Less Is More

Alternate title: I’m really not as unhealthy as it seems…

I might be in the minority here, but I have to wonder…what is with doctors being so quick to jump on medication these days?

I will be the first to admit that I definitely believe in medication…if I start to feel the slightest twinge of a headache coming on, I’m going to take something for it. But then again, I have suffered from migraines since I was a teenager, and I will do ANYthing to nip them in the bud if possible. My brother has even accused me in the past of being a pill popper, and he seems to be very anti-pill. I am not a fan of pain, and I see no reason for people to feel bad when they don’t have to. There are many conditions that simply require treatment.

High blood pressure, for example. Sure, for some people diagnosed with high blood pressure, diet and exercise can work wonders. However, there are those of us who aren’t necessarily overweight, don’t eat fried or fatty foods (even though we are very much Southern), and get a fair amount of exercise (at least, we did before we stopped working a year ago)…and I fall into that category: really crappy genetics. (Hi Mom!)

When I was finally diagnosed with hypertension three years ago, after walking around with practically stroke level blood pressures since having my last child, the doctor quickly put me on a massive dose of medication, complete with a diuretic. Well, I am actually very sensitive to many medications, and I spent the next few days lightheaded, dizzy, sick, and having extremely LOW blood pressures. The doctor then put me on what most people would consider a baby dose of BP medication, and it worked like a charm. I’ve actually been told recently that I may not even need the medication anymore, which would make me infinitely happy, but I know I will always have to keep a check on my blood pressure.

Last week, I was told that I have hypothyroidism, which came as a huge shock to me. The doctor prescribed medication for it, which I took for five days before I spent one whole night afraid I was not gonna make it to see the morning. (That’s only a slight exaggeration, by the way. If you read the side effects associated with ‘overdose’…yep, that was ALL me Tuesday night, minus coma and death obviously.) After two days, I finally managed to get the doctor’s nurse on the phone today, to tell her why exactly I wasn’t going to take the thyroid medication the way it was currently prescribed. After reading that some people have problems with generic Synthroid (what I’m on) and some people are started out on smaller doses so as not to shock their system, I felt something needed to be changed. Especially after she told me what my actual levels were…just barely over the abnormal range.

And so…tomorrow morning, I will start taking the medication again. Only this time, the dose will be cut in half…which is probably what I should have been started on in the first place, if not less. I’m praying that I don’t have another night like Tuesday, and that this dose works better. Again, I’ve been told it’s a baby dose…but remember, I am sensitive to a lot of things. Granted, I’m fully aware that in roughly 6 weeks I’ll have to have my thyroid levels retested and may have another dosage adjustment…but hopefully I’ll do better after being on this stuff for a while, instead of just going from nothing to 50 mcg in one day.

I guess what bothers me the most is that some doctors are so quick to give out these whopper doses of medications. In nursing school, and later on when I began working in the hospital, I was taught “Less is more”. Like with pain medication…give a smallest dose (in relation to the patient’s condition) that works, and reevaluate. Don’t just jump in with the most you can possibly give, because some people truly don’t NEED all that. There are people in this world who respond to small dosages of medications, doctors!

Have you ever been in a situation like this?

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3 thoughts on “Less Is More

  1. Sounds awful, poor thing! I was put on something for migraines once that had me zombied in a chair staring at the wall for 2 days. Scared the heck out of my husband. Can’t remember what it was, but I went off of it immediately. Hopefully, your doctors will listen to you in the future when you ask them to start on a mini dose of the normal medications!

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