How does it work?
It works through your serotonin pathway to stimulate neurotransmitters which work closely with your gut. The role of the neurotransmitters within your gut is to ultimately stimulate the peristalsis within your colon. People with my disorder: Generalised Colonic Dysmotility are said to have lower serotonin levels which decreases the function of the neurotransmitter component therefore impacting the function of your bowel.
This medicine is aimed to work through the serotonin pathway to stimulate the systematic mechanism of your colon and increase the excretion process.
You are unable to take any other medicine that works along your serotonin pathway. For those of your that know me well will know since I was very young I have suffered with anxiety. Resulting at one stage deferring University due to the impact it was having on my ability to learn and complete tasks such as presentations. Panic attacks became frequent. Life became miserable. Since then I have been taking anti-anxiety medicine to combat this. My quality have life has risen and have been living happily and healthily.
Until last Thursday .. when specialists told me I had to stop taking it to try this medicine.
If you have read my other blogs you will know my enthusiasm for this drug to begin with was minimal. I have had little faith from the get go but I had to trust the process and the specialists much to my dismay. So I was taken immediately off of my anti-anxiety medicine to ‘trial’ this drug.
What happens if prucalopride works you ask? One is to live without anti-anxiety medicine moving forward. Splendid!
Please note: You are meant to experience a slow decrease in these medications to wean off of them. Stopping them dramatically can cause further mental health difficulties.
BUT THAT’S OKAY… GO FOR GOLD… LETS JUST STOP IT ALL TODAY! WHY THE HELL NOT!
There is a 30% chance of this medicine working. There is a very small number of studies that have been completed in individuals my age and many people within the 30% are often over the age of 60. POSITIVE CHANCES OF SUCCESS. GOOOOOD!
I had no choice. I had to try before the surgeon would operate due to a ‘checklist’ criteria.
How is it going?
‘You may experience some side effects but they should stop within the first couple of days.’
If this was true.. I’m sure my experience would have been much fonder…
Here is a list of proven side effects from literature reviews:
- abdominal pain
- back pain
- enlargement of abdomen or stomach
- loss of appetite
- stomach upset
I can confirm I experienced every single one of these within the first 24 hours.. except vomiting. Though I did sit next to a trusty bowl for some time.
Today is Saturday the 10th March. I began the medicine on Tuesday 6th March.
Let me tell you what I have achieved this week:
- Excessive excretion of water through the form of tears.
- Watched 18 episodes of ‘this is us’
- Watched the entire season of Married at First Sight.
- Cried some more
- Deferred the semester of University
- Took more paracetamol and Ibuprofen than I care to count
- Cursed the specialists for wanting me to try this drug to save my colon (they’re lovely really.. I was just in pain 🙂 )
- Said ‘I want it out’, more times than I can count on my fingers and toes
- Ate a whole block of chocolate for dinner
- Walked around the block every day (one day with a periodic pavement break because #tiredlyf)
I wish I was exaggerating. I wish I truly had achieved more than I have – but the reality is.. the medicine has been the bane of my existence.
Each morning before I took it, I would go for a walk because I knew that when I had taken it.. my day was over. I would reside infront of the couch feeling completely wired and unable to string a sentence together. My brain feeling like spaghetti. I told myself I would give it the time it needed to be able to determine whether it works or not.
Not only did it have little impact on my bowels, the side effects did not diminish.
Friday came around. Day #4.. I had told myself I would give it until Monday then I would return to ED and fight my case as this life is not living. Friday afternoon came around and I was done.
Dad called.. I cried because I wanted a burrito bowl (like seriously Gee?).. everything had caught up with me. I had reached the very bottom of this ditch I was in.
After a phone call with my specialist we decided this drug clearly was not working for me. Trusty bowel prep was to be used (which previously gave me a bowel obstruction) in an attempt to keep my out of hospital over the long weekend. My specialist advised I try ANOTHER drug from next Friday to ‘string me along’ until my specialist surgeon appointment on the 29th March.
I didn’t object. I just sort of went with it knowing full well that was not happening.
The ‘new’ drug.. has no proven trials to show that it has any effect in people my age. It has a smaller chance of working than the previous medicine. It was another medicine that was in simple terms a waste of fricking time.
There is a point where ‘you know best’. You know your body best. You know how you’re dealing with everything. You know where in the spectrum of ‘over it’ you are. I can confirm .. I am at the very bottom of the scale. Well and truly over it. Done. Dusted. Get this colon out of my body. NOW!
Am I trying another pointless medicine? Absolutely bloody not.
Mum and I are going into hospital Tuesday to fight the case and get the surgery organised in an attempt to speed it along.
How am I feeling?
To be honest.. I am feeling ready. I have been off work for 4 weeks. Sitting inside watching life pass by day by day whilst I lay on my bed/couch feeling sorry for myself. I think after day two of the medicine and the side effects were not subsiding and the drug was not having the hoped impact on my bowel function, I knew what was next.
I have been prepared mentally since they told me in hospital this was next.
I am frightened.
Infact… I am really scared.
A 4 hour surgery is a blood long time to have someone playing with your insides.
BUT .. surgery means I am on the mend. It means things will start to get better.
I know things are going to be hard. I know surgery is going to be tough.