Thursday, May 22, 2008

More medical woes - will it ever end?

You’d think that when a doctor writes a prescription, and when a pharmacist fills it, that SOMEONE would think to let the patient know there are possible serious side effects to the medication if mixed with certain things. Most people with an iota of common sense know you don’t mix alcohol with different things, but we’re talking about an antibiotic here. Not just any antibiotic, but the wonderfully expensive Zyvox that Ron is on.

We were told by the prescribing doctor that he couldn’t take Cymbalta or Zyprexa while on this but not given any clear “this might happen if you do” instructions. Ron has diligently stopped those medications.

They did not tell us that also different foods could cause a problem, such as dangerously high blood pressure. The list of foods to avoid includes pickles, anything else fermented, cheese, any alcohol (no problem with that one), chocolate, plums, and grapes. I’m sure there’s more but that’s what I remember off the top of my head. Ron’s had all of these (except the alcohol) at some point since he’s been taking this and several of these items in the past 24-48 hours.

His blood pressure was 205/92 while resting in bed this morning. He doesn’t feel good and is pretty discouraged about how badly he feels. He was feeling pretty good up until about a week ago. The doctor advised him to increase his diuretic if his blood pressure is up. I’m not sure how that will help but we’ll try it.

On a good note, his creatinin, potassium, and sodium levels are within normal range. But, his Vitamin D and something else secondary to that are out of range. The Vitamin D is very, very low and the other one is very high. When I looked up Vitamin D deficiency on the web, it listed furosemide (his diuretic) as potentially one of the causes of these two problems. So now we’re at a cross-road – does he take it to help lower his blood pressure or should he not because it might be a cause of his Vitamin D and hyperparathyroidism problems? I hope we get some answers tomorrow at the kidney specialist’s office.

He’s also got a really large bruise-type of thing on his left arm that may be caused from all the blood pressure readings he's had. I noticed it a week or so ago and it's grown since then. So I mentioned so the doctor and she is having it sonogramed tomorrow morning to see what it is. I think it's really just the bp cuff. He's had his bp taken so many times in the last few weeks, all from the same spot.

I’m so thankful that I’m off tomorrow. I’ve got a 9:15 appointment (to see how much weight I’ve lost in the past month, plus a re-check for this crazy cough that won’t go away), Ron has an appointment at 10:15 for an echocardiogram, but since the same person doing that is who will do the sonogram of his arm, he’s going to go in at 9:15 also. Luckily, we’ll be at the same medical facility, just in different portions of it. Then at 2:30 he has an appointment with the kidney specialist. This is a $60 week for co-pays but only 2.75 hours in lost wages, so that’s saying something.

Next week his appointments are all on the same day. Wednesday at 7:30 he has a thallium stress test, at 11:15 he sees the infectious disease doctor, and at 1:30 (or whenever we can get there) he sees the foot specialist. It will be a $60 day in co-pays plus the eight hours of lost wages for me. I am not going to like my next paycheck. Ugh!

I will be so glad when this is all over. I just pray that I’ve still got some sanity left by then.

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