Sunday, January 22, 2012

When Prescriptions Attack!

by Leann

After three weeks of every miserable respiratory symptom you can think of, I am finally getting better. Both my husband and I were down with this bug--yet "bug" seems too small a word. We were both pretty darn sick, so ill my husband missed a week of work. Since I have asthma, I developed bronchitis almost immediately and the doctor threw everything in the book at the illness. I had an antibiotic shot, a cortisone shot, antibiotic pills and prednisone. After a few days I could breathe without needing my inhaler every fifteen minutes.

But I knew the aftermath was coming. I always get depressed after I have a course of prednisone and boy did it hit me Saturday. But I have found a new side effect: stupidity. Since I was crying for no reason and feeling very sorry for myself, I decided to make a batch of cookies. The smell coming from the oven always seems to cheer me up. So, what did I do? I grabbed the hot cookie sheet without a pot holder!! Okay, add burned and blistered fingers to the list of maladies. The joy of cooking became the agony of baking. Add to that, more crying over nothing. At least I tried to cheer myself up!

I decided this day was a wash. Before I did anything else in the imbecile department, I chose to sit down (with my delicious cookies) and watch college basketball. It won't upset me and I can't injure myself, right?

How about you? Are there any medicines you absolutely must have or anything you must do--and yet you know there will be unpleasant consequences down the road?


Laura K. Curtis said...

Every. Single. Day.

I take Depakote for epilepsy, and it makes me fat, stupid and tired. Seriously. But I've tried all the other meds and this is the only one that actually works.

The side effects of the others that worked were worse.

There was Keppra, which caused something called "Keppra Rage" that the doctor had to warn my husband about when it was prescribed. Because it can can cause extreme violence or extreme depression. When I started dreaming about guns, they took me off that one.

And there was Lamicatal. It was a wonderful drug, made me feel great, and I wrote a draft of a mystery novel in six weeks on it. But then it gave me something very odd called "drug-induced pseudolymphoma" which is weird enough to get you on "House" and--in my case--gave me hives over about 70% of my body for months before the doctors figured out the problem.

So yea, fat, forgetful and tired, I stick with Depakote!

I hope your hands are feeling better. Perhaps you should have ice cream with your cookies so you can hold the cold bowl against your burned fingers.

BusyMom said...

I can so relate. Mine started many years ago when I found that I needed to take something for my high cholesterol. That was not bad. Later I found out I had Rheumatoid Arthritis and need to be placed on medication for that. Thankfully they have it stable that I am still on oral meds and not on shots. As far as missing any of these meds while it would not be good I would still function. I had also threw/hurt my back pretty bad and was placed on prednisone. (I too got depressed and anxious and yes crying comes with the territory. :( ) Lastly at least I hope it is last .. last year I was diagnosed with Thyroid cancer. While I did have the entire thyroid and parathyroid removed and went through radiation I am still awaiting for a nation-wide shortage medication to come back in stock to see if the got it all or not (some lymph nodes were cancer as well). I am on thyroid medication the rest of my life along with other meds.

Side effects on all my meds put together are depression, fatigue, weight gain, forgetfulness, bone densitity loss ... so many more.

While I appear to be a total mess I must say that I have a bright outlook and am a happy go lucky type person. I never dwell on things and continue to go on. (after a hysterectomy I was doing laundry when I was told not to list, after thyroid surgery, still made beds..) Most people think it weird that I am so positive with everything I have endured so far. Some even think I am lying because of my attitude.

I never mind speaking about my issues. If I can help one person stay positive with a pep talk then that is fine with me.


ev said...

I have low grade Lupus which I have dealt with for years. I refuse to let it get me down. To add to that, I also have RA, starting in my spine and going down my right side. It's why I medically retired from the guard. With all the drugs out there, RA has some help in relieving the symptoms. Except I can't take any of them- I have a death allergy to Aspirin and NSAID's, so I live on Tylenol. There's one other drug that I can take, but it really doesn't work. When I have a particularly bad episode of either, I end up with Prednisone too. I can deal with the mood swings it causes, we're used to them. It's the damn weight gain I can't stand. It never goes away either.

I think, for me, the biggest pain though is that people look at me, don't see anything wrong and wonder why I use a handicapped pass. I have actually had people in the building I work in leave notes on my vehicle telling me that I wasn't handicapped since I don't even use a cane. (Actually, I always have one because I never know when I will need it- it folds up into my bag). I had to call the building owners and tell them that if something wasn't done, I was calling a lawyer about harassment. Mind you, I work in a building full of medical professionals- so that shows how really stupid people can be I guess.

If they actually asked me why, I would tell them. It doesn't help I suppose, that I refuse to let either of my problems get me down or stop me from doing just about anything I want. I pay the price later sometimes, but it's worth it.

On the other hand, use a damn oven mitt next time, Ok? Burns suck.

Leann Sweeney said...

I KNEW I wasn't alone on this! :-) I have 3 invisible illnesses, so I totally understand that you can feel HORRIBLE and yet people are telling you how "great" you look. As for the weird side effects, I developed "pseudo tumor cerebi" from taking tetracycline for my roscea. I had the symptoms of a brain tumor, in other words. If there's a strange side effect, it looks like all of us are susceptible.

And yes, an oven mitt was in order. (I have bandaids on 3 fingers but at least it was my left hand!)

Cindy said...

Oh, Leeann, what a day you had! At least the cookies made up for all the other stuff!

