Saturday, January 29, 2011

Consistently and Constantly

What do you do when you're taking a medication and the side effects are worse than the benefit of the drug? And you have to take the drug consistently and constantly, meaning you have to take it at the same time every day and not skip a day. It's one of those drugs, or at least it's what the pharmaceutical company and doctor(s) say, that you can't skip one without problems.

Yet people miss them and they even provide instructions when you do. That's not my point here, it's the side effects. I'm taking a statin drug to lower my LDL or bad cholesterol for the 20% blockage in my pulmonary artery. And the side effects are making my life miserable, especially with the digestive system which I've written about and seemed to be improving, but this drug made it worse.

If it weren't for the physician to send me to a cardiologist as a precaution, we wouldn't have found the blockage. My heart (muscle) and arteries on and around the heart are fine, nothing wrong. The problem is just the pulmonary artery. But it started nearly 20 years ago and has been, or at least from what I know personally, been about the same for the 10 years.

And that's the question, when you do decide to discontinue a drug because you want to than the physicians and specialists say you should?

I have just over 2 months on the high dosage (one month of half dosage and then full dosage) before I have another evaluation, with a blood test, to see if it's working. If so, and toward the goal, they'll either discontinue the drug or lower the dosage. if not, then it's a decision of directions, continue the dosage and continue personal changes, medical intervention or something else I don't know.

That's the question. At 20%, it's significant but not significant to interfer with life that I can as I have make adjustments. The goal with the drug is something I've never done, get my cholesterol below the upper limit of normal (LDL < 100) and more so get it to about 70. If the drug can't lower it significantly, it's a question if or when it will get worse.

That's the conumdrum, we don't know what will happen until April, but until then the drug is unliveable on a daily basis. When my Dad was just a few years older, he was on 11 drugs for a variety of medical problems and just over half of the drugs were for countering the effects or interactions of the drugs. It turned him into a physical wreck.

And watching him then, I can't see becoming him. And even if it's just one drug, to me it's one drug too many. Yes, I take a number of supplements every day and have for nearly two decades. Some are the normal recommended supplements and some help with the body and aging. Their effects are small but over the years have kept things from getting worse beyond normal aging.

So, that's the question I face. I hate the side effects of the drug and the drug is one of choice. Necessary, probably and helpful, absolutely. But at a price of my daily life.

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