(This post contains what I like to refer to as "marital issues," so if you don't want to read about them, please go away. If you click to continue, you have been duly warned.)
In a nutshell, body parts don't work the way they used to.
Last week I went in for my physical, and I asked my doctor (who is just three months younger than I) what I should do about certain female-related issues.
*In the interest of full disclosure, I asked my GYNO, but he is a middle-aged man and it was uncomfortable. His answer to nearly everything is coconut oil.*
So my GP and I had a long conversation (longer than her health care company wants her to spend, but she's old like me and doesn't give a darn) and we approached the idea of hormone replacement therapy. ("The favorite of Buena Vista blondes," she noted...not realizing I'm blonde and I live in Buena Vista. You can read about that here.) Then we talked about the other drugs I was on. (None, actually.) But some interesting questions about other prescriptions arose.
I will be honest--I don't like taking drugs at all. I have been known to cut a Tylenol in half. But if the occasion calls for something, I'll take it as directed. Such was the case with the painkiller Tramadol three years ago. I needed it because I could no longer raise my arm above my shoulder (an injury that occurred when a car fell on me, but that's another story for another day) and as a teacher, I need my right arm to be able to do things, like write on the board. So I was prescribed a three-week bottle of Tramadol.
I lost seven pounds because I forgot to eat.
(Now before you think 'WOW! I'm going to get some Tramadol! I'll tell my doctor that my arm is sore!', please be aware that 'forgetting to eat' is not as cool as it sounds. I actually passed out in my car--while parked in a parking lot, thank goodness-- because it had been over 24 hours since I had anything to eat. There was absolutely no sensation of hunger, ever.)
So being the research junkie that I am, I went on-line to look at the side effects of Tramadol. Sure enough, less than 5% of the folks who take it suffer from anorexia. While this SEEMS like a bonus, it really is not.
Next drug I used to take? A sulfa drug for my annual UTI. The result? Not being able to get off the potty, which is a side effect "in rare cases."
I told the doctor that I sense a pattern. If a medication has a wonky side effect, I will be that one person in several hundred thousand who will exhibit that side effect. And the side effects of hormone replacement? Heart attack and stroke. Not a risk I'm willing to take.
As of yet, I have not tried the coconut oil. It may or may not work, but the only side effect I'll have to worry about is smelling like a pina colada.