Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Domino Effect...

There is no cure for ALS yet, but there are medications your doctor can prescribe for the symptoms, for me it's been anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce pain, and muscle relaxers to try to relieve some of the spasticity.  Most of these medications come with their own set of adverse side effects. No worries though, they can also prescribe medication for the side effects...And so begins the domino affect, but where does it end?

Before you know it your head is spinning and it takes an hour once a week just to fill those tiny compartments in your day of the week pill organizer!  Oh yes, you'll need one of those; try to avoid the ones that look like a mid-size tackle box. They have the am, mid-day, evening, and bedtime compartments for each day; helpful to those who need to take different medications multiple times a day. 

However, I would suggest you exercise caution. If you would consider yourself to be someone akin to Felix Unger, it's tempting to get the tackle box and be that organized, but wait until you need to get those tiny pills out of the mid-day Wednesday slot!  Not so easy with the loss of fine motor skills in your fingers.

I recommend the single compartment, day of the week organizer with the locking lids. Get more than one if you need an am, pm etc. You can just open the lid for Wednesday, and pour those little buggers into your hand or a dixie cup. 

If you're more of an Oscar Madison type, with any luck you're married to a Felix type and it's already been taken care of for you... and it's color coded, not that you care... but try to make it seem like you do.

All that really need to decide for yourself how you want to handle all the prescriptions they hand you before it gets out of control. It's sort of like doing a cost benefit analysis, only you have to weigh the benefit against the discomfort, and you have choices.

In my experience, some muscle relaxers can cause some of the necessary muscles to lose control, not so good if it affects the plumbing. Now, they can fix that with another medication, but this one could cause a backup on the other end, so you'll want to give it some serious consideration.

Or you can take the one that causes acid reflux but Pepcid Complete should take care of that, and if not, we can get you a prescription for Nexium, the little purple pill, you've likely seen the commercial for that one.

There is another option, but it can cause your legs to feel rubbery and unstable, so start with a smaller dosage and increase gradually. So you give it a try and okay, things are going well, no rubber legs but... well, if you admit that you're feeling a little sad and you find yourself crying over the silly things like, feeling pressured to decide what to have for dinner, that statement will earn you a prescription for an antidepressant faster than you can say Zoloft! 

No thanks, my pill organizer is full.
There's no room for Zoloft.
You've got to draw the line somewhere...

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