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Wednesday, June 4, 2014

human error, medical records, and making our own decisions

Loving the new centralized medical records I have access to now online. I can see that just before Christmas in 2010 two inches was temporarily added to my height, and right after New Year's in 2011 a hundred pounds was suddenly added to my weight. My highest recorded blood pressure over 4 years was 194/92 and my lowest was 99/66. My slowest recorded pulse of 60 was on Valentine's Day of 2013, so I apparently wasn't a hot date that day. I can also see that my CMV test came back negative for reactivation, but you can see I am a positive carrier.

 

I've been worried about CMV reactivation since I got home from vacation in the middle of May, thinking maybe I got too run down. It hit me a few days ago that part of this weird bloating and pain and super fatigue *might* be the pain medication my doctor had me try last April and then take on vacation in May, which, yes, was a lifesaver, but now that I'm back home I can tell that it's a crutch and taking it every day might be causing some very unhealthy side effects. (I'm always the person who gets the rare side effects, and I seem to be hitting a jackpot this time.)

I was diagnosed with a liver condition called NASH some years ago after one gastroenterologist strongly advised me to stop taking Ansaid, which I'd been on for ten years, so I imagine it could be likely that a similar medication might irritate the crap out of my poor innards. So I stopped taking it, and whadayaknow, my tummy is deflating, eating isn't hurting any more, and my increased heart rate and blood pressure are coming back down. I was feeling so rotten that I even wondered if maybe I had a kidney infection, but I never got a fever or other symptoms for that.



I have to give serious consideration to weighing the pros and cons of meds since I have an inch long spot they watched on my liver for a couple of years, so here we go, time to wing it again, off the meds and just dealing head on with whatever hits me again. Beats living with feeling like I have pancreatitis. If you've ever had that or know anyone who has, you know it SUX. I'll take fibromyalgia and trigeminal neuralgia any day over that and my liver swelling up again.

So now that the big drive to Houston and back is over, I'm back in ASTYM therapy and menu planning around higher protein intake and lots of raw veg and salads, hoping to get past this fatigue wall I keep crashing into. Crossing my fingers that stopping the med solves the problem. Stopping meds has worked wonders in the past.



I don't advise cold turkey withdrawal for anyone who has been on meds for years, and I strongly recommend you don't do it without your doctor's knowledge. I've been through some nasty backlash withdrawals that had me going back for 'rescue' meds, but in the long run, I've been much healthier getting back off meds than staying on them.

Meds are awesome for short term rescues, but when they become bandaids they turn into epic fail, and a body can become so dependent on multiple meds to keep functioning that suddenly cutting them off can result in catastrophic events. It takes a lot of grit and planning to untangle and extricate oneself from handfuls of medications and find ways to get healthy despite being in very dire straits to begin with, but it CAN be done, if people wanna live bad enough. It's too easy to medicate and let stuff roll over you till you finally just die, but either way, you die in a lot of pain. Handfuls of meds do. not. stop. that.



There is a lot of pressure to take medications, and sometimes they really do help. I grew up mostly without doctors, partly a religious or belief choice my parents had, but that was replaced with gimmicks like you wouldn't believe. I still can't walk past certain sections in health food stores without feeling ill and nearly throwing up because of all the stuff that my mom poked down my throat as a kid. None of it cured illnesses, and none of it prevented more illnesses, especially diabetes.

Our bodies are very good at handling problems if we make sure they have the materials they need to do that. Science has already confirmed that good hydration, plenty of good sleep and rest, excellent nutrition, moderate exercise, and finding ways to lower our stress do more good than anything, whether we are on medications or not. It doesn't matter how much you wax your car, if you don't change the oil once in awhile it's going to start wearing down. Likewise, we can put on all the makeup and pretty clothes and lotions we want, but if we're not eating good food and running around half dehydrated from sugary drinks and excessive alcohol, we get gunked up inside and our bodies have a harder time working right. We call that growing old, but I have been reverse aging since I weaned off my meds and changed my lifestyle. No gimmicks.



This is hard, and I'm going to miss my crutch again. It's nice having a few hours a day where I don't feel so rough. But I have to be honest with myself, it's also scary to think I could slide back into that complacence where I pop a pain pill instead of getting up out of my chair to do my stretches and then move around getting a little exercise because I don't hurt quite as badly when I'm moving around. Pills make it too easy to be still. Medications make it too easy to accept less than optimal conditions for my body. One little pill every day is making me lazy and sloppy, and I'm watching all that hard work to better health slip away again.

It's a choice. I don't blame anyone for wanting relief in their lives. But I want to win the game. I'm going to be the one crawling out of the muddy ditch and capturing the other team's flag while the rest of you slobs laugh it up getting wasted. 
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My way of whistling in the dark.

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