Sunday, July 26, 2009

Playing with Drugs

Only the kind prescribed for me, of course.

I finally broke down and started taking the antibiotic prescribed by one of my PCP's partners. I'd had some bacteria show up in my urine, and they did a culture to see which antibiotic would tackle it. By the time the results came back, my PCP was off on vacation to Hawaii (where her family lives, lucky her!) so it went through one of her partners.

I got a call from my PCP's nurse saying the other doc said the bacteria levels were pretty low, so he'd prescribe if I was having symptoms but otherwise could just wait and see. I had her fax a prescription over to my pharmacy, but then I waited to pick it up for over a week before deciding, you know, maybe I am having symptoms that could be attributed to a urinary tract infection. It wasn't the typical symptoms, but when do I ever do anything by the book?

So I started on Macrobid on Friday, and I guess I'm glad I did because I am feeling a bit better. I think I was having some kidney pain, although I wasn't really sure if it was back pain that had migrated. But it's gone now, which is Good. (As an aside, I hadn't ever heard of Macrobid before and was worried it was going to be one of the "new" antibiotics that was expensive, yet another reason for waiting to see if I really needed it. So it was a nice surprise at the pharmacy to find it had a generic that was cheaper than my normal co-pay for generic meds.)

Meanwhile, I put myself back up to 20 mg per day of Prednisone since the 10 mg wasn't cutting it, and that's helped my joint pain improve again, which is lovely.

The hot, hot weather here isn't helping though, even with our central air conditioning. I've always been a heat wimp, but since I got sick two years ago, I just melt in the heat and my symptoms flare. Good thing I don't live in Arizona or something! At least heat waves in Portland don't last too long ...


Jeanne said...


It's great that your doctor's office tested to verify you had a urinary tract infection before prescribing an antibiotic. Too many offices would have just done so based on symptoms alone.

I used to get UTIs fairly often years ago... or at least that's what they told me I was having. I have since gotten an interstitial cystitis diagnosis. I look back at how many times I was treated for UTIs over the years and wonder how many times it was actually IC.

The generic name for that medication is nitrofurantoin. Years ago when I took it so much, I don't think it had a generic out yet. It was a yellow and black capsule. One time I was hospitalized and they gave me these "bumblebee capsules" as I used to call them. They hadn't even told me what they were for and I knew just by looking at them.

I'm glad you're feeling better. Kidney pain is no fun. (I've had 11 kidney stones). I'm glad it was inexpensive for you to have filled.

Good luck with the dosage increase on the other medication.

I have heat intolerance and would give my eye teeth for central air. Honestly, I don't think having heat intolerance equates to being a "wimp". If it does, then I'm Queen Wimp.

Seriously, you can't help your heat intolerance any more than any other health issue you have.

I used to apologize to people all of the time for the things I couldn't do or had to cut short. No more. Not only am I sick of apologizing for things I can't help but when I did that it seemed to "feed the fire". In other words, my in-laws would then put even more pressure on me to bypass my perceived "wimpiness" by "forcing me through it". This just made me sicker.

So I have learned that, for me, apologizing for being sick just made matters worse. I resented being made to feel I'd done something wrong/worth apologizing for. Others resented it more when I couldn't live up to their expectations because the things I couldn't do got thrown under the "wimpiness" umbrella. Those unrealistic expectations were fed by me not speaking up for myself.

I have learned that I should no more apologize for for chronic illnesses than I apologized to anyone when I had cancer removed in 1996. I can't help any of the above. That doesn't make me a wimp. It makes me sick. I do the best I can despite being chronically ill. That's all I can do!

This change in paradigm has given me great peace of mind. My inlaws and others still push me and expect me to do more than I am able.

However, the difference now is that I am far more likely to speak up for myself and say no to activities that will wear me out, hurt me, make me feel faint (like from heat), etc.

I am happy that I finally learned how to set boundaries and guard my own fragile health.

Like I always say to people, "you only get one body". I have reached a point where I realize that to protect this body I need to say "no" when it's appropriate rather than forcing myself to do things that will cause me to pay during or after the fact.

Best of luck to you. I hope you're feeling better soon!


Herrad said...

Hi Aviva,

Just came by to say hello.