Monday, May 23, 2011

Put the Frogs in Hot Water, or Cold Water and Turn Up the Heat?

Finally we started my mom's pain management treatment today...praise, praise God!  It feels like forever until this day would come, and I guess if you include the past 14+ has been.  So the first appointment was with a completely new internal medicine doctor, who my mom had never worked with before.  I have to say, even in today's crazy medical world, there are fabulous doctors and this one clearly is one of the good ones!!  First, she and her assistant took their time with mom...40 plus minutes!  I learned something valuable, when making a first time appointment with a doctor, request an interview/consultation appointment.  This gives both you and your doctor ample time to review the history and start a plan for your health...whatever the aliment.  

The doctor and her assistant went thoroughly through each and every medication my mom is on...all 16+ of them!!  One by one they discussed how each medication was either working or not, and then made some changes on just a few...a start.  One change that was made, that was so ridiculously obvious, was the need to change the opioid medications from morning to night.  Perhaps now my mom won't be exhausted by 11 am!!

Some meds, well in time, will not be necessary.  That is the goal of not only my mom (and me), but of her complete new healthcare team.  But if you or someone you know is going through a similar experience with pain medications...don't, don’t, don't cut off things without a doctor's supervision.  Elimination of meds on your own can lead to harmful withdrawal effects. Our doctor put it so beautifully...what is better? ...Dropping a frog into a pot of boiling water, or start with a pot of cold water and turn up the heat?  Although the changes are small, they are a start to a better future.

The other interesting item was the doctor's concern of mom's Vitamin D3 levels.  I have heard from friends with their own autoimmune issues that their doctors have added large doses of Vitamin D3 supplement to their diet.  One girlfriend went from extremely low levels to now taking 50,000ui's per week!!!  Mom will start off with only one additional pill to her current Calcium Citrate, but more may be required, that will raise her levels to 35,000ui's.  Not only is Vit D3 necessary for calcium absorption, but also it has some other amazing effects as well such as reduction in inflammation (important for autoimmune diseases), less fatigue and most importantly slows the harmful effects of Osteoporosis!

This is a week of beginning the my mom's future...I just hope I can make it through without jumping into my own pot of boiling water!

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