Steve takes several medications, one of which is through a patch. He has been on a particular dose of the patch since he started on in. In December, his neurologist suggested that Steve might be able to tolerate a higher dosage of the medication and prescribed a bigger patch. Yes, the higher dose patch is physically larger.
After a couple of false starts, Steve started using the new patch at the end of January. It upset his stomach, but things settled down until March. By the time he’d been on the patch for almost two months, Steve was having enough challenges with GI issues that I asked him to keep an eye on his weight. On top of that, Steve had increased pain throughout his body.
A little over a week ago, Steve and I had an appointment with his primary care physician. Steve told his doctor about he pain and GI problems he was having. The doctor immediately wrote out a prescription for the previous, lower dose of the patch and said that he takes more patients off of these medications than he puts on them. The doctor suggested that Steve try the lower dose for a week and see if he noticed any difference. Steve asked the doctor if the change in dose could have an impact on his thinking and the doctor said that it could. He then said that only Steve will be able to decide what is best for him.
The next day Steve put on the new patch in the morning and that day the GI issues were resolved and haven’t returned. By the next day, Steve said the pain had decreased considerably. By the third day, Steve said his brain was more fuzzy.
I have discussed this with Steve twice recently to see how he is doing. There are no more stomach problems, which is great! There is some pain, but considerably less than before. He’s always had some pain, even pre-diagnosis, so I don’t see this as an issue. The brain has continued to remain foggy, however.
In discussing this with Steve, he said that the pain was becoming unbearable, and the stomach issues were awful. Nothing agreed with his system food-wise. He does not like the increased brain fuzziness, but the trade-off of less pain was worth it.
Now, if they could just figure out a way to improve the brain’s processing without messing up the rest of the body’s functions, we’d be on to something!