Don't get me wrong: I don't have a drinking problem. I'm not saying I don't drink. I'm not saying I have never been drunk. And I'm not saying that I wasn't getting close to having a drinking problem at one time. But I do like a drink, especially a glass of wine with my dinner in the evening. In fact, that glass of wine is really a glass and a half. Between us, the Old Bat and I consume a bottle of wine every two days. Hardly excessive, I would have thought. And that was the view of my consultant rheumatologist. Back in September he put me on a different drug - methotrexate - to combat arthritis, which had pretty much crippled me for the better part of three months last summer. Now, methotrexate has a pretty high potential toxicity as far as the liver is concerned and I was asked about my drinking habits when the drug was first being prescribed. The consultant considered that a glass and a half of wine a day was within bounds. I voluntarily stopped drinking a lunch-time glass with the bread and cheese when we were in France and I also gave up the (occasional) Scotch and water nightcap.
Because of the potential damage that methotrexate can cause to the liver, my GP would prescribe only sufficient of the drug to last a month. Before each renewal of the prescription I had to have a blood test. The first (before I started on the drug) showed no problems. The one after I had taken the drug for a month also showed no problems, but the next showed an increase in one measurement which, while still within acceptable bounds, needed watching. Then the test done just before Christmas showed that measurement almost off the scale. My GP stopped prescribing methotrexate immediately and I made arrangements to have a further blood test at the beginning of this week. As luck would have it, I was also due to see the consultant again and the results of the blood test were available for him. That measurement was back within bounds again, much to my relief.
The consultant and I between us decided that as I have had nary a twinge since coming off the methotrexate almost a month ago, we would just monitor the situation, asking my GP, who I am due to see this coming week, to prescribe simple anti-inflammatory drugs such as those I was on before, these to be taken (also as before) as and when I consider necessary. Which is good news as it means I can go back to that lunchtime glass when in France.
And that is why I am glad I didn't give away the Scotch.
When I woke this morning I hoped it had all been a bad dream, but no, we still have three or four inches of snow. Guess who'll be walking to Asda?
When buying at the French market you need something to carry the goods in. How about one of these colourful bags on one of the stalls?