Quote from ImproveCareNow Patient Advisory Council member Autumn, "As long as I can remember, I have been required to take numerous different medicines and to 'trial and error' different ones to find what works best for me."

I have been surrounded by medications and taking pills my whole life. Between being diagnosed with Crohn’s disease at six years old and being diagnosed with IBS recently, with all the different medications I have to take every day and have had to try - feeling overwhelmed is an understatement!

I don’t know what it’s like not to have to take medications every day, more than once a day.  

As long as I can remember, I have been required to take numerous different medicines and to “trial and error” different ones to find what works best for me. Having to take so many pills every day is a big struggle for me; I dread taking them. Come bedtime, sometimes I still haven’t taken my morning medications and I’m already dreading my bedtime ones. As I sluggishly take them out of my weekly pill organizer and sit staring at them, I feel overwhelmed and (at times) dysfunctional. Thoughts run through my head like: “I don’t want to take these” or “I hate taking so many pills” and I wonder “why do I have to take so many?” and “will I EVER be able to get off ANY of these?”  

The answer to that last one is YES, thankfully, I have been able to get off some medications. I had been on two for the longest time; they were treating a Crohn’s flare I had in August of 2021. Once that flare was under control I was able to stop taking them, which felt really good. But then I received my IBS diagnosis (a little over a year ago) and that meant a whole new round of trial and error with different medications to try and feel better again.

Here I was again trying a lot of medications...and nothing really worked except one that I can remember. Unfortunately, I was told to only take that one for a short period of time. As soon as I started to feel better, it was time to stop it. My care team and I moved on to try some other medications but none of them worked. It was recommended that I try the one I had stopped taking (that had worked) again. I had big feelings of not wanting it to work. I didn’t want to know that all of this time my pain and discomfort could’ve been managed if we would have just continued it rather than stopping. 

Medications are a big part of my life. They’re also a big part of the reason I haven’t flared in over a year! Whoop Whoop! And they also come with big feelings, with having to take so many, never having a break from taking them, and to have had to try so many of them. I am very grateful to have things like medications that I can take to manage both my IBD and IBS. And as much as I dislike taking them, and SO many of them, I’m happy to be living a life with Gus well-managed and happy! 

OH! In case you're wondering, Gus is my ‘sometimes wonderful’ gut! We have our ups and downs and needless to say, we have a love-hate relationship! But we always work it out eventually!


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