Today I went back to H hospital to find out if my cholesterol level was now low enough for me to join the HPS2-Thrive medical research project to help reduce the incidence of Vascular events. I had been told at my last visit that my cholesterol needed to be down to 3.5 or so, and I had been taking some different simvastatins in order to enable this.
As is usual for me, before we set off I did a Metro planned route from our house to the hospital to make quite sure of the required time that the whole journey would take in order to reach the hospital in time. I find these type of sites such as Metro and Network Rail really useful when making a journey that you are not familiar with. They give you not only a route to take but also all the times of either buses or trains that you will need to arrive at your destination on time and any walking time that may be needed to get either from one stop to another, or one platform to the next one. They even contain little maps showing the route to take from one bus stop to the other, or a train station to a bus stop for example if those particular modes of transport are being utilised during the journey. They really are very useful and once your route is planned it can then be printed out so that you can take it with you to consult during the journey.
I did one when my youngest son accompanied me last time to his great amusement. “ I don’t know Mum, you never leave anything to chance do you?” said he (being one of those people you often see dashing at the last minute along the platform as the train is about to pull out, or running with arms waving frantically at the driver as he drives off from the bus stop!) No, I don’t leave anything to chance that is true! I hate rushing or being late for anything, and that is why I always give myself plenty of time. So the Internet has become a godsend for being able to plan any intended journey!
Anyway, when we finally went in for my blood taken and to check my cholesterol level it was still only 4.1 but I was told that I was suitable for the trial despite it not being as low as stated previously. I was then given more of the simvastatin tablets that I have been taking for the last month, and the new ER niacin/laropiprant tablets as well. I have to take just one tablet at night for the first month followed by two tablets at night for the following month before returning to be checked over in eight weeks time.
I have to been warned that at the beginning of taking the tablets I might get some flushing of my face which can occur, but you are encouraged to persevere as it does usually pass. Like all medication there are some side effects such as the face flushing and sometimes tummy upsets which do settle in time. If at any time I am concerned about anything there is a number to ring and I can also stop taking part at any time if I am unhappy about any aspect of it.
I suppose my main concern at the moment is the size of the tablets! All I can say is its a good job it isn’t K taking them because she simply wouldn’t be able to swallow them! I shall have to place them lengthwise on my tongue to be able to get them down myself, but I am really glad that I have been included on this trial as now I feel as if I am contributing something to others and doing something really worthwhile.