Saturday, September 10, 2011


You have probably heard this many times from friends, family or just well-meaning people due to the massive amounts of pharmaceutical company advertising that seems to thwart us at every turn on television, magazines and the internet. These advertisements can be so convincing and seductive, even whilst rattling off the uncomfortable or sometimes even life threatening side effects it is no wonder people say “But I saw they have a drug for that now”. Sigh. Of course, sometimes these are also the same people that may insist meditation, yoga and standing on your head for five minutes during a full moon while drinking acai berry juice through a straw could make you better, too.

After my own experiences and speaking with many others with chronic illnesses the fact of the matter is whether it is medication, yoga, supplements, diet etc. nothing ever really “cures” most of these diseases. It can only help turn the background noise down somewhat and may not last.  As one blogger stated today in his piece: “You name an alternative cure or med, I’ve tried it. Did it work? For a little while. But it always comes back.” And in my reading and conversations with these people we found the general consensus is when it comes to drugs, they tend to serve three purposes, none of which ever cures the disease: 1.) To keep one alive (for those with more life threatening chronic illnesses) 2.) To use as a temporary therapy to see if it can bring down a bad flare up of the illness into a more manageable level 3.) To mask the symptoms in order to give the patient some relief.

This is not being negative at all-I myself am for the moment grateful that one of the medications I take bring down the symptoms enough so that I can function better. Before my quality of life was suffering and it took me a long time to give in and try a medication. Right now the benefits outweigh the risks and it is, sadly, what my insurance will pay for as compared to say, adding in acupuncture. But does it make it completely go away so I feel cured? No. And I have worked hard with natural healing and alternative ideas as best I can afford to so I can take less of the drug than before because I do worry about the long-term side effects and I do have to deal with some uncomfortable side effects of the drug as well at times. However, going back to being in a constant state of pain, including neuropathic pain and not being able to do much of anything? That was not working, either.

But ask anyone with a chronic illness and they will tell you not only do they still have a great deal of the symptoms while taking the medications directed at their illness, but the uncomfortable side effects, too. These can be all over the map and quite devastating. Often you are trading one symptom for another. For medications that keep you alive they can be worse than the disease itself at times. They are expensive and sometimes stop working. They alter other aspects of your health and withdrawal can be a complete and utter nightmare to live through as I have gone through it myself. There really is no magic pill. If there was it would cure the disease and not give you any scary short or long term side effects. It would leave you normal and healthy.

For now, advanced medical science as well as natural healing is a blessing in our time and I am thankful for both, I really am. Just be aware that if you know someone with a chronic illness, and you see something that may help them chances are they have already tried it or have discussed it with a doctor. But I do hope that in the future we will be able to unlock the medical and scientific mystery that surrounds these types of illnesses in a way that allows temporary treatment and sets the patient free. The yoga and acai berry juice can just be an added healthy boost. 


  1. Meds can really be tricky. They don't always work and the side effects can be tricky.

  2. thank you so much for your blog post and insightful words to a question so many of us have been asked. I appreciate you submitting it to too and will tweet it out this week!

  3. What a great blog! I agree with you about the medications...they can be a blessing and a curse. I have to have my pain medications to get through the day, yet they've messed up my liver and gastrointestinal system.

    I am going to follow you and add you to my links/blog roll.

  4. Thanks Illnesshelp! I have tried to keep up with bloggersunite each day with something to contribute. I really appreciate your organizing it! @ Raven, thank you, I thought yours was great, too. Hope your feeling better after the hospital this week.