Know Your Meds

This was inspired by a Facebook friends’ post.

When it comes to medication always research and educate yourself on your condition and the medicine before taking anything.

I’ll start with a scary story about my mom. Her doctor changed her blood pressure medicine because her blood pressure was too high. Without asking any questions, she trusted the doctor and began taking the new medicine. Within a couple of months her legs and belly were all swollen. She left it go, never read any of the side effects and continued going to work.

At Thanksgiving we finally convinced her she needed to go to the doctor. Who then admitted her to the hospital. She was in kidney failure. I looked up the medicine she was on and one of the more common side effects was KIDNEY FAILURE!!!! Now she has a chronic condition that will never repair itself or go away and may eventually need dialysis.

Don’t think it can’t happen to you!

I will use my condition as an example. When I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia my doctor was trying to help me find an alternative to the narcotic pain killer because I really didn’t want to be on these for the rest of my life. My doctor and I made an agreement that I would talk to him first about anything any other doctor prescribed.

He sent me to a rheumatologist. He prescribed a few anti-depressants that can also be used for pain. Didn’t react well with my body.

The long term disability insurance required that I go to a psychiatrist who tried to prescribe me Ridalin, which my doctor promptly threw the script in the trash.

The pain specialists tried to give me neurotin (gabapentin). When I looked it up in my PDR (physicians desk reference) the first sentence said, “Neurotin, an epilepsy medication, … to treat certain difficult to manage seizures!!!!!!) Needless to say my primary doctor threw that in the trash too.

Keep in mind, many medications are used for multiple conditions. Be aware of the primary condition they were created for and tread carefully.

I read so many people having issues and just trusting their doctors implicitly. It scares me after what I’ve seen happen to me and my mother.

I highly suggest that you do research about your condition and all the medications available to treat your conditions and ALL the side effects. Make sure the potential benefits outweigh the potential risks before taking anything. Get yourself the PDR (the pocket guide to prescription drugs) and look up the medicine before you fill it and ask questions. Don’t be bullied by your doctor telling you that this is what you have to take. Find a doctor to work with you. Keep in mind your doctor is only as good as your research, questions, and input.

You wouldn’t take your car to the mechanic to fix it and not tell him what it was doing that caused you to bring it in would you?

Be informed, be educated!

I read so many posts from people with fibromyalgia with uncontrollable tremors. They say they’re on neurotin and/or lyrica. Both anti-seizure medications. Neurotin’s more common side effects include lack of muscular coordination and tremors along with many others.

Please people be your own advocate and if your doctor won’t listen, find another doctor! They are your employee after all.

Today I’m grateful for:

1. I have an awesome team of doctors.

2. I’ve learned a lot during this journey of chronic illness.

3. I learned how and where to find information and how to be my own advocate.

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Know Your Meds

  1. I’ve found the best doctors don’t expect you to give them blind trust. They WANT you to ask questions and educate yourself.

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