Starting medication means that the the medical field has found out what the problem is with your health and you are ready to begin some form of treatment! In my case going 7 years un diagnosed this should be something that I would be extremely ecstatic about. It would mean that my quality of life would improve dramatically….. The sad part is that I am absolutely horrified when it’s time to start a new medication and this is why…..
3 years ago now when I was probably at my lowest low with health problems. I was basically non functional. We stumbled across a Dr that we were extremely excited about because she seemed to have an answer for all of my health problems and had my treatment all ready to go! I was at the time diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis and was to take Thyroid pills to bring my body back to health. I was extremely excited to take them as I’ve been waiting so long to feel normal again….. so there I went starting these meds with no hesitations. I started at a very low dose and a couple weeks in my body went absolute bonkers!!!! My physical symptoms got worse to the point I could not get off the couch without passing out and my mental health deteriorated at a rapid pace and I couldn’t leave the house. Every single thing set off a panic attack and I was sent to emergency at least twice a week. I was on these meds for a little over a month and a half when I woke up one day thinking that was it… I didn’t think I was going to make it, I was screaming and crying to my mom telling her my goodbyes because it literally felt like my body was shutting down. We went to the E.R and the doctors were absolutely puzzled why I was put on these Thyroid meds as my numbers were better than perfect. That’s when I decided that i needed to stop this medication instantly and that I was misdiagnosed…..
Fast forward 3 years when I am presented with treatment once again this time for Narcolepsy…… I’m sure more people like me have medication anxiety especially after a bad experience and I feel that there is more that people should know when starting medication that no one really talks about.
1) Medications work differently for each individual person- This obviously makes sense as our bodies are all completely different. We metabolize differently, we are different sizes, some of us have allergies etc etc etc. Some medications will work for some and some won’t work at all for certain people.
2) Your body may just need a higher dosage not a completely different medication- Always discuss with your doctor in detail any side effects that you are getting or if you are benefiting at all to your dosage. It may be a waiting game and bumping up your dose slowly to find your sweet spot that will give you the help that your body needs.
3) You shouldn’t feel ashamed for needing to take medication- I will be honest this is something that I have struggled with and still catch myself doing to this day!!!!! You shouldn’t feel any less complete for the simple fact that your body needs some help to feel the best that you can. I have never been a pill popper and struggled to even take Tylenol. The thing is I did the healthy natural root. Went to acupuncture every week, paid for a naturopath as well as a functional medicine dr, went to a chiropractor, changed to a super clean diet for 3 years, didn’t drink a sip of alcohol for 4 years and went to bed extremely early. Guess what??! I still felt like absolute crap… I’m not saying that none of those don’t work. They just didn’t work for my specific problem and I needed medical help.
4) You may feel worse before feeling better- I wish Drs emphasized this a little bit more. I had to start anxiety medications as a part of one of my treatments a few years ago. Anxiety can go hand in hand with Narcolepsy or other issues with the brain and positive talk won’t exactly get rid of it!!! Something was throwing my body off (7 concussions was probably the issue) and I needed medication for it. Starting this medication was horrific not only because of past experiences but wow 😳. I already felt like garbage and this escalated it ten fold. I do not want to scare anyone from taking their medication because after a month and a half it helped So So So much!!!!!!!! I just want people to know that some don’t work so quickly and this one took some patience and suffering before it started helping.
5) Some medications may drain essential vitamins out of your body faster than normal- Do some research on your medications and what essential vitamins they may be depleting from your body. You may need to pick up some supplements to keep your levels normal.
6) You may experience side effects or you may not- This is why you can’t go off of someone else’s experience alone…. Some people are more sensitive to medications, some are allergic and some have absolutely no problem with taking medications and have no side effects at all! This is your own personal experience just stay in contact with your Dr about any weird symptoms.
7) You may want to keep a journal- One thing I found extremely helpful when starting a new medication was doing a weekly symptom journal. One that rated my side effects from 1-10 each week to see if they were easing up at all and one would rate my previous health symptoms and if they were going away or not. It felt so assuring when I started lowering the numbers on my side effect list and even more amazing when my horrible symptoms started disappearing and the fact that I started to feel better.
8) Always let someone you know that you are starting a new medication- They can kind of keep an eye on you and bring to your attention if something seems off or if they need to get you some help.
9) More people need to take medication for their health problems than you think! It’s okay to talk about it. I don’t think we should be scared to tell others about our treatment. No one is built perfect and we all have our own issues. It’s no ones fault that they need medical help to function properly. Everyone deserves feeling the best that they possibly can, so never feel ashamed. And sharing is caring, you may help someone else feel better knowing that they aren’t alone in this.
10) Medication shouldn’t be your only form of treatment- you shouldn’t solely rely on medication alone to improve your health. When you combine medication and healthy lifestyle it will improve your wellbeing that much more to the point where some people can even ween off of their medications (depending on the health issues of course), some people will always need medication regardless of having a healthy lifestyle.
I hope this helps anyone else going through any kind of health problems or treatment plans! You are not alone ❤️