Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Wherefore Art Thou, Fluocinonide?

A while ago I came across a blog post that was entitled something like "Your Life Might Be Better Without Prescription Medication."  I chose not to read it because I decided I didn't want to spend the rest of the day angry.

For the next several days, however, at odd moments my mind would touch upon that unread post and stew.

It's easy to think no one needs meds when you've never suffered from a chronic condition.

I wonder how many people I know would probably be dead with prescription medication?  Let's see- one, two, three, four...

How about I invite the author of that post to come show me how to get through an asthma attack without my inhaler?  I'm sure she'd be super helpful coaching me through deep breathing exercises and "centering myself."  (I have actually had someone suggest this to me before.  Upon learning about my asthma- you know, the sudden inability to DRAW SUFFICIENT AIR INTO MY LUNGS, he wondered aloud if I'd ever tried taking a deep, soul-soothing breathe to help get my system back on track?  I had nothing nice to say and so kept my mouth shut and instead tried to communicate my utter loathing through a flat stare and arched brow.  I'm pretty sure he got it.)

I just knew this was going to be yet another poorly researched post on the idiocy of Western medicine and a general spewing of terrible grammar and bad syntax.

Now, before you get your panties in a twist, let me be clear:  I totally get the whole "We don't need as many meds as we're currently ingesting" movement.  I really, really do.  I can see the wisdom in trying every other- often natural- avenue to good health before turning to medication as a last resort.  This is generally what we practice with our family.  So disengage those negative emotions you feel rising before you have a stroke and potentially need (gasp!) medication.

I did eventually read the article.  It wasn't at all what I had expected.  For the most part, the author was talking about taking meds to prolong your life for a short time- often at the cost of quality of life- and about taking one pill after another, treating the side effects of each drug with yet another.

That's a whole different ball of wax.  I didn't agree with everything she said, but I could certainly understand where she was coming from and respect her decision-making process.

Strangely enough, through the whole thing, the one prescription I thought I really wouldn't want to live without (including even the potentially life-saving inhalers and EpiPens) was my beloved Fluocinonide.

Oh, Fluocinonide.  If I were a poetess, I'd write a sonnet in perfectly balanced iambic pentameter to you.  Because I don't want your feelings to get hurt and make you feel invalidated, I'm going to make sure everyone knows how to pronounce your lovely name (say "flew-oh-SIN-oh-nide").

Do I need the Fluocinonide?  I suppose not.  Does it greatly improve my quality of life?  Oh, yeah.

Fluocinonide (okay, that's way too long for me to keep typing.  It needs a nickname:  maybe Flo?  Nidey?  Can you tell nicknames aren't really my thing?) is a topical ointment for eczema.  It's really been on my mind here lately because I've been so busy manual labor-wise, which obviously involves heavy use of my hands (and anytime you're working with your hands a lot, you're also having to wash your hands a lot, and as far as eczema is concerned, prolonged exposure to water is the devil) where my eczema is concentrated.  While this isn't exactly devastating as far as chronic conditions go, it is annoying to sit down and try to write a letter only to have the paper smeared with blood and ooze all because I had the audacity to try and bend my fingers around the pen, causing my skin to crack open and the blisters to burst.  No one wants to receive that letter in the mail.

As long as I have that ointment (and put it on every night.  I've discovered that it doesn't actually help just to have it, you also have to apply it.  Because I'm brilliant like that.), I can function completely normally.  I can curl my hands into fists without wanting to cry.  I can bathe my kids and wash their hair without pain.  I can garden and cook and write letters and type this post, all because of beautiful, greasy prescription Fluocinonide.

Do you have any meds you can't live without (literally or maybe just my-life-would-kinda-suck-without-this)?  Or do you think I'm going to hell in a handbasket for not just using prescription meds, but writing a blog post about my love for them?


  1. Prescriptions are like cats: they always have three different names. Except for prescription drugs, they are usually all unpronounceable. I appreciate knowing how to pronounce this one.

    Yes, they need nicknames! (I guess some drugs do have nicknames. Like Mary Jane. Not that I know anything about THAT.)

    The drug I can't seem to live without is my little white pill - OTC chlorpheniramine + Phenylephrine (antihistamine + decongestant). The only place I can get it is Walgreens.

  2. ^^ "Prescriptions are like cats" LOL

    I have 2: Ibuprofen in 800mg form and Effexor XR (my happy pills that keep me from biting the heads off of everyone in my household). Woe to the ones who suggest I don't need to be on medication! I've tried to live without them... it was a bad scene.

    I went on a hike yesterday (see first in my meds list) and was having trouble breathing. Being pestered by a horse fly (think flailing arms) was what sent me over the edge in my controlled breathing and into panic attack mode. My husband insists I'm out of shape (true) and refutes any idea that I might be developing exercise-induced asthma. I don't disagree that I am horribly out-of-shape, but given family history and a few key incidents, I suspect asthma. It is horribly frightening to not be able to get enough air into your lungs!


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