Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Individual Nature of Illnesses & Treatments

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Even though I know intellectually that some people tend toward absolute opinions in life, I still find myself surprised sometimes when I encounter that attitude in the chronic illness patient community. Of all people I expect one of us to get how hard it is to make decisions about medications and treatments and how much trial and error is involved. I expect more understanding and less judgment.

Even within each disease each one of us is vastly different. Medications affect us differently. We all have different symptoms, side effects and co-occurring conditions. Some treatments that work well for one of us make another of us feel worse or leave us unchanged (if we're lucky). For example, Topamax made me incredibly ill. I had major side effects and it did nothing positive on any level for my migraine disease. I know a lot of other people who've experienced the same. However, I also know people who've had awesome, life changing results on Topamax. Everyone is different.

And then there are the doctors. There are good doctors and bad, just as with any other profession. Some of the bad are really, really bad. Incompetent, dangerous, insulting assholes who do us harm. Some are just okay. Some are awesome. It's our job as patients to find the awesome doctors and steer our friends and loved ones away from the incompetent assholes.

But don't get me wrong. It's none of my business if the rare individual wants to go around alienating him or herself with that kind of all or nothing thinking / ranting. It's just not my approach to life and will never be my approach to what I share with you here or anywhere else.

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DISCLAIMER: Nothing on this site constitutes medical or legal advice. I am a patient who is engaged and educated and enjoys sharing my experiences and news about migraines, pain and depression. Please consult your own health care providers for advice on your unique situation.