know will make you feel horrible. But hey, it’s not as bad as what it’s preventing, so that makes it ok, right? Well, maybe not. At the moment, we work with the options we’ve got. Still, that doesn’t mean I like the options.