Thursday, 16 October 2014

Symptoms Update (and a trip to the Doctor)

I mentioned a few months ago (in May: my visit to the HSP Clinic at the National Hospital in London. Not long after that I received a copy of a letter which had been written to my doctor in order to take further the various things which we had discussed at the HSP Clinic.

It was only after a few months had passed that I realised that nothing seemed to be happening, and I popped in to the doctors. Waiting in the box behind the counter was a prescription for Detrusitol, which had been sitting there since June, but nothing else had happened. It seems that I should have made an appointment to discuss these. So, that is what I have done.

The main function of my trip to the doctors was to move forward the various appointments that had been suggested at the Clinic, and these are now starting to come through. Readers outside the UK may be interested to know that I get a letter which allows me to go onto a website and choose my own appointment (and if it wasnt a specialist I was seeing, I'd be able to choose where I went too).

So, thats put the whole thing back by a few months, and its made me realise that I have to be the one who drives the process forward. Despite any best interests or good meaning, there is only one person who is responsible for me seeing the various specialists, and that person is myself [This is something I picked up from a seminar at work some years ago in the context of personal development - you are the only person responsible for your training and progress. There is no point trying to blame someone else/the system if you dont do what you want to do].

Back to the first part of the topic title - symptoms update....

I've now been taking Detrusitol for about 3 weeks. My prescription is for Detrusitol XL (a 4mg dose) and I take one tablet per day. The active ingredient in this medicine is tolterodine, and it is taken for overactive bladders. Other names for this medication include Detrol, My doctor said that there are other medicines available which achieve the same outcomes.

I noticed a reduction in urgency pretty immediately with this medicine, which is a good thing! I've not noticed that I've been going to the toilet any less frequently, but the drop in urgency is a real benefit.

The most common side effect is a dry mouth, which I get. Of course, my first reaction with a dry mouth is to have a glass of water, which perhaps goes somewhat against the grain of the objectives as I'm just filling my bladder up more quickly!

I havent really noticed any other side effects, which means that either they are not there, or they are not at a level which I would notice. The other common ones include tiredness, fatigue and headaches. I get bothered by these sometimes anyway, and I've not noticed them appearing more often in the last few weeks. 

The other main symptom update to report is my use of the stairs. I realise now that I'm actively using the bannister/hand-rail to get up and down to majority of stairs, whereas a few years ago I didn't need to at all. This is a subtle change. I do this more for steadiness than for balance/trips/falls, and I can still nip up and down stairs without using them. Just yesterday evening I arrived back to my nearest train station and walked up the steps to cross the footbridge - the handrails were filthy, but I still continued to use them (it had been a long day, I'd been on the go for about 17 hours). I must send the station an e-mail about this.

One final point for today on symptoms is to note that I bought a new pair of shoes the other week. I only mention this so when I next need to replace them I can find out how long I've had them.

Various Tolterodine / Detrusitol links:

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