Medicine Mumblings

I had another doctor appointment. Went much better overall, I think. He said I looked better… less drawn and more animated. I guess this is a good thing. LOL Still not sleeping worth a flip, so he upped my dose on a couple of things.

The Flagyl hasn’t whooped me yet, but I’ve only been at full dose for 2 days now, so it’s still a bit early to tell, I think. On the whole, though things have been better/nicer in the last couple of weeks. WAY less nausea and being off balance. Less twitching. Less overall aching, too. I did have a couple of days of some extreme pain in my knees and upper legs, and some really, really bad headaches, though.

We’ve had some interesting highs and lows in our medicine costs lately. One of mine (Zithromax) and one of the kids’ (Zyrtec, replaced by Claritin).

The thing with the Zith is that it is super duper expensive even in the generic form. At least it is if you have to take it for the length of time I’m having to take it. These TBIs (tick-borne infections) are some really tough bugs to beat and take BIG doses of antibiotics. Whereas most people will take a short 5 day course of Zith, I am looking at probably a couple of months… two pills a day. That’s a lot. It’s like a WHOLE lot. I had some massive sticker shock when I went to pick up the script for the first time. The gal said it would be $400 for a month’s supply. I asked about the generic and she replied, “That is the generic cost, the brand-name is $600.” Oh my!!

My mom bought 14 pills for $100 from Wal-Mart. That was enough to find out if I would even be able to take them (i.e. NOT have an allergic reaction) and to get me tied over for a few days while we tried to figure something out about affording this stuff. A couple of days worth of poking around and we managed to find the generic at Costco for a lot less. We also found that the drug manufacturer sometimes will supply meds for low-income, prescription-drug-plan-LESS people like myself. Sooooo, we’ve applied for that and in the meantime we bought another 10 days worth for $34 from Costco.

Yeah. That much less! I think I know where Wal-Mart is making all its profits now. =/ It’s in the medicines. Both prescriptions and OTC. Here is another example…

Another really good deal I found at Costco was the generic form of Claritin. The kids have both taking Zyrtec for about 6 years. Before Zyrtec’s patent ran out and they released it as an OTC medicine, that meant a $20 co-pay per kid each month. Once the patent ran out, it was about $1.50 cheaper per kid to buy the generic form OTC. Soon after I discovered we could get Walgreen’s generic version for about half the cost, so we switched to that. A couple of months later I found a generic Claritin at Wal-Mart that would be even cheaper. $7.50 for a bottle of 60. That would get both kids covered for a full month… at $7.50! Much better than the $40 it had been, so they got switched to Claritin a month ago.And then in walked Costco and sweetened the deal. I just paid $11.99 for a bottle of…wait for it… 300 tablets!!!! That is FIVE months for BOTH kids!! For twelve dollars!! So the kids’ maintenance antihistamine cost per year has dropped from $480 to $30! Oh my stars!!! =)

Anyway, while we were at Costco, Mike decided we’d buy a membership and he would drive me out (it’s a good hour’s drive) a couple of times a month. We made our first shopping trip last week. I spent $189 and came home with not a lot. LOL

No, really we did get some pretty good deals. Specifically in meats and cheeses. We got 10 pounds of ground beef for $18, a couple of decent sized roasts for another $20, a 2lb brick of Mike’s sharp cheddar for $5, and 5lb of shredded cheese for $11. I also picked up giant cans of diced tomatoes, stewed tomatoes, and spaghetti sauce to try freezing them. (I’ll split them into meal-sized portions and bag them, first.)

Our other medicine news…

Matthew is taking a new medicine to try and help him control his feelings and thus his behavior. He’s only been on it for a few days and the doc said it’d take a few weeks to notice any real effects, so I’m trying to just be patient. LOL

The kids both competed in the Putt-Putt event through the ‘league’ or whatever the school is in. They said that their school split into groups and both my kiddos placed FIRST in their group! Too cool! Of course, they don’t have any idea how that compares to the other schools, so no clue yet on whether they did well enough for a ribbon, but they had tons of fun. That’s right. They BOTH went and had fun.

I’ll say it again… clearer… MATTHEW, the kid who was terrified to even go on the field trips if I went with him and would not go play with the kids or even go to Sunday School class without me… went on a school field trip while I stayed HOME. There were several other schools there and HE HAD FUN! =)

Here’s where I drop my jaw, squeal with delight, and do a happy dance!

And no, the new medicine is NOT an anti-anxiety med and in fact he didn’t even start it until the next day. Meds ARE responsible, though. It’s the antibiotics. No doubt. Antibiotics, of all things, enabled a kid who has lived in perpetual fear and who was downright terrified of being around strangers, especially large crowds of them, to spend all day at a new place packed with strangers and far away from Mom. Amazing!

Matthew and I aren’t the only ones with new meds. Meagan is now officially starting treatment for Lyme Disease, too. She is on the same antibiotics Matthew is taking. My doc said something at my appointment about babesiosis being infamous among the co-infections of Lyme for causing nausea. I’m going to mention that to her doc who when I see her next, because that is the symptom that bugs Meagan the most. Every day since the virus or whatever it was in January that had her vomiting every hour for several hours, she has felt like throwing up at least once. She feels like she is going to collapse a lot, too. I think she’s trying to describe being woozy or lightheaded. We’ll see what her doc thinks about the babesiosis. I know she tested negative through a standard lab, but it doesn’t show up in the bloodwork very often, apparently.

Anyhow, I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s babesia causing the nausea. After all, I did test positive for it and I have symptoms of it myself (nausea, severe headaches, air hunger, hot flashes and chills, sweats, and more). Personally I don’t see how I could have passed down only one of my infections to the kids. Seems much more likely that whatever I had/have got passed down to them both.

I’m going to be going in for a consult for Meagan’s behavior soon too, though for much, much different reasons than for Matt. This is more for the ADHD and CAPD (Central Auditory Processing Disorder) that I’ve suspected for years and years but had not been able to get the previous pediatrician to do anything about.

So lots of changes in the air… so far all for the better. We’re feeling better, we’re functioning better, and even better? The docs say it will continue to get better and better. =)

I didn’t get any of my projects done last week, but I might get a chance to work on the secret project for the kids this week. They got their room clean enough finally that I just might get to.

I can’t wait. They’re going to be sooooo tickled! =) I am absolutely planning on taking pics and blogging about it.

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