Quality vs Quantity

Exert from my Book,

“Walk With Me My MS Journey” © 2010

By JD

Author, Reporter-Journalist

 

      When dealing with health issues that are of a long term nature or are considered irreversible or non curable, we become familiar with the meaning of quality of life verses the quantity of time in our life spans.  What we as individuals place priority on does not usually match what is of importance to most in the medical profession.  I discovered this to be very much a reality when I was first diagnosed with MS.  It seemed as if I were in their eyes another scientific experiment that they could base longevity ratios and statistics on if they could just convince me to follow their “remedies” for living with my diagnosis.

         They first want to tell you there are medications that will help make life easier and possibly slow the progression of disease. Before you consider taking any pharmaceutical to extend your odds, add a few more years to your life, take time to educate yourself on the side-effects and what type of life will those drugs afford you?

Pharmacists, and physicians who don’t suffer like you, have no clue to what YOUR quality is. Because to them, it is far more important, that you live longer than to have any life of quality.  They base it on statistics and clinical trials, and try to force the statistics on you and tell you “don’t worry, most of the side effects are not bad and disappear over time”.  Then a few years later the FDA pulls the “dangerous” medication, and lawsuits by the thousands appear.  So why hassle with even putting yourself through that?   What quality is there in being so sick from pharmaceuticals, that you become a person just existing, and not living?

I may not always have the energy to do the things I would love to do, but I try my best not to ruin the time I do spend with family by letting my pain and suffering being the focus of any topics. I use the grin-and-bear-it method and just “live” when I can and drag my sorry ass into bed for naps that can last a few days to recover in silence.  To me, despite the pain and long recovery, I am blessed to be able to cherish what times I can.  I would rather take less medication and be able to function in a semi normal mental state, than extend my life being so doped up there is no quality to it.

Now how to convince people, although I may have to adapt how I attempt some of the adventures I want to undertake? I still want to be included within reason, but once diagnosed it seems like everyone is afraid to be around me, when my MS rears its ugly head and kicks me.  As if I have the plague, friends all flee.  I no longer get invites to do things.  I am no longer fun to be around.

Good thing I have the few chosen close friends in my life, who don’t care how I feel or look.  They will drag my sorry ass in pajamas, rolling in a wheelchair, or hauling me like a sack of potatoes over their shoulder, just to make sure I am included in whatever activity or adventure they want me to be a part of.  To those few, I am forever thankful.  Because one day, there will be a time when I cannot be flung over a shoulder or rolled around and that memory will bring a smile to my face as I recall it.

If you’re someone that has been gifted a life sentence, diagnosed with a disease for which there is no cure, try to make the best of it.  Choose options that are comfortable for you.  Talk with people who have been there, are headed there, or took that journey willingly with someone they love.  Make informed decisions on how you want to define your quality of life verses how long you plan to exist.

Life is about LIVING, not waiting to DIE.

 

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