Unless it actually makes me better, faster, stronger or healthier I don't want to take it. So why have I been taking something that does none of those things? Why am I talking about it here? I'm doing it to bring an awareness to others who may be taking the same stuff and aren't aware of the risks. Also, to document the process of getting off it. You are excused from reading this post if you have no interest. ;-)
I've been on 40 mg of Protonix for several years now. Prior to starting the Protonix I had been on a high dosage of ibuprofen (also doctor prescribed) for several months, which I suppose is what started this mad cycle. At this point, not only is it a risk to my health but it is, no doubt, adversely affecting my running.
Protonix is a proton pump inhibitor, a class of drug that very effectively blocks your stomach’s ability to produce acid.Once you are on these drugs your body adjusts, and when you stop taking them there is a rebound effect. Here is where the trouble lies...try to stop and you have troubles as large or bigger than you started with-the body’s chemical processes have been altered! If you look at the bottle, or insert, for these medications, you will see they are not recommended for long term use. I take a prescription, but you can now buy many ppi meds over the counter.
So here I am, still taking it once a day, day after day. I’ve asked my doctor(s) more than once about how to to get off and I’ve had no help. One response was, “Well, I just wouldn’t.” Another response, “Just stop.”
Lately I’ve had more problems than I can to lay out here, but let’s just say I’m more determined than ever to get off them. The short term mild side effects include nausea and headaches. (Sounds good so far right?) But I’ve gone on a little hunt to find out just exactly what these things are doing to me with long term use. Not to mention that I just don't feel good.
Decreased b12 absorption! Also, reduced calcium absorption, leading to increased risk of fractures!
Wikipedia sites a study of 135,000 people 50 or older, those taking high doses of PPIs for longer than one year have been found to be 2.6 times more likely to break a hip. Those taking smaller doses for 1 to 4 years were 1.2 to 1.6 times more likely to break a hip. The risk of a fracture increased with the length of time taking PPIs.
So what am I going to do about it? My plan, initially, is to take pantoprazole 40 mg (protonix) one day,alternated with ranitidine tabs of 150 mg once -or twice if needed the next day. I'm going to do this for a couple weeks to shake things up some. This will be a process but I'm determined to get it started and get off this stuff.
After the two weeks, I will reevaluate where I'm at and post step two.
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Monday, July 19, 2010
It seems there are similarities between ultra runs and child birthing for me. I crave the good, pain is a sweetener, and I just keep doing them. (I do believe I’m done with the child bearing -but the analogy stands.)I’ve given up trying to explain to people why I would continue investing time and effort into ultra running. I understand people are trying to figure out what makes it appealing when they ask questions. “So you enjoy it?” (Well, not always.) “Do you win?” (No.) It is good exercise? (Um. It’s not in the same category.) You like the scenery? (Yes, but often I can not avert my eyes from my path to look.) “What was your time?” (Well, I’ll tell you-but how can it mean anything to you?) Obviously, my responses are inadequate for a clear picture of my motivation.
If I answered honestly, I would lose the hearer in two sentences.
If you are reading my blog then you probably don’t need the explanation because in some degree you already understand. But it’s about livin’ isn’t it? To experience life fully you must take some chances, be inconvenienced, and push past the comfortable. There is no other way. Sure I’d like to win. Sure I’d be thrilled with more time to train than I have- -but will I stop diving into the lake of living because I can’t have everything perfect? Of course not!
So here is my report of my running of the Siskiyou Out and Back or the further misadventures of a middle aged mom who refuses to be a spectator to life.
The trip was designed to be a family outing for us. We left early on Friday morning, arrived in Ashland in early afternoon. On the way there I got sick. I will provide no specifics, that is all you need to know. ;-) Anyhow I was still functioning and happy enough to stop in at Hal Koerner’s Rogue Valley Runners store in town where I bought a pair of Moeben sleeves to wear for the race the next day because along with being sick, I had a rash on one of my arms that was reacting to sun. I didn’t know if sunscreen and sun light was going to be a good combo for the next day so I got the sleeves to cover.On to the campsite. Yes, along with being sick, we were camping in 90+ weather. ;-) It’s all good folks, really.
I chilled roasted in the tent once it was set up trying to re-coop some energy. The kids went swimming in the camp ground pool. (I think the pool saved me from complaints from them about my resting.)
Friday night I slept in the van while everyone else was in the tent. The van was closer to the bathrooms I needed... and kept me from waking everyone else when I did my normal nervous pre-race ’wake every half hour’ to make sure I hadn’t overslept.
By morning my stomach was still a bit funky but okay for water. So I did sips of water and no food. At 4:30 am my husband drove me to the start at Mt. Ashland ski lodge and helped me get gear arranged before heading back to the kids. (Don’t worry -two of my kids are now “adults” so they weren’t children left alone.)
Although it wasn’t my original plan I decided to take the early 6am start so I would miss some of the heat and so that I would finish at a more reasonable time for my family. This was a wise choice.
