I’m a bit behind this week because I’ve been feeling a bit below par, as I have recently altered my medication needed to ease the symptoms of my PD.    From time to time the timing or dosage needs adjusting, and I always find these transitions difficult.   I’m not sure how much of this is mind or matter.

In the first place, I don’t want to be taking any drugs.   I’d much rather be an organic, let-nature-take-its-course kind of person.

I was fortunate that during the birth of my three children, I did not require pain relief; but in that case the pain is of short duration, and you can endure practically anything if you know it will come to an end.   (And no discredit whatsoever to women who do accept pain relief – why ever shouldn’t they, if it helps them.)      But for years I suffered from migraine, (thankfully, no longer) and I certainly needed pain killers for that.   Still, that’s a one-off kind of thing, although I think if I had seen a year’s supply of what I took I’d have been quite horrified.    So one has to balance a desire for a natural life with the need to maintain a quality of life.     One would not wish to return to an age when drugs were not available.

In any event, I have not proved able to deal with this condition without the aid of some drugs.   I am grateful for the improvements they make to my life, and appreciate the expertise and study which has gone into producing them.  (Experts not Always wrong, after all!)    I am also grateful to the NHS for bearing the cost.

However, I’m always very reluctant to commit to a change, and in the end John has to persuade me that it will be beneficial.   I think his level of difficulty in doing this could be compared to that of trying to coax a flighty horse to enter a slowly moving train.    But in the end we consult, expert opinion advises us, and the new packet for trial is in my hands.

Big dilemma.   Should I read the ‘Possible Side Effects’ or not?    I do realise that the drug companies must list the known side effects, but by the time I’ve read to the end of them, I’m practically suicidal.   It’s no good John pointing out, only a little wearily, that the incidence of some of these peculiar results is one in ten thousand.   My logical self knows this is true, but my emotional self has retreated, sobbing, to under the stairs.

So, I take the drugs, much as Socrates might have lifted the hemlock cup, and am surprised to find, a few days later that my head has not fallen off, my ears have not turned green, and no demons have appeared at the foot of my bed.    I peer at myself in the mirror half expecting to see someone else there, but no, it still appears to be me.   Meanwhile, all the things that you might expect to happen are taking place (much as my advisor suggested) – feeling  a bit fragile, nausea, fatigue, disturbance of symptoms, etc.    Interspersed among these minor difficulties are bouts of panic, wondering if head is securely on shoulders, whether there might be a hint of eau-de-nil about my ears, and if demons ever actually put in an appearance at the foot of beds.

I think the drug companies should say:

There are a number of side effects which have been recorded from a few people who have taken this medication.   However, none of these will affect you.   Should you notice anything untoward, please inform your doctor.

Mind you, if I read that, I’d think – ‘The side effects are so terrible they’re afraid to list them’, and then I’d never take them at all.

In the meantime, I think I’m feeling a bit better.    I’ll just go and look in the mirror at my ears….