20 November 2011

Sometimes Pills are Good

This morning I woke up in pain. My muscles were aching from the waist up and the soreness extended right down to my fingertips. It was difficult to ignore, and yet I tried. The aches are part of my MS and there is nothing I can do about it so I might as well suck it up, right?

It may sound irrational, but I try not to take medicine if I can avoid it, even over-the-counter medicine. Back when I was in high school, I used to take six Tylenol pills at a time for headaches. Nothing bad happened as a result of that, but I decided one day that I was putting too much medicine in my body and I stopped. Ever since then I've lived by the philosophy that most ailments are temporary visitors in my body and I can wait them out without medicine or trips to the doctor. That worked fine when I was dealing with colds and sprained ankles, but multiple sclerosis is on a whole other level. MS is not passing through and it is not going away. Not only that, but every day it seems to bring with it a different symptom to deal with:  fatigue, pain, flu-like chills, tingling or burning in my extremities, headaches, etc. I can't always take a day off and wait the symptoms out like I would with a cold because the next day something else may be on deck. So I have to take medicine to make me more comfortable and help me function.

Back to this morning: after spending a couple miserable hours hoping the muscle aches would go away, I gave in and took some ibuprofen. Despite my neurologist's assurance that my liver is fine and that taking ibuprofen whenever I needed it wouldn't hurt anything, I'm having trouble adjusting my thought that taking more than two pills a day is bad. It makes me feel like an old lady, and it's not sexy. Still, being curled up on my bed in pain doesn't exactly paint a lovely picture, either, does it?

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