My Life in 2020

medication

Low mood and tired

For several days I haven’t been able to post here for a few reasons and mostly because my mood has been so low. I am getting fed up with shop staff attitudes and yes I know it’s not the easiest job at the moment, particularly with obnoxious customers.

Today we took our friend shopping as he hasn’t been out for several days and Rick needed to pick up his meds. Our friend went ahead of us and joined the queue as like other shops Tesco is practising social distancing. When we joined the queue we were told we couldn’t go in together as only one person per household was allowed in. I said to Rick I wouldn’t go in as I didn’t want anything in particular and Rick said he would go in to get his meds but he didn’t want to do shopping without me. The staff member didn’t care and insisted we didn’t go in together but Rick could go in to get his meds. He was also told that just because he had a walking stick didn’t mean he was disabled.

Rick was allowed to go to the front of the queue. was escorted to the pharmacy and escorted out of the store. It doesn’t bother me shopping on my own but at the moment I can’t shop on my own so I was still upset when Rick got back to the car.

Before lockdown, I was coping with osteoarthritis as we were going to the health club three or four times a week. Swimming helped with my joints so even though I was getting pain I was able to keep doing things I enjoy.

Yesterday my hips, knees, and ankles had got to the stage where I am now having problems with mobility including standing up. I had a bad night’s sleep due to the pain and I couldn’t get comfortable. This morning I woke up with a lot of pain in my right wrist – I am right-handed – so I am restricted in what I can do.

When Rick got into the car he rang up Tesco to complain about what happened. When he was put through to the right manager he explained what happened and why neither of us had gone in to do the shopping and she was very apologetic. She told him that in situations like this there is flexibility and she said she would come down to talk to us if that was what we wanted. Within minutes she was with us with the member of staff who deals with these situations. We know him well enough that he was able to back us up that we are regular customers. Thankfully they agreed that we should have been allowed to go in together particularly as I can’t pick up much with my right hand. It was good to hear some common sense and the agreeance that not all disabilities are visible.

The male staff member went over with us to let the other staff member know we could go in together. What annoyed me a bit was that at least two couples were allowed to go in together and we saw parents allowed to go in with children. We didn’t bring that up but it is added ammunition if we get problems going into Tesco again. It should never have come to this though in the first place as we should have been believed that we are disabled so we need help from each other.

Medicate or not medicate

I never thought I would see the day where I would be taking so much medication. It was a gradual increase with starting with finding out how high my blood pressure was resulting in being prescribed two lots of medication.

Since then the increase has been due to severe depression and osteoarthritis. A few years ago I was having a lot of discomfort when eating so I paid a visit to my GP about it. I got asked questions such as a history of ulcers in the family and stomach cancer so it was a straight ‘yes’. He put in a request for an endoscopy and was told I would get an appointment in two weeks’ time, this was on a Thursday. On Friday I got a telephone call from the hospital asking if I would accept a cancellation appointment the following day which I accepted.

I found out that there was erosion on my oesophagus and two tiny ulcers in my stomach. It was a relief to know what the problem is and I have been coping okay. My GP advised me to stop taking Naproxen which is an anti-inflammatory which I have done as it’s the drug that is most likely to cause this problem. Since then I haven’t been tempted to take it again and have got used to having swollen fingers.

I have been weaning myself off Gabapentin and Tramadol over the past few weeks after speaking to one of the doctors at the surgery. Now I am Gabapentin free and slowly getting off Tramadol. I’ve had days when I have felt sick and had headaches but the pain I suffer isn’t any worse. The main improvement is I don’t feel tired all of the time now.