It has been requested I put up a post about the importance of our medications.
I am likely a perfect person to write about this. In total, I take 29 pills a day. This is actually 17 different medications as some of them I take varing numbers. Medications for the heart, the brain tumour, epilepsy, blood pressure, blood thinners and even pills to make me pee. I wear a nitro patch and use 2 inhalers. My bed time snack is quite a handful, 17 pills in one shot. One gulp is water and that is how I take them in one shot. Then on to the insulin injection.
I had my first heart attack 23 years ago. Medications at that point became part of my daily life. Over the years as the heart has worsened, new conditions diagnosed the medications have gradually increased, becoming a bigger and more important part of my life. I now know for a fact they are keeping alive, which adds to the respect I have for each one. Each one doing it’s own little bit, making it’s own contribution to me being here.
I have come a long way in really appreciating in importance of my medications. I look back at those early days 20 years ago and realize I was in fact a “drug abuser”. Now let’s be clear here I have never tried any of the street drugs and never will. I am strictly talking medications prescribed by my doctors. Now typically we hear and think of the abuse of prescription medication a being someone that becomes addicted and over uses the medications. Well that has never been me. It has occurred to me though that in fact NOT taking your medications as prescribed can also be considered a form of drug abuse. That back then was me. Abuse because how is a drug to do it’s job if not properly taken as prescribed by the doctor.
Now way back in the early days that was me. I never intentionally skipped a pill but if I missed one no big deal, I am fine or so I thought back then. I quickly realized how wrong I was. I make a real effort to take all medications exactly as prescribed.
I have to wonder how many that might read this are drug abusers by my definition. “Not taking all medications as prescribed”. You have some sort of a bug. The doctor prescribes an antibiotic for say 7 days but by day 5 we are feeling better and quit taking them. Anyone guilt of that?
Hey, I am memory guy”, keeping track of when to take each different medication (morning or night) and dosages became a nightmare. Pharmacy now takes care of all of that for me. Now instead of getting just a bunch of vials filled with pills and me trying to figure them out. The pharmacy now sorts them for me. Now I get a piece of cardboard on which is listed all medications and attached are little pouches. Pouches are arranged for each day and each contains the exact medications I need at specific times. Great system and a big help.
I am very lucky in that I have a wonderful team of doctors/specialists caring for me.
I am a patient of the heart failure clinic, a wonderful team of cardiologists and specially trained nurses. I am so very grateful to them all as without question they have literally saved my life. Their main focus is keeping my heart beating. Keep it beating in a regular rythem and controlling how fast it beats. They prescribe medications accordingly.
Now I also see a neurologist. Now monitors the brain tumour and deals with the epyltic seizures. Seizures well controlled with medication and haven’t had one in 12 or 13 years.
Now on very rare occasions one will question a medication prescribed by the other. For privacy they seem to need my permission to even talk to each other. I look at it this my life we are dealing with, if you want to confer with one another go for it.
That brings us to the pharmacy team. Again, wonderful. They have my total trust. Which is good as I never really look at my pills any more. I just take what ever it is they have put in the appropriate pouch for that time. Am I taking the right pills at the right time. I suppose I really don’t know but that is something I do not worry about because of that trust level I have in the pharmacy.
I can’t stress strongly enough, take all of your medications a prescribed.
But one prime example. Several months ago my heart went into A Fib. Beating way to fast and with a very irregular rythem. Now it took a while but the addition of 2 new medications and it appears to be back in order. Just in time to prevent what I think would have been an uncomfortable intervention