Thursday, August 08, 2019


The reality is I should be intensely grateful every day for my health, which is entirely free from disorder or disease. I am a very healthy man, my own weaknesses, when I have them, are my own, based on poor diet, lack of exercise, or some freak momentary lapse due to an accident or situation.

So, when a doctor prescribes medicine, I just take it, and don't think about it. In the past I wasn't even very good at taking it. When I had my vasectomy ten years ago I was lackadaisical about the antibiotics I was meant to take to prevent infection. Long story short, I learned my lesson there pretty fast. But see what I mean? Careless. And then I was okay.

I had a severe allergic reaction to something on Monday, and thought I was going o die. I got a steroid shot which brought down my symptoms and was prescribed a series of pills which I have been taking faithfully. But I don't know what they do.

This morning I went out for a run, and felt horrible. Worse, my chest was tight. Not painful I just couldn't breathe. I could not take a deep breath. This was new to me, and so it was unsettling. I don't imagine it's any easier for someone for whom this is a daily reality. But my ignorance left me first wondering if I was having heart problems.

So, what are my pills? What are they doing? Here is a basic run-down:

Prednisone: An anti-inflammatory which suppresses the immune system. Makes sense after my body tried to kill me.

Side effects: rapid weight gain, high blood pressure, shortness of breath, chest pain -- see? Sometimes it's good to know what the fuck you are putting into your mouth.

I took the last prescribed dose of that this morning.

Cetirizine: Commercially, it's Zyrtec, it's an antihistamine, again to bring down the symptoms of the allergic reaction.

Side effects: rapid heartbeat, also confusion, depression, weakness, tremors -- all good reasons not to run today, right?

Famotidine: For indigestion. Again, side effects include weakness, fatigue, dizziness.

Basically, I am on a brief series of meds which, in the course of suppressing my allergic reaction, make me weak. I should not be running, not until this is out of my system. The wife suggested I take a walk, which I did, but even that felt like overdoing it.

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