One pill makes you larger
And one pill makes you small
And the ones that mother gives you
Don't do anything at all
Go ask Alice
When she's ten feet tall
(White Rabbit, Jefferson Airplane, 1967)
I've always loved this song. It's the quintessential 60's psychedelic anthem. Since Bob came into my life that first verse has taken on a whole new meaning. Pills and Bob go hand in hand. Unfortunately I have a sneaking suspicion that the members of Jefferson Airplane were having a much more entertaining time with their pills than I am with mine.
I take Pill A to increase my blood volume, Pill B to constrict my blood vessels, Pill C to manage my heart rate, Pill D to alter the neurochemical messages in my body, Pill E to compensate for the total lack of Vit D in my body, Pill E for the chronic gastro symptoms and Pill F to counteract the side effects of Pill A.........
Then there is Pill Q for the excrutiating headaches which result from low blood pressure, Pill R to stop the chronic hayfever which also lowers my BP, and Pill S a multi-vitamin which I take in a vain hope it might help something!
It's trial and error with the medications. You get to change pills because some just don't work, some have too many side effects, you need to keep increasing the dose to try and manage your escalating symptoms, or you need to add a new drug for the new and exciting symptom that has just developed.
I have become the human maraca, if only I could keep a beat.
Prior to Bob I would have been lucky to have a panadol once a month for a headache or the occasional Telfast for my hayfever. Now I'm on a first name basis with the pharmacist at my local chemist.
The side effects of many of the drugs can often seem worse than the symptoms they are supposed to treat. I've had a delightful collection of side effects some of which have passed, some of which are very very persistent, some of which are just plain weird. The list includes:
nausea (even water can make you want to puke)
vomiting (threw up for almost 6 wks when I started one of them. Better than Jenny Craig but oh so unpleasant!)
the trotts (sprinting skills much improved, watch out Asafa Powell)
weird skin changes (bruise easily, dry skin, no tone, strange dots)
hair loss (it fills the shower drain every day)
painful hands (up that Florinef and I can't touch my hands for about a week)
insomnia, or conversely
Fun, fun, fun.
My colourful pill collection is just part of the furniture now. I keep them in a cute red Arnotts biscuit tin on the bench (the Florinef in the fridge next to my chocolate stash, it's all about developing positive associations!!). My kids know what are my morning pills and my evening pills. They are so cognisant of my brain fog that they always ask "have you had your tablets Mum?". Three years ago we used to joke when the grandparents came to visit with their plastic shopping bag filled with their medications!
What can you do? You need the pills to function so you just have to suck it up. They're not a cure but they help you keep Bob in line, at least part of the time. It's all part of the joy of living with Bob. In the sage words of Jefferson Airplane:
"When logic and proportion
Have fallen sloppy dead
And the White Knight is talking backwards
And the Red Queen's "off with her head!"
Remember what the dormouse said;
"Keep YOUR HEAD"