NB: Under my new rules I consider the following to be safe.
Like most people with COPD I’m extremely prone to respiratory infections. Normally, I tackle these myself as NICE, while paying lip service to GOLD, strenuously refuses to allow GPs to prescribe antibiotics in sufficient strength and volume to comply with its needs. So I buy my own.
However, a couple of months ago I had an infection which refused to respond when treated with my normal Amoxycillin, so I faxed my GP and asked for Doxycycline and, a major miracle, actually got it. This week I accidentally ordered codeine linctus. It’s not due yet and I don’t need it. Since I’ve been taking Oramorph I’ve needed codeine linctus only rarely – when it’s a case of take it or cough until I puke or pass out. Normally it would have been crossed out and a snotty note sent with the rest of my meds but I got it without the slightest quibble. This spirit of co-operation is very unusual and suggests he knows something about my condition that I don’t. Worrying.
I now have one of these:-
A Bodum Stainless Steel Travel Vacuum Mug
Once filled and locked, this thing is leakproof, which is good as on my bedside table (on wheels), it might be prone to falling over. As it’s going to be full of milk, that’s a bad idea. Filled with chilled milk at bedtime, it will hopefully remain cool enough to prevent it going off overnight, so I can use it to take my early morning meds, at 06.00, which badly need a buffer (the red top can be completely removed or the centre can be unscrewed for a drink-through facility) :-
Received wisdom in Addison’s Disease says that stomach ache can be a sign that you need more Hydrocortisone. Personal experience suggests that stomach pain can be a reaction to Hydro, and possibly a precursor to a gastric bleed. Trust me, this is not something you want in your life.
So here I am, happy in the belief that I have my Addison’s under control. I don’t have it licked, you never do, it’s a gift that keeps on giving, but I thought I’d reached an accommodation with it.
I couldn’t have been more wrong.
This past week my nausea has returned, as severe as ever it was. No idea why – that’s something I really did think I had licked, but no. Rummaging through my Addie’s documentation, of which there is a hell of a lot, I discover that “Dizziness, headache, stomach ache, extreme weakness, chills, fever, confusion, nausea and vomiting are typical signs of impending adrenal crisis.”
Finally, I’ve found something that helps me sleep. It’s effects will probably fade, as my old standby, fruitcake, finally has, but for now, it works.
Monday night, did all the usual stuff – sleeping tablets, fruitcake, reading in bed for an hour or so – and at 03.30 I was still wide awake and hurting badly.
Got up, snagged a tub of cottage cheese and a spoon, went back to bed. Ate the cheese and was asleep before 04.00.
Two things – I’m sleeping barely at all, and I’m piling on weight. Both, I believe, have the same cause. Yep, it’s Hydrocortisone again.
I’ve noticed that taking extra Hydro (an additional 20mg a day to counter the stress caused by severe pain plus a diet of antibiotics to treat both respiratory and leg ulcer infections – 1g Amoxycillin, t.r.d ), coincides with feeling exceptionally hungry – not eating isn’t an option, the hunger is an imperative – and also with being almost totally unable to sleep. I’m normally awake until 03.30 – 04.00, by which time exhaustion takes over. Then I’m liable to Continue reading
Depression and Hydrocortisone.
Hydro is, without a doubt, the major current cause of my depression – depression so shatteringly severe it feels positively dangerous.
I’m not normally depressed, but I am prone to Continue reading
Yes, I know part 5 was only two days ago, but it’s a steep learning curve and new stuff to share comes along pretty quickly (and bear in mind that even though you might know this, there will be someone reading it who doesn’t – and sharing information maximises its value).
So, what do I know today that I didn’t know on Saturday?
For openers, my morning Hydro doesn’t remain in my system long. Diuretics and Addison’s are a poor mix, though the reason why isn’t made clear, but as I pee for Britain (an absurdly precise Continue reading
I can’t help noticing that in parts 2 to 4 I dropped the terminal s from Chronicles. Apologies. I can’t do anything about that without confusing Google but, from now, it’s back.
Infection risk in Addison’s Disease…
One of the first things I learned about Addison’s is that it slows down healing dramatically, especially recovery from infection, which explained why I had such an horrendous year in 2013.
Additional Hydro would have helped, but as the fuckwit endocrinologist at APH failed to tell me I had Addison’s, and my GP failed to spot the reference in my discharge notes until I poked him with a stick a year later, by which time I’d figured out what was wrong with me myself, that didn’t happen.
What I didn’t know, and only found out a couple of days ago, while poking around the online version of the British National Formulary, is that
I’ve just had my bulk Hydro delivered – 6 month’s supply, more or less (500 10mg tabs). I was expecting a bulk pack, but apparently the stuff is available only in 30-tablet packs. 16 of them, plus a box of 20. Total cost I’d estimate at about £800 – my BNF is 3 years old, so maybe more than that by now.
But here’s a thing – based on the info Continue reading