Sunday, September 4, 2011

I Take Drugs

Nineteen pills or capsules a day, to be exact.  Don't worry, it's all under a doctor's supervision.

A little backstory for those who don't know me personally.  Nine years ago, I was diagnosed with Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, an autoimmune disease that makes my thyroid work slower than it should. 
One year ago, I added Rheumatoid Arthritis and Fibromyalgia to the list.  Rheumatoid Arthritis is another autoimmune disease that attacks the lining of my joints, causing inflammation, pain, stiffness, and deformation.  My rheumatologist is hopeful that we can slow this down with medications, but some of the fingers on my right hand are starting to twist.  Fibromyalgia is a bit controversial right now, but what I know is that it causes me muscle pain, fatigue, and weakness.
 Now, those are my big three, but I also have mitral valve prolapse, a heart arrythmia, essential tremors, sleep apnea, migraines, and carpal tunnel.  Wheee!!!

So, back to the drugs.  Here they are in all their pharmaceutical glory:

The five on the top are supplements. From left to right:
Multivitamin-I prefer a capsule to a hard pill because I've heard that the hard multivitamins don't break down all the way.
B Vitamin Complex-Additional B vitamins, which are good for nerves and energy.
Fish Oil- I should be eating more fish, but I can never remember to buy it at the store.
Feverfew-An herbal supplement that helps with my migraine headaches.  And yes, my doctor knows I'm on it.
Iron-One of the smaller side effects of autoimmune diseases is anemia.  I haven't been able to donate at the Red Cross for years.  I take this by itself with a small glass of orange juice.  The vitamin C helps the iron absorb better.

On to the medications.  They're in three sections by when I take them.

The little pill by itself is my synthroid.  The Hashimoto's causes my thyroid to not produce enough hormones to keep my energy levels up.  The synthroid supplements what my thyroid does make.

The next line are pills that I take through the day.  From left to right:
Plaquenil-This is an anti-rheumatic that gets my immune system to calm down a bit.  I take it twice a day, with breakfast and dinner.  As a fun note, I am now probably protected against malaria.  Plaquenil is a quinine derivative.
Avara- Another anti-rheumatic.  The plaquenil alone wasn't cutting it, so we added this.
Paxil- An antidepressant.  See my list of conditions above.
Zyrtec- Okay, so it's not a prescription med, but allergies are no fun!
Propranolol- Love the fact that it ends in LOL.  This is for my essential tremor, easing the shaking in my hands.  I take it three times a day, with each meal.
Ibuprofen- 600mg twice a day.  I could just take three Advil at a time, but my insurance pays for it this way.  This is for pain and inflammation.

The last row are meds that make me sleepy, so I take them at bedtime.
Robaxin- This is a muscle relaxer to get me to relax enough to fall asleep.  The fibromyalgia makes my muscles tense, and that can be a problem.  I always have to remember to go potty before bed, though.  Getting up at three in the morning and navigating to the bathroom on rubbery legs is an experience I don't want to repeat.
Aventyl- Technically an antidepressant, but I'm taking it for the migraines.
Desyrel- A true sleeping pill.  Before this, it took up to two hours to fall asleep, and I'd often wake up stinking early and not be able to fall asleep again.

Again, my doctor is aware of every drug I am taking, and my pharmacy runs a check for interactions on everything.  So far all they've said is to stay away from grapefruit.  I can do that.