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Author Topic: Intestinal Parasites  (Read 4298 times)

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Offline AlanBama

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Intestinal Parasites
« on: January 09, 2007, 09:37:05 PM »
Yuck, what a nasty subject, but unfortunately, one I am dealing with (again).  Over my 20 year history with HIV, I have been prone to developing intestinal/stomach parasites.   Cryptosporidium and Giardia almost killed me in 1999.  I have asked my doctor why this tends to happen to me, and he usually blames it on my tendancy to be "non-domestic" and eat out all the time.
I eat out practically every day, and rarely eat at home.   (No, Alan does not cook.)  I'm pretty fanatical about hand-washing, and bathroom and kitchen disinfecting....so that's not the culprit.

Blastocystosis is the name given to infection with Blastocystis hominis, a common microscopic parasitic organism found throughout the world. That is what the doctor says I have this time (determined from stool cultures taken last week).   So it's 10 days of Flagyl in high doses for me (three 250 mg tablets, taken three times a day).

I've been battling the "throat crud" for 6 days now, a viral infection that has spread like wildfire through the town I live in.  Practically everywhere you turn, someone has it (my brother gave it to me).   So I've felt pretty crappy for awhile, and January is my busiest month at work (Accounting).

I will be glad when this month is over.   Come on, groundhog day !

Alan   :-\
"Remember my sentimental friend that a heart is not judged by how much you love, but by how much you are loved by others." - The Wizard of Oz

Offline lydgate

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Re: Intestinal Parasites
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2007, 09:54:50 PM »
Sorry to hear about throat crud and parasites and generally nasty things like that. Flagyl, as you no doubt know, isn't the pleasantest medicine to take (fatigue, nausea). But I'm glad you're blasting those wretched blastoids. I hope you're getting plenty of tlc from here  :-* and family, and rest at home once the day's work is done. Here's to a speedy end to January, winter, and feeling crappy.

Jay

ps -- I noticed Win (poet) wrote about parasites today as well.
Her finely-touched spirit had still its fine issues, though they were not widely visible. Her full nature, like that river of which Cyrus broke the strength, spent itself in channels which had no great name on the earth. But the effect of her being on those around her was incalculably diffusive: for the growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts; and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been, is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs.

George Eliot, Middlemarch, final paragraph

Offline AlanBama

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Re: Intestinal Parasites
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2007, 09:59:38 PM »
Thanks Jay.   Win made a post about this?   I can't seem to find it......but then I have just started to look for it!   Off Topic maybe?
"Remember my sentimental friend that a heart is not judged by how much you love, but by how much you are loved by others." - The Wizard of Oz

Offline lydgate

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Re: Intestinal Parasites
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2007, 10:01:29 PM »
In the sub-par ASO thread he made a reference to being misdiagnosed. The problem was parasites.
Her finely-touched spirit had still its fine issues, though they were not widely visible. Her full nature, like that river of which Cyrus broke the strength, spent itself in channels which had no great name on the earth. But the effect of her being on those around her was incalculably diffusive: for the growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts; and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been, is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs.

George Eliot, Middlemarch, final paragraph

Offline AlanBama

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Re: Intestinal Parasites
« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2007, 10:09:11 PM »
I found it!   Parasites can be hard to diagnose; they usually have you do three days in a row of "stool sampling" (I have hauled more sh-- in my time than a sanitation worker).   This time, I only had to do one test, so that was good.

Yes, flagyl is no fun, but my stomach stays so messed up most of the time it won't be that big a deal for me.   This has probably been going on for quite some time, I just haven't been proactive about getting something done about it.
"Remember my sentimental friend that a heart is not judged by how much you love, but by how much you are loved by others." - The Wizard of Oz

Offline ndrew

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Re: Intestinal Parasites
« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2007, 10:12:12 PM »
Gosh, sorry about all this!  I just had the flu and have some lingering throat crud myself.

