Monday, April 3, 2017

Meds Wars

Lately it seems like the whole family has been having problems with their meds. Except Steve. He's just fine, mostly.

Steph has been quitting her latest migraine medications. I'm not sure all the reasons, whether it's side effects (dizziness, etc.) or lack of effectiveness (dizziness, etc.) or what all. I'm also not sure what's in the arsenal for trying next, since she's been dealing with migraines for decades now. As of last night when I spoke to her on the phone, she'd been five straight days with migraines. Lucky for her, if there's anything at all lucky in her situation, is they're not the painful sledgehammer-bonking-the-head kind of migraine, but a lot of visual symptoms and that  kind of stuff. I would describe them better, but I don't quite understand them myself. Back as a teenager, my migraines were the hammer and nausea, go hide in a dark room type. And hormonal changes got rid of them for me.

I've been starting to work my way off the clonazepan that was prescribed for my post-knee surgery restless leg syndrome. It's been working just fine, thank you. But partly I want to know if it's just a temporary thing, whether I can go off it and get by with, say, more activity, more vitamins, more or less whatever, and get off a schedule 2 drug.

It's more the idea of the thing than any side effects - at least so far - that's prompting this. I did the horrible thing of going and looking it up in depth online. New things popped out at me from this search than I found with my initial search a year ago. It just seems like a really good idea to at least try.

But it's a drug you can't just stop. You have to wean yourself off. So last night I cut two pills in half and tried taking just a half. By bedtime I knew that wasn't going to work. So I cut another pill in quarters and added one of those bits. I'll be taking 3/4 dose for a few days, see how it goes, and try tapering lower, and lower. Worst case, I'll refill the prescription. Best case, I won't have to worry about refilling it on summer vacation across state lines, and whatever else goes along with this medication that prohibits doctors from prescribing it past a certain (unspecified) number of doses.

But the real star of the meds wars is Rich. He picked up some kind of respiratory bug. It takes a lot to get him into a doctor, but this was bad enough he called up Brenda for a ride to the ER. They prescribed a new, strong antibiotic and some Prednisone for him. One to kill the bug, the other to open the lungs. Unfortunately, either one or the combination got him hallucinating. He was both seeing and hearing things/people that weren't there, and he knew, in some deep corner of his mind, that they weren't. The worst news is that the symptoms started in while he was at work. He was sent home, and it turns out that Uber from Minneapolis to home is about $120! He was already working because he couldn't afford the time off. Now he's not sure if he has a job to go back to.

On the plus side, he's done with all the pills, he knows what's real again, and he's coughing all sorts of crap out of his lungs. (I tell him that last one is a good thing.) He'll be staying home until he's much better. Or perhaps until he has to head out job hunting again. Hallucinating is not great for job security, even if it is a drug interaction and you know how not to repeat it.

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