Illness has been consuming me recently and as such, it is what I feel like writing about. Part of me feels as though my body has let me down and has left me in this state of half life. Spending most of my time inside hiding from asthma triggers, pain triggers, anxiety triggers. All these things I can medicate away to some extent but the subsequent drug withdrawals and the expectant look of concern and disapproval on my dr’s face will if I take a higher dose of steroids than absolutely necessary, makes me hesitate. Stops me. The drugs are a Band-Aid, one that rubs and itches and won’t come off even if you soak it. If you try to take it off too fast the pain is unbearable and you quickly put it back on.
It is circular. The asthma makes me take the steroids which then my body becomes dependant upon and then if I don’t take enough, I can’t fight the inflammation in my lungs and my asthma symptoms return.
I was recently told that I now cannot live without taking corticosteroids in some form. Not because of my asthma, but because the prednisone has changed my body, that I no longer produces the cortisol that is necessary for survival. That if I stop taking the drugs that replace it, I will die. It feels terrifying to be so dependant on these little white tablets. To know that if for some reason I can’t injest them, then I will need to inject the cortisol in order to ward off death. I am scared. To know that a severe virus or infection, an injury, an operation, or a stressful life event can send my body into a crisis because it isn’t producing the cortisol that it would usually produce upon such an occassions is terrifying.
I look at my body and know it is broken. Not just in pain, or with inflamed airways. But fundamentally and probably irreperably broken. I think about what would happen if I stopped my meds (to my friends reading this, stop stressing, I will keep taking them!!!) I wonder how long it would take for me to pass out. What it would be like. Of course I have no intention of finding out. I just hope that I am never in that situation. That I am never stupid or unlucky enough to find myself in that situation. I love my life, I have fought hard for it, and will continue to do so.