I used to love a good cocktail. Red wine with a juicy steak, an icy vodka and soda with lime at happy hour, mimosas with brunch, even the occasional gin martini with mom when we were feeling fancy. It wasn’t about the buzz for me, I actually enjoyed the taste of the alcohol. The harsh bite, the warmth on my throat, the tingle of the senses.
When I had to give up all alcohol because of the medications I was on, I was more than a little bummed. I had to give up going to bars for awhile, stopped meeting my friends for after work drinks, became a homebody. But I did it for the greater good: my health. Eight straight months of sobriety, and all because of a new cocktail in my life. My medication cocktail.
Anyone who has an illness, disease, or pain disorder knows what I’m talking about. We’ve all experienced trying to find the perfect medication cocktail. Our doctors pump us full of drugs continually, in search of whatever works. We’re their lab rats. Because they know we will try whatever they give us. We have to. Because the alternative is being in pain, or giving in to the sickness, or dying.
I’ve tried countless medications in the last two years. Literally, I cannot remember the amount, there are too many. And most of them haven’t worked, or weren’t strong enough on their own, or clashed with the other meds. This is the cocktail no one wants. Some of them cause migraines, overwhelming nausea, endless vomiting, shakes, hot flashes, blindness… You name it and I’ve surely experienced it in one form or another.
And when is enough enough? Doctors prescribe like it’s going out of style. Medications for anti-inflammatory, steroids, calcium for the bones you’re damaging with toxic chemicals that are assured to make you feel better, strong pain medications that bring forth hours of your head being over a toilet making you wonder if and when it will it ever be worth it. At what point are any of my doctors going to take a taste of the cocktail they’ve ordered for me?
Gosh do I miss a nice glass of Pinot Noir with dinner. A margarita with my mom after a long day laying in the sun. Hell, even a shot with friends during a girls night out. But this Medication Cocktail my doctors keep serving me? They can take that back. I’m sick of the taste. I’m sick of the hangover. Even the vessel feels wrong in my hands. Maybe next time the doctor could order me a chocolate malt? Or a cure. Whichever is easiest.