I received some disturbing news from my doctor's office today: my liver count is high. And since I don't drink alcoholic beverages at all, this little problem is undoubtedly being caused by taking pain meds that are formulated with acetaminophen.
I knew taking acetaminophen products could be harmful to the liver but I didn't think I took enough of them to have to worry about it. But, over the last few months, pain meds have become a lot more necessary. Excedrin Migraine helps best for migraine headaches, Tramadol works pretty well for my afternoon body aches and the occasional Hydrocodone helps take the edge off my severe pain. All of these meds contain acetaminophen and I guess I've been taking enough of them to affect my liver, even though I never take two different kinds of pain meds on the same day and I rarely take more than one dose a day.
My doctor said I need to come back in a month to have my liver count checked again and, if it's still high, they will have to run more tests. She also said I don't have to completely stop taking my pain meds but I should take them only when necessary. Um, hello! I DO only take them when necessary. I'm very conservative about taking medications. But the past few months have been really rough and I have been taking a lot more than normal just to get by.
This news couldn't come at a worse time. December is the month that is the hardest for me to get through. I always have a flare when the seasons change and December is when we usually get our first wintry weather (and this year is definitely no exception - we've had daytime highs in the 20's all week). Add to this all the stress and busyness of the holidays and I can barely get through, even with pain meds.
When I see the doctor next month, I will insist she looks in to some of the new pain meds they are coming out with for chronic pain patients. And in the meantime....????? I honestly don't know how to get through the shopping, cooking and socializing of the holidays without quite a bit of pain medication.