HOBSON’S CHOICE

I’m trying to see if a very carefully chosen diet plus half doses of this medication will work. I’ve read a lot about it and this is one of those medications that has a list of urgent warning that’s pages longer than information about what the drug can do for you. Anyway, I know what it can do. I can feel it.

I do not hurt. That’s no small thing.

Paula Light asked if they can give it as an injection and the answer turns out to be “no.” There is just one NSAID that is injectable. It is intended for athletes as a replacement for narcotics or cortisoids. Except studies show it’s too dangerous to give to anyone playing a contact sport, so no one is using it.

The thing is, NSAIDs work very well at making pain go away. They are not addictive unless you consider pain relief to be addictive. But (and it’s a big but) they are plenty dangerous in their own way.

Sulindac (you can look it up) has almost miraculously relieved almost all the pain from spinal arthritis and bursitis. It’s a bonafide miracle. If I still had a functional stomach and no history of ulcers so serious that only removing my stomach would save my life, I’d be thrilled.

Reality has long, sharp teeth. No matter how well this works, it it worth it? Maybe I’m overrating the danger? I feel a little better today. I took half doses of the medication three times today. I have to keep eating.

How ironic that I finally managed to drop 22 pounds over the past couple of years and now, I have to keep eating because if I stop, I get sick. But — I’m giving it my best shot. One more day of taking the medication in half doses. That’s 3/4 of the amount I was original supposed to take. As far as I can tell, it’s still working, so it must be an effective dose.

Is this medication going to disappear as did both Vioxx and Celebrex? They worked too and when I couldn’t take them anymore, both having been deemed too dangerous, I missed them. Nothing else has worked until this medication.

This has got to be the most Hobsonian decision in my life to date. The definition, in case you were wondering (I was wondering, so I looked it up) is that Hobson’s choice is typically not a legitimate choice. It’s sort of: “your money or your life.” That’s a classic Hobsonian choice. It can also indicate a choice where both options are bad, even if they aren’t the same. I’m not sure which version of Hobson’s choice this is, but I’m leaning toward the latter.

Garry asked me how long I’m going to keep trying and I said “one more day.” I might make it two days because compared to last night, I feel almost human this evening. If I actually feel better in the morning and believe I’ve found a balance I can live with … AND no one suddenly discovers the drug is killing people (like Vioxx and Celebrex), then maybe it’ll be okay. This drug isn’t brand new. Presumably it’s gone through a lot of serious testing and the results are legitimate?

For obvious reasons — because this is the least pain I’ve been in for years — I’m reluctant to give up on it. For equally obvious reasons — fear of sudden death — I’m afraid to keep taking it.

Good old Hobson. He had a lot of horses, but no matter how many he had, he would only give you the one he chose for you.



Categories: Anecdote, Arthritis, Health, Medical humor, medication

Tags: , , , , ,

15 replies

  1. Your instincts seem to be guiding you well, Marilyn… trust them and rest as much as possible too…?

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    • It’s too hot to do much besides the stuff I have to do — cook, water plants inside and on the deck, and feed the birds. Today I also have to make fresh dog food. It’s not difficult, but right now, the heat of the stove feels like too much.

      I AM feeling better today. Half-doses taken four times rather than two seem to be helping. I’m reluctant to give up on it because it is working REALLY well. Amazingly well.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Keep up with the half dose, take soothing foods, avoid anything spicy or caffeinated. I hope you keep on tolerating it.

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    • We mutually gave up on coffee when this heat wave hit. We might change our minds if the heat ever goes away — and we get some rain.

      Bananas, yogurt, rice. Okay, the shrimp’s a bit spicy, but it’s a szechuan dish — but I did cut the amount of hot pepper by half. Garry didn’t think it was too hot. He’s my tester. If it’s even a little tiny bit too hot, he’ll tell me.

      I’ve got dog food to cook now. I didn’t do anything for the past two days, so it has all caught up with me.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, sure is. It’s almost as good as “Your money or your life.” Jack Benny used to get a lot of laughs because when whoever it was said that, he would hesitate a long time and when asked again he’d say “I’m still thinking.” Cobert uses the same timing technique. It’s STILL funny.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. These medicinal choices are very hard, Marilyn. Michael, my younger son, has taken so much cortisone during his short life that he has blood pressure issues and eye problems as well as massive weight problems. The alternative would most likely have been death. He nearly died twice before he was four months old. Life is not easy but I really, really hope this approach will work for you. Ongoing, chronic pain is so debilitating and detracts so much from your quality of life. Hugs.

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    • Sick children make us frantic, especially when they are infants and can’t tell you what’s wrong. Both Owen and my granddaughter (Owen’s daughter) had a lot of health issues and still do. As adults they are better able to cope with them, though it doesn’t make them go away.

      I was sick a lot as a child, but medicine was SO different. They didn’t have antibiotics until I was four, maybe five? It was available in hospitals, but supplies were limited and they didn’t know a lot about them. We’ve come a long way, but not nearly far enough!

      Liked by 1 person

      • They didn’t have antibiotics when my mom was young either. Her father died of a burst appendix and her friend died of tetanus. So sad for her. My youngest would have died without cortisone, asthma meds, and antibiotics. He still has issues but 18 operations later, things are better than they were. I’m sorry your son and granddaughter also have health issues.

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        • Kaitlin also had 18 surgeries on her bad foot before she was three. They just can’t do any more. But you know, they are both living decent lives and I think they are happy. Difficult childhoods make strong adults, though I’m hope there’s an easier way.

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  4. So sorry you are faced with this decision, Marilyn… xo

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    • Well, I feel better today than yesterday and I felt better yesterday than the day before, so I guess this is progress. It’s great being able to move. I’m not limping and I can actually roll onto my side without seeing stars.

      It feels incredibly good to be able to move! NSAIDs don’t cure anything. They block an enzyme called cyclooxygenase (or COX) which relieves inflammation and stops pain. They work better than anything else ever did, now and in the past. Unfortunately, there are serious side effects. The ability to move without pain is a dream come true. I just hope it doesn’t kill me.

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