Let's see where to begin. lol

After having a brain aneurysm coiled, I started having symptoms similar to TIA's. But they decided it was complex migraines/sensory seizures. First med made my blood pressure go so low I would sit in a chair and feel like I was going to pass out. 2nd gave me headaches, which kind of defeated their purpose. 3rd made me want to eat all day which isn't good because I had a gastric bypass 4 years ago. 4th was Topamax aka Dopamax. It worked wonderful for the symptoms but eventually I became dazed and confused. Would repeatedly ask the same questions, lose my train of thought and was darn lucky I knew where I lived!

So finally, we come to Keppra. Hadn't heard of the Keppra rage as another reader posted. But it was working with 2 pills a day and now I'm getting symptoms again so imagine my doc will be upping it.

And you can't imagine my long story of my spring/summer/autumn last year. Let's just say I fell late May, bed rest, drugs, back surgery in August, drugs, bed rest, therapy, drugs... very long year. Slept through summer in a drugged haze.

Definitely woke up in autumn. Prednisone pills always gave me lots of energy. Well, in the hospital I'm getting syringes of it shot in my IV. Came home and supposed to be recovering and can't sleep and am wired because of the steroids. Not good. In fact, a bad year all around!

Leann Sweeney said...

I'm thinking sometimes the cure is as bad as the disease! So sorry for what everyone has been through. A crying jag and burned fingers aren't that bad, really. :-)

Lynda said...

I feel your pain Leann. I am allergic to just about everything - from aspirin to most antibiotics. Plus, sometimes I'll take something and I do OK and the next time I have a severe reaction. I live alone so, when I am going to take a new med, I call someone and alert them to check on me if I don't call them in 30 minutes.

I agree about the cure sometimes being worse than the problem. I once developed a yeast infection from an antibiotic. They suggested I use Monastat. I had a severe allergic reation (yeah, try having a burning/itching allergy THERE!). Someone suggested plain yogurt to ease the exterior itching and I had a reaction to that as well.

I only took prednisone once (for pneumonia). While I was taking it, I felt awesome. But even though I went off it slowly like the advise, I crashed and burned. The depression was dibilitating. I swore I'd never take it again. On the up side, I have far more compassion for drug addicts trying to quit!

Hope you and your husband are feeling better. Take care...

Leann Sweeney said...

We are definitely better! Someone told me to start the New Year on the Chinese New Year since 2012 started out so awful. So, HAPPY NEW YEAR, EVERYONE!!!!! :-)

Aurian said...

Glad to also read you are feeling better now. What a horrible story. I have bronchitis myself, and never am far away from my inhaler. There are several around me. I also am extremely allergic to animals (and lots of other things in natures like trees and grasses), so I need something anti-allergic. At the moment it works great, but I know once I stop taking it, it will hit me with a vengeance. So the choice is always: take it and suffer later, or not take it and suffer now. People can draw me out with a hankey in my hand. But well, it is not as seriously as what you all are going through. Good health to you all!

misskallie2000 said...

I feel for all of you. I was a few weeks old when I had my first ear infection which continued until I was in my 30's along with tonsillitis and had tonsillectomy at 17 mos. I need a hearing aid but being retired is delaying it. My dad called me Half Pint because I was so small. At age 7 I was dx with diphtheria and pneumonia. Between then an 12th grade I had pneumonia 10 times. After diptheria about age 10 I got where I could not keep up with the other kids so I became an avid reader and gained weight. At age 13 Dr. operated for a goiter and discovered I had Hashimoto's Disease which had destroyed my thyroid gland so I have been on Synthroid since 1956. I have to take this med everyday first thing. After my surgery on Dec 19we were at my Grandmothers and I was dancing with my cousins. In 3 months I was skinny but still 5 feet tall (since I was 10). I had so much energy I ran instead of walking. lol..
My last hosp stay was in the 12th grade for pneumonia. I did continue to have bouts with it for several more yrs.
In Nov 1999 I was dx with colon cancer and had surgery 3 days later. I was one of the lucky ones because it had not spread but still had chemo to be sure they said. No sign of return. I already had allergies and after the chemo I have even more so allery meds are a daily thing.
I had back pain and left leg pain from 1966 but it was not until I went to dr. that I was dignosed with 2 bulging disc in lower back and I just had my 3rd epidural injection in left hip in 3 mos. I have had other injections over the last 7 yrs. I will have to have surgery but I don't want to until I have to. Could make me worse instead of better. In early 2000 I was also dx with slipping disc in my neck (left side). Seems my left side is just bad and I need a replacement. lol
I was in auto accident and sprained my left ankle in 77'so bad they keep ex-raying as they thought it was broken. I have sprained that ankle 2 more times and that foot once.
Because my thyroid gland was not active it interfered with my memory which is still bad and I had a hard time in school. In high school I think I conjugated every verb in the English langage for extra credit plus turned in many book reports. In biology I drew every leaf, body part, bug, etc for extra credit because I could not spell the stupid words. In History I outline each chapter and make reports for extra credit. Our public High Schools were not coed so at least I did not have that distraction. Two yrs ago I was having dizzy spells and almost fainted a few times and I was dx with extra heart beats and told to eliminate caffeine and take med for that each day. Problem is caffeine cures my headaches so I found a OTC that has only small amt of caffeine in the headache pill when needed.
I was and still am very shy and quite. I usually do my talking by writing. I started keeping a diary when I was 8 until I married at age20. After marriage I would write at work if the office was empty and continued this for 6 yrs but do take spells where I still write.
Sorry this is so long, maybe I should write a story about my life. I would be interesting. lol
Glad I found you blog with so many great authors and books. I do love Cozy Mysteries.
misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

Leann Sweeney said...

My goodness, you have been through so much, Miss Kallie! Yet, here you are posting on our blog. Thanks so much for sharing!