Take as Directed

Content note: medication/pills, mention of food, bodily functions and ableism/sanism

I’m tired of medication burden.

Tired of being asked what medications I’m on and not being able to recall them all. Tired of the awkward silence as I try to visualize and name all the pills poured into my hand every morning.

Tired of dismissive doctors and pharmacists and “does X interact with Y” Google searches. Tired of finding “sixty-seven major drug interactions” results.

Tired of the crinkle of my bubble packs in class, turning heads and curious side eyes. Tired of thinking “hopefully they don’t think I’m an addict” and “well, at least they’re bubble-packed so it looks more legit” ableist internal dialogue.

Tired of missing doses, frantically trying to make up for them or being forced to skip them and paying the price. Tired of being bed-ridden for the rest of the day when I was doing pretty okay before that.

Tired of bringing bottles of missed doses to my pharmacist. Tired of his purse-lipped “thank you” making a twist in my gut.

Tired of a minimum of twelve pills a day plus PRNs and other short-course treatments. Tired of keeping note of my highest daily pill count for fun.

Tired of stuffing myself with food at all hours of the day to avoid vomiting, diarrhea, acid reflux, nausea, and so on. Tired of projectile vomiting and tired of contracting UTIs.

Tired of that elderly feeling of pulling out a full bubble pack card. Tired of cutting my bubble pack cards into daily strips, gingerly so I don’t puncture any of the flimsy plastic cells. Tired of the panic over a pill slipping out.

Tired of the panic over dropping a pill between the seats of my car, through vent grates, and other black holes that might involuntarily swallow up my medication before I do.

Tired of distractions like “what time is it? Did I take my meds?” merry-go-rounding in my head.

Tired of setting phone alarms everyday because medication reminder apps aren’t advanced enough for this level of medicating yet.

Tired of the heavy-handed “how many pills do you take?” and “wow, that’s a lot” and “your body is a chemical battleground” and “maybe you should go off them” and “maybe you should stay on them” and “how do you remember to take them all?” and “you know, it’s not good to take a lot of meds” comments.

Tired of the discreet, black back up pill box in my bag that I’m sure will one day stop me in the airport or lock me out of the concert hall. Tired of “medications must be stored in original packaging” policies. Tired of the heavy water bottle also in my bag at all times. Tired of getting my water illegally confiscated.

Tired of memes that say “real medicine” or “this is an antidepressant” over a photo of a forest. Tired of people thinking they’re profound when really they’re just ableist and sanist.

Tired of keeping all this in because medications are necessary and helpful and life-giving and I don’t want to pill shame or perpetuate the stigmas or harm our cause. But god fucking damn, I’m tired of this burden.

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