"There's a myth that anyone who has a liver problem has brought it on themselves" This quote is from a Crohn's disease patient living with a blocked portal vein hoping for a liver transplant (Independent 31st Oct 2010)

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Pills and more pills

The good news is I'm now down to 20mg of prednisolone and feel a lot less fuzzy headed.

The not so good news is the side effects of the medication needed to 'protect' me from the side effects of the prednisolone.

Prednisolone (corticosteroids - which mimic the hormones produced by your adrenal glands and suppress inflammation.  Not anabolic steroids which have similar effects to testosterone) can give you stomach ulcers, so the docs give you pills to protect your stomach.  I'm taking one called Lansoprazole.  Its also taken by people with acid-reflux, the thing that gives you heartburn and burps.  I dont have that, but for some reason taking Lansoprazole when you dont have heartburn GIVES you heartburn!  Or rather a bit of discomfort in the upper chest, shoulders etc.  I've looked up comments on other health forums, and yes people do get this as a side effect.

Prednisolone also upsets the calcium balance in your body, so I have to take x2 calcium tablets a day.
Vit D3 helps absorb calcium, so I take Vit D3 daily.

Something (the GP thinks my high carb/low fibre NHS 1 week diet) has upset my digestive system and made me a constipated. 
So I take lactulose for that, which makes you windy and burpy and not at all popular around the house.
The lactulose didnt stop me getting prolapsed you-know-what's - those things myth and folklore says you get if you sit on cold concrete - yes 'piles'. 
So I take another laxative for that., but this one includes extra sodium and potassium because the laxative itself might deplete sodium and potassium, so we have to monitor my electrolytes as they went a bit wonky in hospital.

Oh, and not forgetting the blue Tenofovir pill

So thats x4pred, x2calcium, x2laxatives, x1acid reflux, x1vitD, x1 tenofovir - 11 pills, 5 of them to combat the side effects of the others.

I managed 3 half days back at work and then this bum problem got too much.  My nice GP took one look at it (poor woman, she had sad eyes as she looked at me and said 'aww' and 'ahh' sympathetically a lot) and said go home and lie down on the horizontal.  No driving and no work.
I'm signed off til Monday 25th.
Cant say I feel any better than when I came out of hospital.  No energy or stamina, no strength, spend a lot of time lying on the sofa, dozing or sleeping.
Tried to do some housework today but it exhausted me and my bum complained at upright gravity!
I go back to see Dr A on Saturday to discuss, and see via blood tests how my body is dealing with these pills and more pills.

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