Monday, October 31, 2005

Should have known...

...that no one could take so many drugs without some sort of trouble. And the dose of Nexium is positively huge! Everyone I know is on it, but at a measy 20mg, they couldn't predict the problem I am having. I actually had a bowel accident while walking the dog. Course, I have protection for bladder incontinence, so I was home free, although I ran into a neighbor on the way. Quickly blew him off and ran home.

Such accidents were a staple of the first year of the MS diagnosis. I know the rote. So I trashed the underwear, sealed in a baggie, and showered the rest. Hate losing clothes, but it's important to me to minimize the bad memory, so I do as little as possible.

Cleaned and disinfected the bathroom. Needed it anyway.

Back to normal, except I'm taking the Nexium at night, to give it the time it needs to make trouble. And I will go back to work on Tuesday night, giving myself a couple days to be sure I know when bad stuff happens.

Although I like to find the humor in things, haven't found any yet.

Little Pond

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Quite a list!

Here are all the drugs and remedies I now take (some are temporary). They are listed in order of how long I've been taking them.

Copaxone. One shot every day for Multiple Sclerosis.

Calcium with Vitamin D, specifically. Although I have always taken multivitamins with minerals, these are prescribed by my General Practitioner for age-related bone loss. It was mild, and he now says my blood shows some reversal.

A Blend of Black Cohosh and Black Cohosh Root. Prescribed by my ObGyn, for menopause symptoms. First she prescribed Hormone Replacement Therapy, but I have a Factor Five mutation that makes me vulnerable to blood clots. HRT is contraindicated and Soy remedies, which work very well indeed, do so because Soya is actually an herbal HRT. Who knew?

Sanctura for incontinence caused by Multiple Sclerosis. Detrol LA worked better, but the constipation it caused was debilitating and dangerous, tearing me up.

Chlorpheniramine maleate, an antihistamine. No decongestants, please, since they sent my blood pressure soaring. As did various other antihistamines.

Diovan for hypertension. Especially the diastolic blood pressure.

Nexium, for possible reflux.
Flonase, for post-nasal drip.
Advair diskus for possible asthma.
Albuterol inhaler for possible asthma.

The last four are to track down just what is making me cough uncontrollably. The cough hits suddenly, causes further incontinence and leaves me panting and sweating. It may have been initially caused by Lisinopril, which preceeded the Diovan. After a few weeks, I am left with chest pain and tightness, loss of sleep, appetite and ability to work. They called me the Queen of Cough at work. The inhaler helps, but I fear any sort of steroid. And the Flonase doesn't seem to last into my work night.

I am missing a few days of work, since all the symptoms, and now the drugs, are causing bad problems with memory and other performance. Maybe I can return once the pain and coughing subside.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Relief is on the way?

A strange thing happened today. After weeks of coughing, due, I thought to high blood pressure medication, I could take no more. Called Guthrie Clinic and left a message with my doctor: I would drop the Diovan forthwith. Guthrie called back and suggested an appointment to treat the cough. Diovan should not cause coughing--something else is wrong.

My doctor roundly scolded me for self-diagnosing. After a few Xrays, and a PPD (TB test, of all things!), I am now being treated for asthma, GERD and a persistent post-natal drip. With the hope of eliminating two of the three treatments in a few weeks. He got mad, he yelled (till he was red in the face), but hey, he listened.

I found the whole experience exhausting, as well as overly-long, and needed to cut my worknight short for a much-needed rest. Bed will not only feel good, but probably is absolutely necessary. After weeks of coughing myself awake in the night, and coughing myself sick at work, and leaving early from church services, I may finally get some permanent relief.

Amusing side-note: the Xrays were marred by my rather small, but evidently solid, papillae. (Who knew?) I was given two tiny, metal "markers" for the retake. Doctor was sweet about it, but of course, I couldn't resist playing it for a (little) laugh. Mostly I was surprised at how low they were imaged on the film, and I said so.

Little Pond

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

MediFans, You've Got Mail!

Grand Rounds is up, and this time it's a letter from the hospital's janitor. You can read it in EmergiBlog. Thank you kindly, Gruntdoc.

Little Pond

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Karen of Scottsdale

who blogs at The View From My Chair, sent me the full photo from the crop she uses in her profile. I gave the usual lame excuses as to why I don't post my own photo, and I included a (fairly) recent snap in my email. Her lovely, gracious response emboldens me.

A very indulgent GrammaDog helps HuggaMutt pose for Husband RJ.

I'm trying to post the entire set of sittings, several photos in all, through Picasa, but I'm getting error messages I've never seen before. Anyone know what CAPTCHA is?

It's been my policy not to post humans. Maybe Someone is telling me to stick with that policy.

Little Pond

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Sunny Day, Take Me Away

But first: Medifans, Grand Rounds is Up! Thanks to GruntDoc, who sends us to..

