Thursday, June 18, 2009

Always do your own research!

I'm actually typing this while wearing sunglasses because I'm on the 5th day of dealing with a migraine. The light from the computer screen makes my head throb unbearably but I'm so sick of lying in a dark room vegetating while my head feels like it will explode. I suppose a migraine won't kill me (though it does occasionally make me wish for death ;) ) so I'm up and trying to accomplish a few little things here and there.

I'm annoyed and disappointed with my obstetrician right now. Yesterday I had my monthly check in with her and my husband mentioned that I've had a continuous migraine for most of this week. I told her that I have perscriptions for Imitrex and Treximet but that I'd read they were class C drugs which aren't approved for pregnancy. She agreed that I couldn't take those and immediately said she'd write me a perscription for Fioricet, a drug I hadn't heard of. I asked if it was approved for pregnant women and if there would be any side affects or anything I should be concerned over. I'd already told her that I was trying to be as healthy and natural (drug free) as possible during my pregnancy and delivery. I don't even drink or eat anything with caffeine now. She said it's the only migraine medication pregnant women should take and that there weren't any side effects, other than possibly making me or the baby sleepy. Sounded good to me so my hubby and I got the prescription filled and I took one of the pills immediately with dinner, (it didn't help at all with my migraine).

This morning I woke up and the migraine is still throbbing away in my temple. As I made my husband his breakfast I pulled out the Fioricet perscription bottle and started reading all the various tiny print lables and half hidden in one corner is a label stating DO NOT TAKE IF PREGNANT, NURSING, OR THINKING OF BECOMING PREGNANT. This of course sent alarm bells racing through me so I immediately got on line and looked this drug up.All the websites I found said this drug is a class C drug (just like my Imitrex) and should be avoided by pregnant women because there haven't been enough studies done to say for certain how it will affect a fetus. It should only be used with extreme caution and as a last resort. On top of that the drug has a barbituate in it which can be habit forming and there have been cases where pregnant mothers have taken this medication in the last months of their preganancy and their newborn babies actually went through drug withdrawals after birth. My obstetrician said absolutely nothing about any of this when she prescribed the medication for me, even though I asked her if it was completely safe and even though she knew I wasn't interested in taking any class C drugs. Either she just didn't listen to me,didn't care about my opinions, or didn't really know anything about the drug. This isn't a drug I would take even if I weren't pregnant simply because it can become habit forming. Addiction runs rampant through my family and I try not to take anything that could become a habit. I don't even drink, mainly for that reason. My doctor should have gone through all the side effects and possibilities so I could make an informed decision about taking the drug. Maybe for some people the benefits outweigh the risks, but not for me. And if I were going to take a risky drug I'd take my Imitrex which I know actually works for me.

Overall this has really made me lose faith in my obstetrician. This is the doctor I have to rely on should any emergencies come up and now I feel as if I can't trust her judgement because she didn't give me all the information I needed to make an informed choice. I'll probably have to start looking for a new doctor which will be a pain. It's a shame to because she seemed nice enough and I liked her staff alot as well. Now I'll have to try and do a little research and see if I can come up with a doctor who will be better suited to me, someone who will take me seriously and talk to me honestly.

All this reminds me that doctor's are not Gods, they are as human and fallible as the rest of us. You should never just blindly follow your doctor's advice without looking into things yourself. Only you can say what you are comfortable with and willing to put into or do to your body. Maybe I'm overly cautious but I don't want to take some possibly risky drug now just because my doctor says it's okay and then find out 5 or 15 years from now that it's caused some problem for myself or my baby. I'll just deal with the migraine pain as best I can. It probably won't kill me, it'll just make me miserable and crabby. Everyone should feel really sorry for my husband :). Please send healing thoughts my way. I could really use them.

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