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Sunday, November 28, 2010

November 28, 2010. Go Ask Alice.

One pill makes you larger
And one pill makes you small
And the ones that mother gives you
Don't do anything at all
(White Rabbit, by Grace Slick, 1967)

I'm not somebody who likes taking drugs. I've been drunk once in my life. That was 1981, Simon and Garfunkel in Central Park. I smoked pot, maybe 5 times. Decided that I was acting ridiculous, and never did it again. I have never held a conventional cigarette in my hands, let alone my mouth. My drug of choice was always chocolate.

So now as I line up my prescriptions in the morning, the thought goes through my mind, do I really need these?

The first prescription that I had was for Mirapex. This was to control the very slight tremor that I had in my hand and the more prominent tremor in my legs. Mirapex has been known to have many side effects. The most serious is obsessive behavior. People have claimed to develop serious gambling habits on Mirapex. I have notice some obsessions. I nosh (snack for all of you unfamiliar with everyday Yiddish), far too much.

Mirapex also causes some people to act out their dreams. It's dangerous for me, since I dream predominantly about sports. As I've already stated, I've slid into bases, taken jump shots and shot a hockey puck in my sleep.

Mirapex also makes one sleepy, so I've avoided raising the dosage. About 3 years ago, I started taking an Israeli drug called Azilect. I was told that it had incredible results with no known side effects. The results were very good and until I researched this I was unaware of any side effects. My right eye tears quite a bit and I get neck pains. I just learned that these can be caused by the Azilect.

In addition to those medications, I now take what is considered to be "the gold standard," for Parkinson's patients Sinemet. It has done wonders. Except for increase sleepiness, I've notice no side effects. However, the side effects don't necessarily occur quickly. Increased dosages of this drug, which becomes needed, because it wears off earlier as time goes on, can cause Dyskenesia, or involuntary movements. These movements are what Rush Limbaugh, ignorantly, mocked, when describing Michael J. Fox.

So for somebody who hates medications, although I don't feel like I'm addicted, I am dependent. It's been nearly 5 years since I've gone a day without medication. The question occurs to me, "Do I even know what the side effects are, or do I need somebody who has known and seen me prior to taking these drugs, to tell me if they've affected my behavior?"

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