November 6, 2014
I wake up in the morning and look over at my bedside table.
I first see the glass of water and then I remember.
Reality hits me. Again.
I want to go back to sleep.
Making friends with my medication has been a lot harder than I anticipated. First of all, Synthroid was told to stick with me and it doesn’t seem like it wants to. To be honest, I don’t really want to be friends with Synthroid either, it reminds me of pain, surgery and cancer. This is a rocky point in our relationship, because we don’t even know if we’re compatible yet. I tried to find common ground or something interesting to talk about, but, Synthroid doesn’t want to talk to me. Synthroid just sits there, silently, grumpily, reflecting my own emotions.
I wonder if Synthroid is in this for their own personal gain, exploiting the fact that I need to rely on it. But I try not to be prejudiced about Synthroid’s extended family, the pharmaceutical industry, so I’m trying to give Synthroid a chance. After all, what choice do I have.
I suppose it is expected that I’ve been paired with the “brown” Synthroid first. 125mcg of levothyroxine sodium hidden inside a familiar-coloured shell. But even the solidarity of exterior colour can’t break down the barriers between us. I resent having to pay money for something that my body should have been able to make itself, something engineered by humans who profit from my cancer. Synthroid and I, we have different values.
I’m supposed to “notify my doctor” if I experience certain symptoms. But how do we know if the sleeplessness, nightmares, the change in appetite, the nauseousness, the heat intolerance, the sudden cold shivers, the fever, the headaches, the leg cramps, the weight gain and the irritability are Synthroid’s fault? Maybe I’m just imagining it. That’s what the others say. I sigh when I hear that. It’s not in my head because I can feel it in my body. But even so, my body and my mind are both a part of my health, so what are they trying to say?
Apparently I need to make friends with the right dosage. I don’t think this dosage is right. The doctors are working out our compatibility. This part of medicine is just trial and error. I doubt the calculations are more sophisticated than an online soulmate website. I’ll keep trying because, after all, I can ill afford to give up on this relationship yet.
Some people find the transition to hormone replacement medication easier than others. I have been told that it is just a little tablet, to be taken once a day. No big deal. The significance of taking a tablet is downplayed.
Oh everyone is on lifetime medication sooner or later.
Is this really what it has come down to? Every human being needs medication so that their body functions properly?
In some ways, I am glad my body (and mind) is resisting this change. It isn’t something I should just have to accept. I get to ask the questions I have, contemplate the reasons behind my decisions. Some people diagnosed with thyroid cancer choose not to undergo surgery and instead completely overhaul their diet and lifestyle. Battling cancerous cells in a more “natural” way. It is an option and the prerogative of those who choose it. I did look into it before I made my decision, but ultimately decided to go with the thyroidectomy. The overarching idea tends to be that we should not be so quick to cut out something from our body that has an important role – simply because there is a human-made replacement.
Perhaps what I am experiencing with the medication is what many others experience with their scar. I don’t want to be reminded of this everyday – and that’s exactly what Synthroid does. With time, I am hopeful that my relationship with Synthroid will be put into perspective. Perhaps, we’ll become those friends who appreciate the time we had together and then slowly lose touch but not without occasionally checking in with each other.