More about Jan
Jan has many interests and leads a very active life, including bushwalking and voluntary work. She was diagnosed with bronchiectasis and asthma in 2005 after two decades of regular recurrences of pneumonia and occasional pleurisy. It is the condition that has the most impact on her day-to-day life. The symptoms (excess mucus) were extremely disruptive to her work and she was concerned she would have to retire early. Starting regular antibiotics made an enormous difference by reducing ongoing symptoms and minimising the bouts of pneumonia and pleurisy. Jan needs to take Augmentin Duo as soon as she starts feeling ill, so she carries it with her everywhere and always has a prescription for it. This has made her life simpler knowing that she has the security of treatment that will prevent a serious respiratory illness. Jan was also diagnosed with genital herpes two years ago and has a mild outbreak about once a year. She once tried Lysine for rosacea and found that, although it was not effective for that condition, it successfully treated the outbreak of herpes she coincidentally had at the time. She has since used Lysine about four times and it has been extremely effective.
Jan has had some issues with her medicines, although these have had minimal impact on her life. She experiences diarrhoea as a side effect of Augmentin Duo, although this has been minimised since her initial dose was reduced. The cost of medicines was only an issue in her first year of retirement before she became eligible to receive a part pension. She has also found it difficult to find consistent information from reliable sources about what kind of calcium supplements to take and how to take them, which she takes to prevent osteoporosis from worsening. She has yet to find a satisfactory answer, despite discussing this with her doctors and pharmacist and attending relevant information sessions.
Jan is now so used to taking her medicines that she hardly thinks about them. Most of her medicines are taken with breakfast, which makes it easier, and most of her medicines were introduced one by one as new conditions arose, which made it easier to accommodate them in her life. She has also become accustomed to medicines such as eye drops, which were difficult to use initially but which are second nature now. Jan manages her medicines by storing them where they are visible and by carefully keeping track of the number she has taken. She has found it more difficult to remember to take her medicines when she has been very ill, but her usual strategies are still adequate. It can also be a nuisance packing medicines for holidays, so she does not take the fish oil if she is going to be away for a short period of time.
Jan credits the medicines she takes for allowing her to lead a normal life and wonders if she would be alive today without them. She believes it is important to ask a lot of questions about medicines that are prescribed and to communicate to doctors when a medicine is not working out, even if it means needing to be assertive. Jan believes in taking doctors’ advice, but that people’s own experiences are also valid.