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The thing is that The Mom is used to being in good health, whilst I, and to a certain degree, L’il Sis, are used to being in not such good health.

It honestly has always boggled my mind the sheer blind faith The Mom puts in her doctors and their little prescription pads. Maybe it comes from my formative experience with the medical profession as a young girl.

I was maybe ten or twelve years of age. My legs ached. My knees ached. My sitting bones were horrible points of pain. I was taken to the GP, he didn’t know. Sent to a specialist, orthopaedic something or other, he said my bones ached because my parents were getting divorced and even at that tender age I realised this man hadn’t a bleeding clue. This after no x-rays, no further diagnostics, just him thinking what I was describing was out of the realm of his narrow field of experience.

But The Mom, being a good mom, persevered, and off we went to more specialists, until at one point I was injected with a radioactive isotope and checked for some kind of cancer. Which I obviously did not have.

After that, we kind of gave up and I just stopped complaining about it. Mostly I figured out how to mitigate the pain on my own, and it only got bad a few times. Once was at a day that was supposed to be the most fun ever for me but which turned out to be the worst.

I was never super sporty, but I was always a good swimmer. So when we had athletics days, I was usually bored, but on this day in junior high we had a day where the whole grade was going to go swimming for the morning. To say I was thrilled was to put it far too mildly. I was over the moon. I loved swimming and nobody was ever around in summer to come to the pool with me (my best friends both went to summer camp in Quebec).

Off we went on a bus to the pool where I trained frequently. I loved knowing where everything was and generally feeling like a regular. Everything was great until I got in the pool and seized up. Normally when I dove in, I would sprint for a few laps to get warm. But not this time. This time the cold sucked the air out of me and the most hideous pain sprinted up and down my back leg.

It was so bad that eventually, when we got out, I couldn’t get dressed and a teacher had to help me. I also found I couldn’t walk, so a teacher had to carry me out. I know now this was the arthritis of the spine and hips I’ve always had, but you know, after all that diagnosing the doctors never once thought of arthritis.

Whci is the long way of saying that I take their advice with a grain of salt. Once I did get diagnosed, the tablets I started taking at first made me so ill, so desperately, unfortunately, horribly ill with migraine, that I took a taxi across town at 6.30am to meet my GP and the nice shot of demerol she had for me in her purse.

After that, I started questioning every single pill I was offered, and to this day manage both my arthritis and my Crohn’s with diet and exercise. And apart from a few flare-ups, I’m fine. I mean, you know, I have two chronic diseases so my health isn’t as robust as it could be, but I’m good generally.

My point is that I’ve learned the hard way about side effects and I won’t take medication unless it’s absolutely necessary. Because the side effects, what The Mom has been experiencing and not been terribly happy about, those are what get you in the end. A pill for the pill for the pill… never a good idea.

I’ll take medication when it’s necessary and I wouldn’t advocate that anyone make the same choices I do, rather I would say inform yourself from reliable, sensible sources (like the Mayo Clinic, peer-reviewed journals, the NHS) and remember that there are no magic pills.