Side Effects, Side Effects

Several weeks ago, one of my doctors put me on a daily Prevacid routine to prepare mystomach for the apparently very acidic Fosamax (to counteract incipient osteoporosis). Although I have never been particularly allergic to anything, I seem to be one of those people with a hypersensitivity to the recent wonder drugs. Still, an antacid didn’t seem like something to worry about, since I never had a problem with Tums or Pepcid AC.

But slowly, I became exhausted. I would walk for a couple miles and then want to rest for hours. I couldn’t concentrate. It was subtle at first, but then I became very depressed and after a week, I couldn’t stop crying. I didn’t want to go out, and would break down uncontrollably if anyone asked me how I was. So I began to lie, saying I was fine. I must have looked awful because a look of disbelief would appear in my questioner’s eyes. I withdrew, turning down invitations I would normally find welcome. I did not have the energy to be with people for very long.

Finally, I called a nurse who, of all the astonishing number of health professionals I’ve seen in the past year, I felt most comfortable with. She insisted I come in immediately. She’d never seen me like this, even through our daily contact for two months while I went through radiation. She thought it might be caused by a mild case of Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome, or a grieving for an accumulation of losses. She recommended I see the therapist I used to see years ago. Maybe ask my doctor for an antidepressant.

That night I called a chemist friend of mine who works in the world of pharmacuticals, and he asked if I was taking anything new. That’s when I realized I’d been on Prevacid for two weeks. So we looked it up on the internet and we could not believe the list of side effects we found for Prevacid including all of mine. Since I didn’t feel a need for the stuff in the first place, he suggested I quit.

So I got off Prevacid and the next day I was fine. It’s been four days now and I feel like myself again. My good nurse friend was right, too, that I still have much to deal with, but I feel now that I can, that in time I can work it out. But right now, The sun is shining out there, my head is clear, my brain is functioning again, and I’m going for a walk.