So Many Pills

I know it’s a gripe that I share with most NMO patients – having to swallow a lot of pills several times a day. I organize my medication in a daily pill organizer. Because it has become part of my daily rituals, I find myself often second guessing if I even took them today. Being able to check my pill organizer answers that question.

My pill organizer is a generic drugstore purchase. It’s worn out with its ugly black lettering peeling off. My daily haul barely fits into each compartment. I tuck it into a drawer so I’m not reminded of my illness but also because medication should never be accessible to children.

Some nights I take my evening pills out and put them on my nightstand. I sit on the edge of the bed and mentally will myself to take them. Mike, my husband of almost 6 years but 10 years by my side, will reach over, rub my back and say, “I know”. It is moments like those that I am grateful for his endless support.

This week I have a horrible throat infection. Sophie passed a simple cold from school but in my body it has manifested into so much more. This morning’s pill set:

Cellcept – to suppress my immune system

Gabapentin – to suppress the spasms and numbness

Advils – to fight the inflammation in my throat

Penicillin – to fight the throat infection

Oxycodone – to manage the whole body pain from NMO

Omeprazole – to manage the acid reflux because of all the drugs


I know taking a lot of medication is exhausting and disheartening. On days I feel like I can manage this disease I still feel sick when I’m taking my pills. But Mike reminds me that taking pills is better than a relapse, better than not feeling good and better than carrying on with my life. He is, of course, right.


  1. Jeanette

    August 5, 2016 is my NMO 4th year. Totally understand that feeling! You’re not alone! I’ve taken almost all of the above mentioned, and I still get relapse on average 4-6mos. Nothing works until Rituximab. I was told to stop all meds few weeks before and after infusion, but 2 weeks after, I had relapse. My neurologist said my NMO is a difficult case, that even Rituximab cannot control . But me and my husband decided to continue treatment one last time. Now on my second year. It has been more than 1.5years of relapse free, back to or close to normal life and good enough for my body to rest and recover. I finally was able to get off steroids tablets for 3months now, longer than the last time I tried….

    Comment by Jeanette on August 23, 2016 at 9:39 am

  2. Jenna

    Hi Jeanette,

    Thank you for your note. That’s great news that you’re off the steroids. Keep at it because every person is different so it may take time to bounce back from an attack. Be patient with your body and yourself. For many of us, we have taken the time and many have had successful recoveries or more manageable situations.


    Comment by Jenna on August 29, 2016 at 6:49 pm

  3. Jeanette

    Hope you’re a lot better now!!!

    Comment by Jeanette on September 8, 2016 at 12:58 am

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