Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Meds for life

I'm not very good at taking medication. I forget. I'm even bad at giving my children medicine. Good thing they're both pretty healthy.

The only time I've been really religious about medication was the last half of my pregnancy, when I was put on Procardia for my BP. I was so worried about pre-eclampsia, and early delivery that I did a very good job of taking my meds.

Unfortunately, since the pregnancy, my BP has not come down. I took the Procardia for 6 weeks, like my OB said, and then dropped it for a week. Alas, my BP shot up to 149/100. Not something the doctor is comfortable with. So, she suggested that I stay on the Procardia, and work with my nephrologist (who I see next month).

I keep trying to pretend that I don't need the Procardia, and since my baby's life is not at stake if I don't take it, well, I'm back to my old bad habits of skipping it. I haven't taken it for 2 days.

My BP reading last night? 147/93.


DH made me take a pill last night, and another one this morning. BP today was 103/83.

Double dang.

That means I really do need it. Probably from now on.

Triple dang with a shoot on top of it.


Nathan said...

My advice, strictly from a PKD patient, is to keep your blood pressure under control. Nothing helps degrade your kidney function faster than uncontrolled blood pressure. Just a thought. It's not your child's life anymore, just whether or not you want to be on dialysis soon. Not trying to be scary, just some thoughts from my nephrologist.

Heather O. said...

Never fear, Nathan, there is nothing scary you can say that my husband hasn't already said. For that matter, there is no scenario that I myself haven't spun out in my mind when it comes to my blood pressure. I'm just a little depressed that my scenarios are coming true.

swedemom said...

Heather, I've been meaning to ask you how it works with breastfeeding and taking your meds.
I have lupus and the doctors didn't want me to breastfeed while taking my medication to keep things under control. Since I have four kids, I opted not to breastfeed my daughter because I preferred to be healthy and taking my medication over being sick and breastfeeding. Just wondering how that works for you?

Heather O. said...


I am taking the same medication I took while pregnant, called Procardia. Since it was safe for pregnancy, it is assumed that it is safe for breastfeeding as well. My nephrologist did say that if my BP goes higher and we need more intense medication, I should stop breastfeeding so I can take the appropriate meds. But for now, I am managing just fine on the Procardia, despite some of the annoying side effects, which include red legs in teh evening. Weird, I know, but there you go.

swedemom said...

Thanks for that info. It's such a tricky thing with medication when you are pregnant and breastfeeding. In my case, the doctors just didn't want to risk it. The problem is, it isn't exactly ethical to do medical testing on breastfeeding and pregnant moms. anyhow, thanks for answering my nosy question.

BillRicksofSoperton said...

Thanks for your PKD blogging. I can't identify with pregnancy or children, and some of the diseases incurred by other writers. I do have plenty of my own. I've learned that kidney disease is in various forms and aggravates and causes many other diseases.

I want to encourage everybody to emphasize genetic research as the means to find cures. Not just for PKD, but other diseases. I understand that chromosome 19 has been completely studied, but we have a long way to go on #16 and #4.

Solving the human genome should be as urgent as any other battle. We should all press for increased funding from all sources.

85% PKD patients got it from their parents.
15% PKD patients got it from spontaneous mutation.
Both are genetic, and the cures will be genetic.

Bill Ricks

Jack Nowicki said...

Heather ~ just checking up on you blog... and, taking lots of meds (or any meds at all is a DRAG). I hate it. Before finding out I had PKD I seldom took any meds or went to doctors for that matter. And, I forget too.

And, as Nathan said, they are important. Keeping your blood pressure as low as possible is one of the best ways to stave off dialysis. And on dialysis you hafta remember to take more meds (especially binders) right after every meal. I forget those sometimes and I can tell you it only gets to be more of a drag... so, get used to it now. In fact, get to like it if you can. Stay Cool! Jack