What Is Your Medication Story?

Do you have a story around taking medications?

I am in the process of making a video about the shocking head surgery I went through.

I am finally going to tell all about how I joined the ranks of suffering a traumatic side-effect from taking prescription medication that nobody told me anything about the possible life-long damage it could cause….. I will be releasing that video soon…..

By telling my story, I hope to help others make sure that all cards are on the table when it comes to their decision of whether to take a medication or not.

As always, I am not diving in here to say anyone taking a medication is bad or wrong. I simply want to help people be aware of the risks so they can truly be informed when making a choice about what they put into their body and why.

It’s simple, I want to stir up this conversation, no blame, let’s just talk about it more; tell our stories, see what other people are experiencing…

Have you had any difficult or helpful experiences that resulted from taking either a prescribed or over the counter drug?

Let’s get this conversation rolling, share your story in the chat box below.

  • Research shows that 81% of adults use OTC medicines as a first response to minor ailments
  • According to the Mayo Clinic, Almost 70% of Americans take at least one prescription medication and more than half take at least two
  • The National Council on Patient Information and Education says that people need to recognize that all medicines (OTC and prescription) have Risks

I mean really, LOTS of people are taking medications, but do we really talk about it that much?

Just because a doctor prescribes a medication for you, doesn’t mean that you’ve been informed of all the risks. 

We all know that medications can be life-saving. I have seen medication have life-saving effects for several family members with severe diabetes. I was very grateful for the pain medication that allowed my mother to be able to spend time with her family during her end of life experience.

Unfortunately, though, because of my long time interest in this topic, I’ve heard a lot of sad stories.

Like my friend whose doctor told her nothing about the risks of taking Hormone Replacement Therapy only to have her breast cancer surgeon tell her to stop taking it immediately and that it was the cause of why she had breast cancer……

Or my 28 year old neighbor that had a stroke because nobody told her that if you have a history of migraines that taking birth control pills puts you at a higher risk of having a stroke.

Or my student that developed debilitating muscle pain that lasted for years even after she stopped taking medication for high cholesterol…… I could go on, but have just mentioned a few to get the ball rolling.

What’s your story? Do you know someone that has a medication story? Your story might help someone else; share it in the box below…

Here are a few steps you can take to bring more information to the table when considering taking a medication:

  1. Talk to your doctor, ASK your doctor to talk to you about possible side-effects of a medication
  2. Read the Patient Information Sheets that come folded and tucked into the medication box
  3. Look on WebMD for possible drug interactions and side-effects: http://www.webmd.com/interaction-checker/
  4. Research if what you are dealing with can be helped by using herbs or natural remedies

I hope you’ll join me in this conversation, together let’s shed a little light on what is happening to so many people.

Do you know someone that may be at risk of a side-effect but has no idea about it? Share this article with them…..

What’s Your Medication Story?

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Hello I’m Kami, Welcome to Living Awareness!

I believe every family needs to have someone on board with a working knowledge of natural remedies if you want to take care of your family’s health for real.

When I was growing up, natural remedies was not a mainstream concept like it is now, in fact, you are going to be surprised that I never even heard the word natural remedy until I moved out of the house!

In my early 20’s I met someone by chance that told me about holistic health and herbal medicine. I wondered why nobody had talked to me about it before and had a voracious appetite to learn everything I could.

Now, 30 years later I've helped thousands of people demystify the world of herbal medicine and become empowered in using herbal self-care in their home to prevent illness, take care of common ailments and protect their health naturally.

For 20 years I've had a clinical herbal practice connecting people with plants and their wellness. I've developed and taught herbal curriculum for UCSF School of Nursing and the Integral Health Master’s Degree Program at the California Institute of Integral Studies.

Stick with me! You’ll learn awesome herbal self-care, get inspired to be more self-sufficient in your health care and nourish a deep love for the herbs and how to use them, knowing you are doing the very best you can to care for your wellness.

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25 Comments on "What Is Your Medication Story?"

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I had a very bad experience taking Cipro. I was given 2 prescriptions from the same MD and told to take both, one was Cipro the other Low Dose Naltrexone I took them both for about a week but kept almost passing out until the day I did pass out, briefly, as one of them was lowering my BP and I already suffer from low BP as it is. I cut my chin on the way down, woke up and went to the bathroom to clean up the blood but felt as if I was going out again, tried to… Read more »
Jinny Nielsen
Hi Kami, I feel compelled to share my story. In May of this year I had a kidney stone blasted. The doctor put me on antibiotics for safety. In June I had a bladder sling placed, again being put on antibiotics. In July I had a visit to the ER. First thing they did was give me IV antibiotics. I had informed them of my previous use to deaf ears. I started with diarrhea and vomiting. The clinic/hospital had overdosed e with antibiotics and I got C diff. I spent 3 days in hospital. One week after finishing the newest… Read more »

Kami — I take a number of prescription medications. They allow me to live a normal life with diabetes, fibromyalgia and depression. I have suffered one side effect that was resolved by a careful transition to an alternate medication. I want to weigh in with my story to balance out the negative impacts some people experience.

