IT HAPPENED TO ME

I love books. Recently I told about my interest in Elegy for Iris, a true story about Iris Murdoch and her husband, John Bay.  I wrote, “Because my mo-ther and all four of her sisters had Alzheimers, I used to worry a lot about getting it.  Then I decided that because I had gotten straight hair and allergies from my father, I might also have his sharp mind with no Alzheimers’ Syndrome.”

 Not long afterward, I began having some big memory losses. I was very irritable and easily agitated.  My fear about Alzheimers’ popped up again.  I even thought about killing myself if it got worse. I wanted to spare my children and husband my long deterioration.

I thought this over for a long time but decided I did not want suicide.  However, I did decide that if and when I got worse, I would stop taking all my medi-cations — in order to precipitate my death.

            During this period, one of my friends posted on Face Book. She said she had taken a drug I was taking and it resulted in terrible physical problems.  Be-cause I had been started on the same drug last summer, I looked up one of the sources she had researched. I found that some people who took the drug had memory losses!

             Without telling my doctor, I began taking the prescription every other day, instead of swal-lowing the pill every day. I also did more research on the brand name pharmaceutical – particularly in scientific journals. 

            I found that others had experienced mood changes and memory loss, but research has been unclear what had caused it.  About two weeks later, I had an appointment with my family doctor. (He had not been the one who prescribed the drug. That was a heart specialist.)  The family practitioner suggested that I stop the drug for six weeks. 

Within a few days, I felt MUCH better.  I was no longer irritable and my memory seems to be appropriate.

            Thank God for my friend’s Facebook comment! Her experi-ence led me to research and question my prescription.

 

            Jane (Mar. ’12) adds, “I am very grateful that I have a family doctor who didn’t pooh-pooh my symptoms.”

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