Sometimes sick people like me don’t get out much, so when we do, we try to make the best of it. I find ways to amuse myself, even if I leave Super Grover at home. The grocery store provides no end of possibilities. Today, I interacted with any young child I met because that’s always fun. Then I spent a half hour whetting my baking appetite at the bulk bins while watching people sneak random tastes.
Then I wandered over to the blood pressure machine at the in-store pharmacy. That’s always the highlight of my outing. My blood pressure is hovering around 85/45 of late, which is well below normal, so I left my results for the next person to find. Did she feel inferior? Or did she call 911 out of fear that someone had died in the store?
Forgive me that awkward segue into my second medication dilemma of the week.
Years ago, Dr. Liver prescribed a medication to protect my liver. This drug keeps my pulse low, ideally between 50 and 60 beats per minute (it was 53 today), but it’s more commonly prescribed to lower blood pressure. I’ve been on this drug for 12 years, but because of recent concerns about my liver, the new Dr. Liver doubled my dose. I was on that dose many years ago, but it made me a zombie, so I reverted back. This time, I don’t have a choice. I can raise the dose by 50% or 100%. I tolerated 50% for a few weeks without incident, so I tried a 100% increase.
Remember all that falling I did over the summer? This drug may be the culprit. People with low blood pressure can become dizzy and fatigued. I found myself looking a bit drunk for a while there. Dr. Blood actually sent me for a brain CT scan to ensure there was nothing lurking inside. I hadn’t mentioned it because nothing untoward was found, only a brain, thank God.
This medication-related dilemma is fueled partly by my competitive nature. If Dr. Liver wants me to keep my pulse between 50 and 60 beats per minute, shouldn’t I aim for 50? Won’t that slow the progression of my liver disease more? But if I keep on this dose, and my blood pressure follows suit, I will be walking around in a haze. Add that to my exhausting chemotherapy and it’s no wonder I’m dragging myself around when I’m not sleeping.
I have compromised by alternating 100% and 50% increases daily, which makes me a bit less woozy. Dr. Blood and J. want me to come down to 50% daily, but they’re not the ones worrying about dying.
So I can continue to walk around in a fog in order to keep my liver happy, or I can lower my medication dose knowing that my liver may rebel sooner. What’s more important, quality of life or staying alive? Maybe you can resolve this one for me, dear reader.
I am hoping dilemmas do not come in threes because I’ve used up all my brain power on these two. Thanks to the recent scan, at least we know I have a brain.