Listening to audio books while driving has become a routine as I travel back and forth to Salt Lake for my neurology appointments. My recent visit was a bit disheartening because I was hoping to decrease my dose of Tecfidera, which is a twice daily medication that is intended to reduce the number of flares from Multiple Sclerosis. However, my neurologist was concerned about a few lesions on my spinal cord found on a recent MRI; he also noted that Tefidera has not been studied to show benefits at a lower dose so he didn’t recommend adjusting my treatment.
Pondering this visit could lead me down two paths, which I will describe now.
- “Woe is me!” My hope of decreasing the aggravating side effect of facial flushing where my face is uncomfortably tingly and embarassingly red is dashed to bits at this unfortunate news. Since the lesions in my spinal cord are permanent, my doctor is unlikely to ever recommend decreasing the dose. Other medicines may not work; I don’t want to have an IV or shots to take them either. Compared to
- “Now I understand why my doctor doesn’t want to change my medicine. Thankfully I can mentally process this new information and find a different strategy to address the uncomfortable, although tolerable, side effects.”
In the audio book “The Foor Doors” by Richard Paul Evans, the author describes a cage of victimhood where people blame outside sources for their misery, whether it be medical diagnoses, the actions or words of other people, or products from environmental forces. Likely you can see the connection with the first reaction above where I could perseverate on the drama about having Multiple Sclerosis and suffering from the terrible treatment options; doing so would land me in a self-created cage where I would find myself a victim because I am considered unhealthy while also suffering from perpetual side effects from the medication.
Much better, though, is option 2. My mind tends to integrate new information with current knowledge to solve problems. Even though I will continue the same medication regimen based on my physician’s recommendation, I have enough energy to run 5 kilometers, homeschool my children, and run a business. Recently I decreased my supplements because I feel so good. Luckily, the flushing side effect is not daily and is usually too brief to utilize peppermint or lavender to overcome the discomfort.
Your turn. First, think of a problem you are having. Do you see two paths of thought from which to choose your focus?