How am I going to do it?...Two days and counting...Favorite Ireland photos...


Tom standing at the doorway to a house at the Connemara Heritage and History Centre and the Dan O'Hara Homestead.
Fascinating Fact of the Day About Ireland 
"The submarine was invented in Ireland.  John Philip Holland (29 February 1840 – 12 August 1914) was a Christian Brother from County Clare who invented the first submarine used by the US Navy and the first Royal Navy submarine– Holland 1"

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Over the past several weeks while feeling awful due to side effects from several medications, I knew it was time to wean myself off of them. I've wondered how I would be able to manage all the walking and being up and about all day and evening while on the upcoming Baltic cruise.

There's no way I'd want to spend the days and nights in the cabin.  Thus, over the past two weeks, I stopped two drugs and today, I started reducing the dose on the third, a beta-blocker that is causing me to feel sleepy all afternoon and evening.  
A friendly little lamb at the centre.
I'm already on two medications to lower my blood pressure which I'll continue to take but this third medication, bisoprolol, has a profound effect on how I feel all day.  Also, my blood pressure and pulse are too low further exacerbating the level of weakness and exhaustion.

While in South Africa at my last appointment, the surgeon stated I could stop these last two drugs, amiodarone, and bisoprolol by the six month anniversary of the surgery coming up in six days.  He didn't suggest I stop the statin but based on extreme muscle pain caused by this drug I made a decision to stop it.

At first, when I stopped the statin, I noticed an improvement in the pain in my arms and legs.  About a week later, it returned and it made me look hard at these other two drugs could also be contributing to the pain.
Thatched roof structures.
After reading the drug literature from the manufacturers and non-biased drugs and prescription informational sites,  I knew I'd better get off the two other drugs in order to begin feeling better.  

The side effects of all three drugs were similar in some ways, all of which contribute to pain, muscle wasting, and weakness.  When this morning I cut the heart-shaped pills into little pieces with a plan to taper over the next nine days taking  of a pill the first three days, ½ the second three days and ¼ on the final three days, stopping entirely on the 10th day.
A footbridge leading to a hut.
This drug called Cardicor (South Africa trade name), aka bisoprolol, is particularly dangerous to reduce the dose.  Why didn't the doctor warn me about this and getting off amiodarone, both of which may cause problems when stopping?

I am prepared for any possible side effects and if necessary, I'll slow the process even further. I am anxious to see how I'll feel around noon today with today's reduced dose.  Usually, at noon, I can't even keep my head up, so tired from the drug which I'd have taken at 8:00 am.  

However, I am also prepared that I won't notice a major improvement until I'm off it entirely.  Why did I choose to do this four days before the upcoming cruise?  If I didn't I would be spending the better part of each day, sleepy and exhausted in the cabin.  I had to take the chance.
Dan O'Hara's home in which he lived with his family.
In the interim, I'll be checking my pulse and blood pressure every few hours during these next several days, ensuring I am not experiencing any difficulties.  If I do I can slow the weaning process over several weeks.

If I experience major problems while weaning, I'll immediately go back to the original dose and wait until we get to the UK at the end of the month when I plan to see a cardiologist for a checkup.  

Of course, I'm hoping that one day soon, I'll feel better but I'm not expecting too much.  This has been a long, painful and challenging process over which I've had little control.  I continue to walk but can't seem to build much endurance in my current state of weakness.
Tom had to bend over to enter the stone house.
My packing is almost completely done.  Tom packed his clothing this morning.  Tomorrow, after the final load of laundry is done, and once the clothes we're wearing are dry, we'll finish packing our bags and weigh them.

Tomorrow, we'll be back with the final expenses for Ireland and the wrap-up of our favorite photos.  Please check back. 

Be well.

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Photo from one year ago today, August 6, 2018:
This may have been a huge matriarch we spotted from across the Crocodile River from the fence in Marloth Park.  For more photos, please click here.

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