I’ve mentioned multiple times that open and honest communication with doctors and family members is critically important to getting the care you need when you have epilepsy. I believe it is important to disclose to your doctor the number of seizures you have had, how your medications are making you feel, and whether or not you are following the prescribed method of treatment. I believe these things very strongly.
But, I am also a giant hypocrite.
The Extent of the Lies
I think I am not alone in being resistant to taking medications despite understanding their importance. I think I am not alone in being bad at taking them as I should. This was especially true for me when I was a teenager. But even into my late twenties, I was not a good patient in this regard. For a large percentage of the time that I have had epilepsy (larger than I would like to admit), I have been a poor example of someone who follows their treatment plan. Nearly every day, I lied to my family and doctor about how closely I followed it.
I was slightly more honest with my doctor than with my family. It was harder to lie to my doctor because the truth will come out in a blood test. However, I do remember still lying despite this. Dishonesty required a lot of flushing pills down the toilet and throwing them away in the trash. I haven’t asked her about it, but I’m sure my mom could sense something was off. Noticing I suddenly had plenty of energy while supposedly taking pills that normally made me incredibly tired could not have been very convincing. Having more energy, however, was enough to make the lying and the risks worth it. At least I was convinced it was.
I rarely went off my medication completely. With the exception of a failed experiment when I first went off to college. Usually I tried to take a dose every couple of days, minimum once a week. I learned from going off meds completely just how dangerous it really is, and I have never wanted to repeat that experience. So I take heart in the fact that I have learned something.
Consequences and Regrets
A large and very scary consequence of lying for me at the time was getting caught, which I did. I do not want to be on my mom’s bad side, and there is nothing that will get me there faster than putting my health in jeopardy. She has been a fantastic advocate for me. As much as it annoyed me as a teen, she would watch me take my pills and text friends I was with to do the same in order to ensure I took them, just to make sure I was safe. I sincerely appreciate that.
I cannot say that I regret my bad decisions. I don’t consider experiences that I have learned from a failure. Not only that, I don’t find regrets to be particularly useful in going forward in life. So I do a couple of things today that I never would have done ten or fifteen years ago. I do not resist taking my medications, and I allow those who try to help me take it to do so.