Wednesday, June 27, 2007

The drugs don't work, they just make things worse

WARNING: Long and boring post ahead. Money will not be refunded.

Thank you,

The Mgmt.


~~~~~~~~

A few people have e-mailed me to ask me about the state of my health/test results/promised nude photos,* and I figured I had better get off my ass and post about it before I got any more e-mails. For those of you who have already received e-mails about this, you're in luck; you get to read my brilliant writing once again.

Re: Lupus.... So far, the doctors have not definitively ruled out Lupus, buuuuuuutttt.... It looks like the majority of the Lupus symptoms I was having were due to side effects from an allergy/asthma drug I was taking called Singulair.

Mind you, I saw several doctors and none of them were able to figure this out. Oh no, it was me that figured it out. Do I get paid $175,000 a year for it? Like fuck I do.

I had a few really bad days a while back, days where my stomach was so bad that I couldn't eat. And because I couldn't eat, I couldn't take my pills, either. After a few days, it dawned on me that I felt much, much better. I had a sneaking suspicion right then and there, but being a fan of the scientific method I started taking the pills again. Lo and behold, I felt like shit.

I went on the Internet and pulled up the list of side effects for Singulair, and there they all were -- fever, nausea, joint aches, kidney pain, unusual weakness, vomiting, dizziness, headache, hallucinations, muscle aches, irregular heartbeat, numbness/tingling of the hands and feet, general swelling, excessive thirst, and extreme fatigue, just to name of few of the really fun ones. Fucking hell. Months of torture, and it's due to a prescription medication.

I started on Singulair last August, and I suppose the first symptom I developed was fever. Unfortunately, I didn't notice it at the time because I already had a fever. When I went to the doctor in August, it was for a sinus infection and fever, and that's when she put me on the Singulair. The other side effects came along a bit later.

Still, the doctors won't rule out Lupus, because Drug-Induced Lupus does not cause the facial rash like regular Lupus, and I have the facial rash and the photosensitivity. I did read on the Internet forums that some people have developed other auto-immune diseases while taking Singulair, and other people who already had Lupus and other auto-immune diseases had to stop taking Singulair, because Singulair caused flare-ups and made them worse. So it is possible that I am susceptible to Lupus, as I had been tested before when I was 10 or 11, and the Singulair may have triggered it or at least triggered an episode. Come to think of it, when I had problems and they tested me for Lupus before, they were also guinea-pigging me on new asthma/allergy meds. The problem is, Singulair works wonders for my allergies, and when I'm off it, all the other problems go away, but I'm incapacitated by constant sneezing, wheezing, runny nose, runny eyes, and all that shite.

My new doctor and I are filing an official report (MedWatch) to the FDA (Food and Drug Administration, for you Brit-type people), and it would not surprise me in the least to hear, some 10 years from now, that there is firm scientific evidence that Singulair can trigger Lupus in susceptible patients, as Singulair works on the immune system.

So, that took care of most of the symptoms, but then I was still was getting kidney/bladder infections even after going off the Singulair. Guess what, turns out that another of my fucking prescription meds has been messing with my pancreas, kicking out sugar into my urine and causing those kidney/bladder infections. Again, it was me that figured that one out, without help from the doctors.

I started doing research on the Net about the other prescription drugs I was on, and found a new study done by the NHS there in Britain which shows that Inderal (a common beta-blocker, which I was on for prevention of severe migraines and it did away with my anxiety attacks too, dammit) can trigger Type 2 Diabetes in susceptible patients. Jesus wept. Of course, my doctors hadn't seen this study, because it hasn't been published over here.

Lovely. Just what I need, Type 2 diabetes.

My new doctor tested me, and yep, I'm pre-diabetic with a super-sensitivity to carbs. Off the Inderal I went.

I'd already been on a self-imposed diabetic-type diet since last November, due to all the kidney/bladder problems I had been having, and there's been no temptation to break it as if I eat something with sugar in it or what-not I become violently ill.

I'll have to do another fasting, 3-hour Glucose-Tolerance Test in 2 months, and we'll see how I'm doing then. In the meantime, my allergies and asthma are back full-force, as the Singulair and worked really well to control those. I am not taking another pill. I'll just put up with it.

