Last February I fell off of a ladder from a height of about ten feet. I'm lucky I didn't land on my head and die. I'm lucky I didn't hurt myself worse than I did.
As it was, I spent a night in the hospital and was sent home with a walker and three prescriptions: a muscle relaxant, a narcotic pain reliever and a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory called Naproxen. A four-legged walker and meds three times a day gave me a glimpse of my future. Turning 90 won't be pretty.
The night I spent in the hospital, I spent a lot of time thinking. I couldn't walk at this point. I couldn't even stand upright. Still, all I could think of was loading up my bike and going touring again.
I took Physical Therapy. After about a week I graduated from the walker to a cane. I was already riding my bike, slowly and painfully, before I gave up the cane. A couple more weeks and I was walking without a prop. I gave up the narcotic after the first week, and the muscle relaxant soon after. I kept taking the Naproxen, though. Naproxen was my friend. I made plans for a weeklong bike tour in October. I promised myself that I would give up the last of the meds after the trip.
When Vioxx was pulled off of the market, I called my doctor. Should I be concerned about taking Naproxen long term? She said not to worry. I had quit taking Naproxen by the time Celebrex was recalled. I still had some residual pain from the fall, and some old pains that I'd forgotten had come creeping back. I took Ibuprofen to deal with it, though it didn't help as much as the Naproxen.
Last week, I saw an ad for Aleve on TV. I thought, I should try that stuff and see if it helps. That afternoon I bought a bottle of 50 tabs. I was surprised to find that Aleve was my old friend Naproxen, just a lower dosage than the prescription strength I'd been taking. It helps. It helps a lot.
I've been singing the praises on Naproxen for a while. I even recommended it in a recent thread about elbow tendonitis. It's great stuff. Living pain-free is a good thing..
Today. of course, the news broke about a study which suggests that taking Naproxen long-term leads to an increased chance of heart attack and stroke.
Well, I'm not going to worry about it too much. I've been taking one tab of Aleve about every other day. That's not a lot, really. I think I'll wait to see what further studies say about the risks of taking Naproxen. In the meantime, I comfort myself with the thought that, even if I have a heart attack or stroke from taking Aleve, at least it won't hurt so much.
Okay. I know. That was gallows humor.