Tag Archives: Medications

A Tale of Doctors and wellbeing


Team doctors

I have heard and read it several times, people saying well my doctor never told me this or that, or he said this or that, and em that was or wasn’t covered by insurance. They were mean, no sympathy or empahty, oh so kind and compassionate…

I recall when my late and only brother (he died in 2014 at age 33 after 18 years with epilepsy and bipolar disorder) used to go the doctors all the time. We were close, and I took him to his appointments back home and sat in those consultation rooms, as well in the labs and all. Back home in Cameroon, all seemed to be going well and although he was on a few meds I think 2, he was also on a lot of food supplements, natural remedies, and mum made sure he ate vegetables and fruits like it or not. I discovered carrot juice via him and I still love it to this day, A lot changed when he won the diversity lottery and relocated to the US. Before we get there, let me tell you what I witnessed with most of the doctors we went to back home. They treated him with empathy, they took time to explain updates to us, the prescriptions and side effects, and even recommended alternatives to counter the side effects of those meds. He so loved some of those doctors and could sing their praises un end.

Come in Doctor N° 1 in my tale

doctor1
The serene and reassuring doctor

My brother got worse somehow, we were helpless from this far and we prayed he atleast got some nice doctors. So, when he told us of his primary physician called Dr Daniel Gross, we were so happy. 

My brother looked forward to their appointments. My mother talked with that doctor. Dr DG encouraged him on, he went to therapy both group and solo. He still did some ‘shaggy’ stuffs, but those were better than the total isolation in which he lived his last couple of months. I later found out well he was taken off Dr DG ‘s roster or maybe Dr DG moved on…, and therapy was stopped (probably not covered by insurance…), and so he got assigned another doctor. By then he had started putting on so much weight and was on 6 or so meds.

Here comes almighty Doctor 2

obese1
No Comment

And so it came to pass, that after my family had voiced their concern about the drastic side effects of my brother’s cocktail in May 2014, that mum had complained through his nurses and his case manager in June (while on a two week visit with him), my brother went for another ‘doctor’s appointment in July.

Here is a recap of what Dr whoever said:

He told Gabriel (my brother) that he was aware of his mother’s concern about his weight and that he weighed more than Gabriel;

This doctor put and kept him him on the following meds + more ; and knew what was going on – in his own words to mum :

  • That he was aware of the side effect of Risperdal, which he prescribed, those included drowsiness, dizziness, drooling, nausea, increased appetite and weight gain;

  • That he also prescribed Zyprexa and was aware that the side effects include: Constipation, dry mouth, increase appetite, weight gain and stomach upset;

  • That he was aware that Zyprexa is taken in use with Benadryl it could lead to a stroke or heart failure;

I leave it at that for your interpretation, and I make a case for this other doctor I just found

Doctor N° 3

In my constant searching for information, not wanting to just let myself go and rely so blindly on what the doctor will tell me or prescribe, I discovered an ideal doctor online. This doctor is sharing information on how to make healthy choices for a healthier and happier life, and he seems like one of those not quick to prescribe medication. I recall a recent episode where I developed the dreaded mumps, and Doctor J advised me on natural remedies and yes sleep. Wow, he tries to sound wake up calls, demystifying disease and passionately interacting with all on his platform. I don’t know about his offline practice, but where I in the position to chose my doctor, I’ll chose Doctor J any time.

Afterword

We all have a choice – at least the majority of us do. We could lose that choice for a reason or the other, that I dispute not. Yet my case is that it is awesome to realise sooner than later that we not only have a choice but we owe it to ourselves and our community to make healthy choices. We may not be able to avoid going to a doctor altogether, but we can change doctors or try to stay healthy and manage our ill health in alternative positive ways whether recommended by a doctor or not. I have read quiet some books (memoirs especially) by people with a mental illness or other illnesses like dreaded cancer and co. None relied solely on medications – a couple even got well without medications or worked to get their dosages reduced to a barest minimum while improving on the food they eat and their overall lifestyle. When it used to be said your doctor is  or should be your friend… I don’t know if that’s still true…

 

Ode to all who take their meds…


The-Tough-Call-Should-my-Kid-be-on-Meds-MainPhoto
And sometimes, twice/thrice a day!!!

Dear World, in my last post, I had hoped that the prescribed ‘ just some antibiotics’, were going to take the week old fever and ‘meh’ away. I am not even able now to laugh at my own self. That is how misreably I am faring since the side effects of those meds kicked in Sunday morning. I wasn’t expecting them to be that many and for real  you know, and at some point I thought I was on my way out of life.  I actually wrote a farewell chat to a friend, and called my dear Bea for 40 minutes giving her my last wishes (no will cause nothing really to will out…)

I remember how my brother diagnosed with BD hated taking all those meds. I mean at one point I summed his life to ‘take my meds’, cause that was like about all he ‘looked forward to’. Goodness, I am just waking up from a near 2 hour ‘siest’?  And am only on Clamoxcyl 1g and Ketaflox 400mg. I take the C twice a day, and the K once. I was taking the twin dose in the mornings until yesterday when I ‘wisely’ thought taking them both at bedtime was better? Guess it’s that night dose dishing me all this sleep and agitation…

On Sunday as I was saying, it got so bad that I drove with an eye closed for ‘better vision’. Then I stopped every 10 or so minutes to rest. At some point I called a cousin to pick me up. I was sweating profusely and lost my nerves so shamefully with a dear friend. I don’t want to trouble you with the side effects listed, sometimes if we could read them before buying them maybe we would risk staying with the malady we already have…

And yet we sometimes really can’t take any risk not going on those meds. We want to get well and we trust them these meds to help us out. Maybe the docs who prescribe them could lecture us some on those effects? But will we listen? And then do what as an alternative?