I was put on cymbalta about 8 years ago for chronic back pain. Then two months ago a doctor recommended I try going off of because he thought my fatigue was due to the medication. I tapered the dose down over 2 months and despite the gradual dose reduction I am still dealing with odd symptoms over a week after stopping it – nausea, emotional fluctuations, sensation of tingling in my face and lips, dizziness when I turn my head, etc. I took anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDS) daily for many years and ended up with bleeding ulcer a few years ago.… Read more »
Glenda Glass
Years ago I took Norfloxacin (same drug class as Cipro, only stronger) for a jaw infection. The doctor and pharmacist gave me no warnings. Within days I felt like I had aged 30 years. I hurt, I could hardly walk upon standing. I felt ill. I was at the time doing agility with my dog, as best I could, which involved running and quick changes of direction. I stopped taking the Norfloxacin about a week early, and began feeling better in a few days. A couple of years later I read that people on this drug have a vastly increased… Read more »
I had severe heartburn for months, and my gastroenterologist put me on prescription medication to lower my stomach acid. I had an endoscopy to see if it would show the cause of the heartburn. No cause was found, but the surgeon removed some polyps from my esophagus. I was told they were a likely a “precursor to cancer” and were probably caused by the medication. But I was to keep taking the medication because the doctor declared “nothing else would help,” including diet or lifestyle changes. Turns out he was wrong, and the heartburn was related to food sensitivities from… Read more »
Margie Peck
For high blood pressure, my doctor prescribed Hydralazine. I was on it for 10+ years. Over the last few months on the drug, I consistently got a feeling of not being able to breathe. Then, over a weekend, I thought I just had a really bad cold, but my throat became more & more constricted, making it difficult to swallow. In the middle of the night I croaked out to my husband to call 911 because I felt like I was not getting enough air. I was taken by ambulance to an Emergency Room & then transported to a Kaiser… Read more »
Heidi Villegas

Hi, Kami!
I just wrote an article about my experiences with OTC and Rx medications and how I ended up switching to 100% herbal self-care. I may end up having to visit a doctor someday for an acute problem, but for now….I have not taken any OTC or Rx for around 3 years! My whole story is here: http://www.healingharvesthomestead.com/home/2016/8/9/why-i-choose-herbal-medicine-over-prescription-or-otc-medications

I hope it is ok to share like this here, and thank you for writing and teaching!


Hi Kami,
I don’t have a story to share, but thank you for bringing this topic to light. We are our own best advocates when we’re informed. With the best of intentions, those who prescribe medications can’t know all of the risks involved. We need to take an active role in our on care and the care of our loved ones. Knowledge is empowering.

Looking forward to the video. And best wishes for healing and good health! I’m sad that you had to go through a traumatic time, but grateful you’re turning it in a positive direction.


Karen Welch

I appeared on a documentary about this, Dead Wrong, How Psychiatric Drugs Can Kill Your Child. It’s a subject I am passionate about. Our docs are so well intentioned but they can only help with the knowledge they were taught. There’s big money in making sure doctors cut, poison, and burn, but don’t cure. Illness is an industry.

I heartily concur about learning all you can learn about the medications you are on or what the doctor wants to prescribe for you, as well as what diagnoses you have. In 2012, I was diagnosed with a rare lung condition, A.B.P.A., which at the time could only be treated with prednisone. After considering the alternatives (one of them being facing the possibility of lung transplants) and the potential side effects od prednisone, I chose to take prednisone. Unfortunately, I was on it for a year and as a result now have secondary adrenal insufficiency. I am now on hydrocortisone… Read more »
Amelia Egerer

I am convinced that the side-effects of taking synthroid as thyroid replacement therapy has affected my heart and that this fake hormone now has me become a near-diabetic. Doctors tell me sleep apnea is the problem, but I’m thinking this medication affects my sleep as well. Kami, if you know about iodine and whether it’s okay to take that supplement when thyroid cancer has happened, please inform.

Charlene Dryman
I have a problem with my sciatic nerve. I also need to have a knee replacement. The doctor gave me Tramadol, but it makes me so sick. Nausea and my head feels like I am drunk, everything spins. I am sick for 3 days after taking it, so I quit. It did help the pain in my sciatic nerve, but not my knee. I asked for something else, so he gives me Naproxen. I hear it is bad for your kidneys. So, now what to do. Ruin my kidneys or stay in pain. I guess-stay in pain.
tasra dawson

So glad you are bringing this important issue to light. We are doing the same with our Invisible Illness documentary. I had a PT use steroids on an injury without my knowing and it triggered diabetes that I have not been able to reverse. Just one of many side effects from prescriptions I have experienced.

In 2004 I came back from Spain with C-Difficilus, a serious intestinal infection. After 30 days of citpro and another hardcore antibiotic, I tested negative, but symptoms were the same. My immune system was gone. For a year I had every cold and flu I was exposed to, plus bladder and yeast infections and lastly thrush and Kaiser kept giving me more and more antibiotics until I was so sick and exhausted I slept 14 hours a day, often on my lunch break and could hardly get through work. Three weeks after seeing a homeopathic doctor, I was on the… Read more »