It’s the first weekend of my son’s summer vacation. We’re celebrating with a day out at the art museum and some of the city’s fine parks and we will be taking the light rail each way. We will be away from my home bathroom for hours. As an IBS patient that’s something I’m more conscious of than most. In the old days I could not leave my toilet comfortably for more than 90 minutes at a time.
These days I’m taking a prescription drug that targets my bowels with a muscle relaxer. I’m also taking prescription antacids so I’m not having such bowel distress to begin with. I was taking an antiemetic for awhile but I discovered it was the cause of some truly horrific constipation. Side effects happen, usually to me. But the antianxiety medication keeps me from somatizing stress in my guts, and that spares me hours on the toilet.
Probably most important of all is my antidepressant. That’s the one that keeps me going back to my nurse practitioner, trying to find a solution to my migraines. It’s the one that gets me to physical therapy appointments and makes me do my exercises when I’d much rather play video games in bed. It’s the one that pulls me to therapy and psychiatrist appointments, and gives me strength not to feel hopeless.
My antidepressant is the one that gave me the happiness to see an open Sunday as an opportunity to do something fun, and to imagine myself not too tired or in too much pain to enjoy it. Without it the vape pen to manage my pain and pills to steady my guts and my nerves wouldn’t matter. It all starts with hope. So thank you Big Pharma for giving me hope and calm and the capacity not to shit my pants. It means a lot.