Sunday, June 10, 2018

Do As the Doctor Says, Not As I Do

Thought we were done talking about Takotsubo Cardiomyopathy? Nah, I am milking this baby. Well really not because I am tired of the whole thing but I still talking about it. The temporary heart condition that just keeps on and on.

OK, I have to be honest on this and say that I am actually feeling much better, almost my normal self. HHBL mentioned this morning that I am never actually “normal”. I resisted the urge to stab him with a sharp instrument because, well, he has a point. I am feeling almost myself because, for the most part, I have done what the doctor’s suggested I do. Go home and rest, take your medications etc. And I have been resting. Yowza I have been getting 9+ hours of sleep a night. And I have been placing my ever growing bahookie on the couch a lot, watching endless episodes of “Survivorman” and cringing when he eats bugs. Sorry but you just cannot convince me that a Bark Scorpion is tasty. I have been trying to eat healthy and I have been drinking an ocean’s worth of water. My taste for coffee has been a bit on the shakey side for some weird reason so I have been drinking a lot of tea.

Did you catch the part about the fact that I have been doing MOST of what the doctors said to do? Because there is one thing that I am no longer doing, even though my primary doc, the ever sweet and totally intimidating Dr. M-G tut tutted at me when I said I was not going to do this thing any longer. And I am also going to be honest and say that I called the cardiologist’s office to tell them that I was not going to do this any longer, just so they knew, even though I haven’t actually seen the cardiologist yet.

After 6 days I took myself off the beta blocker that they had put me on when I left the hospital. Listen to me well people, I will NEVER take another beta blocker. I know why they prescribed it and what it was supposed to be doing and I don’t give a rat’s hairy ass (sorry). The side effects made the actually taking of the medication something that decreased the quality of my life. I had the first dose of that tiny pill of horribleness the morning that I left the hospital so I really didn’t notice anything because I just felt generally terrible. But by last Tuesday it was clear that our relationship wasn’t going to last long. The first thing that I noticed but didn’t attribute to the beta blocker (until I did a bit of research) was the swings in my body temperature. This was not a hot flash, this was that my body temperature would shoot up to 100.4 or 100.5F. I could feel it rising. Then I would feel terrible. Then the fever would break, usually in the middle of the night and I would be drenched in sweat. Sorry to gross you out but drenched is the best way to describe it. Even after I had my murderous female organs removed in 2009 I didn’t have hot flashes like that. Mother of all that is holy I don’t have enough sleep wear to go through this. It was when the hives showed up that I began to worry a bit and I started to do some deep dive research into more obscure side effects. I had a whole hive of hives under my right upper arm that merged into one massive mound of itch the size of a 3x5 card. And then there were the hives all along my belly extending onto my back. Fun and itchy times. Add to that the intestinal issues and the general feeling all day of dizziness and disorientation plus general lethargy and I was done.

The last dose of that pill of ill will was taken on Thursday morning, after which I said, “ENOUGH!!” By Friday morning the hives were entirely gone, the dizziness and disorientation were gone and by yesterday my temperature seemed content to stay within it’s normal range. I still get tired by early evening but that is also resolving itself.

I want to be clear about this. Beta blockers are not an evil class of drugs. They help many people and many people take them with little to no side effects. Doctor’s prescribe them for many reasons that are different from my Takotsubo diagnosis and if you are on one you should do what your doc tells you. I am just a contrarian and my body is intolerant of some medications (sulfa drugs, ACE inhibitors and now, apparently beta blockers). But I also am a firm believer in listening to what your body is telling you. My body was telling me that carvedilol was not a good thing for me and so we have broken up.

Carvedilol it wasn’t you, it was me.

Oh who am I kidding, of course it was you. Thank goodness you didn’t cost all that much.

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