I will have to do something about my migraines, though, as they are completely out of hand. God only knows what, as the doctors have put me on pill after pill that didn't work, already. $342 for 10 fucking pills, if you can believe that. Thank God it's not me paying for it.

It positively amazes me that I have been seen by scores of doctors, who all knew exactly what meds I was on, and yet not one brought up the possibility of side effects. And it's not just that; not only did the doctors not pick up on it, their response was to put me on more fucking pills, to control what was actually side effects from the pills I was on.

Oh, and while I was researching all those other side effects, I found out that it could be that the Aciphex, which I take for my ulcers, could be eroding my hip joints, causing my hip pain. Nice.

Basically what I am hoping for is for me to get back to the same level of illness I was at before they started prescribing all those helpful medications, and then I will bang my head on a wall, repeatedly.

So much for modern medicine. And the doctors wonder why I question them all the time. Jeez.

I will leave you all with this little gem.


Fat Sparrow


* Yeah, right. Where's my money, bitches?

16 comments:

fatmammycat said...

On the one hand I'm glad it's not lupus, on the other how annoying it must be not to know what the hell it is then. Poor old thing, you have my very deepest sympathy.

Fear said...

For fucksake! I thought it was only doctors over here who treated their patients like idiots.

Medbh said...

Jeebus, Fat Sparrow, when did you become a guinea pig for the AMA?
Are doctors so blinded by the drug companies that they just swallow the miracle pill marketing and don't look into side effects?
Here's to your speedy recovery!

Sassy Sundry said...

You know, it wasn't nearly so serious, but I had a similar thing happen to me. I was getting SEVERE sunburns (blistering, peeling, and the like) for a while. I have naturally dark skin that might sometimes get a bit pink, but never like that. I couldn't figure out what was happening. Turns out it was my allergy medicine.

Good for you for figuring it out.

I hope you continue to get better and kick that Diatbetes' ass.

savannah said...

jesus wept is right! i wish you well, sugar! it's incredible that in 2007 the best you can hope for right now is to get back to the same level of illness I was at before they started prescribing all those helpful medications

*hugs* (because i'm a mom and that's what i do when i don't know what else to say or do)

Xul said...

"It positively amazes me that I have been seen by scores of doctors, who all knew exactly what meds I was on, and yet not one brought up the possibility of side effects."

Now why would they do something like that? Most doctors can't stand to spend any more than two minutes with their patients, not to mention the fact they can't make any money off of you if you are well. They keep you coming back as many times as possible and milk it for all it's worth. That and the incentive they get from the pharmaceutical companies. Gawd I hate the current health care system!

I'm sorry you had to suffer so much and had to figure out the problem on your own. Just glad you know what was making you so ill. I do hope you get well.

Lord Milky said...

And people moan about the NHS...

K8 the Gr8 said...

I'd try homoeopathy if I woz u. But that's because I'm a freaky believer with no faith in conventional medicine what-so-ever. Stories like yours just re-inforce my standing.

Conan Drumm said...

All the best to you, Missus. With any luck you'll find the trigger for your migraines, be it environmental, food or stress or a combination. And drink lots of good water, really lots of it. It can only do you good and should flush out the system.

jungle jane said...

If you have any of those drugs left over, can I have them please? Just for research purposes you understand...

Medbh said...

You're obviously sick and tired of dealing with doctors but K8 has a point. Maybe Chinese medicine or homeopathy is the way to go. Natural medicine is huge in Southern California, right? There are plenty of quacks in that field as well I realize, but I think they manage to balance wellness better than western medicine.

First Nations said...

no suggestions, no advice. you are doing the right thing and you are on the right track. keep following it! (that wasnt advice it was a command.)

we're currently fighting the same fight here with the Biker's physician. turns out, he's not board certified for general practice...before coming here he was a goddamn OB-GYN for 32 years!!!! and he's handing out the brand-name perscriptions like its Junkie Halloween!!!!

Fat Sparrow said...

FMC -- Thank you.

Fear -- "For fucksake! I thought it was only doctors over here who treated their patients like idiots."

No, and sadly enough these doctors that I have aren't half bad. I've had much, much worse.

Medbh -- "Jeebus, Fat Sparrow, when did you become a guinea pig for the AMA?"

