When I got an email from Judy Cohen of the American Recall Centre, I knew I was definitely doing a fine job with my mental health advocacy. I don’t follow statistics or evaluate the impact of my blog posts by likes/comments. Those sure motivate but I just don’t know how to follow them. I however feel elated when I get an email like Judy’s. It is an acknowledgment of a special order.
So, what do we read on the banner or the title of my post for this Monday morning? Huge, Judy asked me to talk about my meds. I told Judy I didn’t take any conventional meds but that I had a brother who took enough to last two generations of my family and who probably died ‘around those meds’. Judy urged that I could talk for him or better still give some advice…
Here are Judy’s guidelines
ADVICE FOR OTHERS:
Read the side effects very well. Please Caregivers, don’t have blind faith in ‘almighty psychiatry’. If you think there could be an alternative treatment or you have a combination of meds and others, please do the most you can to make it available for your loved one. If you are not so comfortable with the effect of the medication or the dosage, quantity and all: Please insist or shout out, there are so many advocacy groups out there. I have recently come across some and I do know that they exist because some medecine have caused unfathomable damages. My family (basically my mum), did all she could while it was in her power to do so. This is basically when my brother was in Cameroon and there the system isn’t as rigid, leaving a ‘leeway’ to the guardian or parent to get and be involved in their loved one’s treatment.
WHAT’S a GOOD QUESTION TO ASK their DOCTOR?
Doc, must I take so many meds? Those doctors are not gods: It is your right to ask them questions: You see, some of them may just be as clueless, they study, precribe and mark charts but if they had to be in your shoes and have your fired brain for just a day, they’ll think again!
WHAT DRUG INTERACTIONS TO BE AWARE OF?
I will use only the most recent drug interaction my brother was on which from every indication were a very poor combination:
He was prescribed Risperdal, whose side effects include but are not limited to: Drowsiness, dizziness, drooling, nausea, increased appetite and weight gain;
He was prescribed Zyprexa whose side effects include but are not limited to: Constipation, dry mouth, increase appetite, weight gain and stomach upset;
And that Zyprexa taken in use with Benadryl could lead to a stroke or heart failure;
WHAT ARE THE RISKS AND BENEFITS?
I know only of risks. Well maybe because I lost my brother and that preceding his demise he was rushed to the ER at least twice for heart complications. As for benefits, probably only what the prescribing doctors would bother to tell you or as you can read on the notice/cum dream of in your countless hours lost to sleep.
WHAT DO YOU WISH YOU KNEW BEFORE TAKING?
I think if my brother knew he would literally become a simpleton, a ‘cabbage’ due those very meds, surely he wouldn’t have become as med compliant. If you would end up ‘addicted’ to the same meds which ‘ruin’ you, then you may not be that willing in taking them.
Judy told me the following: ” I know medication safety is a topic that often goes unnoticed and to get readers even thinking about their own medicine will make a tremendous difference!”
I wish it weren’t true that medication safety is a ‘feared’ subject – but that’s a lame wish maybe? So you dear and gentle readers/followers of mine, what do you think about all this? Is it worth talking about one’s meds? Is worth looking out for alternative treatments or a safe and affordable combination of the both? I have taken pain killers and anti-depressants before, heck I regularly take pills for cramps – but I don’t consider those MEDS enough to warrant my sharing any pale personal experiences. Thank you!