Doesn't cooking kill the parasites?  (Sorry, I know there are no dumb questions, only dumb people : )

So you would get from a salad or something?

Yeah, I think January is my least favorite month...

Drew

Offline AlanBama

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Re: Intestinal Parasites
« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2007, 10:19:03 PM »
Drew, I am assuming the parasites are from restaurant workers not following proper hand-washing procedures.....but am really not sure where they come from.

I should be ashamed for not taking better care of myself, and eating properly.  I know better!   Sometimes it's just so hard to do the right thing....when you live alone, it is difficult (and no fun) to shop/cook for one.   I think it's just as cheap to eat out.   And I have some single friends in town that I eat with a lot.

"Remember my sentimental friend that a heart is not judged by how much you love, but by how much you are loved by others." - The Wizard of Oz

Offline lydgate

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Re: Intestinal Parasites
« Reply #7 on: January 09, 2007, 10:20:26 PM »
Least favorite month: oh lawd, try February in Iowa. It is hell.

I found taking domperidone helped a lot with the messed-up stomach feeling. While taking flagyl, it actually made want to eat and not throw up. It's my favorite stomach drug.  :)
Her finely-touched spirit had still its fine issues, though they were not widely visible. Her full nature, like that river of which Cyrus broke the strength, spent itself in channels which had no great name on the earth. But the effect of her being on those around her was incalculably diffusive: for the growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts; and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been, is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs.

George Eliot, Middlemarch, final paragraph

Offline ndrew

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Re: Intestinal Parasites
« Reply #8 on: January 09, 2007, 10:28:54 PM »
Looks like cooked/hot food is not the problem...

Intestinal parasites are parasites that populate the gastro-intestinal tract. In humans, they are often spread by poor hygiene related to feces, contact with animals, or poorly cooked food containing parasites.

The major groups of parasites include protozoans (organisms having only one cell) and parasitic worms (helminths). Of these, protozoans, including cryptosporidium, microsporidia, and isospora, are most common in HIV-infected persons. Each of these parasites can infect the digestive tract, and sometimes two or more can cause infection at the same time.
[edit]Infection

Parasites can get into the intestine through the mouth from uncooked or unwashed food, contaminated water, or hands, or by skin contact with larva infected soil. People can also become infected with intestinal parasites if they have mouth contact with the genital or rectal area of a sexual partner who is infected (e.g. oral sex or rimming). When the organisms are swallowed, they move into the intestine, where they can reproduce and cause disease.
[edit]Symptoms

In some people, intestinal parasites do not cause any symptoms, or the symptoms may come and go. Common signs and complaints include coughing, cramping abdominal pain, bloating, "gas" and diarrhea. In more serious infections, weight loss, skin-itching, fever, nausea, vomiting, or bloody stools may occur. Some parasites also cause low red blood count (anemia), and some travel from the lungs to the intestine, or from the intestine to the lungs and other parts of the body. Many conditions besides intestinal parasites can result in these symptoms, so laboratory tests are necessary to determine their cause.
It is also important to note that those with intestinal infections are at a higher need for lysine consumption and/or supplementation, mainly those who are chronically undernourished. [1]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intestinal_parasite

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: Intestinal Parasites
« Reply #9 on: January 09, 2007, 10:47:55 PM »
Bama, when I had them once and it was awful, my doctor cautioned me against buying food from the open counters at delis -- said the food is just not properly protected and can easily be a source of this kind of thing.

Hope you're on the mend soon, buddy.

xxxxx
Andy Velez

Offline stevevaboy

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Re: Intestinal Parasites
« Reply #10 on: January 09, 2007, 10:52:04 PM »
Boy I haven't heard the term Blastocystis Hominis since I had a run in with it two summers ago.  I got it, I'm 99% sure, from unwashed grapes at a picnic with friends.  At most only a few were eaten by the others, so I was "fortunate" to get to bring them all home with me that afternoon and I gobbled down the whole batch watching TV that night.  It didn't take long for my body to react - I'll leave the rest up to your imaginations!

