It was one of those moments. There we were, a couple of old friends having a civilized lunch in Moreton’s on New Inn Hall Street, when the conversation drifted imperceptibly from the forthcoming Literary Festival to a comparison of our relative drug intake.
“Aaaaargh!!! That’s what old people do!”. The only glimmer of hope was that the drugs in question were to protect us from the effects of actual or potential health conditions. It seems that 60-odd years after its inception the NHS is becoming a health service rather than a sickness service.
My daily pill count has just gone up to six with the addition of a drug called metformin. To be fair, two of those are aspirin/ placebo and fish oil/placebo, which are part of a trial, so probably don’t count; the others are to protect my heart (always a good thing) and to help me sleep (also a good thing).
The new kid on the block is something called metformin, which is to reduce blood sugar levels and protect against complications of diabetes, which include (but are not limited to) going blind, kidney failure, having your toes drop off and losing your sense of humour.
As you may imagine, moving from controlling blood sugar by diet and exercise to taking medication is a big thing psychologically (because you know that you will be on medication for the rest of your life), but there are also some potentially nasty side effects, which, if anything, represent an even bigger psychological barrier.
It’s not easy to make yourself take something when there is a good chance that you are going to spend the first three weeks suffering from nausea, stomach pains, confusion (more than usual), anorexia and goodness knows what else. (Not quite sure how you can get anorexia from a pill.)
Anyway, I warned people that I might be out of circulation for a while and psyched myself up to start taking the new pill last Friday and, praise the Lord, no discernable side effects. 🙂