Thursday, February 19, 2015

Atorvastatin Ouch!

I recently started seeing a new endocrinologist and am excited that he is excited. He is engaged and digs in deep on little changes that make little differences that will add up to a big deal, big deal meaning my overall health! So after getting all of the numbers and algorithms figured out with my diabetes for now, I asked about my cardiovascular health. My blood pressure and cholesterol are in good range but I'm 38 and know that time and diabetes on board may impact my heart so risk reduction is what I'm interested in right now. He explained the same thing I've often heard, the jury is out, science isn't necessarily supporting any ACE inhibitors or statins for someone like me but we agreed together that if I have no side effects, why not try a low dose statin, so atorvastatin 10mg was waiting for me at my pharmacy. 

That was on a Friday, I had taken them daily and went to my gym on Monday morning, had an intense workout, and got on with my day. That afternoon I was walking down steps in a stairwell and was overwhelmed with sudden fear that I may fall face first because my thighs were burning! I took ibuprofen, which typically takes care of muscle aches from overindulging at the gym. No relief. Tuesday I could barely function. My daughters had teacher conferences and when we got home and they said I was walking like an 80 year old at their school and were a tad embarrassed, and it finally occurred to me Tuesday night, after taking another dose of my Lipitor that, holy crap, my risk reduction medication was causing me to be in severe pain! So much so that I'd aged 40 years in my daughters eyes in a matter of days!

I quickly did the math on the half life of the drug, and determined that it should be cleared from my system on Saturday. I skipped those doses through the week and, sure enough, my legs were gradually 38 again by Saturday! My heart is 38, too. It just sucks because I know how hard I work and try, over and over every day to maintain tight control with this disease, yet just the fact of having it puts me in the same category as someone who's already had one cardiovascular event. And trying to be proactive and taking something to help reduce my risk, make me feel like it's just a little bit more fair, is extremely painful! It's just not fair and makes my heart hurt a little. Emotionally, not physically, which I suppose, is the positive in this, huh?

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