Saturday, March 13, 2010
Well, this has been a most interesting experience, and as with the old Chinese curse my use of "interesting" doesn't mean "interesting good." Since I'd shared briefly in my writing blog about some medical concerns, I thought that now the whole ordeal is over, I'd share what happened.

I'd been experiencing some pain in the area where the bladder is located, as well as feeling the frequent need to urinate, which was the cause of my concern in my previous post. My doctor ordered a urinary culture to determine if there was a bacterial infection, and also prescribed Levaquin, an antibiotic, as a precautionary measure. Fair enough.

When I picked up the medication (which wasn't at all cheap, especially for someone who's unemployed — $155 for 20 tabs), I went through the literature included with it, and there was a damned long list of side effects, many of which I found scary, especially when it starts with the phrase: "can cause side effects that may be serious or even cause death." I love it when death is listed as a side effect. It's rather terminal to be a side effect, don't you think?

I called my doctor's office, expressed my concern. No problem, they said, you can hold off on taking the antibiotics until the test results get back. Meanwhile, the symptoms I'd been experiencing had subsided (after eliminating Diet Coke from my diet).

Yesterday morning, I received a call telling me the culture was positive and to start taking the Levaquin. The prescription was for two 250mg tablets per day for 10 days.

A couple of hours after taking the second tablet, I started to experience pain, tingling, numbness in my right heel/ankle. The tingling and numbness went away, but it took a while to do so, but I still feel a little pain, which has subsided, thankfully. It felt similar to the plantar fasciitis I have (which has to do with a tendon that runs along the bottom of the foot), only worse. (Plantar fasciitis can be painful, but it's something I can treat myself at home and without drugs. Stretching exercises, basically.) Tendon rupture or swelling of the tendon (tendinitis) is another side effect.

Then, when I went to bed, I had trouble sleeping and nightmares and so got little sleep last night (these are also possible side effects of Levaquin). The nightmares weren't scary, just dreams that were stranger than usual for me (whenever I remember my dreams, that is).

The literature included with this medication advised to contact your doctor right away if you experienced those sorts of symptoms. This morning, I did so. Once I called, it took 10 minutes for a registered nurse to get on the phone. After talking to her and explaining in great detail what was going on and everything leading up to it, she said she'd call a doctor and call me back, and advised me that it's rare that doctors will change a prescription for an antibiotic.

Thirty minutes later, she calls back. Per the doctor, my urine culture was negative, not positive! He advised that I stop taking the medication immediately, said that the symptoms that led to my doctor's visit in the first place might be prostatitis instead (my symptoms were consistent with that, in fact), and suggested that I have a conversation with my doctor on Monday.

Now, I'm not upset with my doctor for the wrong information I'd received, as that came through someone else at her office, but she'll definitely hear about this. Absolutely! At the least, I'm very glad to hear that the culture was negative.

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Garrulus' Travels

Canada ::: England ::: France ::: Germany ::: Greece ::: Guam* ::: Ireland ::: Italy ::: Japan ::: Philippines* ::: Portugal ::: Scotland ::: South Vietnam* ::: Spain ::: Thailand ::: Turkey* ::: Wake Island* ::: Wales :::

Greece — countries where I've lived
Portugal — countries I've visited
* — airport layovers

Goals 2010

  • Find a Job
    date hired: —

  • Lose Weight
    GOAL: 150-159 lbs (68,0 – 72,1 kgs)
    current weight: 192 lbs (87,0 kgs)

  • Write 250,000 words
    53,177 | 21.27% compl.

  • Mythology Course
    date started: Mar 31
    date completed: —

  • Read 30-40 books
    — 20-27 must be fiction —
    11 — fiction
    7 — non-fiction
    18 — TOTAL READ

  • Learn Portuguese
    Complete Hugo Portuguese course
    date started: —
    date completed: —
    vocabulary words: —
    verbs: —

  • Life Goals
    goal achieved: —

  • Folding Bicycle
    Dahon JetStream P8
    date purchased: —

  • MacBook Pro
    13" 2.26GHz MacBook Pro
    date purchased: —

  • Manual Typewriter
    Corona Sterling/Silent of 1940s
    date purchased: —

  • 4 x 6 Index Card Cabinet
    date purchased: —

  • Metal Bulletin Board
    8 Umbra 12" x 12" Tiles
    date purchased: —

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