Boring Self-Care: Medication Adherence

As I talked about in my first self-care challenge, not all self-care is glamorous or fun to do. Sometimes, it’s simply doing what we need to do to keep ourselves alive, even when we don’t want to do them. “Self-care” just means taking care of yourself!

One of the things I really do not like doing is sorting my medications for the week. I take a lot of pills every day to keep me functional, and for infertility. (This is not something that is open to debate and comments telling me to get off pills will be deleted. My doctors have put me on each of my pills for specific reasons.) With Dan also taking a lot of supplements prescribed by our fertility clinic, it’s easier for me to sort out all our medications at once because I’m already sorting pills.

To the challenge! (Click here)
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Goodbye, Topamax

After a few weeks of dealing with increasing side effects, I am now saying goodbye to my Topamax. I didn’t actually realize how many side effects I was truly dealing with until I had my neurology appointment yesterday, and the appointment ended up freaking me out a little bit. Now that I know how many side effects I was actually experiencing, I really wish I had gone in quite a bit earlier, but at least I finally got in. However, I’m terrified about coming off the Topamax at all, because I’m scared my migraines will come back with the debilitating daily frequency I was experiencing before I got put on it.

Side Effects

So what side effect made me finally call my neurologist? Uncontrollable muscle twitching in my eyelid that was so intense it was blurring my vision:

 

We’ve pretty much all had muscle twitches in our eyelids, right? Usually, it only happens to me when I’m tired. Sometimes, it’ll happen just because, but it doesn’t happen very often. Well, I took this video because it started happening A LOT! This was the third day it had happened in a row. This was about the sixth time in those three days, and this was after my shower… where it had been happening for most of my shower. Thankfully, it stopped very shortly after I got dressed. But I went straight to the pharmacist and had them do a medication review. The only medication that caused muscle twitching was Topamax, and it also had a lot of eye problem side effects (scarily enough). The next day it twitched for about three or four hours straight, then it also twitched for most of the evening. Thankfully, the last two or three days I’ve had a break from the twitching (it’s actually gotten painful now).

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Supplements Carry Risks Too

Don’t get me wrong, I am not just blindly wanting you to follow “Big Pharma” down the rabbit hole of taking more drugs and needing drugs to counteract the side effects of those drugs. Actually, I am all for all sorts of different combinations of lifestyles. If you love taking pharmaceuticals, then go take your pharmaceuticals and I’m so happy that they make you feel better! If you love taking supplements, then please go take your supplements and enjoy your life! If you love combining the two, then go do that too and enjoy feeling better! Woot for feeling better and managing our symptoms the best way we know how!!!

Anyway. Now that that is over, here we go. The point of the post 😛

Some people don’t realize that supplements can carry just as many risks as pharmaceuticals can. In fact, I would argue that, because of the state of “common knowledge” they are more dangerous. Why do I say that? Simply because people read an “all natural” label and are willing to pop it into their mouth without learning anything else about it… leading to potentially deadly consequences.

Wait, did I just say deadly?

Yes, yes I did. Continue reading

FINALLY a Recovery Cocktail

How do you recover from a month of crazy emotional stress, travel stress, chronic illness, and allergy testing?

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Zofran, Tramadol, two Benadryl, two Excedrin Extra Strength

I just got home from my allergy testing, and this is the first thing I did. Well, technically the second. This has just been the most ridiculous month, and definitely not in a good way. Grama passed on the 3rd, and now suddenly it’s the 19th. I do not know what exactly happened to the month of April, but I do know it has been a giant ball of stress of all kinds.

Here is why I’ve been a ball of stress:

Internet Hiatuses Can be Good, When My Stomach Doesn’t Rebel

Whoops. I kind of dropped off the planet for a bit. Though, I have to admit, my three day hiatus from the internet was kind of nice.

fireworksSaturday was my 26th birthday. I can’t believe I’m 26. It’s odd. I am actually starting to finally feel a bit more adult. At the same time, I still feel like I’m “pretending” half the time, but it sounds like that feeling never goes away. Dan and I are starting to fall into an “adulting” rhythm (meal planning, house stuff getting under control, organized, etc) that seems to be really helping to add to the feeling of being an adult. Oh, and I should be graduating in May, which should really help. Not having homework anymore will probably make me feel older.

I woke up on Saturday feeling awful, actually. That morning, it appeared that my new headache medication was really kicking my butt. Or something. I seriously just felt horrid. I was exhausted. cd0ec9ab3ff18c2d10f8c778bd3fc2a9Like, I got out of bed and took a shower and could barely get back into bed type of tired. I’d been up all night tossing and turning and having serious temperature swings and having to pee and it was terrible. Before bed Friday night I’d also suddenly been hit by a wall of exhaustion which pretty much meant Dan had to put me to bed. Thankfully, after rest and some fluids I felt a bit better and was able to get myself pulled together enough to enjoy my tiny get together. Three friends came over and we chatted a bit, played a game, and went to dinner. It was a lot of fun. I pushed myself a little harder than I probably should have, but it was still a much needed emotional uplift. I also realized I do not talk to people outside this blog often enough (or outside of Dan often enough) as I accidentally talked about my physical stuff a little more often than I meant to. Oh well. Thankfully, the friends that came seem to really understand what goes on with me physically so they were very understanding.

Sunday & Monday were interesting…

Albuterol Jitterbug

Because of my asthma, I always have had a rescue inhaler… Since I was about five. Thankfully, I don’t have to use it often anymore. Throughout school I had to use it quite often because my asthma is mostly exercise induced and we had to do a weekly mile (two in high school) in physical education. I also got sick a lot in school, and illnesses love to settle in the lungs if you have asthma.

asthma-airways

 

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Working Medication, Not Working Insurance

Got a call from Dr J’s (cardiologist) office earlier today. Apparently, my insurance rejected the medication that is actually working. Ugh! Luckily, though, they have samples available for me. They also said that they are going to try to work something out with the rep (I’m guessing the one that leaves them samples) for some sort of patient assistance thing. At least they recognize that it’s very important for me to be on this medication. Hopefully, the medication will let me do cardiac therapy on my own and heal enough that I don’t need it for too long.