Happy Fourth of July to Everyone in the USA and of course to the lucky American travelers who are stumbling around in some other country at the moment. For those of you who already read my previous post “What My Gastro Doctor Told Me”, I made a slight reference to an interesting part of that doctor visit. It has to do with a medication prescription I received.
But let’s back up a tiny bit. As most of you know, I’m currently living with diagnosed Ulcerative Colitis, discovered via colonoscopy back in October of 2008. For the majority of the time since my diagnosis, I’ve been living medication and symptom free which is awesome. Some of you might find it amazing that it’s possible to live medication free with UC, but with the help of the SCD diet rules that I follow daily, and with some adjustments to my lifestyle it really hasn’t been that difficult.
So, back to the doctor visit. Specifically, back to the prescription my new gastro doctor gave me.
When he asked me during the consultation, “What medications are you on”, and I explained how I wasn’t on any and that I was in remission, I could tell he was a bit surprised. But I went forward to explain how I’ve treated the disease for nearly 3 years now with great success and he definitely understood where I was coming from. That made me feel pretty darn good, since I had not had that level of respect for my UC treatment decision making from the western medicine world yet. And that’s not surprising either.
But, during this same part of the visit, my doctor started telling me that there were quite possibly some additional benefits that I’d receive if I started taking a low dose of mesalamine at night time in the form of a few pills. He went further to tell me how there are very minimal if any likely side effects from this type of medication, and that there were many studies stating a reduced chance of developing colon cancer in the future. So there I was, in the middle of a conversation I had not had in a really long time. It was kinda strange.
Should I really be considering taking a medication for my colitis
even if I’m not experiencing any symptoms?
I left the appointment with a couple of prescriptions. One for a low dose of nightly Colazal, which is a mesalamine based medication, and another prescription for a steroid based enema in case flare up happened in the future. My doctor told me he thought it was a good move to make, and very little chance of side effects from the colazal, and at a low dose, it wouldn’t be too expensive either. You see, I have to pay for the first $3000 of my medical expenses each year before insurance kicks in.
So, that was about a month ago, the date of that consultation. And I’m very sorry doctor, but I am yet to pull that prescription out of my wallet. It’s still sitting in there all folded up nicely. I did take it out and look at it one day on the bus ride to work, but that’s about it. I’m just not there yet. And I think the problem might not actually be my fear of side effects, it’s something else I’m afraid.
It’s my ego, that’s it.
Call me an idiot, call me paranoid, you can call me whatever you want, but there’s something inside of me that said a couple of times last month, “Hey Adam, you’re feeling great, no need for you to start taking any pills now. Maybe at some later date, but definitely not now.” I guess I should go read the studies that talk about the reduced risk of colon cancer, that would be interesting to read and review. It would be interesting to know what the patient group was doing to treat their UC. Were they also doing the same diet as me? Were those patients taking other medications too? Who knows.
So I’m wondering, are there a whole bunch of people like me who have a big ego about your UC? Are there other people who are super hesitant, or full-on reluctant to start taking prescription medications when you haven’t taken them in so long? Are there any people who are thinking these thoughts sometimes?
Alrightee, I”m off to the Berkeley marina for the 4th of July festivities. If you’re lucky enough to have Wednesday off, I hope you’re celebrating too. If you’re stuck in work, or stuck at home feeling sick with colitis symptoms, you’ve got to remember:
Symptoms don’t last forever.
Best of luck to everyone, and I’ll let you all know if I ever fill a prescription for this stuff I talked about above.
Finally, for those of you who are enjoying summer vacations and camping this weekend, you are my heroes!