Statin Island


The fact that I even have to write this, pisses me off more than words. Ten years ago my doctor wrote me a prescription for a statin drug. Yes, the same one who wrote me for Xanax, Soma and Ambien. In the months and years that followed, I was plagued with muscle pain, headaches and dizziness. I couldn’t even pick up my computer bag. It put an end to almost all my physical activities. I never put the two together.

When I saw my doc about it, she farmed me out to a neurologist who prescribed Relpax for me with the bromide, “You are getting older, you know.” Soon, the Relpax began causing rebound headaches and I was on a slow journey to my wit’s end. I’m afraid to think what I would have taken to end my pain.

Meanwhile, all I’m getting is a quizzical look from my doc. I started looking my symptoms up on line and getting statin side effects. Back to querying my doc. She said, ” I don’t think that’s what you’re having, those side effects are not very common.” Now, I’m despondent. I’m gonna be some cranky old fat guy who is always in a bad mood because he has a headache.

Three neurologists later, I call the doctor’s office and instead of the doc I get her head nurse. I tell her I’m at the airport in Miami and my head is coming off my shoulders. I’m looking for some pain meds as my personality usually dictates.

She says, ” Well, you’re on a statin and that is the most common side effect.” YGBSM! I tell her I’m coming over there when I get back and they better get their story straight. I’m really worried because from what I’ve read, some of this muscle damage is irreversible.

So I see the doc and now she is singing a different tune. I stopped the statin at the Miami airport. What is going on here? Madness.

One good day:

By now, you’re probably thinking I would have doctor-shopped myself out of this particular dilemma but it was not to be. She had already started me on an anti-anxiety med, muscle relaxers and a sleep med. The hook was set. I wasn’t going anywhere. At that point all I’m looking for is one good day. That was my mantra when I opened my eyes in the morning and my last prayer for the next day every night.

This would start the soul selling situation that would plague me for years.

The other guy:

Needless to say, none of my behavioral changes sat well with my wife. I never noticed that I was in a fog and she wasn’t. Ambien is a class of drug called a hypnotic. One of the side effects is that while you may appear awake, you are actually dreaming and you might incorporate what you’re dreaming about into your normal conversation. Which, as you can imagine, spooked the Bejeesus out of my wife.

The next morning when I would ask her about something, she would say, “The other guy did it.” The other guy referring to whoever it was in the living room with her. “OK, I get it,” I would say, but there was no way it was going stop me from getting some relief whether I was in pain or not. By that time I didn’t need it. But too late.

I’m usually a pretty suspicious person and I’ve seen docs do some pretty sketchy things when I was a rep, but denial gets stronger as willpower grows weaker. I had been pain seasoned and I was not going back. That took up a lot of years. Unbeknownst to me, my wife would set up an appointment with my doc just to yell at her. “Have you ever looked at his chart?” If I had known what she was doing, I most likely would have tried to stop her. Junkie problems.

I have since left my primary care doc and now get all my medical care from the VA. With their help I was weaned off of all the things that were stifling me. I still look back on those days with suspicion and question that doctor’s intent. Hippocrates as marketer? We’re lucky we have on-line resources these days if for nothing better that to ask intelligent questions. And we should. “Be careful” is a doctor’s C.Y.A. Don’t fall for it.


Please note: I welcome comments that are offensive, illogical or off-topic from readers in all states of consciousness.

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