Diana: Family, friends, colleagues and acquaintances – Challenges of explaining medicines to people

Listen to patients and health professionals speak about their experience with taking multiple medicines.

Age at interview: 22
Number of medicines: 13
Cultural background: Anglo-Australian

Diana experienced secretion of breast milk as a side effect of one medicine, which impacted on her social life and was difficult to explain in a way that maintained her privacy.

I just said that I twisted my wrist lately, I don't want to risk dropping your daughter or anything like that. I started shutting down, not going out as much, which ... 

I didn't have the biggest social life. There was also a lot of conflicts in the group at the time, so it was probably best that I started dropping back there. But looking back, partly was conflicts, mostly was I just couldn't explain side effects. I couldn't explain why I was, you know, not laughing at anything that I used to laugh at two, three weeks ago. Why I was terrified to hold their child or ... yet I'd sit there, if someone else was holding them, I’d play with the baby. So it led to a lot of awkward questions and a lot of lies that had to be told. But you can't explain to your friends, this is my life. I can't hold your child because I'm expressing milk and I've never been pregnant. So it made it really difficult. But thankfully the conflict did cause ... did give me a good excuse to stop turning up as much, but a lot of that was probably caused from my depression as well.

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The Living with multiple medicines project was developed in collaboration with Healthtalk Australia.