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Vioxx [Jan. 13th, 2005|09:51 am]
And a month later i feel like writing about it...

When i was home for christmass my mother told me something that was... a little hard to swallow, to process. I think i'm still processing this.

My father was on Vioxx. We never did an autopsy.

His death was *before* the whole media-onslought about the drug. I had totally forgotten my father even had arthritis, but it's not surpriseing.

Mom talked to an attorney about the whole thing, mostly at the urging of nosey family members and some friends. We would have to... ummm... still do an autopsy to do anything about it. She decided against doing anything, too much money, emotional bullshit, etc with unsure resaults. I agreed with her. I'm still not sure if she's told my sister yet.

I'm not mad at the drug company. I'm mad at the doctors. I'm not really all that mad, mad is probably the wrong word. Apparently a patient isn't supposed to be on Vioxx for more than 18 months. This is information that was apparently known pre-scandle. My dad was on it for somehting over two year, maybe something like four (mom wasn't really sure how long he had been on it, but knew it was a number of years). His Doctors should have switched him to something else after 18 months. Maybe, and i'm not blameing them, the pharmacies should give a little warning screen/slip/something once he'd been on it for 18 months, and well, let him know or let his doctor know that he should, you know, not be on it anymore. But mostly i blame the doctor, who should, you know, know something about what they are perscribeing.

I'm not actually looking to blame someone for my father's death. I've come to terms with the fact that these things happen. While it's been depressing, and upsetting, and all of that, it's kinda made me get my ass in gear about life. I really don't know if i would have gotten off my ass about school or not without this... experience. It has tought the lesson about life being short, never knowing what's going to happen next, this day might be your last, etc. I kinda like that we won't ever know if it was the Vioxx. I like just looking at the whole thing that it was his time to go, and that is that. If it was from the Vioxx, then that was just the cause. If it hadn't been that, it would have been something else.

But this whole thing just personalized my belief that Doctors over-perscribe for their patients, and too many of them don't pay attention to what it is they are doing. I was thinking that about Vioxx when the whole thing came to light, and this just makes me think more so. There are also always risks to drugs, even simple antibiotics (haveing allergies to many of the common ones makes me acutely aware of that) and over the counter pain killers (i take naproxin because i can't take ibprofin anymore... and i'm gonna continue takeing naproxin knowing that there are potential risk, and i'm not gonna bock and sue if something happens to me, 'cause it's the only thing that gets rid of my migraines anymore...) and i think people need to be reminded about personal-responsibility. but i also think doctors have a responsibility too. (the reason i can't take ibprofin anymore is 'cause i was directed to take it incorrectly *by* my pediatritian.)

that's all.


[User Picture]From: ellydragon
2005-01-13 03:55 pm (UTC)
I'm sorry, Kris, that really really sucks. But, I also think you're right about all of that, and your attitude sounds really good. That death is one of those things that's going to happen at the time it's supposed to for that person, whatever causes it. Your brother gets really really bad migraines too (in fact he had one yesterday that I nearly went home from work to take care of him over) but he's made the conscious decision not to regularly take things for them because he is too afraid of the side effects to make it worth it to him. But, you're right that doctors don't always give their patients the information they need to make those decisions for themselves. About addictive properties, medical results, other emotional side effects. And it's good that you've taken the time to consider your options and make your decision and look into what the possibilities are. I really respect that as a good decision, too.

Tons of hugs!
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[User Picture]From: minkrose
2005-01-13 03:55 pm (UTC)
*hug* That's a lot to swallow, but I think having had time to accept his death as natural BEFORE finding this out probably helped. And who knows - I took vioxx myself for some time (only a few months - it didn't help me) and I hate how much medication DOES get prescribed. I was seeing on the news in the airport that they're trying to make cholesterol meds OTC, which (despite my high colesterol) I am NOT in favor of. Americans tend to be too stupid to (do anything or) self-medicate and when even our physicians make mistakes, I have a harder time advocating for drugs to be available to anyone.

I'm back in town, however! So perhaps I'll see you soon.
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[User Picture]From: woodwardiocom
2005-01-13 03:58 pm (UTC)
-Errg. Sympathy.
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[User Picture]From: asciikitty
2005-01-13 04:03 pm (UTC)
I love you.

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[User Picture]From: tisana
2005-01-13 05:30 pm (UTC)

inept docs

Hmm...you're right. Doctors don't pay enough attention when they're medicating, and it's unnerving.

I once had a really bad episode when I was 16--awful mood swings for a few days, and it scared me--and it was only because Scott was an EMT and suggested it was a drug interaction that we figured it out. I'd asked to go back on Slo-bid for my asthma, and they gave me 300mg, without thinking that a steroid and the hormones in the birth control I had started taking would interact badly. (Or something--I could be confused on the technicalities) But my doctor should have looked at my file when prescribing.

I'm sorry this has come up for you, and the questions it raises. It must feel awful not knowing what to do about it.
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[User Picture]From: mabfan
2005-01-13 08:41 pm (UTC)
Your post reminds me of my father's death and the wrongful death suit we filed. If you want any details, contact me off line.

In any event. it sounds like you're dealing better with your father's death than I did with mine. I hope you continue to manage.
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[User Picture]From: moxie77
2005-01-14 03:00 am (UTC)
i'm sorry hun...its hard to think about the 'what-if's but you are such a strong, amazing person, and you give me so much faith in myself...

oh, and my doctor said nothing to me about the new warnings with my birth control...that bothered me a lot, but at the same time, i also made the decision to stick with it (and just up my calcium intake)

i love you sweetie and i miss you
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[User Picture]From: cos
2005-01-14 07:16 am (UTC)
That's a sucky thing to find out, any way you deal with it. It'd be nice if difficult things were simpler. Sorry this happened. *hug*
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[User Picture]From: grypes
2005-01-14 12:51 pm (UTC)
Reason number #283 of why I don't trust doctors.

as for migranes... try vodka. :-)
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[User Picture]From: superfinemind
2005-02-10 02:31 am (UTC)
Migraines: my mother gets them a lot, and she discovered that dutch-process chocolate makes them worse. (and certain high-test chocolates. If she eats too much that's over ...oh, 75% cacao, in a day, she gets worse headaches.)

I've heard from a couple unrelated sources that being sure to stay properly hydrated helps a ton.
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