Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Day 2529

I spent the day asking questions about the various medications the dogs and I take. Dash had an appointment to check his Levothyroxine levels. He's had to take this drug ever since he was diagnosed with thyroid cancer and periodically they need to check and see whether the dose needs to be adjusted. While I was at the vet, I asked about the Incurin Dot was taking for urinary incontinence. Do we need to increase the dose on this one, since it doesn't appear to be working anymore? I was surprised to learn that this drug has been on backorder for months and wasn't even currently available. There were alternate drugs we could try, but each had their own drawbacks. Maybe it might be better to just learn to deal with Dot's leaky bladder.

Later in the day I visited my own doctor to get my prescriptions renewed for another year. The doctor wanted me to stop taking Protonix because it had been linked to a higher incidence of stroke in a recent study. It would have been nice if I knew this ten years ago when I started taking the drug. This is the frustrating thing about prescription medicine. Doctors are always learning new things and this year's favorite treatment can always end up being on next year's dangerous substance list. The doctor also said my blood pressure might be too low. Jeez, I've spent years getting my blood pressure under control under the assumption that lower blood pressure is always better. Now doctors are learning that abnormally low blood pressure is often associated with brain atrophy. Yikes. I'd never even heard of brain atrophy before, but there must be an epidemic of it in this country. How else would you explain all the bad decisions we make.

Every time I see my doctor, he tells me that my Cortisol levels are too high and I need to do something to reduce the amount of stress in my life. I try to explain that there really isn't any significant stress in my life, with the possible exception of cleaning up dog poop day in and day out for years at a time. When I explained the daily routine required to care for an incontinent, crippled dog, it appeared to give the doctor stress. He said that when this happened with his dog, he had to put it down. "Well, that's the difference between you and me," I said. Dot is a happy dog. She just can't care for herself anymore.

I think I've gotten all the prescriptions straightened out for another year. Janet only takes a single statin pill every day, but Dot, Dash, and I have dozens of medications to keep track of. At least Dot and Dash don't have to take the chemotherapy pills anymore. There used to be a gas station on every corner. Now there's a CVS Pharmacy or a Walgreens on every corner. How did we live without all these pills? I certainly believe in the benefits of keeping your blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels under control, but it sure would be tempting to quit taking all these meds.

I've got a new article to write tomorrow. It looks like there will be some website work as well. I anticipate a quiet day of writing, punctuated every few hours with the smell of fresh poop. I don't think I was cut out to be a caregiver, but I'm actually doing reasonably well for a person with very little empathy. Dot seems happy anyway. I'll work on keeping the stress under control.

Alvin is today's Dalmatian of the Day
Watch of the Day

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