I've always rolled my eyes at the placebo effect. "Ha," I sneered in That Tone I Have, "These suggestible people who believe vitamins and aromatherapy will benefit them. Please."
Well. Rub my nose in my stupidity. I've been without any beneficial MS medication for six months now and I would love me some placebo. Placebos are awesome.
Let me tell you, MS symptoms can be greatly relieved by sticking a needle in your thigh every night. No nightly needle? You start to notice what's really wrong with you.
I've felt pretty sickly and symptomatic this past few weeks. So bad, in fact, I metaphorically snapped my fingers in the faces of the Friends and demanded "Pity me!" Then when they made their attempts, I cried, "You aren't making me feel any better! You suck!" Yes. I'm not proud of it. I've given up the right to call them Heartless Cows. (Yet I retain the right to put that link right there.)
I decided today to make myself a placebo. I figured since MS is all about inflammation, and Naproxin is an anti-inflammatory, I would take two Aleve a day. And damned if I didn't feel better. Instead of tracking every twinge and tickle, it made me attend to every moment I felt even a little more normal. I see you rolling your eyes! Shut up! Eatmahcurlies.
Maybe I'll be on this psychedelic mushroom placebo in the clinical trial. Groovy.
Homey don't go anywhere without the Naproxin!
Posted by: judith | November 15, 2007 at 10:36 PM
So if you know that it's effect is placebo, then does it remain placebo?
Either way, what does it matter? As long as you feel it working, right?
Keep poppin' 'em. That's what I say ;)
Posted by: Jamon | November 16, 2007 at 02:33 AM
I'm right here with ya, chica!
What is it about November that makes symptoms flare, anyway? Bleah.
Posted by: Jammies | November 16, 2007 at 05:42 AM
I have a pretty hard time with arthritis this time of year. Every time a storm front moves in it is a new round of aches and pains. Maybe you two are barometer babes too.
Posted by: Zayrina | November 16, 2007 at 08:23 AM
I like jamon's question.
Posted by: sue | November 16, 2007 at 10:53 AM
I'm all about the placebo effect. It's my brain -- why can't I play with it?
I have an annoying but-as-yet mild anxiety problem. So far, there's no correlation between what is actually happening and my symptoms. This has been going on for over a year now. I have no physical ailment affecting my heart, lungs, or anything else. My doctor is reluctant to give me any of the nifty drugs for anxiety (given my bad reactions to anti-depressives, I guess this is smart). But the whole 'can't breathe, tight chest, heartbeat is uneven, throat swollen closed' thing is VERY annoying, especially when I want to sleep.
I use mint oil. I dunno why, but it works. Jammies even bought me some nifty moisturizing Mint Mist spray. I live on it.
Placebos are our friends.
Posted by: Sherri | November 16, 2007 at 12:25 PM
I have a friend with a permanently broken back who lives on Aleve. They're not nuthin.
I was all gloomy over nothing last week and cracked open an expired bottle of St. John's Wort I found in the back of the cupboard and instead of feeling sad, immediately began feeling really sorry for myself and thinking about getting a cat, possibly scrapbooking something. Is that the placebo effect?
Posted by: TasterSpoon | November 16, 2007 at 01:54 PM
Aleve is apparently a miracle drug, I've never taken it myself. Something about not being able to pop 2 (er 4) every 4 hours makes me anxious. I guess it's my own placebo effect that makes me think that more pills = less pain.
I hope it keeps on working until you start the new treatment.
Posted by: Katie | November 16, 2007 at 08:06 PM
Judith - I know! HYC at work (#7 - I think) introduced me to it. Good stuff.
Jamon and Sue - I think it still works. If I'm on nothing, I think about my symptoms one minute out of every five. If I'm on a placebo I think, "Yeah, that was unpleasant, but it didn't happen the other four minutes. The placebo is working. Woo!"
Jammies and Zayrina - I know someone who swears Bipolar disorder takes over in the fall.
Sherri - See, and when I has those same symptoms Friend #3 was all "call 9-1-1!" I like the mist idea better.
Taster Spoon - Ha! I don't know, but it made me snort.
Katie - It's really remarkable. Then again, I bet I could eat m&ms instead, and they'd be cheaper.
Posted by: TheQueen | November 16, 2007 at 10:41 PM
Hell, if I knew you could take that stuff, I would have hooked you up a long time ago.
Posted by: Friend #3 | November 17, 2007 at 01:35 PM
Cool - I could have paid you a grand a month for it. Win win!
Posted by: TheQueen | November 17, 2007 at 11:36 PM