It was a beautiful clear cool morning for the start and I was basking in the beauty of that country. The start is already above 6000ft so this race is a challenge altitude-wise. Forgivingly, the first 3 miles or so are downhill giving me a nice warm-up and my stomach a chance to adjust. As we start I begin to drink quite a bit because I know I’m a bit dehydrated and because I know the first aid station comes soon and I can refill my bottle right away.
The race becomes single track and I begin to get frustrated with the slow pace of the runners ahead but settle in behind them anyway. I’m a fairly good downhill runner and like to take advantage of that when I can. Finally Liz Kellogg barrels ahead and around the group of trotters so I take her cue and slip in behind her. Hey, you can’t go wrong following the cue of a veteran runner!
So I continue to run comfortable, not pushing the pace but it is time to test the stomach with a gel! Yikes! This part is scary for me. I’ve got to eat if I’m going to make it through the day. Gu’s have become less and less friendly to my stomach so I’ve brought along a couple honey stingers to mix in and I start with one of those. Ah, success! It goes down and settles no problem.
Around mile 9 the course begins to become seriousness in it’s climb. the stomach is still fine so I take an expresso gu because I’m now feeling the lack of my normal caffeinated routine. And here, I begin to have to attempt to do some power walking. I am not good at it. Generally, I have to stay at a trot to keep with a good walker. This is not a good thing because it takes more energy to trot than walk. It’s something for me to work on.
At the Siskiyou Gap aid station I have a drop bag and I grab a payday bar. This was my attempt to offer myself something I might eat if I wasn’t getting gels down. I was happy to have it. Ate half of it and stuck the rest in my pocket for later.
I think it was somewhere along road 20 Erik Skaggs passes me. I don’t necessarily enjoy being repeatedly passed toward the end when the regular start runners begin to overtake me; however I have to say I’ve enjoyed getting to see the leaders pass when I’ve taken the early start and this was no exception. Erik makes it look so easy. He encourages me as he passes. I guess he is just a nice (fast) guy huh?! He is followed (a few minutes back) by Tim Olson.My pace slows somewhat as the altitude climbs but I’m feeling pretty good.
I’ve gotten pass the Jackson Gap Aid station and we are now at least pointed back toward the start. In my head I’m thinking the course will be a bit more forgiving at this point. Wrong. More climbs, more heat, and more ice fields. Now fast forward.
Mile 21 and something...I fall. Not a small trip but a big one. I had just come across an ice field (there were lots of those this year) and I caught my toe .There was no catch It was ugly.
I wish it looked like this: (It didn't.)
It was a diving, skidding, rolling type of thing and it knocked me for a loop for a good hour--which surprised me! I tried to just get up, walk it off, and go again and it just wasn’t happening. The problem wasn’t that my right side of my body was scraped up and my knee was torn and swelling; the problem was my head was spinning! I had my get up and go knocked out of me. I bet I walked a good half an hour! Obviously I lost some substantial time, eventually I did get back in the groove but it just never was fun from there on.
Apparently, part of this was I was getting a little low in blood glucose (bonk) when I fell contributing to the disaster. So after walking drunkenly for awhile I came to my senses and forced down a honey stinger gel and 20 oz of ice water and I gradually came alive. I also had taken too many s-caps and so my stomach was woozy and my fingers were slightly swollen before getting the water down.
I was so “off” for a while that someone even stopped as they were on their way past my wobbled walking and tried to get me to take a gel or shot block from her. (Nearly, insisting.) I knew I needed it --but I had my own I just need to take it.
Just a note here on the aid station volunteers. They were the most knowledgeable group of volunteers, overall, that I have encountered on the race course. People were asking a lot of fueling questions at the stations and getting wise answers --nice! Real nice to have help when needed right!?
Finally, I can’t say the last ten miles were comfortable but I think I did well all things considered,and a tough tail end of the run made finishing sweet. There is a significant climb on the forest service road to the end. Here my husband is waiting for me. When I see him I think “Oh surely I’m nearly done.” He informs me that actually I still have a half marathon half mile to go. Argh. I trudge in and pick up the pace as it flattens out to the finish.
Happy now to see my kids and glad they have spent time hiking and enjoying themselves while waiting for me. I get a big plate of food because I know I need some,and I do want it but it just stares at me I only got bites down.
Along with the food (burritos and soup) there are homemade ice cream bars and beer (I decline) at the finish. Finishers received nice medals and nice swag in the pre-race bags. (Socks, body glide, dagoba organic chocolate)
The next day we hit the Shakespeare festival-the whole works- backstage tour and all. Much fun. We walked in Lithia Park, where I saw Erik Skaggs run by again. Impressive to me only. I don’t know why I bother pointing this out to anyone in my family-they shake their heads unimpressed. Oh well, to each their own. ;-p
Thanks for stopping by!