Every time someone says that I am paranoid something happens to prove that what seems to be paranoia to them is actually justified fear on my part. Last Friday I went to see my doctor about a GI problem that has wormed its way into my life. I decided to make use of my time waiting for a prescription by throwing around subjects for this weeks blog with my family. Just as I was beginning to get frustrated about not knowing what I wanted to talk about, this week’s subject matter smacked me upside the head. While chatting, the name of the prescription kept nagging at me. Mid sentence I asked my husband to grab the name brand medication off of the shelf so I could check the ingredients. The reason for this is because there are very few medications that my body will tolerate. Knowing that I wouldn’t be able to return a prescription once opened and because I didn’t want to suffer a bad reaction I figured I better take a look.
The reason I had this appointment was because I have recently begun having serious digestive issues. At this point my doctor is suspecting an infection in my stomach, pancreas, and or gall bladder, as well as ulcers and or gall stones. Tests are being done and in the meantime my symptoms are getting worse. My doctor had asked if I had been taking any over the counter medication for the vomiting, diarrhea, and nausea. I told him no, because all the OTC medications for these symptoms contain two to three ingredients that I am highly allergic to. In his attempt to help calm my symptoms before we have answers he prescribed a prescription version of a Prilosec.
One of the reasons I thought to check the ingredients is that I wondered if there was a reason I hadn’t tried this on my own. I scanned the list of active ingredients and can you guess what I found? That’s right! Two ingredients that I absolutely can not tolerate. With this information in hand I rolled up to the pharmacist’s counter and asked the pharmacist if the version prescribed would have the same make up. Sure enough, it did. I explained that I was unable to accept that prescription and that I would have to ask my doctor to find something else, that is if there was actually something else that didn’t contain those particular ingredients. The pharmacist asked me to wait, he said that he had a liquid version and that he would check its ingredients and call my doctor himself. And so we waited…..
My husband and I wonder if doctors are ever going to learn to take my allergies and in-tolerances seriously. I had felt comforted when our new healthcare provider’s computer system was smart enough to set off alarms and flashing lights when they tried to order a tetanus shot for me. I thought this was great! Maybe the amount I worry about being given something I can’t have can decrease. Obviously I was wrong, because it didn’t catch this prescription.
My doctor approved the liquid version and the pharmacist and I went over the ingredient list together. I was relieved that it didn’t contain any magnesium or talc. There was only one ingredient I questioned, but decided to take a chance. That ingredient is Red Dye #40. We are a dye free household. My princess is highly allergic to red dye. She can not eat it, drink it, or come into contact with it in any liquid or powder form. Do you know how hard it is to find liquid medication without dye? It is almost impossible. Many years later after not having food coloring in my diet on a daily basis, I began to notice that I would feel sick or my overall pain level would increase after eating or drinking it, but my reactions were nothing compared to what my daughter experiences.
I don’t really know what to think about the medication that I finally ended up with. I am not having the reactions that I would have had if I had taken the pills. That is a plus. But it is not helping either. At this point I am not sure if it is coincidence or if it is the medication at fault, but my symptoms have gotten worse. I also feel like I have an alien in my belly trying to claw its way out. I have decided to give it another day or two. If it doesn’t let up I will contact my doctor and see what he thinks. All I know is that I am miserable!!!!
If anything, whatever is going on inside of me has proved the point that I make over and over. Trust NO ONE. Check the ingredients of every prescription!!!! Research every medication and test ordered!!! Do not believe for one second that just because your allergies and sensitivities are listed on your chart that they will be taken into consideration. In this instance, these ingredients were on my chart and I had just had a lengthy conversation about them with my doctor minutes before he ordered the prescription.
This is not the first time this has happened to me. Doctors used staples to close my incision from my first c-section after being told of my metal allergy. This caused a nasty infection and doubled my recovery time. Another didn’t take my allergy to traditional sutures seriously and also resulted in an infection and longer recovery time. A third assumed that dis-solvable sutures would be no different than the glue like ones. Wrong!! I have had tests that required me to drink a liquid only to have my throat close up right in front of the doctor because it contained ingredients that I can’t have. Another kept prescribing medications that contained ibuprofen, another thing I am allergic to. When I asked him to pay attention, he defended himself by saying that the amount of ibuprofen in those pills was very small. Obviously the amount doesn’t matter to my body. These are just a few examples of why I am “paranoid”. I could fill a book with all the mistakes that hospitals and doctors have made with me.
This frightens me. God forbid I am ever in a position of not being able to speak up or do the research. This last incident was also a reminder that I need to make a list for my husband to keep with him and for him to question everything that a hospital or doctor does to or for me.
I will gladly take the blame if this current prescription is making things worse, since I decided to take a chance with the red dye. But I am holding my doctor responsible for prescribing the pill form without checking the ingredients. In the meantime I will wait for my test results and keep on keeping on..
Paranoia may destroy you, but justified fears just may save your life.