Advice on just one tablet..

Lou001
Lou001 Member Posts: 51
edited 1. Apr 2015, 08:48 in Living with Arthritis archive
I posted a few weeks ago about my worries of taking Sulfasalazine.
I've been prescribed it for my PsA but due to suffering with anxiety I've been to afraid to take them.
I've been having some CBT and my therapist has set me a challenge of just taking one tablet, as she believes if I can take one then taking more will start to feel easier.
The problem is I'm even too scared to just take one. I'm
sat here now with the bottle of sulfasalazine in my hand and I haven't even opened them.

What can happen after taking one at tablet. In my mind, something serious- a bad reaction etc.
I want to open them and just take one but I have so many scary thoughts it's making me feel Incapable of taking one! :'(
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Comments

  • dibdab
    dibdab Member Posts: 1,498
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Lou,

    These drugs we take are sometimes daunting, but I suppose that taking just one is unlikely to have any effect at all. To try and encourage you I would say that I have been taking 3 twice a day for more than 8 years now, and apart from a mild tummy upset just occasionally they have very little effect. Try to remember that all the side effects you read about are there only because the drug companies have to list them, and for the vast majority of people there will be no appreciable adverse side effects, and there is absolutely no reason why you should be the one among thousands that experiences an adverse reaction.

    Perhaps you could try taking just one when you are with some one that you really trust, so they can watch and see how you are coping?

    Only you can decide what is right for you, but our medical carers are hugely experienced and unlikely to prescribe something that they think will harm you.

    Hope it goes well for you. Sending hugs to give you courage ((((( ))))))

    Deb xx
  • barbara12
    barbara12 Member Posts: 21,276
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Lou
    We all find taking meds for the first time daunting, but obviously you are finding it even harder..the more you think about it the worse your mind sees it..your therapist is right after the first does the next one will be a lot easier..it will help you talking to us about it,..good luck with it..let us know how you get on..x
  • Chris01
    Chris01 Member Posts: 32
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Lets us talk and focus on few positive things here. True that no medication is completely safe, and the potential risk of side effects can be frightening. However, you just have to take them and see what happens. It is better to try them and control your PsA than not taking them and risk being more poorly.

    Moreover, many of the side effects are related to over dosage. If you trust your medical team, just be assured you have been prescribed lowest beneficial dose of the drug and there is a least chance of getting any significant side effect, in fact, if anything occurs, it resolves on their own in most of the cases.

    Lastly, keep in mind that the key word here is "can." You shouldn't assume that the listed side effects will necessarily occur in you. Hope you get on well with your medicines.
  • Slosh
    Slosh Member Posts: 3,194
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    All I can say is that the longer you put off taking the first tablet the more of a problem it becomes. Try and focus on how much better you will feel once you start taking them and on how they will improve your quality of life.
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    My advice would be to swallow the tablet but from your tone (and the fact that this has been an issue for some weeks now) I think you have let it all build to such a point that you cannot. One tablet will make no difference to anything.

    Tackling our various conditions takes courage, determination and having faith in our doctors, who are trying to help us in the only way they can. DD
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,104
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I do hope you've managed to take it by now.

    Sitting looking at it will do no good at all and only focus your mind on negative stuff.

    My advice would be to get out a tablet and pour yourself a drink with which to take it. Then walk away where you can't see them. Do something else to take your mind off it. Later, once you've resolved to take it, then walk back and take it without thinking or hesitating for one moment.

    I think you'd also find it easier if, instead of focusing on the (very unlikely) negative side, you focused instead on the very positive achievement of having taken the first step toward controlling your PsA.
  • AnnaMilton
    AnnaMilton Member Posts: 44
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    This is very much like me before starting Meth. I was horrified before starting my regimen just because of reading its leaflet and risk of side effects :oops: . But it was much easier than I thought. I mean who’s not afraid of taking medicines. Since, it’s the only the “possibility” of side effects, no one can 100% guarantee that you will face them. Side effects could be annoying but they should not stop you from taking the medicine. Please take medicines as per your prescribed dosage and instructions, as they are still a vital step on the road to a better health.
  • LignumVitae
    LignumVitae Member Posts: 1,972
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Lou,

    I hope you took that tablet but if not, it isn't a problem, today is another day and another opportunity to have a go. I think you are incredibly brave to be confronting your fears and coming on here to voice them. That's such an important and strong step to have taken.

    One sulphasalazine tablet is a tiny amount of the dose and so unlikely to be a problem that it becomes almost no chance. I don't know if this helps you put it into perspective but my dog has to take a different immuno-suppresant drug, he takes one and a half tablets a day, he is less than 30 kg and has no side effects from that dose. On that basis, if his body weight can absorb and deal with a similar dose to the one tablet you will be taking then your body weight can easily smash it without any problems.

