I take medication, twice a day, for the rest of my life, probably. I don’t like taking it, it’s like a big fat reminder every morning and evening that I’m a bit of a miggy and my health isn’t so good anymore. But it’s a needs must and I have to lump it. I hate the idea of putting synthetic crap into my body, hate it. I’m sure it isn’t good in the long run for my body, heart or kidneys, but at the moment benefits outweigh the side effects so I take them.
I think I’ve mentioned in a previous blog that I take diuretics – water tablets. I take two different kinds in the morning and a lower dose of one of the morning ones in the evening. The main effect of water tablets is they rid your body of excess water. When the heart isn’t functioning as well as it could be, it finds it harder and harder to push the blood around the body, organs begin to get starved of vital oxygen and become incompetent at their job, excess fluid in the body then builds up and the results are swollen feet and ankles, bloated stomachs and faces . Anyway, so the water tablets get rid of this excess water, and so the meds I take make me pee! Yep, pissing like a race horse has become a hobby! Within the first hour of taking them I have to be near a loo, if I go on a long journey they don’t get taken until I reach the destination – experience has it known that being stuck in a traffic jam on the M4 when you are desperate for the loo is not particularly pleasant and very painful!
I can’t determine how each day will pan out, sometimes I’m nipping to the loo and back every 20 minutes, sometimes whole afternoons can go by and I’ve not needed to go. I guess it could be about how much sodium I’ve had in my diet that day, maybe…
So that’s a new thing I’ve had to learn, taking tablets and being responsible for not running out. Something I’m not too good at. I’m learning that an early warning sign that I am stressed is that I forget to take them and then I usually remember at a very inappropriate time where toilet access isn’t great and I’m in the middle of something important and resent being interrupted by my bladder every 20 minutes. I have resorted to setting reminders on my phone to take them.
It has also brought up the issue of control for me. You see, though I administer them to myself every day, the Doctor has over all control of actually prescribing them to me. I found this out this week.
I use a system where I am given a date by the pharmacy and go in and pick the meds up they’re all ready for me and so I don’t have to think about repeat prescriptions or getting the prescription into the chemist it’s all done for me. So far so good. Except this week I went to pick them up to be told that one of the prescribed medicines that I take were being ‘withheld’ because ‘apparently you should have enough of them already’ and that this was to stop me ‘stockpiling’ drugs….. Hang on… I joined this surgery a few months ago, the plan was agreed and I had equal amounts of all drugs that I needed prescribed from day one of joining this particular surgery…. how on earth does a Doctor, who I probably haven’t even met get to the conclusion that I’m stockpiling drugs to melt them into crack, to turn into some Breaking Bad character and sell them on to little children or something!!!!
I had one tablet of that particular brand left… believe me if the Doctor thinks I can go without them that’s great, I’d happily come off them, but without any consultation….?? I did try to come off them myself, a while ago when I ran out and couldn’t get to a chemist, and being the stubborn mare I can be, I thought a few days off them would be ok… oh no, my legs swelled up and I felt bloated and slow, not good. Lesson learned.
The Pharmacist, was very sorry but could not give me prescribed meds without a prescription and suggested that I go back to the Dr to ask why he decided to stop administering the medication that I need.
I couldn’t get a next day appointment, and I had only one tablet left, so I had to just go to the surgery at a specific time and wait, and wait, and wait, and wait, almost positive that I was going to get ill, being surrounded by people, coughing and colding into their hands, scarves, and tissues!
Over an hour I had to wait amongst the really sick people who probably really needed to see a doctor…… When I finally met the Doctor I was told, that no the medication should not have been stopped that according their records there was no way I was stockpiling my meds…..
An hour of my day. A good few minutes of a doctor’s time that could have been used elsewhere, where it was needed, it makes me mildly annoyed, but do you know the most resentful thing about this whole medication thing….
The cost. I have to pay for each item at full cost on that prescription. That’s three items in all at £7.85 each that’s £23.55 every other month (they won’t give me more than two months supply of everything, you know, just in case I melt them down for crack…yada yada yada….)
It was only a couple of months ago that I found out that I could get the bill reduced as two of the meds on the list were just different strengths of the same medication, so I only needed to pay for two things. I’d been paying for all three for years before some kind soul told me that one. I know I am not alone here, transplant patients, asthma sufferers, colitis sufferers, those with Crohn’s Disease, the list is endless we all pay out for the medication that for some, keeps us alive.
I know I’m having a good old moan here, and really £20 every other month isn’t that bad, but I (cue violins) was born with this condition that is going to get worse as I get older, the level of meds will probably go up, there is a bit of ‘well I didn’t ask for this, so why do I have to pay’ going on, but when I have my rational head screwed back on in a few days I’ll look at this post and be the first to tell me to QUIT MOANING!!