The interesting part of my story is what happened involving my PCP's office.  After doing the wonderful stool sampling bit a couple of times I was told over the phone by the physician's assistant of the diagnosis.  I said, "Blasto-what-cis???"  She really didn't know what it was or how one gets it either, so she proceeds to "go find out".  This all happened not long after my HIV diagnosis mind you, so you can imagine how fragile I was concerning my health.  She comes back to the phone and tells me, "...you basically get it from "being dirty""... that's verbatim.  I protested that I always bath and wash my hands, etc...  "no, no, no" she says, "what I'm trying to say is you get it from anal sex".  I cut to the gist of the conversation to keep it short.  Can you believe that's what she was told and then relayed to me???  I was too shocked to be insulted at this point, but afterwards it occurred to me that the whole reasoning behind their evaluation of my case was that I was HIV+ and anal sex was presumed!

Not too long after that phone conversation she called me back and attempted to remove her foot from her mouth (TOO LATE!!!).  She was very apologetic about her insinuation and I really think she feared litigation over the matter.  Had she not totally groveled I just might have considered it - though I'm not the type for such nonsense.

Thanks a lot for making me relive my bout of the B.H.! ha ha!!!  It took over a month, if I recall correctly, to get back to normal.

Steve



;0

Offline anniebc

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Re: Intestinal Parasites
« Reply #11 on: January 09, 2007, 11:53:18 PM »
Hi Alan

Looks like I'm going to have to give you a crash course in home cooking.. ;)

I hope you will be able to tolorate the Flagyl without to many problems..I'm surprised they didn't do some Stool cultures before now.

Thinking of you
Love and hugs
Jan
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Never knock on deaths door..ring the bell and run..he really hates that.

Offline Eldon

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Re: Intestinal Parasites
« Reply #12 on: January 09, 2007, 11:54:41 PM »
Take care of yourself.

Offline aztecan

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Re: Intestinal Parasites
« Reply #13 on: January 10, 2007, 12:48:38 AM »
Alan,

Parasites was the second phrase that escaped my doc's mouth after hearing I had been to Vegas for New Year's.

The first was, "Did you win?"

I hope you are much better soon.

Jan is right. We need to teach you to cook.

Tell you what, you put together some of those Southern recipes your area is famous for and I'll put together some Southwestern delicacies and we'll get together and swap yummies!  8)

Feel better soon.

HUGS,

Mark
« Last Edit: January 10, 2007, 12:51:28 AM by aztecan »
"May your life preach more loudly than your lips."
~ William Ellery Channing (Unitarian Minister)

Offline skeebo1969

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Re: Intestinal Parasites
« Reply #14 on: January 10, 2007, 01:16:32 AM »


  Alan I hope you get through this and feel better soon!  If you need some easy recipes I can send them...  My ex use to boil a mean pot of water and I gave her some and she swears she can outcook me now! 
I despise the song Love is in the Air, you should too.

Offline Queen Tokelove

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Re: Intestinal Parasites
« Reply #15 on: January 10, 2007, 03:40:00 AM »
Oh, Alan, I hope you are feeling better soon. Yes, you do need a cookbook,hun, or to watch the Food Network. All that eating out is not good for you. I think I have a phobia about eating out, I just won't do it. I think part of what turned me off from them was watching a weekly episode of the news called Behind the Kitchen Doors. You should hear some of the violations restuarants have. Home cooked meals is the ticket, dear Alan.
Started Atripla/Ziagen on 9/13/07.
10/31/07 CD4-265 VL- undetectable
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5/7/08 CD4- 705 VL- undetectable
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11/13/08 CD4- 774 VL--undetectable
2/4/09  CD4- 484  VL- 18,000 (2 months off meds)
3/3/09---Starting Back on Meds---
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Cherish the simple things life has to offer

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Offline GSOgymrat

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Re: Intestinal Parasites
« Reply #16 on: January 10, 2007, 04:24:19 AM »
Sorry you are having such problems. Cooking for one can be a pain. What I have been doing lately is cooking several different meals, making plates and freezing them...  basically homemade TV dinners. That way I save money, I eat healthier and don't have to think about cooking every night or driving to a restaurant. I had one tonight: shrimp with salsa, pinenut cous cous and mixed vegetables.

