Fearing the New

Photo of cytotoxic warning label.  Caption reads: "My medications are dangerous."

Fearing the New

Blog post by Iris Carden

I have to see a new rheumatologist in a couple of weeks’ time. There’s no choice. I can’t go back to the old one. He died in the floods in February this year.

I’m always anxious when I have to change doctors. Part of that anxiety comes from experience. I tried changing to a local rheumatologist when I first moved to Ipswich. It didn’t go well. All my bloodwork looks good when my lupus is under control. The rheumatologist I went to didn’t believe I had lupus because my bloodwork looked good. He wanted to take me off my medication. I freaked out. I went back to the rheumatologist who had seen me when I was really sick.

I don’t have the option to go back to him any more. So now I have to see someone new, whether I want to or not. There’s absolutely no choice.

What if this new one wants to pare back my medications until he can see the evidence of lupus, too? There’s no safety net to fall back on now.

I know my medications are dangerous. If I ever forget, the “cytotoxic” warning label on the instructions Blue Care leave for my cleaner is a good reminder. If they’re dangerous for someone who comes into my house to clean once a fortnight, they’re definitely dangerous for me.

Despite that, I’m very attached to my medications, for one very good reason. I remember how sick I was before I started them. I remember the illness that led up to losing an organ for no known reason before the lupus was diagnosed.

I don’t like my medications, but I like the disease even less. While things are under control, I am fine. Now, with this change looming over me, I am afraid.


By Iris Carden

Iris Carden is an Australian indie author, mother, grandmother, and chronic illness patient. On good days, she writes. Because of the unpredictability of her health, she writes on an indie basis, not trying to meet deadlines. She lives on a disability support pension now, but her ultimate dream is to earn her own living from her writing.

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