    As I say, I think you are doing so well and being so brave to take the step of considering one tablet. Every journey begins with a single step and you have already taken the first, one tablet in the second and once you have started to conquer your fear who knows what other fears you will beat? Well done on getting so far in such a short space of time.

    LV
  • dachshund
    dachshund Member Posts: 8,418
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello Lou
    think of some thing nice you could have after taking it go on I sure you can do it it will make you feel so proud.
    joan xx
  • Lou001
    Lou001 Member Posts: 51
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thanks so much for all the lovely replies.

    I still haven't managed to take one, but I know I really have to get started.

    I feel do down at the minute. I'm getting such bad pain in both of my shoulders , my elbows and strangely my groin??
    I'm not sleeping well and I'm feeling so run down and deflated.

    I can't stop worrying about what damage might have been done to my body, I was diagnosed 3 years ago and haven't taken any DMARDs at alll during that time.

    My partner and I want to start a family but I'm just not sure my body can take it. I feel so angry that I have this awful disease.

    To top it off, my psoriasis is bad at the minute too :(

    Sorry for ranting. I just really needed to get this off my chest. xx
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    What's done is done, if there is damage it cannot be undone. If you had knuckled down to this three years ago your arthritis life might have been different but it has progressed because no brake has been applied. My PsA is now well-controlled (it took years) but far too late in terms of physical benefit - OA moved in and makes my life difficult. It affects my husband too.

    You say you know that you have to get started. I think those are very hollow words because if you wanted it badly enough you would have taken one pill. I am not surprised that you haven't. DD
  • Lou001
    Lou001 Member Posts: 51
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    WOW!!... DD your reply is not only rude, but I find it no support what so ever!

    I suffer with very bad anxiety, taking the tablet for me is a fear. I have tried so many times to take it and it isn't because I don't want it, its because I am too god damn scared to take it!!

    Do you have fears DD? Perhaps you cant understand my fear of medication, perhaps in your eyes I'm just letting my joints get worse because I cant be bothered to take them - well that could not be further from the truth.

    I am in a state of depression and anxiety over all of this and I really just needed some words of encouragement!!!!
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,104
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I'm genuinely sorry you're still in this double bind of being scared of the disease and scared of the meds which will relieve it. It must be very debilitating.

    I think many of us, including DD, have tried to support you by sharing our own experiences and trying to encourage you but, although thats what you say you need, it clearly didn't help one bit as nothing has changed in the interim. What we think we need and what we actually need aren't always the same thing. We old hands can share forever our good experiences of the meds but, if your sticking point is anxiety, then we can't help. Fear paralyses and feeds on itself.

    Of course DD has fears. We all do. It's part of being human. To learn of some of hers, and how she overcame them, just read some of her past threads.

    Tomorrow I shall be facing several very large fears but I'll be facing them knowing that I've dealt with similar ones in the past. I trust myself to cope with whatever nasties might happen. A pile of successes makes each new fear easier to deal with. A pile of failures makes each new fear harder to deal with.

    By letting your anxiety dictate your actions you are continuously setting yourself up for further failures. At the end of the day you must choose either to take the meds or to give your arthritis free rein. We can't take the pills for you and the remedy is in your own hands – literally.

    I hope soon to read that you've taken that first step towards control.
  • LemonMerigue
    LemonMerigue Member Posts: 62
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    To some degree, I agree with DD. I think with every disease or condition (be it physical or mental) there needs to be desire to help yourself get better. I appreciate anxiety can hinder this but after 3 years of ignoring it something has to give.

    You know that by ignoring it, it'll get worse. The damage cannot be undone. Your 'ground zero' will just get higher and higher. I think your HCPs have molly coddled you to some extent. It clearly hasn't done any favours. It seems they aren't doing what is in your best interest. But that isn't your fault.

    I think you need to refocus your anxiety (not ideal but we don't live in an ideal world) and focus on the ramifications of ignoring your disease further, potential joint replacements, further decline in quality of life, parenthood would be incredibly difficult (I have a 6 year old aand running about after him is exhausting, and that's without leaving the house, not to mention how heart breaking it is that I can't do the things I used to be able to do with him, his sad little face when I tell him I can't take him to the park because I'm struggling with my joints).

    I'm not trying to be unsupportive but you can either be a victim of your disease and anxiety or you can fight it. It doesn't seem you want to do either.
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Somebody had to be straight with you. You have repeatedly posted about this, and those who are in far worse straits than you have taken the time (and precious energy) to reply, to offer help, suggestions, encouragement and support but nothing has changed. The remedy lies in your hands but your fears rule all and I cannot see that changing. There is nothing we can do or say to make you change your mind set, that has to come from you.

