I don't know about you but whenever I take prescription medications I do it with the belief that they are going to help to give me some measure of relief for my illness or condition and hopefully do so without side effects.
Other than an severe allergic reaction I've never crossed my mind that those prescriptions we all take for granted and take on a daily basis had the potential to cause serious or life threatening conditions. But then I saw it happen to my Mom over these past months and I awoke from my dream world.
A few months ago my Mom's kidney's began to fail. Before my eyes I watched my Mother transform from a fairly healthy person with the usual maladies of a woman of 84 years of age to a woman who was so weak she could barely walk.
There are so many interesting layers to a relationship between a daughter and her mother when the daughter starts to take on the role as care taker, but that's for another post. I'll say this, the dynamic shift becomes challenging, the relationship is very rewarding but when the health issues arise it is a roller-coaster ride.
It was pretty frightening and very frustrating to watch my mother go to the doctor every few weeks only to hear bad new after bad news. Her kidney function was declining fairly quickly and without explanation. Doing what doctors do, he considered all the options, like....congestive heart failure. They tested her heart; good news heart looks good but the kidneys were still failing. Tests on kidney's, kidneys look good for her age, no tumors, blood flow good, no evidence of acute kidney disease, good news but kidneys still failing.
Then her doctor decided to withdraw my mothers medications one by one. Processing medications puts strain on the kidneys and there was always the chance the medications themselves were causing the kidney failure. It was a shot in the dark but it made sense so one by one he did it over a period of time.
First the diabetes medication, four weeks later, guess what? Mom doesn't need diabetes medication if she's careful with her food choices-positive lifestyle adjustments, good news. Kidney's are maintaining no worse but no better, she's still Stage 4 kidney failure. Then he decides to take her off two of her three blood pressure/heart pills by weaning her off over a period of two weeks leaving her on one. Good news, her blood pressure OK, blood sugar's still great. Great news, kidney function has improved a lot.
Then we finally got a diagnosis!
One of the blood pressure medications caused the kidney failure; in only two weeks she's improved to Stage 3.
She is feeling remarkably better. And now thank God we get to slip back into the more comfortable role of me just being at her side, we'll leave the holding her up for another day.
And we're breathing again.
Since this all happened I can't help but feel a bit ill at ease every morning when I down my high blood pressure pill with my OJ. Truthfully, that treadmill I have and never seem to find the time to use is starting to look pretty appealing to me!
What an eye opener.