For all these musings, and my personal experiences, and those I witnessed from my brother, I really want to salute all those in the house who take their meds, or even ‘try to take them religiously’. It’s no easy fit, and sometimes it’s truly difficult to function ‘normally’ when taking those meds especially when you got to pop them twice or thrice a day.

To those not on any meds, lucky you, sometimes I am in that category too. But what I strive not to do, is brand those who are almost always or really ever always on meds, as lazy or lousy people. No one will probably opt to pop pills all their lives, but helas some find themselves there now, I really wish these meds did not have such drastic side effects for which other meds with their own side effects were needed … see that cycle and circle?

Anyone out there with different experience with meds?

One Love …

When your doctor says he weighs more than you…


Who is obese now?
Who is obese now?

Foreword

This post is inspired by two things. The first is another soulful post I read on the blog takingthemaskoff, entitled a tale of two physicians. I shouldn’t be saying more about Cortland’s work and all instead of just urging you to check for yourselves. But, I will briefly explain what about his post got me on. He narrates his personal ordeal and how while one doctor made him long for ‘death’, the second is his number one on his fabulous 5 list ( his list of those who saved him).

The second, is yet another of my mum’s desperate plea to even get some clarifications of her deceased son’s death. The struggle isn’t only to keep him alive it seems, now they delay in releasing his autopsy results too.

My Brother’s un-narrated tale with physicians

I can narrate it to near accuracy from what I gathered. His tale is the reverse of Cortland’s. He had a previous physician out there called Dr Daniel Gross, we all knew him.

The serene and reassuring doctor!
The serene and reassuring doctor!

My brother looked forward to their appointments. My mother talked with that doctor. Dr DG encouraged him on, he went to therapy both group and solo. He still did some ‘shaggy’ stuffs, but those were better than the total isolation in which he lived his last couple of months.

Bridgewater Saga interupts

The post I did on Bridgewater State Hospital, tells of what happened then and after. It was after Bridgewater that I started hearing about different doctors. All I heard about those doctors were the prescriptions they dished out. My brother was scared of them and didn’t want my mum to contact them. He had lost faith. They didn’t care about him and he didn’t trust them. I am sure he was by now dependent on those meds, mindful or mindless of the side effects thereof. That is when I concluded his shaggy life had been reduced to ‘call my meds’.

Almighty doctors?

These 'luns' are driving me crazy!!!
These ‘luns’ are driving me crazy!!!

Yes, they sometimes are. They can make or mare. They know they have that power. It is bestowed on them by the system and by your own ‘desperation and frustration’. As Cortland also states in his post, they are running on time, max is 15-20 minutes with one ‘damn lun’ and then a prescription. And so it came to pass, that after my family had voiced their concern about the drastic side effects of Gaby’s cocktail in May, that mum had complained through his nurses and his case manager in June (while on a two week visit with him), Gaby went for another ‘doctor’s appointment in July. Therapy had long been stopped of course!

Here is a recap of what Dr whoever said:

He told Gabriel that he was aware of his mother’s concern about his weight and that he weighed more than Gabriel;

This doctor put and kept him him on the following meds and knew what was going on:

  • That he was aware of side effect of Risperdal, that he prescribed, that included Drowsiness, dizziness, drooling, nausea, increased appetite and weight gain;
  • That he also prescribed Zyprexa and was aware that the side effects include: Constipation, dry mouth, increase appetite, weight gain and stomach upset;
  • That he was aware that Zyprexa is taken in use with Benadryl it could lead to a stroke or heart failure;
  • That Gabriel had been rushed to emergency more than once for complaints reflecting the side effects of the medication above. His colleague prescribed the following at the same time:
  • Benadryl, Anusol, Colace, Lactulose, pyridoxine and Senna; fully aware of the potential side effects and interaction between Benadryl and Zyprexa;

What was there to look forward to?

What hope do you have after your god tells you he is aware of the concerns but there is nothing to worry? How do you care further about your drastic weight gain, poor breathing and eating disorder when he brags that he weighs more than you? Is this doctor also bipolar or schrizophrenic or just clinically depressed? Are these the assurances to be gotten from so called professionals with all those abbreviations added to their names? This one is a RNP don’t ask me what it means!

  • That we sought a conference with his medical and care team in June that was never granted;

How many families have been halted in their futile search for healing for their loved ones by such attitude? How many more will go through this? That’s the system we say. You are a pauper when thanks to this cocktail of drugs and their debilitating side effects, you are reduced to a Simpleton and now live with the miser disability ‘pension’ of 92$ a month.