Pre-natally, I believe. About the same time my dad decided to make me a guinea pig for 3 packs a day of second-hand smoke.

"Are doctors so blinded by the drug companies that they just swallow the miracle pill marketing and don't look into side effects?"

In truth, I am a medical freak of nature, as are all my family. The side effects I'm getting on the Singulair affect less than .25% of the people who've been on Singulair. I just always get the freaky shit; I never get a common cold or a broken bone or anything normal, dammit.

"Here's to your speedy recovery!"

Thanks!

Sassy -- "Turns out it was my allergy medicine."

Photosensitivity is a common side effect on a lot of meds. It really does pay for everyone to read the possible list of side effects, just in case.

"I hope you continue to get better and kick that Diatbetes' ass."

Thanks!

Savannah -- Thank you!

Xul -- "Gawd I hate the current health care system!"

I'm not too fond of it myself, but at least as a Societal Parasite I'm not paying through the nose for it. And, because I'm a Societal Parasite, the doctors aren't getting paid as much as they would for a "real" patient, either, so I don't think they're out to screw me. I do think that there are so many new drugs out there that it's hard for doctors to keep up. I blame the FDA, and the public's, insatiable demand for a pill that fixes everything. And really, things weren't so bad before we got all those "Ask your doctor if _____ is right for you" commercials. I don't think that pharm cos. should be allowed to market directly to the public. It seems that since then, all they care about is profits, and the med trials are a joke, and the FDA just rubber stamps whatever the pharm cos. put in front of them. As for the doctors, what I don't like is the condescension I get when I tell them I've looked up stuff on the Net, or done research on my own. I mean, if they haven't figured it out, they shouldn't look down on me for trying to suss it.

"I do hope you get well."

Thank you.

Lord Milky -- "And people moan about the NHS..."

Yeah, the Spouse Sparrow didn't think the NHS was so hot, until he came over here, and now he really, really appreciates the NHS.

K8 the Gr8 -- "I'd try homoeopathy if I woz u."

Being a Societal Parasite, it's not covered by Medi-Cal/IEHP, my government-sponsored health plan, and my budget can't afford such things. I'll have to stick with carking it, it's cheaper.

Conan -- "All the best to you, Missus."

Thank you!

"With any luck you'll find the trigger for your migraines, be it environmental, food or stress or a combination."

Oh, we know what it is. It's hormones, and it's linked to my monthly cycle (TMI, I know). A few years back, the doctor had me switch over my birth control pills, and skip the placebos, so I don't get a period. That eliminated one week of migraines, but I still have one week of PMS migraines, when my body thinks it will be getting a period next week, hence the "Migraine Week" that I'm often going on about. So far, prevention and treatment haven't stopped that week of migraines, which comes around every third week.

"And drink lots of good water, really lots of it. It can only do you good and should flush out the system."

I do. Other than a very occasional ice tea (slice of lemon, NO sugar) it's the only thing I can drink without making me sick. No coffee, no sodas, no juice for me.

Jungle Jane -- "If you have any of those drugs left over, can I have them please? Just for research purposes you understand..."

There's lots easier ways of killing people off, you know.

Medbh -- "You're obviously sick and tired of dealing with doctors but K8 has a point. Maybe Chinese medicine or homeopathy is the way to go. Natural medicine is huge in Southern California, right? There are plenty of quacks in that field as well I realize, but I think they manage to balance wellness better than western medicine."

Yes, and it's a good point, but I can't afford it, and Medi-Cal/IEHP (the California version of Medicaid) isn't going to cover it.

FN -- "no suggestions, no advice. you are doing the right thing and you are on the right track. keep following it! (that wasnt advice it was a command.)"

Sir, yes sir!

"we're currently fighting the same fight here with the Biker's physician. turns out, he's not board certified for general practice...before coming here he was a goddamn OB-GYN for 32 years!!!! and he's handing out the brand-name perscriptions like its Junkie Halloween!!!!"

Fucking hell. Let me guess how you found out -- The Yummy Biker got a notice in the mail for his annual pap smear, right?

Conan Drumm said...

The hermones is hell, every bit as bad as the himones.

Fat Sparrow said...

Conan -- My hormones were a lot more valid when I was a raging nymphomaniac. Getting old sucks.

OnlinePharmacy said...
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