Dang, I’ve been feeling good for four years! But I fit the stereotype of someone that ought to be “fixin’ to get sick”—lungs illness, namely COPD (since 2005) and asthma (since 1986). I got on the combination of SSDI, Medicare, and Medicaid by 2012. I’m writing this article about my illnesses and pills because medical professionals may find clues to finding a way to battle the COVID-19/coronavirus pandemic. Dealing with the pandemic takes three routes in the medical community: building the immune system, finding antibodies, and discovering a vaccination. My article represents the way for educated laymen to contribute. I take at least ten pills per day—a motley mix of prescription drugs, vitamins/minerals, and OTC drugs. I have more health issues than Asthma-COPD Overlap Syndrome (ACOS). Quitting cigarettes was important as was quitting snuff tobacco. Nowadays, I occasionally indulge with Smoky Mountain Herbal Snuff (Wintergreen Flavor). It’s made from corn husks and molasses; it’s made in Sandy Hook, CT.
Here are the rest of my diagnoses: Mixed hyperlipidemia E 78.2, Essential (primary) hypertension I10, atherosclerosis heart disease of native coronary artery without angina pectoris I25.10, and macular degeneration. Furthermore, I get monthly allergy shots for Bermuda and Johnson grass, and I have sleep apnea.
Now let’s check out my daily pills. Prescriptions: Daliresp, Montelukast, Dilacor (DILT), Omega 3 Acid Ethyl Esters, and Prednisone. Vitamins/Minerals: Magnesium, CoQ10, Vitamin D, Ocuvite (Vision Health). That last pill is a mix of Vitamins A, C, E and Zinc, Selenium, Copper, and Lutein. Over the Counter Medicine (OTC): Loratadine (non-drowsy generic pill for allergies).
Here are the drugs that I inhale. Obviously, I have a rescue inhaler, and it’s Combivent (albuterol + ipratropium). I graduated from the albuterol inhalers a while back. But my nebulizer fluid is albuterol. Then I take Advair twice daily, an anti-inflammatory.
Here are the occasional OTC drugs and vitamins/minerals: Sudafed (nasal congestion), Mucinex–aka. Guaifenesin (chest congestion/bronchitis). Vitamin B-Complex (headaches), Milk Thistle (liver health) and rarest of all—Turmeric Curcumin (anti-inflammation). Before I got health insurance, Mucinex and Sudafed were very frequent companions. I’ve become a member of the Chris Cuomo Fan Club and explained the joy of Mucinex on his website.
Let’s hope that my list of medicines and illnesses helps medical researchers during our pandemic crisis. I was invited to join the local Community Health Workers (CHW) coalition several years ago because of my explanation of lung health issues for the layman. I used to be a teacher–mostly Developmental English/Writing (college level), ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages)for all levels, and all-level/ most subjects substitute teacher. Some of those drugs and whatnot represent a journey! Magnesium is a new friend. First I was put on statins and developed heart issues. Then I found CoQ10 and that helped. Then I had a phase of Red Yeast Rice–a more organic, mellow statin. Then I read a couple of journal articles against it and stumbled onto Magnesium. Magnesium is the super mineral. It’s good for excess fat, arthritis, COPD, and even more issues! My most recent drug is prednisone—previously som’n just for acute attacks. I passed a recent chest X-ray, but my pulmonologist felt that I needed prednisone. After all, I’ve had a low moderate Forced Exhale Volume (FEV) for years. I may be 6’2” and 61 years old, but my FEV is comparable to a short elderly lady’s lungs, or just one lung, or a very short child’s lungs. Stop smoking, stay indoors, or wear a cloth mask/bandanna when shopping.