I hope you feel better soon.

Offline Nadine

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Re: Intestinal Parasites
« Reply #17 on: January 10, 2007, 06:00:32 AM »
Feel better soon Alan!

(((BIG HUGS)))

Offline david25luvit

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Re: Intestinal Parasites
« Reply #18 on: January 10, 2007, 06:18:47 AM »
Alan...Sorry to hear of your diagnosis and subsequent discomfort.  Aw...and its a new year
Don't let it get you down...  Sending you a great big

    (((( HUG ))))) :-*
In Memory of
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Nov. 25, 1972- Oct. 15, 2004
I miss him terribly..........

Offline poet

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Re: Intestinal Parasites
« Reply #19 on: January 10, 2007, 06:30:27 AM »
Gee... I am SO glad I found this thread before breakfast today. :(  Alan, let's figure out a safer eating program for you, if this is the cause?  I, too, hate cooking for one (and yet spend my weekends cooking for the week at work for the residents) so I know what you mean about that.  And if your social life, in part, is eating out with single friends, were you to shift to home cooking (which would protect you) you would miss them and that. Per my experience in NYC, the health department gets the notification of parasites in anyone and tries to determine with them the place of origin so that their inspectors can go in.  Yes, this was NYC which had the cash to do inspections.  You might try to nail down 'safe' places to eat out, places which have not made you or your friends safe in the past.  Not perfect because of staff changes, but this might help a bit.

For anyone wondering the symptoms without being graphic here, if you find yourself filling with air and stop burping or if you feel a churning in your stomach as though you had swallowed the ocean (and soon have to expel an ocean like a fire hydrant): parasites.  The dry mouth, the need to keep drinking water when it's not caused by heat/humidity/exercise is another clue.  The water drinking creates the ocean effect.  I have only had them twice, both times, I assume, from eating out (yes, I, too, ate out a lot in NYC) but by the second time with the symptoms, I knew without being tested what the cause was.  If anyone lives in NYC, btw, there is, thankfully, a clinic which is there JUST for parasite testing and such things.  You are given a drink, told to have a light breakfast and stay within reach.  Since the samples are taken directly by the lab workers, they were great about finding things present the first time.  (Chelsea Biologics on West 19th Street/basement)

Let me not forget to wish you over and past this really, really soon, Alan.  Then you can go back on dairy products which Flagyl prohibits.  Best, Win (who even relates all this in his book)
Winthrop Smith has published three collections of poetry: Ghetto: From The First Five; The Weigh-In: Collected Poems; Skin Check: New York Poems.  The last was published in December 2006.  He has a work-in-progress underway titled Starting Positions.

Offline carousel

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Re: Intestinal Parasites
« Reply #20 on: January 10, 2007, 06:54:35 AM »
.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2007, 09:53:31 AM by carousel »

Offline Nashvegas

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Re: Intestinal Parasites
« Reply #21 on: January 10, 2007, 09:19:28 AM »
Intestinal parasites... boy do I hate 'em!  A couple of years ago, BEFORE I was infected with HIV, I had a really long battle with those nasty little suckers.  For about 18 months, I couldn't shake them, depsite numerous rounds of Flagyl (yuck!) and other medications (Alinia and Iodequinol) .  Nothing worked!  I'd be better for a week or two after taking the meds, but then the cramping and loose stools would come back in full force.  Just as I was about to give up on the possibility of eradicating the little buggers, I started eating Dannon's Activia yogurt, which is supposed to have healthy live cultures to help regulate your digestive system.  Every morning, one yogurt.  Miraculously, the parasites seemed to disappear, and my bowel movements returned to normal.  And this happened at a time when I was months away from taking any medications for the problem. 

