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Thursday, March 26, 2015

Have you ever heard of a drug holiday?

I guess that could actually be two things.  I am not talking about going on a long binge of illegal substances to pretend like you don't live the life you live. I mean, if you want to do that, you be you.
But no judge if this is your thing.
What I'm talking about is going off of a prescribed medication for a period of time, to test the efficacy; to see how your symptoms are without it. So, you could say that's what I've been doing lately with my methotrexate. I mean, what was ACTUALLY happening is that when I briefly saw a different rheumy the proper blood work did not get drawn, so my regular rheumy couldn't ethically refill it until she saw me and ran labs.  I get that, you have to be careful with these poisons we're on.
The result of this mix up, however, was me not being on MTX for about 4 weeks.  And trust me, I'm feeling it. Which is actually a good thing.
It acts as a reminder that my symptoms are real. Sometimes after a period of time on medication, with things moderately controlled, symptoms can dissolve into the back recesses of our mind. I, at least, can become paranoid and wonder if they were all in my head to begin with.  What if I'm not sick? What if I was just whiny and didn't know how good I had it? Or what if it was just a short term thing, like maybe I just hurt myself? Everywhere...
No, any time I end up without medication for a while, all of those questions become clearly silly when I'm gulping down ibuprofen just to get out of bed. And you know what? Thank God. If it weren't for a rare reminder, I may go crazy wondering if I'm even more of a hypochondriac than I initially thought (I should never be working in the medical field. Hindsight is 20/20. I should know, I test vision all day.)
Do you ever stop your meds, or like in my case, find yourself between refills? Do you find some emotional relief in the justification for taking the medicine? Or do you have confidence in your diagnosis even when you're feeling good?
I think I was told for so many years that my symptoms were "in my head" that I can't help but still hear a little voice saying the same thing. I have a very strong suspicion that it is the "little green man" who sat on the edge of my cup when I was playing Circle of Death.

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