Sunday, December 03, 2006

side effects

Although Robb is not taking half the medications that he once was, he still takes an awful lot of pills. And some of them have some rather ghastly side effects. The medication that he takes for the muscular spasticity seems to "turn down the volume on Robb." It saps his energy and dulls his personality. Spasticity clenches up all of Robb's leg and butt muscles to the point that he cannot move them properly, which makes him unable to lift his legs when he walks. By the end of the day, he is walking by lurching and shuffling his feet along the floor. And the medications for this wipe him out, mentally.

And then there's the urological medications that blur his vision. How weird is that? If Robb hadn't read up on this particular drug, he says he would have been really dismayed by this particular side effect. Robb has been reading a book our friend Cyndie sent, but his vision doesn't always allow him to read.

Additionally, when Robb gets really tired, he starts coughing like a ninety-seven year old chain-smoker. Robb doesn't, and never has, smoked, so this particular behavior is particularly perplexing to us. It seems to have started when the weather turned cooler.

We're also finding that Robb has almost no tolerance for cold, so although the Bay Area isn't a particularly frigid place, he has to bundle up before going outside. (This is probably our karmic payback for laughing at all the locals who wear gigantic goose down coats when the temperature dips below fifty degrees. I'm probably going to hell for making fun of the girls who wear parkas and thong sandals.)

Who ever would have thought that a fall from a ladder onto a concrete floor would have resulted in some of these side effects?

The Other Side Effect

It has been a goal of mine to have as many adventures as possible with Robb, so most weekends we are doing something outdoorsy. That's wonderful, but it does cause some of the housework to pile up. With Robb's lack of energy, busy therapy (and napping) schedule, and lack of balance, he cannot do a lot of the chores around the house.

And I, for one, would rather take Robb out hiking than organize all the junk that piles up on our bookshelves and counters.

But yesterday, I tackled part of the Pile of Denial, and am feeling much better about the state that my life is in. The house still gets woefully messy in an astonishingly short span of time. Oh well. The side effect of a fun and exhausting life outside the house is a bit of a lapse in the cleaning of the inside of the house.

Today's bird is a female Northern Harrier, which I photographed last weekend while out with Robb and Ashley. Interestingly, the female is more colorful than the male, a rarity in the world of birds. The flying bird in the previous posting was a male Northern Harrier.


Anonymous said...

The coughing almost sounds like my "winter asthma"--at least that's what I call it. Cold air makes my lungs tighten up and I get an asthmatic sort of cough. It's worse when I get tired, like after exercise or a stressful day.

Don't know if any of the medicines could cause asthma-type symptoms. It's strange some of the wierd side effects medicines have.

I thinking about you guys.

Knit Wit

Debbie said...

I like that you and Robb are out having adventures instead of cleaning house. When you get to heaven you won't be saying "Gee I wish I'd spent more time mopping floors." You'll tell God how much you enjoyed His creation.

Eclipse said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Eclipse said...

rhq is right - in the end, you won't be regretting not doing more dishes!

i also get wheezy when it's cold; drinking cold water will do the same thing to me. i'm an asthmatic to begin with but it definitely gets worse with cold air or water.

meds can be harsh. but the way things are progressing, it may not be too much longer before you don't need them! good thoughts to you both -


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