Monday, February 11, 2013

Dear Patient,

I am not a doctor. I've never played one on TV. However, I do have a couple of chronic inflammatory diseases of my own, two kids with chromosomal disorders, a mom with two chronic inflammatory diseases and a partridge in a pear tree, and a grandmother undergoing treatment for multiple myeloma. You'd think I'd catch on already. I check the PDR like a crazy woman every time we go to the doctor. These are my people, dang it! But I was wasted from the three weeks of lung garbage and called the doc who called in a new antibiotic and I took it no questions asked.

Even after all the millions of things we've all gone through in this family we still get taken by surprise when, say, during breakfast the room starts spinning like I'm on the gravitron at the fair (You know, it spins and then the floor drops out and all the girls scream?). Only I can't get off this ride. I certainly can't walk myself anywhere because to walk forward I have to imagine I'm walking normal (Buddy's suggestion), or always step on the wall (Mimi's suggestion), or just "go pee and get back in the bed (Baba obviously won this round).

Of course Dad was immediately worried. He was concerned I had taken something at the wrong time or with the wrong thing. He is also still hyped about the blood sugar thing so I was buried in pancakes. There was only one thing I had taken that was new. It was minocycline. The third antibiotic we're trying to kill this chest infestation with. Whoever wrote "spinning sensation" and the like in the Physician's Desk Reference grossly understated things a bit. Vertigo. Check. Tinnitus. Check. In fact, you can check everything about the ear and the nervous system.

And then we can talk steroids. Not one or two but three dose packs I've gone through now. (seriously unhappy noise!!) I am still of at least four minds on whether or not they are of benefit in the long run. Especially as dose packs. You begin by tapering off. You never reach a standard "therapeutic dose." But your sleep? You may kiss that goodbye. Steroids should be locked in a safe with keys given to two different people and released by codes protected by the FDA. They're that bad--especially in high doses. Plus, I have yet to run into two different doctors who "believe" in using the same standards and practices for steroid prescription. Which is why I say "believe."

What all of this means is I have essentially been riding the gravitron at the fair ever since Saturday morning sometime in the middle of my breakfast. Do you have any idea how hard it is to find your bathroom when it's spinning? Frankly, it's easier to do it with your eyes closed. Lego's? Not possible. Movies? Ain't happening. Plus, I had to leave my glasses to get their new lenses last Friday, so I'm riding this thing blind. Sorta. I have the 2010 pair dangling from my face. 3,6,8,9 all look identical and some piece of something has been posing as a comma for about an hour now.

Always check out your medication before you put it in your mouth. Ask your doctor what your medicine is, what it is supposed to do, and what are its side effects are (good and bad). Ask about interactions with things you already take, what time you should take it and whether you take it with your meals or before or after. I've been surprised, lately, how many drugs specify this.

And if you still can't solve it yourself you can get in the queue behind me. I'll be on the phone at 8am sharp.


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