Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Ok class, time to pay attention.....

"Learn from the mistakes of others. You can't live long enough to make them all yourself." -Eleanor Roosevelt-
Here, then, is my mistake gift to you:
Daily, I take medication. The why isn't important. (no, not hormone pills for my upcoming gender change....) (wait! i'm not having a gender change. i'm not even due for an OIL change in my car...)
Anyway, I should have said that I am prescribed to take medication daily. To say that I actually take it every day is a bit of a stretch, but i would say that i miss maybe 4 doses a month. I am mostly ok with that, because a year or so ago i would be lucky to TAKE 4 doses in a week. But things changed a few weeks ago.
Remember when Irene hit, and I was stuck out of town for 2 days? That's when i started to forget. I missed a total of TWELVE doses. The medication warns NOT to stop taking it suddenly, and NOT to do so unless under the close supervision of a Doc. (MD, not PhD.) In reality, when people are taken off of this med, they are tapered down to nothing. Huh? Let's say that the dose is 20mg per day. You might taper down to 10mg per day, then every other day, then every 3rd day, etc., but you SHOULDN'T go from 20mg per day to NOTHING. Why did I do it, then?
Because I am forgetful. I have discovered that keeping the pill bottle on my headboard, next to where i put my coffee in the morning, has helped me to remember to take it. Apparently I knocked the bottle off of its place, and therefore didn't see it. No visual cue, no med. Dumb.
Then last week (remember the tweets about PVC's?) i started to experience Premature Ventricular Contractions. In a nutshell, your heart is supposed to beat like this: lub-dub, lub-dub, lub-dub. MINE was going lub-lub-dub, lub......lub-dub, lublubdub, etc. Not constantly, but probably twice every five minutes. Very annoying, very scary. Very fun, actually, to watch on an EKG while you are having them. Totally cool.....See?

 It wasn't until i received an email warning about a high dose complication for the same med I take. The warning stated that people should NOT be given more than 30mg per day,  "as higher doses have lead to abnormal changes in the electrical activity of the heart". Hmmm....my inquisitive mind started to wonder that if high doses caused this, might not suddenly LOW or non-existant doses cause the same? Well, the literature from the drug companies doesn't say that, but I can personally attest to the fact that it does. Common listed withdrawl symptoms include: "dysphoric mood, irritability, agitation, dizziness, sensory disturbances, anxiety, confusion, headache, lethargy, emotional lability, insomnia, and hypomania". Good times!
So I found the bottle and started taking it again. After 4 days, the PVC's have all but stopped. As for the other things, well, i THINK that they are better.
Why did I tell you this? Because I don't want you to make the same mistake that I did. Yes, after i came back from being stranded I should have started taking the med again. I would have only missed 1 day, and not experienced any withdrawl effects. But i completely blew it off. dumb, dumb, dumb.
I promise that my next post will be more FUN!
Be Well,


  1. I am really bad about taking my pills at times as well. I hae two pill boxes, one for morning pills and one for evening pills. I load them up at the beginning of the week. A few weeks ago I did up my pills and forgot a set of my important meds as well. For the entire week I couldn't put my finger on why I didn't quite feel right. Then on the last night I looked at the pills and went CRAP! I had been forgetting my anti seizure meds all week! Immediately i took them and re-set the alarm timer in my cellphone for the meds. I have two alarms now, one for my day pills and one for my before bed pills.
    Anything that keeps me on a schedule helps. They are both in plain sight and I can still forget to take them (so I keep a set of each in my purse, incase I am not home when the alarm goes off)
    Glad you are back to taking your pills again, hope things are back to normal :)

  2. Keeping meds in a consistent spot is important. The Mr. and I take probiotics every day. He had them in a very conspicuous place on the countertop and in cleaning one week I moved them to be less front and center... and we didn't really take them for a week. Lesson learned. Glad your PVCs have stopped Gene!