Friday, February 11, 2011

Worth A Mention?

strange how medications to alleviate a condition can make that same condition much worse

never sure what's a reaction to new medication and what's part of the underlying condition

Having just "tweeted" the above (apparently trivial) observations, I suddenly realized that they may be expressing a deeper underlying concern

I knew when I made the appointment that it was a follow up to check how a change of ppi is affecting me. Informed GP that for a few days it seemed better, explaining an inadvertent side effect of the extra dosage of the former ppi, but now it didn't seem as effective as I was experiencing a greater degree of discomfort. The GP of course asks me, do I think that my current discomfort, an amplified version of what I'd been already been experiencing, was related to the gastric problem. Having acknowledged fairly recent A&E incidents which confirmed that there was no apparent heart problem, and last years endoscopy finding no obvious cause for my gastric problems, I could only reply that according to previous GP guidance that did seem to be the case.

The outcome was a decision made, with my uninformed collusion, that I should continue with the new ppi but also take a dopamine antagonist 3 times per day. The first couple of days on this new regimen and, I'm feeling markedly more discomforted, in the gastro-intestinal / gastro-oesophogeal stakes, than I've felt for quite some time. The frustration continues. The question is, do I persevere?

Having stated the question, I now return to the larger problematic picture. Any visit to a GP tends to focus on a specific problem and, as a result, other ailments that are part of an ongoing chronic condition are rarely given an airing, in the course of a consultation. The doctor is presumably well aware that I need to take pain-killing medication, primarily tramadol, to treat persistent muscular and skeletal pain but, I sometimes do find myself wondering whether the broader underlying condition could also be responsible for my gastro-intestinal problems.

Unfortunately treatment only seems to be available for specific symptoms whilst the larger underlying picture seems to be trivialised or ignored. Indeed, as an example, there has always been a marked reluctance on the part of the government, and the Medical Research Council, to carry out bio-medical research into the neurological condition Myalgic Encephalomyelitis. One feels, at times, afraid of mentioning the aching tenderness in armpits and under the chin, the sharply bruised leaden hollowness in the lower limbs whilst still abed, a sense of ones skin being pulled too tight over one's flesh, random virulent nightsweats, degrees of orthostatic intolerance, a not infrequent need to don supports on ankles, wrist, back etc in order to cope with the days most basic tasks. 

Don't get me wrong, I've long since learned to cope with the daily onslaught of aches and pains and, I generally manage to pace myself sufficiently to avoid a major crash but, that doesn't mean that life is easy, much as I enjoy it. 

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