A month or so ago, after the Lyrica coverage denial, I started on Gabapentin. I decided today that I’m going to (gradually) stop taking it. It’s done nothing except make me nauseaous. I also had started taking Flexeril, a muscle relaxant, a few weeks ago. I had called the rheumatologist and told them I wanted to take it so I could fulfill all of the insurance company’s insane “criteria”. That first weekend I felt too drugged to move. That’s mostly gone away but I’ve received no benefits from it, so I might as well stop that then once I’m off the Gabapentin.

I also stopped taking the Zoloft and Trazodone. The Trazodone never really did anything anyway. I finally got around to ordering the Benicar for my high blood pressure that I was supposed to order back in July. I switched from Seasonique to generic Seasonale since I’m going to be taking it constantly (no periods) and it’s half the price. Once I’m off the Gabapentin and Flexeril, I’ll just be taking Loressa (the BC pill), a prescription potassium pill, Benicar, and Nasonex.

The Nasonex is causing my cortisol levels to be high again (or higher I guess since they were high before)…so I guess you could say I have drug-induced Cushing’s. I’ve also had difficulty breathing when lying down for the past month. I go back to my family doctor in a little under two weeks and back to my rheumy at the end of September. I’ll have to remember to mention it to them, since apparently the most common cause of it is congestive heart failure:

When a person has difficulty breathing while lying down, which improves upon sitting or standing, this is known as “orthopnea.” The most common disease to manifest this way is congestive heart failure. Upon lying down, blood which was pooling in the legs now travels back to the heart putting extra strain on the heart. This fluid tends to build up in the lungs, making it more difficult to breathe. Patients also tend to get tired more easily and get short of breath with exertion.

There are many causes for congestive heart failure. The most common are high blood pressure (hypertension) and coronary artery disease.

Considering I’ve had “stage III” (>=180/>=110) hypertension for most of this past year, you gotta figure there’s been some damage somewhere. After all, it was killing the cells in my eyes. Of course, none of my doctors have bothered checking or even really cared much about my high blood pressure (except my family doctor, who kind of wrote me off as an unsolvable case last spring…oh and I can’t forget the opthamalogist who realized my blood pressure was at crisis level and awoke my family doctor to the fact).

I appealed the Lyrica coverage and they have until September 7 to get a decision to me. If they deny it again, I can request a third appeal where there’s a court hearing. If they deny it after that, I can file a complaint with the state. I intend to do so unless my next doctor visits take my health care in a different direction.

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