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Pill Shaming: Don't judge me for taking the medication I need

I started writing this post whilst in hospital when I overheard a lady in the bed next to mine say "Oh steroids are awful, I don't know why anyone would go on them". Then, there have been the numerous nurses or doctors, not part of my regular medical team, who thought it was okay to judge my medication list, 'Why are you on this?' 'You need to get off it as quick as you can." "This drug is really bad for you".

They make me feel like it was ME that chose to take these tablets. Like I thought, "Ooo you know what I fancy, steroids; that round fat face and weight gain sound great" or "I fancy taking some chemo drugs; #yolo would love living at risk of catching any infections or bugs for the rest of my life". Everyone should understand that any sane person would only ever agree to all these horrible side effects if they were desperate and really did NEED these drugs and they are the recommended treatment.

Judgement is even worse with pain killers. I know there is a need for patient education about the risks of pain killers and addiction but I am aware. I don't want to know alllllll the addiction problems each time I see a new doctor.

Other people bravely coping drug-free with their hangovers or ankle sprains "Good for you" - but please do not compare your strategy to those of us managing with ongoing, debilitating and sickening spasms and pain.

The doctors who know me and my conditions tell me its okay to take pain killers because I need them. Being in a constant state of severe pain affects our mental and physical health, It places our bodies in a fight or flight state that affects our functioning and well being.

I completely agree that medication reviews are important and it is good practice to take as few tablets as is possible. However a random doctor in A&E doesn't need to give his opinion on my med list. I also gain nothing from uninformed, anecdotal advice from well meaning friends and family. It's great that your friend's brother's auntie cured her lupus with no medication and sniffing kale, but I NEED to be on these tablets. So please stop judging my medication list, I wish I didn't have to take them either.

Lots of love, Zoe xx

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