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OK so im sure we are all familiar with opening a packet of medication, be it asprin or prescription. Which ever end you open it from, the clever little leaflet inside somehow manages to be at the end you open it from, blocking your route from your awaiting pain relief, high, or treatment for that "itch"

So what do you do? Grab it, pull it out of the way, and munch your pills. (90% of the population will NEVER read one of these leaflets). But you are missing out, missing out on worry, wonder and concern about what those pills might just do to you. Have a quick scan over it and you will see words like "sores", "rashes", "tiredness" and so on spread throughout the page.

Side effects is what I am on about, if you had not already gathered. The expression "suck 'em and see" is quite apt when it comes to the average persons approach to medication. You are ill, you need help, the doctor says try these, so you give it a go. Personally I am one to give it a go, and see how things work out. Sadly my mother, due to her recent ill health and massive increase in drug intake has taken to reading EVERYTHING... The box, the leaflet and anything else she can get her hands on.

She has COPD, which for those not in the know is Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, aka she cant breathe very well. This is actually an umbrella condition which covers a wide range of conditions causing respitory issues. However this mixed with an obsession of reading and worrying about side effects of meds is a leathal cocktail.

As with most medications, over the counter and prescription, a lot of hers highlight they can cause respitory issues, which of course is not helpful with COPD. The focus needs to be on "could" though, and not the WILL that she insists it means. Therefore ANY drug she is prescribed for anything that mentions breathing, is binned!

Currently as of today, she has decided that due to a bad night breathing last night, all 4 drugs she was recently prescribed are no good, and she will not be taking them any longer. Ignoring the fact that its taken 5 days of taking them to decide this. So due to this now, she will no longer be treating other conditions she has, and her health will again deteriorate.

As someone who has spent a good few years popping pills for all sorts of ailements, I can confirm that modern medicine is a bloody amazing thing, and deserves praise, not doubt. So it is very frustrating for me to see her shun all the help that is on offer, due to a simple obsession with POSSIBLE side effects. Will she return to the doctor and tell him the problems she has found.... Of course not, she will just plod on and get iller again.

Its a vicious circle, that is getting ever tighter.