A patient? Yup. One who must surely be the Queen of all Medifans. Makes me a rank amateur.

If you're not squeamish, you can go directly to this piece on Female Genital Mutilation. Amy warns us as she links.

And last a short item on psychosis. I don't watch ER, but my nurse's aide daughter, the MammaDog, does. Still, in my fifty some-odd years, I've know some people like that.

Sunny Day, sweeping the clouds away. Time to winterize the homestead.

Little Pond

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Ellie! Get in your Puppy Seat!!

There, that's better. A little exercise this morning. Went to Riverfront Park, to grab the sun while we had it.

Good thing, too. It was already misting when we returned home.

Little Pond Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Dark Days are not always bad...

When are brighter days not a good thing? When night workers need daytime sleep.

Now is the time to order your solar curtains. If you can get them locally, that's fine. But I recommend Carol Wright Online if you don't. These prices are the best I've seen anywhere.

Solar curtains are the equalizer for me. I never, ever could nap during the day. And since I started working nights, I was good for only about five hours total before the hubby's cigarette smoke, or the noisy cats, woke me. The rest of my family can be left for dead when their heads hit the pillow, but I hear everything during the night.

But the worst for me was the winter. Incredibly bright noon-time sun chased me out of my midday nap every time. The reflection off the snow makes for lovely walks with Ellie, and terrible sleeping conditions. Two sets of solar curtains make the room as dark as a movie theater.

A sound machine for some white noise, and the problem was solved. HomeMedics makes a less expensive version that's great for mixing and layering, helpful for noisy households like mine.

Sweet dreams.

Little Pond

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Gloomy Day

Dark and gloomy day here. Tried to attend Mass, but had a coughing spell and left. Not only will coughing frighten those who sit around me, but I run the risk of wetting myself if I suppress it. No throat drops to soothe it, so I ran home.

The place is depressing without my GrandDog, and the cats are pesty, but no fun. It's better for her to be in Golden Glow where she can play with her doggy buddies. But we are bored here!

Major excitement: the EQ2 heat booster died and we had to find a place to buy it. Best to go to Chase-Pitken, although that store is slated to close soon. Maybe Lowe's or HEP. Will cost about $40, but we really need it for the back room. It's a converted porch and the heating is really just an extra-long duct from the regular heating system, so the booster really helps. They are not the hardiest of appliances, but last for a good three years apiece. And each new booster usually has some new feature that sort of upgrades it.

With the MS, no room can be very warm or very cool. Makes me such a wuss. In fact, I had to leave the job I held during the first exacerbation, because it was way too cold in the winter, some 63 degrees! And right now at the paper, the place gets too hot where I work. (Which is probably the cause of my wetting accident.) Fortunately, we have an excellent heating system at home with a whole house fan as a central feature.

Guess I'll visit my favorite blogs and look for pet photos.

Little Pond

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

I am very excited, but...

Two days after dropping Lisinopril, the coughing's gone. Doc gave me Diovan (Valsartan) instead. The copay is a lot higher, but we should be able to save by purchasing on a quarterly basis. Blood pressure is way down already.

Funny thing, lower blood pressure feels different. Logey in the mornings. And when I use the Omron monitor, it doesn't pinch so much. But they always say there are no symptoms to high blood pressure...

Had a bladder accident at work (sorry if you're a coworker)! Don't know if it's med-related. The paper has shut down the air conditioning. Officially it's broken, but the fact that it's right on schedule (October 1!) would make turning it off far more likely. Workers who access the typesetters spend the night bathed in sweat. That would be me. And we know heat is bad for MSers.

We were putting the paper to bed, and the bladder simply twinged and leaked, soaking me. I walked to the ladies' room, all the way over to the other side of the building (men's room near my work station, don't you know). Cleaned up as best I could and went home. Washed and changed clothes. Returned to work. Took about 20 minutes. Except for my boss, no one knew I'd left.

Was it the heat? Or the Diovan?

Little Pond

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

MediFans, Awake!

Grand rounds is up! Go here for the permlink, should you feel the need to bookmark. However, I highly recommend just heading over to GruntDoc, so you can scroll down to the other goodies. My personal favorite of the week? Duct-tape bandaids! What a coincidence. I was totally distressed to learn there was no duct tape in the house this week. Gotta be a first in my eighteen years of living here. Really.

So hie thee hence and enjoy!

Little Pond

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Update to Lisinopril Side Effects

I was wrong. I cannot take any more of the coughing. My lungs are on fire and the cough is bringing up phlegm that wasn't there a day or two ago. Left word of my decision to stop the drug with the doctor's office. Took one more, in case he gets back to me today. I look forward to a cough-free week.

Guess we'll have to try something else.

Little Pond