Crazy as a Loom

Thursday, May 27, 2010

A Porch Rug and a Rant

I had originally planned on buying some outdoor carpets for the porch; you know, a runner here and a runner there. But the more I thought about it, the more unnatural it felt. Joyce......are you there?? ......... commented that I should weave a really long rug. And I kept rolling that idea around in my head, and today I did just that.

From Crazy as a Loom

I put two older blue jean runners by the doors.
From Crazy as a Loom

OK, I am going to razzle dazzle you with one more awesome photo of my incredible new porch, and then I am going to go off on a rant.
From Crazy as a Loom

And I do apologize...and will not mind one bit, if you are not interested in what I have to say, and click right on off here. That's OK.
I am bringing this subject up, because I need to. First off, it is my day to day reality, and secondly, I think I have a responsibility to tell people about it.
Here goes:
I have been waging a small war, and thought you should hear all about it.
For a couple of years at least, I have been taking Prilosec OTC......which as the letters suggest, means you can buy it over the counter. I am sure you are all familiar with belongs to one of the classes of drugs called PPI's, or proton pump inhibitors.
Sorry about this....sometimes, no matter how hard I try to forget that 30 years of nursing, I can't. It is just that I was Nancy nurse for half my life, and I can't shut her up.
Anyway, I took the Prilosec for stomach distress, I am not even really sure how long ago I started to take it. I took it on and off, and then eventually all the time.
The most familiar of the PPI's are Prilosec, Nexium, Protonix, and Prevacid. They are generally the same drug, minus a molecule or two.
They stop the acid production in your stomach. They turn the "pump" off. Nada. No more.
Well, for the last year or so, longer than I care to tell you, I have had lots of complaints.A little of this, a little of that, all symptoms I contributed to getting older. And then the Prilosec didn't seem to be doing the trick for my stomach, so the gastroenterologist told me to DOUBLE it. And I did.
Within a few days, I had such stomach pain, I thought I would die. I tried to deal with it, but after a week, I coudn't stand it any more. So I called the doctor, who said he couldn't understand it, but since I insisted that it was too much Prilosec, maybe I should cut back.
As soon as I did, the reflux was worse.
By this time, I was getting suspicious, so I started doing some research.
What I found stunned me.
Apparently, PPI's are only supposed to be taken for a period of weeks, but doctors prescribe them for longer, and longer, and longer. Then when you try to get off them, you get what they call "rebound reflux". Your stomach, that has not been allowed to make acid while you were taking the med, now goes completely insane, and makes all kinds of acid. Of course, the immediate response is to take the med again.
This is why it is called "purple crack". The pharmaceutical companies love it. You start taking it for reflux and heartburn. It eventually causes you to have even worse reflux, and then when you stop taking it, you are sure that someone has poured a quart of acid right down your throat. In a panic, you start taking it again.
And ladies, it causes weight gain, and BLOAT. Big time.
Ta da. A billion dollar industry is alive and doing well.
Let's also not forget that when you are taking it, you risk osteoporosis and other nutritional deficiencies, because you had no acid to digest your food.
And here you are now with the worst reflux you have ever known.
I read everything I could read about it.
And what I have come up with is this.
As we age, we have less digestive enzymes. We also live in a country that thrives on processed food. But the answer to having too much acid, is not to stop it cold. It only sets you up for an addiction to this medication that, by the way, has more side effects than you can shake a stick at.
It's been one month since I stopped the Prilosec. The first week was pure hell. Never in my life have I experienced this kind of 'heartburn'. If I had any doubts about the phenomenon of 'rebound reflux', I don't have them anymore. It is quite real.
After about 10 days, I had the first day that gave me hope. No heartburn until 6pm at night. It was heaven. True, it was only one day, but it convinced me that there is light at the end of the tunnel. I believed I could heal my stomach, and get it back to normal.
I read that it could take weeks to MONTHS to get over it.
My husband says I am like a pit bull when I get something in my head.
But how else could I get through it, I ask.
But right away there were pluses........I sleep like a baby. That is SO new.
I have MORE energy, I don't fight fatigue daily.
And the IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) I was told that I had............gone. History. NO MORE.
It has been six weeks off the Prilosec. I won't bore you with what I have done to heal my stomach.......but they are all good things, and none of them are stopping the natural pathways of my body.
In this last six weeks, I have been discouraged. Some days just plain freaking miserable. Some days it wasn't half bad, and I was hopeful. Some days I came home from the studio and laid on the couch, wishing to fall asleep and wake up in a couple of months.
But 6 days ago, I had a great day. No acid, no heartburn, nothing. The next day was good, too, and the next. I had 5 days of bliss.
So today when I had a little discomfort here and there, I was OK with it. Because I know that I never had acid reflux like I did when I stopped taking the medication that was supposed to cure it.
I am convinced that proton pump inhibitors are pure poison. I believe that soon, you will be hearing about it on TV, and the medical community will be trying to figure out how to undo the damage, and get half the population off it.
The worst part about it is that no doctor will tell you that it is bad for you, unfortunately, they won't. But the information is out there, and if I can find it, you can be sure that they already know it.
Proof positive that you really need to be your own advocate when it comes to your health.
If you want to know more, a google of 'horror stories of Prilosec', or Nexium, or Protonix, or Prevacid......and you will be reading for a week. This is only the tip of the iceberg, believe me.
I am done with it, and noone could ever convince me to take it again. And I feel better for having told you. Because we can't make choices, if we aren't informed.

