Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Power of Pharmacology

Pharmacology[fahr-muh-kol-uh-jee] noun
the science dealing with the preparation, uses, and especially the effects of drugs.

I've been pretty heavily medicated for the past couple days. I had a massive infection in my throat that affected the lymph nodes in my neck on the left side. The swelling was unreal and seriously painful.  Luckily, my wonderful husband pushed me to see a doctor. I was ready to cancel the appointment because I didn't feel safe driving and he came to my rescue. He drop all his work stuff and rearrange his schedule just to get me where I needed to go. Shh...don't tell him, but I love him more than he could ever know.

The doctor put me on an antibiotic instantly. Then, as almost an afterthought, he decided to give me a script for Prednisone too (for the swelling.)  I could feel my anxiety kick in immediately.  I've know a few people who have taken steroids for various illnesses and I have some memories of the side-effects. To be perfectly honest, I have a paranoia about serious pharmaceuticals. At various times in the past, doctors have given me assorted scripts to sample and see if they helped with health problems. I would fill them, take the little sacks full of pill bottles home, read the warnings and potential side effects and be too scared to take the meds.

Yep. They may have helped, but I was so freaked out by what might go wrong, I couldn't take the risk.

What did I do this time? I didn't look at the sheets that came with my prescriptions at all. OK, that sounds even worse. But I knew if I read the sheet for Prednisone, I wouldn't take it. I am sure of that. I just did what the doctor told me. Take with food, 3 doses a day for 2 days, 2 a day for 2 days and then 1 a day for 2 days.

Day 3 and I am feeling pretty darn good! Better that I have felt in a really long time. I am starting to realize that the steroid is having more far reaching effects than just the swelling in my neck. I have swelling in a LOT of other places on a daily basis. It's all gone. My hands, wrists, knees, back, hips...I've been in so much pain for so long, it feels odd to be able to stand up without having to supress a cry of agony.  I also have a new pain in a weird spot on my lower back. Not sure what that's about. Probably internal swelling from my ongoing female issues going away and my internal organs rearranging themselves again. Things shifting and falling into new positions. I hope when all the swelling comes back in a few days, that this new arrangement works out ok for me. Could get interesting.

So now I am thinking about reading the sheet with the side effects just to see if I would have freaked out. I'm curious, ok?  I'm also sad that these benefits will only last for a couple more days. I know long term steroid use just isn't feasible. They go from being good to being bad for you. Liver damage and stuff, if I remember correctly. Remember, I haven't read the warnings yet. I'm just babbling from memory.

In the meantime, I am going to enjoy feeling better. If the hurricane (Irene) didn't have us stranded at home, I might actually feel up to going somewhere and doing something fun.

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