A collection of multicolored pills with arrows leading from one to another. It creates a very confusing diagram.

Managing Medication

Last updated: September 2022

I have always hated taking pills. Even when I was little, I avoided taking aspirin or all-in-one cold relievers like the plague, spitting them out after my mother had given them to me. Now, this may sound odd, but I didn’t do this because of any particular gag reflex or physical problem taking the pills. I simply thought that I would be fine without them, and the less medicine I took, the tougher or better off I was.

Yes, we could discuss how my father raised me, but I digress. :-) As I grew older, very, very slowly, I started to HAVE to take medication. The first was for depression, ADHD, and anxiety when I was 18. The psychiatrist tried to give me 3 medications, I agreed on 1 (the anti-depressant). I used the mild discomfort during the first few weeks of taking the medication as an excuse to stop. No more pills. In the years to come, I realized that I would eventually not have as much choice.

Doging mental health medications

I continued to dodge the mental health medication throughout my 20s, even though I had been diagnosed with bipolar and had many social and physical problems by that point. Ever the bullheaded one, I refused medicine for constant stomach problems (gastritis) and other things. It wasn’t until my mental health became out of control, followed by several bouts with ulcers and finally an IBS diagnosis, that I buckled and accepted that I needed to take the medication to live a fruitful life. This was coupled with changing my diet and lifestyle completely. I committed fully, somehow thinking this was the end of it. Not by a long shot.

Getting older and needing medication

I always saw that my parents had more prescriptions than I did. I always noticed that my grandparents had more than my parents. By the time I was 47, I had realized that between the new cholesterol, blood pressure medications, and the long overdue prescription antacid, I had a pretty damn full medicine cabinet. I couldn’t believe it. Once Mr. Invincible, now I was taking like ten different prescriptions. I had to become ok with it, and I have. I understand that many participants on this site take many more and do not mean to suggest my situation is anything special. Only my poor reaction to it.

While a little discouraged these days, I take what is needed and make choices to avoid overkill and taking things just because the doctor said so. I believe with a return to a really strict exercise and dietary routine, I might even be able to drop a couple of the prescriptions. Maybe not. What can I say? I’m getting older, and I feel lucky that we have medication that can help us live longer, more fulfilling lives. Thank you for listening to my story.

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