You would think after all I have learned and all I know about the medical field and medicine, I would be extra sure and extra careful to follow my doctor's instructions, right? Well, I'm pretty terrible at it.
For example, after surgery when my doc said I needed to be in a sling for 4 weeks NO EXCEPTIONS, I wore it for about 4 days, and then when I knew my mom would see me. . . Sorry mom! ;)
Or you know when you have strep throat or an ear infection and the doc prescribes antibiotics for you and they tell you you NEED to take it for the full ten days, and then when you feel better after day 5 you stop taking it?
Well, my friends, I learned my lesson the hard way that it is NOT OKAY to go against what your doc says!! Considering the fact that I want to be a PA one day, I should be a good example to my patients and listen to my docs as well. . . And I definitely will after what I experienced this week.
Before I tell you about what happened this week, I want to tell you why it's so important to take your antibiotics for the full ten days. You see, when you take antibiotics, the medicine goes into hand to hand combat with the bacteria it is fighting. And we've all heard of "survival of the fittest" right? Well that's what happens in our bodies. The antibiotics kill off the weak bacterial cells first and we start feeling a better and you think to yourself, "Well, I feel better so I should just stop taking the meds." WRONG WRONG WRONG!!! The strongest and more serious bacterial cells are still alive and multiplying inside your body! And if you stop taking the meds, you could get something much more serious and those cells will build up immunity and resistance to the antibiotic and then. . . well it's much MUCH more difficult to treat, and much MUCH more serious!
Now, I will tell you what happened to me this past week. I'm sure you all know that last April, I suffered a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). By the name, you can tell it's some serious stuff! Well the road to recovery has been long! And I'm still not 100% and I know I never will be. Since the accident, I've been on medication. Medication to prevent seizures, prevent headaches, and keep all the chemicals in my brain balanced so I can function properly.
Here's where my story begins. Last Saturday, I forgot to take my meds. (I take it three times a day, so one day is a pretty big deal to go without my meds). Well I was feeling fine on Sunday so I thought "Hey, I feel fine! I don't need these pills anymore!" Ohh Cara, you couldn't be more stupid. You see, I'm a person that HATES taking pills! I'd rather just suck it up, rub some dirt on it, walk it off, whatever the case may be. I don't want to live my life dependent on some pills. That's not cool! (And in my defense, my doctor did say that if I went a month headache free, he would get me off the meds! With his permission and under his supervision, of course. . .)Well, Sunday came and went without taking any pills. Monday came and went without any pills. Tuesday came and I started feeling a little weird. I couldn't explain how I was feeling other than "weird." Wednesday came. . . Still hadn't taken my pills. By the end of the day, I literally thought "This is it. I'm gonna die right here and now." (A little dramatic.) I felt tingly all over. I was twitching like never before. My heart felt funny. My head was killing me. Standing up made me feel like I was gonna throw up and then pass out. So naturally I picked up the phone and called my neurologist. Since it was 7pm on a Wednesday I got an answering machine. So then I called my PCP (Primary Care Physician) and they weren't open either but I was able to page an on-call doctor. I told the doctor all of my symptoms and her response. . . "OH HONEY! You are suffering from SEVERE withdrawals from your meds! Take them now! Call your neurologist in the morning. If you can't get ahold of him, call back here and we will schedule you to be seen right away!"
That response didn't freak me out or anything.
So I took my pills and got to feeling much better by Thursday morning. But it's Saturday and I still haven't heard back from my neuro. Isn't that just dandy? I guess that's what I get for going to THEE best of the best in neurology at Barrow Neurological Center. Will keep you all posted on what happens in the near future. . .
But PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE don't make the same mistake I did!! Take your stinkin meds!! NEVER stop taking them unless directed by a doctor!!
. . . Especially when the pills you're taking prevent seizures and balance the chemicals in your brain. . . NOT SOMETHING TO MESS WITH!! We shall see what Dr. Cardenas says when he FINALLY calls me back!