July 20, 2010 by sharonbrennan
I was at a hospital appointment yesterday and things seem to be balancing out for me. Last year I was so used to going to hospital and being told that I needed another course of intravenous antibiotics that I’m still surprised when I’m sent home without them. I always pack my bag with my nebuliser, toothbrush and some underwear just in case as I normally go back to my parents for some TLC when I start these drugs- they’re so strong they make me feel like shit initially.
So its good to hear that seven months after cutting back on work, although my lungs aren’t really working any better at least they aren’t constantly getting infected meaning I’m less reliant on hardcore medicine.
There was a great article in the Guardian over the weekend about how best to cope with depression. It’s such a common malaise in society, with studies suggesting 20% of the UK’s population deal with depression at some point in their life. Yet the rising predilection for prescribing antidepressants doesn’t seem to be helping – with only a 50% success rate, and a 25% relapse rate for those that drugs do help.
So my recent hospital appointment and this article got my thinking that perhaps we’re all too reliant on medicine alone to get us better, looking for a quick fix when actually we might need a life change.
In the olden days, when there were fewer medical advances, rest, good food and social connections were what pulled many people through. Earlier in the year my mum mentioned to a work colleague that I was pretty ill and the next day a wonderful Greek grandma came to the office looking for her. It was the mother of my mum’s boss – dropping off a home-made moussaka to help me get better! I cannot tell you how touched I was.
We’re all so busy nowadays, pulled between social commitments, often travelling long distances to meet friends, knowing few people in our streets, technologies that mean we’re never quite ‘turned off’ from the world. We rarely give ourselves time to just rest, recuperate and piece ourselves back together.
I’m on so much medicine at the moment, and believe you me I would never stop taking any of it, but I’ve learnt the hard way that if you don’t recognise your own physical limitations then medicine alone won’t do the trick. Illness does inconvenience our lives but the more we build in rest, sunshine and friends the more likely we are to get better more quickly, or, in my case, stay healthier for longer.