I apologize if I have bored you all to death.


Valerie said...

Good for you! And thank you for taking the time to share the information. I believe the same thing is happening with cholesterol lowering medication. I understand that there are people whose genetic make-up causes them to have extremely high cholesterol. They keep lowering the threshold for high cholesterol (now they want it down below 160!) so more and more people will be on a drug for the rest of their lives. We are at the mercy of the pharmaceutical lobby.

Love the rugs. Your porch looks great.

Carol Anne said...

Love the rug! It is beautiful!

Thanks for the information! That is good to know!

Anonymous said...

Hiary, nice rant!, ya finally posted it. Its full of good info and should give us food for thought about any future problems we may have.
The porch looks great, the floor came out really nice. The long rug is beautiful but, dear, your porch faces the west and the 'prevailing winds'. I hate to think of that rug getting wet all the time. Its tooo lovely to get walked on with wet, dirty shoes/boots. I know it was your labor and material; but if it was mine that baby would be inside!! Lois

Driftwood and Pumpkin said...

That is good to know! My mom is having some issues and you can bet that I will be calling her in the morning to see if she takes these meds.

Oh, and the die for!

LA said...

Thanks for the rant! I'm not on that medication, and now I know that I won't take it! They did have a little blurb about it on the news this week...but not nearly enough information.

re'New said...

Love the colorful rug! I'm assuming in your neck of the woods you don't get the daily WIND we get where I live. Those rugs would be in the neighbors yard, or the pasture, almost every day!

Don't get me started on drugs and doctors. Just this week I had to fight to stay on a cheap medicine that i use once a month - the doctor and insurance company wanted me to take something every day that cost $1 a day instead of the $.14 a day med I am currently using that works just fine.

Joyce said...

Hilary, Joyce here....I can't believe you have done it and, so quickly too! It looks lovely. I have a rag rug on my front porch....use it instead of the traditional doormat. So much more lovely. And, every once in a while I just throw it in the washer!
Don't let the doubters derail you!

Also....I loved your rant. You might want to do some research on herbal bitters. I know there must be lots of info you can find on-line. They will help you 're-train' your gut to release the acid at the proper time. And one have to actually taste the bitter in order for it to work. The bitter taste is what triggers the gut to release the acid. So, if you or anyone reading this tries bitters please don't try to dilute it so you can't taste it. You'd be defeating the purpose!

Sharon said...

I am so glad you stopped to share that. You are the nurse; I'm the medical transcriptionist. I typed those reports with dropping jaw. I will never accept an Rx for anything more than HRT, which I'm resigned to. Pharmaceutical companies can only be outrageously successful is they have willing subjects. Congratulations on your escape.

Anonymous said...

I think we should all rant when it comes to medications and doctors that do us wrong! I took the same med you took last year, but my doctor said to only take it for 2 weeks and I think that's what it said on the package also. It greatly decreased my acid problems. Sorry you had to go through this horrible experience and very glad you are doing well now, Hilary.

