It occurred to be today, as I surreptitiously took a pill and washed it down with soda from Noon Conference, that I'm actually pretty normal. Yeah, I've had my issues- and I've started the process of telling my story via my blog, but right now, I take medication, I see my doctor every so often, and I'm actually living a relatively normal life.
Of course, I have the aggravation that goes along with having a chronic illness- I have to make sure I've always got health insurance. Sometimes my health insurance doesn't cover the full cost of my medications (as in right now) and I have to beg the drug companies to supply me with free meds. Also, I have to make sure when I travel that I bring my medications with me, enough not only for the duration of my trip, but also a little bit extra should something unexpected occur. I was on vacation earlier this year and had the opportunity to stay longer than initially planned. Sadly, I didn't have enough medication. I could have had my doctor call in a few days of medication, but I would have had to pay out of pocket. So, I went home as initially planned. Had I actually had extra medication, I am sure my sunburn would have been much worse than it was. So maybe I was lucky. But, anyway, it's just one of those issues anyone with a chronic illness can probably relate to.
In a way this helps me with patient care. I'll ask patients if they can afford their meds. When they cannot, I actually can point them in the direction of helpful resources.
Another advantage is that I am very knowledgable abut the meds that I take, and this can sometimes give me the appearance of having read a lot. On rounds, when I pipe up, "Well, perhaps Wellbutrin isn't the best because it lowers the seizure threshold..." it might appear that I spent the previous day poring over UpToDate.
5 weeks ago