I can not remember a time in my life where I have not taken a handful of pills every morning and every night. The type of pill, the amount of pills and the frequency I took them changed often, but I always took pills. I have never been one of those people who needed to set reminders to take their medicine, or needed those weekly dosing containers, because it was just part of my daily routine. However, recently I stopped the majority of my oral medications and am only using a subcutaneous injection, Enbrel, and occasional nutritional supplements (those don’t count as pills in my mind!).
When I first made this change, I was cautiously optimistic and excited that my disease is under such well control that I was able to make this change in the first place. However, all day long, on that first morning without pills, I felt like I had forgotten something important to do. I also felt strangely vulnerable and exposed. For my entire life, taking medications every day has been my safety net, my reassurance that if my joints were sore today the medication would being working soon and help me feel better. Although most of the medications have unknown and scary side effects, I still feel like they are almost a part of me. They have helped my joints move, my swelling decrease and allow me to live life the way I would like. Without this safety net I feel like I am preparing to jump off a bridge without knowing if there is net below to catch me. However, this time the change is my choice and that makes living on “the edge” a little easier..