OH, and your porch.. GAH... to die for gorgeous! May I ask how you wash and dry your rugs to keep them from shrinking? Very curious.

The Blue Ridge Gal

Restless Knitter said...

Love love love your rugs! I would love to have your whole porch.

Count me as another that is thankful for the Prilosec info. The doc told my husband to take Nexium for some stomach issues he was having and I was afraid he would get kind of hooked on it.

Marsel said...

That porch is gorgeous -- and the beautiful rugs are the icing on the cake!

Karen said...

Awesome really-long rug! And, I too had heartburn after a prolonged stressful period of my life and I hate dht prilosec, it made me feel awful!! and made my heartburn worse. I stopped after just a few weeks and eventually when my life calmed down, my heartburn calmed down, and is only occasional. I feel for you, the pain is awful, as if you're dying of a heart attack!

Theresa said...

Jack was on it and when I started to read reports on it, I weaned him off and onto Pepcid, which I am weaning him down to 1/2 a 10mg tab a day.
Glad you are on the mend. The porch, just perfect. I want one just like it!
Your rug looks great out there.

KarenInTheWoods said...

Hey Hilary! I hear ya loud and strong and clear!

Did the purple pill, the orange triangle and all of those tums.... oh well.. .after my two stomach surgeries, the BEST thing that worked for me was Aciphex, its different than the purple pill and a lot more expensive... the insurance company keeps trying to kick me off getting it and making me take an over the counter purple again. My doc keeps saying NO NO NOOOOO and had to send in a letter every year to MAKE them not transfer me off it.

I still have to watch what I eat, but it helps with the Barrett's disease and reconfigured stomach from two Nissen Fundoplications.

ps your rug is GREAT!

Hilary said...

Wow.. thanks for the information. I was put on Nexium for a month a couple of years ago when I was having relentless coughing and excruciating esophagus spasms. It helped immediately and I had no rebound problems afterward. My symptoms did return many months later and that's when my doctor prescribed several packets of 28 tablets to be taken for another month and then used as needed. I have problems occasionally and take one when I do. I'm never sure if it really helps or it's more of a placebo effect for me. I rarely take any now but this is valuable information for me. Thank you. The porch and runner looks gorgeous.

Anonymous said...

Your porch look absolutely wonderful and inviting I could see myself on the rockers with some iced tea and my knitting. I love the rugs and it's a great advertisment for you.

Thank for the info on the meds, Mr. Deepend was on Nexium for 3 months for some heartburn, the doc told him he couldn't take it more than that. Once he got off it never re-appeared. Our doc said that the OTC stuff was not as effective as the Nexium would be for his case. Of course my mom just told me to whip him up some of the linden/chamomile/star anise tea that is her cure all for any stomache ailments, gotta love old world Cuban remedies.

WeaveThings said...

Awesome rug there!

And thanks for the medical info. I have not taken any 'medicines' in years. I see a Homeopathic doctor that uses only natural herbs, minerals etc. I feel great. My mom used to be on some crazy medicine for Restless Leg Syndrome and she started feeling awful, dizzy, losing sleep etc. So she stopped taking it and started feeling better, but the RLS was back. So she tried cutting out a few things - and when she decided to see what would happen if she cut out caffeine - the RLS was gone! She told her doctor about it - and the doctor's reply was just 'Oh, well, that's interesting, isn't it'? Ugh. I'm sure it's well known that cutting out caffeine will help resolve some of this condition for people - but it's too risky for the med professionals to say anything about it - or they will loose their nice paychecks. So ugly!

Oh, and sorry for the long post. This is YOUR blog, not mine... hehe ;)

ladyoftheloom said...

Beautiful rug!!! And rant!!!

Anonymous said...

I just want to sit on your porch, admire the rugs, the view and enjoy a cup of tea. I am so jealous of your new porch!

It looks very relaxing and inspiring!

Tina T-P said...

Beautiful rugs and grateful for the info on Prilosec. I only take it once a week or so, and generally find I can fix my reflux problem with "anti-gas" tablets - (and I agree with the other person about caffeine too)

Sue O said...

Love the rug and the porch! I have always wanted a huge front porch.

I managed to wean myself by drinking about 2oz. of iced water with 1TBL of cider vinegar! It sounds bizzare to add acid when you have acid reflux but darn it! It works!

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