I wonder why it still isn’t obvious that some patients out-rightly prefer to do the drugs on the streets (being junkies altogether) and at least still keep their merry!

Dear gentle readers and followers, if we continue to suffer in silence, no wind of change can blow our way. Although no amount of damages awarded can return a lost life and take away that everlasting grief, I think they would gradually nerve the system. That is the final hope we have. My mum and family now join the ranks of those families of small davids trying to take on Goliath. We can’t give up and I hope you don’t stop your advocacy either.

One of his last selfies, his stare tells it all!
One of his last selfies, his stare tells it all!

What a Shaggy life called: ‘Call My Meds’?


The phone is limited to calling the pharmacy or blabla for meds
The phone is limited to calling the pharmacy or blabla for meds

Oh what a life of meds, meds, meds?

And sometimes, twice a day!!!
And sometimes, twice a day!!!

I have a sad tale to tell. I knew a boy who lived a calm life. Intelligent he was though and calling meds wasn’t even on his  timetable. But several years later, it seemed his life had been reduced to ‘call my meds’. He jotted more about it than he spoke about it. Well, he had to remember right? He feared what will happen if he skipped a single call or was even late to call by 5 minutes. His bedside alarm was always on because in the interval of those phone calls, he will be deep asleep. Those meds called, never left him time to write any other thing down. My unanswered calls usually got such a follow up mail:

“mama ayo (that was how he called me always) its me your brother. i am sorry I was asleep (he slept way too much for our liking). I heard your voice mail checking on me that you plan to visit … next week. thank you very much. God will bless you abundantly.” Gabriel Bebonbechem 21/04/2014 20:34

A Long way gone

I remember when that lad was still just epileptic. He started out with the one magic drug called Tegretol. Even then, I watched his mum try all she could to find alternative treatmemnts while his doses were reduced. He also got put on other meds to counter the side effects of the other meds. They however started to wean him off some of them, because the blood tests and all showed improvements. He was surrounded by Love. He could very well live his best without it reduced to calling meds.

He had no list of instructions nor what to wear when calling his meds. That was long ago before he got to living the AMERICAN DREAM.

America here I come

Oh, what a good but now drastic news. The lad got to win the lottery – sure to go live the American Dream. He dreams forever now, fortunately not in that America anymore. And so it came to be, that this guy went downhill, and had to take other meds. In America, I hear the SYSTEM is king, especially if you are a pauper.

The system surely pumped him up and the story got nasty. He broke the scale because he now weighed over the max. An incident occured and two versions popped up. But sure, you can never make any sense right? Especially when you are now a simpelton. The system said he was guilty of having stopped taking his meds, he said no; it was those meds that got the heart attacked.

The hospital stay was brief, he was a ‘good’ patient and learnt his lessons fast.

Henceforth, you call and we bring

He was put on assisted living to the extent that the meds would be brought to him. But, he had to call and he dared not forget the twice daily conversations with his earthly god? Were you lucky to talk with him thereafter, his appointments with the phone, could easily pop up. I knew the hours for those calls, he told me he dared not miss one of them. His brain became so wired and even chose a blue sweater to wear when calling or receiving the meds. He knew better than to ramble when he made the magic dial and so he wrote it down to hang up as soon as he called.

I got to see his journal when I went home for his burial. He barely knew how to write anymore. He however scribbled some of those points and am sure he could feel so bad his life had been reduced to that. Here are a few snapshots I took, make of it what you will.

Wear a blue... to receive ...
Wear a blue… to receive … and hang up immediately after response…
The Scribbling Climax, dunno if meds were cause or consequence
The Scribbling Climax, dunno if meds were cause or consequence

Meds, Meds, Meds

This was an update he sent to us his family on May 22,2014 (I copy paste as was – and this was surely one huge effort)

“Hi,

I petit papa(gabriel bebonbechem mbiaoh) will meet doctor matthew geden
on may29 for my meds,then meet doctor habibi on june 2nd for my meds,and
the good news is my rent is paid till december this year.
Mama will come to me june3rd,my birthday is june6,
and Mama wil return June 15.Mama also plans to visit Pauline.
God Bless.
Yours ever,
Petit Papa

Gabriel Bebonbechem Mbiaoh

Gabriel Bebonbechem is now a united states citizen with a u.s. passport book.
124 green street-apartment507
Lynn,Masachusetts 01902
united astates of america
(001)7812448250/(001)9785487242″
  1. Amlodipine Besylate 10 MG T
  2. Vitamin B-6 50 MG T
  3. Docusat 100 MG CAP
  4. Depakote
  5. Trileptal
  6. Zyprexa
  7. Oxcarbazepine 600 MG T
  8. Olarzapine 20 MG T
  9. Divalproex Sod ER 500 MG T (all as copied from his journal, now I can’t tell if all were taken together. Yet the last time I saw him, he had that medecine box partitioned into days and then morning/evening – at least 6 tablets each go)
The end?
We sure all know by now right? It’s been over a damn month now since he left that phone. No more meds to call.
Thank you
Thank you