This blog will cover all my medicines and treatment thus far for my severe refractory eosinophilic asthma COPD, and the impact it has had on me.
SYMBICORT (budesonide, formoterol) 400/12
2 Puffs AM + PM
TIOTROPIUM (bromide, spiriva) 2.5mg
2 puffs AM
SALBUTAMOL (albuterol, ventolin) 100mg
2 Puffs PRN (as when needed) maximum daily dose of 6
THEOPHYLLINE (dimethylxanthine, uniphyllin) 200mg
2 tablets AM + PM
PREDNISOLONE (corticosteroid) 5mg
10 tablets AM
8 tablets AM (Maintenance dose)
OMEPRAZOLE, (prilosec, losec) 20mg
2 tablets AM
MEPOLIZUMAB, (nucala, monoclonal antibody) 100mg
1 subcutaneous injection every 4 weeks
The pros of the medication are simple, they individually target specific areas of my symptoms and either control, reduce or remove the reactions. This is why it is crucially vital to have an up to date asthma review with your asthma nurse or doctor to ensure your medication plan is created for your current symptoms.
One should not have preconceived views on medications, as your condition changes so should your asthma plan, this may mean revisiting past medications which may not have had an effect.
The cons. All medications have side effects the question you should contemplate is what is worse? the condition or the side effect.
An example of this is mepolizumab, I had a reaction to my first treatment which hospitalised me for three days and kept me in bed for a further three at home, however my view of this is only six days of reactions could lead to a reduced risk of a life threatening attack.
Other side effects from my inhalers are the usual mouth ulcers, dryness of the mouth and throat which are easily rectified.
Some side effects can have more of an impact, like the tremors/shakes. This can becoming an issue whilst using your hands.
From my prednisilone I am encountering side effects which are having a huge impact of my life. I am currently an insomniac sleeping only three or four nights a week and suffering with horrendous mood swings, and depressive thoughts. The repercussions of this are massive, the lack of sleep leaves my body aching and weak, mentally I am drained and have little patience or capacity to undertake tasks which require mental power.
Having mental or non physical side effects can be the most challenging, because the impact is not solely on you, it has an impact on the people around you; driving a wedge between everyone resulting in a form of isolation which leads to self-pity which leads to negative feelings which result in depression and the cycle continues.
It is very important that those effected are aware of this to break the cycle, but you have to be able to recognise the signs early enough to warn the victims before it happens, otherwise you will be seen to blaming your medicines for your actions and the harm will already have been done.
Finding yourself in that position is normally beyond the point of preventive warnings, you’ll have to just deal with each situation individually and hope that you have a supportive and understanding audience when you do decide to talk about it.
Before I close, I want to mention the power of the mind. Which is some circles are seen as an effctive form of medication.
I find it a lot easier to see the world through a negative lens, I don’t have to do anything, I can just merely surrender to dark thoughts and cocoon myself in a thick protective shell that shields me from progressing mentally and seeing the worlds from another angle.
If you chose this path you will soon realise that in time you will have a lot more things happening in your life to warrant sad thoughts, you will isolate yourself from the outside world and become a prisoner of dark pointless indestrucible world created by you.
Maybe the human mind is wired that way, a trait of evolution that protected us from disappointed and expectations which we allow to abuse us today.
However, you should know it doesn’t have to be that way. The rewards of positive thinking are smaller and longer to reap but once you’ve adopted a solid foundation of being happy and making a conscious decision to attack the ingrained negative mind-set you will soon find happiness increasing.
I am by no means an enlightened soul, however everyday day sometimes every hour I fight a constant battle to make myself happy, to see the good in every situation, it is extremely hard when you are dealing with the usual ups and downs of life with the addition of meditation swaying your mental compass off course, but I dare not think how much harder things would be if I did surrender to negativity; conquering these battles daily take such huge efforts with such little impact I am fearful of how dark the other side is.
Neurologists have studied the impact of negativity and have shown that it can reduce the brains functions which can in some cases result in physical reactions.
My closing point is this; I do not win every battle. In fact recently I have failed in many situations but soon I will look back and learn to approach similar situations differently. With regard to the medication; well that is simple, in order to be able to look back I need to give myself the best chance to move forward the only tools I have to achieve this is my medicine.
Thank you for you time, I hope this has switched something on in your head to question how you see today and tomorrow and hopefully the start of a new vision going forward.
Take a breathe,