It's kinda funny how this happened.
My mom and I have been talking about Leslie a lot, and how we are kind of discouraged with her progress, or lack thereof. My mom has said since last week how Leslie seems even LESS motivated now, and we didn't realize that was even possible.
So we have started discussing her meds, and how Leslie never used to take ANY medications, except maybe an occasional Excedrin for a headache, and now she was on so many. We started questioning if it was medication side effects that might be limiting her progress. Neither of us knew when her next doctors appointment was, but it was something we thought might be worth discussing.
See, all along, we have had so many different doctors working with her. A neurologist, a cardiologist, a primary doctor, a rehab doctor, and the defibrillator doctor (yes, this was different than the cardiologist). Even from the ICU days, it always felt like everyone was working for her, but none of THEM were working together. Everyone had their own agenda. They came at all different, various times, so the family member that was with her was always different. It was SO. FRUSTRATING.
Well now that she's home, it's no different. The defibrillator doctor has seen her several times and he's the one that prescribes the Sotolol (a blood pressure medication that lowers the shock threshold. Her defibrillator does NOT work without this medication). Her primary doctor has mostly continued the hospital medications, which includes things like a multivitamin, stool softener, and a medication for acid reflux (there may be more, these are just the ones that come to mind) and she has also started her on Namenda which helps with memory, and an antidepressant, because back in December, she was crying a lot. Then the rehab doctor put her on Aricept, which is also for memory. The Namenda is a very new pill...that ironically was started right when we noticed she was starting to get even more fatigued. Right when we put those together was when I started questioning ALL of her medications and how they may be affecting her.
So anyways. I got totally off track. My mom and I were starting to touch on questioning the meds, then Thursday at work, while on my lunch break, my cell phone rang. It was George. He started right off the bat saying "I think we need to take Leslie off of some of her meds." I swear, I literally almost jumped out of my chair as I said, "I totally agree!" I spoke with a pharmacist who said there are no side effects to suddenly stopping the Namenda and Aricept. Now I know what you might be thinking...why stop something that is for memory? Well. Because how will we ever know if it's working? She definitely doesn't seem to be getting better. We'll never know without them if they make a difference, or if they are causing her so much fatigue, it's hindering her progress.
It has now been a few days since she's had them, and just today, Jay commented on how much better she seemed today. He had no idea we were stopping some meds.
Next up...the antidepressant. When she was started on it, we saw her crying spells decrease significantly. But then when she didn't shed a single tear at our Uncles funeral, I was immediately bothered by this. My sister used to cry if her fruit salad didn't look "right". For her to be so emotionless and expressionless at a sad event was NOT like her. George also informed us that at her last appointment, the doctor increased it! WHAT! She was doing okay...she didn't need a higher dose! I don't think she needs a dose, period, but that'll have to be worked toward.
The Sotalol and Coumadin are the only "must-haves." Whatever side effects those meds give her, we have no choice but to deal with. They are helping her live. The others? Does she REALLY need it? And the more you research a med, the more you learn. Like how one of them that she is on can cause heart disturbances. Another one can lower your magnesium (remember her magnesium being low in the ER last week? Hmmm?) and low magnesium affects the heart, too.
We just don't know. Obviously, NONE of this will be done without her doctors knowing, but I think after myself, my parents, and George all realized we felt so strongly about this, it was kind of like we all got a burst of energy to go forward with gusto again.
Team Leslie! I love you so, so much.