    I've had health troubles all my life thanks to parents who missed the dodgy genes they donated to me. Asthma nearly killed me on more than one occasion when I was a young child so I quickly learned to get on board with the doctors - the development of inhalers saved my life so I could go on to enjoy further health misery thanks to the genes. :lol: I am shortly to begin my nineteenth year of Living with Arthritis and it's been downhill all the way. DD
  • Lou001
    Lou001 Member Posts: 51
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I was diagnosed 3 years ago with Psa, since my inflammation was very low at the time and it wasn't causing me any pain, it was agreed with my rheumatologist that I wouldn't take any DMARDs! So I haven't been sitting on the meds for 3 years refusing to take them!!

    I haven't at any point refused medication, it was agreed a year ago that I should take them since my condition has become a lot worse.
    I have just struggled a lot to take them.

    I have asked on here for advice, I had replies which I appreciate.
    I simply responded with an update to say I hadn't yet started.

    I have weekly CBT sessions to help with my anxiety, none of my Drs have ever "modicoddled" me, they have all made me aware of the extent of the damage that will be caused if my PsA is left untreated.

    It must be so easy for each and every one of you to take your meds when you were given them, but you haven't spent a day in my life and I'm guessing you haven't experienced the crippling anxiety that I experience daily.
    I have a fear of the meds, but regardless of what people think, I also have a fear of my disease. Unfortunately this fear doesn't make me want to take the meds anymore.

    I have read horror stories of people taking my meds and having terrible side effects, hospital stays, organ damage...
    Those stories added to an anxious mind give me no courage to even try the medication.

    Perhaps you are all right, I will never take these tablets.

    I'm doomed for a life of disability, pain and misery.

    I wish you all well.
  • Lou001
    Lou001 Member Posts: 51
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Clearly DD, I'm in the wrong place.
    I assumed this was an arthiris CARE forum.

    A lot of the members have been very very nice and I cannot stress enough how much their replies have helped me and offered me comfort.
    Since reading your reply it has made me feel a million times worse and just confirmed to me that I am an absolute failure who will never overcome my fears.

    I am sorry I have posted and wasted everyone's energy.
  • mig
    mig Member Posts: 7,152
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Now you are being childish and throwing your toys out of the pram,this forum is the most caring place and have saved the sanity of many people going through the same things as you,just get the pill down and see what happens.Mig
  • Lou001
    Lou001 Member Posts: 51
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Mig. I feel there is nothing childish about my post.

    I was genuinely upset when I wrote my reply last night, I was in tears and felt so low. I appreciate to those reading it may seem I'm wasting your time and have no intention of taking my tablets.
    But if that were true I would not continue to post, nor would I sit time after time with the tablets in my hand, being psychically sick with fear.

    I found DD's words very hurtful, telling me my words are hollow and saying "I'm not surprised you haven't taken them"
    In my eyes, is not support. It's sniggering and is as good as kicking someone when they are down.

    I turned to this page when I was down last night, I really felt like I needed comfort and just to know others have the same condition as me and are taking similar drugs gives me courage and helps me to take a step closer to getting started.

    If it were as easy as just taking one, I wouldn't be in this situation I'm on now.

    I appreciate it must be frustrating for people to read my posts, and I'm genuinely sorry if I have offended anyone or upset people by posting the same things.

    I just needed a place to turn to, and even if it was to say I haven't started them.. I didn't expect to receive such a hostile reply, be it true or not.
  • barbara12
    barbara12 Member Posts: 21,276
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    This is starting to look like we are ganging up Lou and that is not good :( ...I see what DD is saying and sometimes pussyfooting around doesn't help, but you obviously need to talk to someone,maybe your GP could you organize some counseling ..
  • Lou001
    Lou001 Member Posts: 51
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I'm having CBT, (cognitive behavioural therapy) I have a session every week.

    The aim is to help me to challenge my negative thoughts and to help me to overcome my irrational fears.

    I have agreed with my therapist that I will take my tablets to my next session, which is Friday, and we will go through the leaflet together and she will try to help me take one. I truly hope I can find the strength to take one and get this awful disease under control :(
  • barbara12
    barbara12 Member Posts: 21,276
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thats good to hear and I am sure come Friday you will take that tablet... :)
  • Lou001
    Lou001 Member Posts: 51
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thank you Barbara! That means a lot.
  • mig
    mig Member Posts: 7,152
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I apologise if i sounded unfeeling,i started on humira injections 2and a half years ago it has literary changed my life before i was virtually housebound i could hardly stand on my feet because of the pain ,to say i was scared of starting them is like asking is the grass green ,one day my family were visiting and i was talking to my daughter in law when i started crying i couldn't stop my 11 year old granddaughter put her arms round me and said you won't know till you try it granny thats what mum says to me,so when the time came to inject for the first time i thought of my granddaughter,I'm thinking of you and hope you find the courage to do it.Sending some hugs (((()))) Please don't leave the forum we all need each other. Mig
  • mig
    mig Member Posts: 7,152
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    We have a thing on here called pocket duties ,it gives us courage when it comes to appointments ,I will be in your pocket on friday i might even bring some biscuits. (()) Mig

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