Wrapping My Head Around the Number of Meds I Take

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by Kellie McRae |

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Every morning and evening, I pull out my big bag of medications. The evenings aren’t as bad as the mornings. For the second round of the day, I take fewer meds, and I’ve had the entire day to accept that I must take them if I expect to help my body fight for some semblance of health.

It’s a mental challenge to take all of these pills. I was never one to solve my pain problems or other ailments with medications. Hot toddies, leafy greens, hydration, and rest have been my go-to regimen for much of my adult life. Then came lupus, and now not only are the medications never-ending, they’re also cruel and harsh in their effort to help the body.

I tend to insert humor into everything I do, especially in stressful situations. For example, I call my steroids “Almond Joys,” after the famous candy bar. If you are in the U.S., you may be familiar with the candy bar’s commercial jingle: “Sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don’t!”

I refer to anything in capsule form as jelly beans. (I don’t have any small kids around that could overhear this and become confused.) They are not fun to swallow.

In years past, I have not always been so strict with my medication regimen, because I hate taking all of these things. It seems like whenever I go to the doctor, I am given something else for the latest development. So, what started as two pills has crept its way up to nine.

As a result, my bone density has been affected, my ability to fight off infections is completely wiped out, and my ability to be out in the sun is no no longer. These medications do good, but they also impact my way of life in negative ways. Remembering the good they do can sometimes be difficult.

I need to remember that by taking my medications, I am doing more good for my body than bad.

Kellie’s daily medication regimen. (Photo by Kellie McRae)

The other issue I have with these medications is that they don’t always work. I’m sure there are plenty of lupus warriors out there who can name a million and one medications used to treat it, because the cocktail is always being changed. It takes a while for the medications to build up in the system, and once they do, they must be given a chance to work at their full capacity. After that, you will learn if it’s the right medication for you.

The most recent addition to my drug regimen literature says it will take up to 12 weeks to see any progress. If it has no effect, then we’ll try another drug. For someone like me, this is akin to torture, because I just want to eat plants and have my body heal itself.

For the past five years, I have eaten a vegetarian diet or been entirely plant-based. While I like eating good, fresh foods, sadly, my body still requires medications. I just have to do my best to have the best frame of mind when it’s time to take them.

I also take vitamins for anemia and certain deficiencies, but the idea of having to get these things from sources other than food still throws me off a bit.

How do you deal with handfuls of medications? Have you come to accept that it is part of your daily life, or do you struggle with taking your meds, too? Please share in the comments below. 


Note: Lupus News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Lupus News Today, or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to lupus.