Back in March I made a post about weighing the benefits of treating minor illness versus the complications of repeated exposure to antibiotics. Today I'd like to go back to the subject of balancing medication with quality of life and life expectancy.
My little toe nail has started turning black. Not like, dead black... When I danced more I had nails fall off; and not bruising black... I could be a gold medal toe stubber if that ever gets approved as an event (fingers crossed!) Instead, it's started at the nail base and grows out (funny but true, my phone tried to autocorrect that to "gross out", which seems to me to be the same dif.) At my latest visit to my PCP I pointed it out and asked if she had any ideas. She said it was most likely fungal.
Her: "you can try the OTC creams if you want but... They don't usually work well for a nail bed infection."
Me: "ok, what else can we do?"
Her: "well, I could put you on an antifungal but... Those are really hard on your liver. And with what you're already on... It would concern me to prescribe that."
I smiled nicely, and asked about other options. We settled on keeping my nails painted and monitoring for any spread to other tissues.
But inside my heart had fallen out. That was officially the first time that I could not be treated for something because of the disease or the meds that come with it. I knew the day would come; I guess I just didn't realize how quickly it would sneak up on me. Or what a gross way it would do it.
It seems silly now, while I'm writing it out for the world to see, but it completely broke me up. I was crying when I got home. I mean, obviously toe fungus is not a big deal, I'm not even new to it. But being told flat out that treatment was a bad idea... That was such a big milestone.
I know we've all been told by our docotors that eventually the risks will outweigh the benefits with treatment of acute problems. But to face the reality for the first time hurt, none the less.
Why is that such a hard step to face? Is it because it's the first thing that really reflects what could be in the future? For some people, it will never be much more than it is now and I am so so SO happy for those people, and I hope that everyone reading this is in that category. But we also know that some of us are going to end up on a much harder road in the future. And since we can never be sure which road has been laid out ahead of us, it is so scary to see those reminders of that shitty one.
Have you guys had that experience? Or maybe I'm just overreacting. Share your experiences with us. Good, bad, ugly, hilarious. We need to hear them!