Friday, March 29, 2013

Sunshine and blue sky

Finally, a nice day!  Blue sky.  Sunshine.  Light breeze. Temps in the 40s.  What's not to like?

Well, unfortunately, the results of my last doctor visit.  When my symptoms weren't getting any better, a friend alerted me that a LOT of them are adverse side effects of metoprolol (lopressor)** that I have been taking for control of PVCs for over 10 years. I went to a cardiologist and he was peeved that I'd been on the drug for so long without ever having my heart re-evaluated or the dosage re-considered.  He took me off immediately and will set me up with a 7-14 day heart monitor to see if I should ever have BEEN put on the drug in the first place.

Side effects that were listed that I had: numbness, tingling, bluish fingers and toes, dizziness, mood changes, hair loss, sleep disturbances (insomnia, uncomfortable/vivid dreams), vision problems, easy bruising or bleeding.  And this is only part of the side effect list. (Notice that a lot of my symptoms had led me to believe I had a thyroid problem.  Well, I don't, thank goodness.)

Well, okay, we'll see how withdrawal goes.  Lopressor can mask low blood sugar/ fast heart rate. ( I'm already seeing the latter as my heart keeps pounding in my chest (95+) so I'm sure I've had many instances of masked low blood sugar - because all the OTHER symptoms I had WERE listed on the hypoglycemia page of wiki....!)  ** later note - due to rapid rate I'm back on the lopressor (1/4 tab per day) to help me step down with a little less drama **

As if that weren't enough *good* news - he took a look a the report from the neck MRI that I INSISTED the hospital take while I had been admitted.  ("Stiff neck?  Total left side numbness?  You want any MRI?  Nah, you don't need it...")

My GP brushed the results off as 'typical age related stuff'.  But the cardiologist told me that I had SEVERE degenerative disc disease (DDD) and it was nothing to brush off.  So much so that he is sending me to the Neuro & Spine Institute at the hospital for evaluation and possible further MRI (for the lower spine).  I didn't question my GP and had not the cardiologist alerted/warned me I would have tackled all those heavy lifting, shoving, climbing, dragging spring garden chores that have been put off due to the long-lasting winter this year.  I could easily have ruptured a disc - or worse.

So, yeah, there is stuff not to like.  I can't get into the spine clinic until April 17th.  Until then, I'm just going to have to get help with the gardens until I get this sorted out - like how much bending,  stooping, crawling, and otherwise gardening (and household repair: moving appliances, the 'fridge, turning mattresses, etc.) am I safe to do?  What exercises or drugs can help?  Yada yada yada.....

Ah well.  At least the sun IS shining.  Just wish I could feel free to go outside and play like I normally would.   As for the rest of you - get out there and enjoy the weather.  Looks like it's finally spring!

Happy Easter, all.

**Why in the he!! do ALL doctors tell you to bring in a list of your Rxs and supplements, and then they DON'T EVEN LOOK AT IT!!   Every ONE of them.  ESPECIALLY the one who PUT ME ON IT.  This could have been addressed 8 mos ago when I first complained of all these growing symptoms.  So, for advice, KNOW YOUR MEDs and the SIDE EFFECTS.  It could save you thousands and thousands of $$ in ineffective and useless medical bills!  @$#!!


  1. Wasn't it so much simpler when we were younger? This getting-older stuff is for the birds.......

    Hope all goes well for you. It's hard to sit on the sidelines after a winter of waiting to get out there. Good luck!

    1. Yep, as tired as I feel this spring after an anxious-filled winter, I was hoping for some dirt therapy. Getting older - not for wimps! Thanks for the luck. :-D

  2. DH was on that but just for a short period of time after his heart attack. I don't think it is intended for long-time use. I tell you we have to research everything the doctors say and do and then do the same for the drugs. The main thing is don't be afraid to question them! Yours is a classic example. I am betting you will feel 100% better once you get it out of your system.

    As for the other, egads. Be careful about this one too. Don't be led down some experimental high-dollar path my poor FIL was (all to no avail, I might add). I sure hope normal gardening like bending and planting aren't too much. I would be very careful about heavy lifting though.

    Remember get your calcium though foods, not medical advice for the day.

    1. I'm with you there, Glenda. Big medicine is just like big food, big banking, etc. We are just sheep to them most of the time. Good ones get burned out. Bad ones hurt us. While you were writing your comment, I was updating my post (at the end) saying the same thing about the Rxs. While I get as much calcium as I can from foods, my osteoporosis demands much higher doses. And now, with the DDD, I will see if something like Fosomax is indicated at this point - anything to strengthen the bones.

      No experiments on ME! No way. Thanks for checking in.

  3. Kris - I'm sooooooo glad that you have what seems to be a doctor who is genuinely concerned about your symptoms, and is addressing all of them in order to finally sort out everything you are experiencing.

    Our doctors here all recommend a calcium supplement called Menacal 7 which contains Vit K - for improved absorption of the calcium. I've been on it for a good few years.

    Here's to you feeling as close to normal as you can, as soon as possible :)


    1. Hello, Dani. I'll probably get over the drug effects and withdrawal MUCH sooner than I will the anger at all the incompetent doctors that charged thousands
      , left me in pain and fear, and then didn't even have time to follow up on their own tests. I'm thinking of writing a letter detailing all the $ spent on all this to their masters -- the insurance companies! Bet THEY will have one thing to say about this (not that they would care about ME, but, oh, all those benefits they had to pay out...). Thanks for checking in on me .. It's a comfort to know folks care. :-)


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