Immunosuppressants: A Voter’s Guide




Be Careful What You Wish For


Sorry, America.

I remember wishing people would understand how difficult it is to parent a child who needs terrifying treatments to survive…


Imagine yourself in this situation:  Your young daughter has a chronic illness and is in a lot of pain.  It’s time for a medication shift.  You are faced with a choice between two drugs.

One has been around for awhile, the other one is newer but generating a lot of excitement.

One has a long list of known side effects, the other is so new that the side effects are largely unknown. However, both list “death” as a potential side effect.

One costs $10,000 a month, and the other costs $3,500 a month.

Wait!  What about alternative medicine?  

Oh, yeah?  Essential oils?  Aren’t you cute.  Good luck with that.  They don’t do much more than smell nice when facing a situation like ours.

I guess I’ll have to do more research.

Where?  Each drug has a carefully crafted marketing campaign.  Can you trust that?  Health organizations, doctors, alternative medicine– everyone has their own spin.  Where are you going to turn?  The internet?  Ha!


Fine.  I just won’t choose at all.

Okay, okay.  That’s an option when faced with a difficult decision.  So, how do you plan to explain to your daughter that you gave up on her?  That you can’t bear the thought of making the wrong choice, so you’ll make no choice at all?


Well, which one would you choose?

On the one hand, I have to act in a way that my (hopefully well-formed) conscience leads.  On the other hand, I can’t use that as an excuse to put blinders on to the effects of that choice.  My daughter needs help now.  Being smug about how I’m not going to give into EITHER big pharma medication isn’t going to actually help her pain at all.

I’m going to cry and pray and do the best I can to discern what’s best.  We’ve sort of tried something similar to one of the drugs, and it didn’t work.  Our only option is something new, something risky.  But I’m going to hate every minute of the choice I have to make.



Sorry, America.  I wanted people to empathize with the agony of choosing treatment in a situation like ours.

And now you know.


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