Thursday, December 13, 2012

Laments of a pill-popper

One down, 21 to go.

When I learned that my insurance no longer covers magnesium, I thought it was a good time to ask Melissa if I still needed to take it. She said I could stop.

My 21 pills does not include the once-weekly solution of Kayexalate, the grainy stuff I dissolve in water to keep my once-high potassium within normal limits. It's not as nauseating as the Exjade I take to lower my ferritin, but it's pretty gross.

Organizing my meds for my trip to Spain, and making sure I have enough plus extras, is a bit of a task.

If I read all the side effects of all my pills, I would probably freak out.

I take several drugs as preventatives because the prednisone inhibits my immune system.

When I saw the infectious disease specialist Dr. Marty on Monday, I asked him, "When can I stop taking the Valtrex (an anti-viral)"?

Answer: "When you stop taking prednisone."

 I already knew what he would say because I have asked before, yet I couldn't help but ask again. Dr. Marty just smiled.

I suppose I would get the same answer to the question, "When can I stop taking the Bactrim (an anti-bacterial used to prevent pneumonia)"?

And "When will little things stop popping up on my hands and face (and tongue) that sometimes turn into skin cancers?"

OK, so, the big question: "When can I stop taking prednisone?"

Answer: When my liver function returns to normal.

Melissa said on Monday that although my numbers were a little lower (a good direction in this instance), they were not low enough to change my prednisone dose.

It's only five mg. a day, down from a high of 20 when I was all puffed up, but still, you can see the effect it has on everything else, including weakening the muscles in my legs.

I shouldn't complain. I am alive and well and going to Spain on Sunday, toting my pills minus one.

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