Some say it’s sideeffects. Some call them defective treatments. More illness to treat illness, a trade off? Must that become more prevelant, worse and worse side effects. Until the treatment decays the quality of life so completely the only function is the treatment. Are they even side effects. The Thoughts section returns with a look into treatment side effects.
A woman healthcare worker I know. Someone who is licensed to counsel mentally ill people, who is integral to the inpatient psyche ward at a NYC Hospital, developed atrial fibulation, with a flutter.
She was very sick, dying, at 46. She had survived cancer, chemotherapy, an abusive relationship, many large challenges. Only to be dropped by A-Fib.
The doctors knew there were two choices, a medication, or a surgical heart procedure. The medication was always tried first, never anything else. The cardiac specialist informed her that the medication would basically cure the A-Fib.
Because she worked closely with many departments at the hospital she knew the medication. She knew the side effects very well. In order to take it, the patient would suffer severe illness as a series of side effects. The mildest illness is extreme dizziness, where standing longer than five minutes the vertigo overwhelms the person and makes it impossible to move.
There are illness like liver damage, brain stem atrophy, cancer can develop and a pancreatic illness that is deadly. But the A-Fib is controlled.
In essence she would be unable to work, read, watch TV, write, because of hand tremors. She can’t lay down completely and must sit up most of the time. But her fibulation would be controlled.
She kindly turned down the medication. The doctor said there was a risk with surgical procedure. That she might not recover. It might not take hold. The medication, and the medications needed to treat the side effects of the original medication, were more of a sure thing.
When she came off the medication, after a short stint to appease the doctor. The doctor was very upset. He could not understand her choice. She told him the truth. The quality of her life was gone. She was alive, but no longer living. But he said, you will survive. And she said again being a body that was alive, with no function, was not surviving.
To help those who might not realize it, sitting in a recliner, or in front of an Xbox, or on social media all day, everyday, is not a life of leisure. Needing someone to come into the home to prepare meals, to not be able to stand long enough to go to the bathroom and urinate, to have to take medication that have side effects to counter side effects of the original medication. The endless creation of illness to treat the creation of illness, to end an illness cancels the cure and has no quality to life.
There is so much happening there isn’t time to even question the benefit of medicating the side effects of a medication with side effects. Actually being able to evaluate the level of benefit of a certain medication, for severe illness, based on how well the medication actually reduces illness while improving quality of life. That is the measure of a treatment. Not the sustaining of physical survival. The increasing of the quality of living.
I am concerned we have reached a place where endless treatment on top of treatment has replaced quality of life.