Thursday, February 25, 2010

Pills and Weight Loss

I debated long and hard about writing this blog. This is a story about my husband's death, doctors, and pills. If you have a problem with any of these things, you'd better get out of here now.

My husband loved to camp. On the night before Thanksgiving, he decided to stay at our camp up in the country. He was supposed to pick up my mom on the way home the next day for dinner. He never made it. When my mom called to say he was late, we (my daughter and me) drove straight to camp where we found him. The stillness slammed me in the face the minute I opened the door. He looked like he was his spirit just floated away.

After the police did their thing, I went back inside and that's when I noticed it. Sometime during the night, he used the toilet. Because the water had been shut off for the winter and he would have needed to use the pump for the holding tank, he didn't flush. The urine was dark brown. I mean really dark brown. Yet, the medical examiner refused to do an evaluation.

At one time, Mike was 250 lbs. On such a short man, that was pretty heavy and he was on a prescription blood pressure medication. His doctor then put him on water pills because of some swelling in his ankles. Mike decided that it was time to lose some weight and liked the water pills because they helped the weight come off quickly. At 180 lbs, Mike got gout. One of the side effects of the water pills...gout. Did his doctor make the connection? No. I told Mike he should get off the pills, but he kept saying his doctor put him on it and his doctor would take him off.

He started to get very thirsty and couldn't get water in fast enough. He saw his doctor one more time 2 days before he died. At that point, Mike was 170 lbs. I asked Mike if his doctor thought he should stop the water pills. Mike didn't ask...the doctor didn't mention it. Because there was never an autopsy done, I can't prove that the medication was a catalyst for Mike's death. What I do know is that Mike dropped from 250 lbs to 170 lbs in 3 months and used the water pills as a diet aide. The prescription was never altered for weight loss or for gout.

My purpose for posting this is this: If you are losing weight and are using medication of any kind, make sure that your doctor is staying on top of it. Research everything. Question everything. And, if you're not happy with how your doctor treats you, find another one. We are all responsible for ourselves. Don't give away your power! It could cost you your life.

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