I’ve been in a war with my physician for a couple of years over whether or not I need to be on a statin drug. My cholesterol tested a little high back in 2008, and my former doc, Dr. X. put me on one. Lethargy, pain, general exhaustion. I returned and asked for a fix. He says, “Yeah, I couldn’t handle that one either… horrible feelings… let’s try this other one.”
Seriously? You personally had horrible experience with a drug and prescribe it anyway?
Regardless, I went on a new one he assured me was more tolerable. Simvastatin. Worked like a charm, with the minor side effect of bizarre dreams, up to and including helping my wife dispose of the body of a family friend she had killed and stuffed in the trunk of our car.
I abandoned the drug and exercised and lost enough weight to pass my next blood test in the “normal” range. “How’d you do it?” Dr. X asked me.
“Lifestyle and diet changes,” I told him. “Regular exercise, portion control, a lot of oatmeal… you know the drill. Why didn’t you suggest that vs. a drug?”
“Well,” he said, a little road weary and sardonic, depressed and burnt out on a medical practice taken over by HMO’s, “If you were me, which thing would you think most people are more likely to do: Alter their lifestyles, or take a pill once a day?” With that I concluded my last visit to Dr. X.
But that is old news, and 5 years have passed in which I have consistently demonstrated an inability to prioritize long term health over short term face-stuffing, or cocktail mixing. The numbers are up, and I’ve delayed my new doctor, Dr. Y’s recommendation to return to a cholesterol lowering drug for as long as I can. I have agreed to return to the statin.
“Oh,no,” she assured me, “bad dreams aren’t a known side effect.” This time I’m blogging any that happen, and I’m making changes to lifestyle to get the hell off as quickly as possible. But I swear, if the dreams kick in I’m abandoning the drug again.
I’m blogging the dreams not only to satisfy the scientist in me (categorize, catalog, analyze content and correlations to food, etc.) but to capture the utterly bizarre nature I anticipate. I assure you, I dont’ dream regularly, and when I do it usually involves a scenario reminding me I need to get up and take a leak.
I’ll tag posts with the “statinDreams” category. Episode 1 in my next post: