Monday, August 25, 2008


We haven't written much about where we are living at the moment. A little house in a college town, and classes start Monday. The quiet summer has drawn to a close. The backyard fruit trees are full. Are there any better signs of the season?
In response to many of you who have asked what we are doing? Are we house hunting? Searching for land? Well, yes, but not here. We are moving back to Santa Cruz in September and plan to live out the rest of our life dream there. There are a million reasons why we are moving back, but the three top ones are these: we need to live much closer to our mothers; we need to live much closer to our friends; we need more sunlight for our old and aging bones.
I've been helping my mom through her medical odyssey. You have no idea how incredibly fucked up the medical/pharmaceutical world is these days. My mom ended up in the hospital last year with "pneumonia" but has never fully recovered. She's been on Prednisone since then, but whenever the dosage is reduced beyond a certain level, the pain of her persistent lung inflammation returns. She's been to see several SPECIALISTS, and has been put on other medications, but with no good results.
When we were down there for the family reunion, I did a google search on: pain management pleuritic condition. I found interesting information, but one pharmacy site in particular had a lot to say about NSAIDs, and an incredible table that listed several medications that were known to cause pleural effusion (fluid). I checked the list and found one of the drugs my mom had been prescribed in early 2007: Simvastatin.

So, I pursued the Simvastatin lead and googled: Simvastatin pleurisy; Simvastatin lupus; Simvastatin Rheumatoid arthritis. (The SPECIALISTS my mom had seen thought her symptoms seemed lupus and Rheumatoid arthritis-like.) The search yielded results that absolutely shocked us. There have been several medical articles since the mid-1990s that discussed something called Simvastatin-induced lupus-like syndrome. WHAT? OMG. My mother has been suffering for a year as a result of a prescription, and her doctors simply did not know. They hadn't read the finest of fine print and made the connection.
I do have to say on their behalf that when my mother brought them the printouts of the articles, they received them and responded with gratitude and affirmation. She has given up the Simvastatin and is now reducing the Prednisone and plans to be fully restored to good health. It's going to take a few months, but we are all hopeful.

It is hard to imagine what life would be like without the ability to do our own research online about these health and life altering things. To think that I might not have been able to intercede and help, and that she might have to continue to suffer just knocks me out.

So, fruit. Yes.

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