I was just watching an ad for a medication for fibromyalgia (Fibromyalgia Syndrome or FMS). It made me think of how good it is that there are now some medications available for it, although most of the meds for it have such awful potential side effects that I won't take them. I was also thinking that the diagnosis of FMS is so readily recognized now. In the 1980s I was almost debilitated with it, but no one knew what it was. I was finally diagnosed in the early 1990s, but not before several doctors just shook their heads at my complaints, because they didn't know what it was. Obviously I had a vivid imagination. Yeah, right. Or was crazy, because I was describing symptoms that didn't make sense.
Anyway, that isn't my point.
FMS is widely recognized today. I no longer feel like a freak. But I do wonder about how many people are prescribed multiples of medications to try to control the symptoms. In the mid- to late-90s, I was on a horrible regimen of medications for it. I was, at one time, taking around 40 pills a day. I asked my doctor to help me decrease the number of medications I was taking, because I felt like a zombie. I took pills to ease pain, to decrease inflammation, to relax muscles, and to help me sleep. I noticed I wasn't fully functioning until after noon, because all the meds hadn't worn off till then. It was a mess.
My doctor helped me to decrease the meds, slowly, wisely. Eventually, I got down to just a few pills, and many of them "natural" or "herbal." Nowadays I take an anti-inflammatory, an occasional pain reliever, and an occasional muscle relaxer. Add to that some "naturals" for support of joints and muscles. I do pretty well.
I realize there are others with FMS who have much more severe symptoms than I do at this time, but I wonder if people are being properly medicated. My doc here is very intuned to the more natural supplements. He works with me and the natural, homeopathic and herbal people to keep me as chemical-free as possible. I like it this way. And I pity folks who are being dosed with prescriptions without a second thought about alternatives.
Don't misunderstand. I'm not opposed to prescription medications. They have a purpose and are a godsend when they do the intended job. My point is that lots of people take whatever their doctors give them without a second thought and without understanding the medications, their uses and their side effects. Then don't get me started on how drugs interact with one another!
Sadly, I've encountered doctors to do pay attention to these points, either. We all need to read the inserts in the packages, and to read about the drugs elsewhere, as well. The inserts give a lot of legalese info, but I'm all for reading quite a bit before taking a med. I'll usually take a couple days before having a script filled to find out about it. Well, unless it is an urgently needed med, but even then, I question the doc and the pharmacist carefully about it.
I'm into as much of the natural stuff as possible. I hope this will continue to work for me. Yes, I realize some "naturals" can be dangerous and that some of them don't work as effectively as chemical drugs. But I'll continue with them as long as they seems to give me reasonable comfort. My doctor and I put our heads together for the best possible combinations, and so far I'm liking the result. The alternative of putting all sorts of chemicals in my body just scares me. I'll avoid those as far as possible.
You know what? This isn't even where I was going when I began this post, but it seemed to just keep taking its own path, so I guess it needed to be said.
I'm going to go off and try to find the original message. Or another one that is fun, whatever comes first!