As reluctant as I am to do it I have to return to the swamp when I strike camp this coming Monday. The grand tour of the eastern U.S. and boating on Lakes Superior and Ontario remain a dream. I’m only a three and a half hour drive away.
Bette Davis is attributed with saying: “Getting old ain’t for sissies.” Man, did she hit it on the head. You all know about my COPD and how it led me from living on a small, anchored boat off of Anna Maria Island a bit south of Tampa Bay a while back. My new physician prescribed a new medication for my COPD and I’ve been taking it for about two and a half months. Yesterday, 8/20/2021 I got a refill at the Wally World in Lake City, FL. It came with a thick sheaf of papers about the med and, unlike most men, I read it this time and it seems a couple of the serious side effect are being exacerbated by the Trelogy Ellipta.
One is cataracts. I’ve been told at the last few eye exams that I had “mini cataracts” and that if they got to be more of a problem I would need to deal with them. Probably surgically. Well, my left eye has been getting fuzzy the last six months or so. Noticeably so. But I figured I’d just do the trip and worry about it later. I still feel that way, but the information I received says: “long-term use of ICS may increase the risk of some eye problems (cataracts or glaucoma”. As a point of information I self-medicated against the possibility of glaucoma for many years using herbal substances from Mexico, Jamaica, and Colombia.
The side effect that worries me the most is urological. The sheets say: “People who take Trelogy Ellipta may develop new or worse urinary retention. Symptoms of urinary retention may include difficulty urinating (check), painful urination (check), urinating frequently (check, but this is kind of subjective, isn’t it? I mean I’m living in Florida in the middle of summer and easily drink more than a gallon of water and tea each day. So wouldn’t YOU piss a lot if you were drinking that much?) urination in a weak stream or drips (check). Right down the list.
Some back ground. I’ve gone through three major kidney stone episodes. One down in Panama resulted in a couple of stones nearly a quarter of an inch long being deposited in the commode. That big I DID have to fish them out and measure them.
When I was brought to Tallahassee Memorial Hospital four plus years ago they told me I was lugging around two fairly good size stones in my left kidney (I can feel a twinge every now and then confirming that, but not enough to put me on the floor like when I had major movements of the stones.
I was also told that I had a large bladder stone as well. Over the last few years it did bother me a bit. It would apparently shift around and block off the urethra. The symptoms were painful urination, and when I DID urinate it would only be a tiny bit. A few tablespoons full at most. Then it would happen in another few minutes. For a day or two. But generally if I slept on my side it would shift away during the night and I’d be okay for a couple of months or more. Not this time. For the past week and a half, at least, I’ve been going through this. Everything seems fine and then, when that little voice says “You’ve gotta go,” it means RIGHT THIS MINUTE!!! There’s no holding it back and it’s just a few drops at a time.
I have a large mouth bottle with a screw lid that I was using for those times when I’d have to get up in the middle of the night to do old man things. Recently I’ve taken to carrying it with me every time I’ve had to go some place. The other day after doing some shopping at Publix as I got to the car WHAM! Had to do RIGHT NOW! Got the bottle out and the cap off JUST IN TIME. I didn’t care that there was a sheriff’s car facing me just to the right of the passenger side headlight facing me. And there was someone in it! At that moment I really didn’t give a damn.
I also have a problem with one of my few remaining teeth so I’m looking at eyes, urology, and dental along with the usual COPD crap. So going “home” to the swamp seems like the reasonable thing to do.
I’m sure you’re all glad I let you in on this…