I can't be 100% sure that the yogurt did the trick, but I can tell you that I continue to have one every day, and (knock on wood) I haven't had any problems since.  You may want to give the Activia thing a try if you haven't already. 

Good luck! 

8/12/06 - sero-conversion
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Offline cjc

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Re: Intestinal Parasites
« Reply #22 on: January 10, 2007, 11:24:02 AM »
Alan, so sorry to hear about your health problems especially the parasites. I realize it is hard to cook for one but GSO had a good suggestion. About making plates and freezing them. My mom used to do that for my dad whenever she was going to be gone for a couple days . I hope that you didn't get it from a restaurant worker, I am extremely diligent about washing my hands but realize everyone is not as diligent as I.   No matter what I hope you feel better.  Cristy

Offline dixieman

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Re: Intestinal Parasites
« Reply #23 on: January 10, 2007, 03:25:25 PM »
Hey Alan, I've always done herbal cleansing and I eat fresh garlic etc... garlic consumed with foods should not effect your meds... also you have a mass of information and free recipes sites on how to cook... read and follow directions... allrecipes.com has some everyday meals and recipes to more detailed.. just take the time... good luck!

Offline Jody

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Re: Intestinal Parasites
« Reply #24 on: January 10, 2007, 09:27:30 PM »
Hi Alan...So sorry to hear you are suffering stomach issues...I eat out a great deal as well and it is risky, you don't know who is handling your food and you are not washing off the salads and meats and chickens or fish yourself...I also find a heaping tablespoon of yogurt with acidophilus daily and taking selenium may be helpful in keeping my stomach stable and the stool firm...Bottom line is we don't like to discuss such issues publicly in most cases but hell, it's a part of our lives.

Be well my good friend.

Jody
"Wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world".
 "Try to discover that you are the song that the morning brings."

Grateful Dead

Offline AlanBama

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Re: Intestinal Parasites
« Reply #25 on: January 10, 2007, 09:55:41 PM »
Thanks Jody, and everyone else too!

Tonight my bugs are at war with the drugs inside me....NOT CUTE.

I have to try real hard not to think too much about having PARASITES inside me...something about that just makes me insane....

hugs,

Buggy Boo
"Remember my sentimental friend that a heart is not judged by how much you love, but by how much you are loved by others." - The Wizard of Oz

Offline thirtysomething

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Re: Intestinal Parasites
« Reply #26 on: January 11, 2007, 09:48:39 PM »
Now I'm wondering, why I read this topic.. I'll be worried about Intestinal Parasites now!  :(

Funny the way Buggy Boo described it:

'Tonight my bugs are at war with the drugs inside me....NOT CUTE.' LOL

Offline lforsyth

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Re: Intestinal Parasites
« Reply #27 on: January 14, 2007, 02:39:58 PM »
Thanks for this forum.  We have to be sooo careful!

Although I can cook I usually have breakfast and lunch at the cafeteria where I work.  Last year I was having stomach problems although I just let it go as I sometimes have really bad reactions to my meds. One causes dizziness, another causes stomach aches and the other two cause nausea, vomiting or diarrhea (I just love waiting for the side-affect du jour).

I later heard that the manager of the cafeteria was let go after an audit showed that he ordered food for two weeks instead of one.  Sot the fresh fruit (cantaloupe, melon and pineapple) was bordering on expiration. We now have a great manager of the cafeteria and I see that they are very conscious about freshness and proper temperatures storage of the food being served.

I hope you get better soon.
Tested POZ in 1986, knew there was something wrong in 1985. 04/2010 CD4: 975 Viral Load undetectable. Prezista, Norvir, Truvada, Acyclovir, Plavix, Lisinopril, Metoprolol and a bedtime snack of Lipitor (YUM)

Offline bravebuddharich

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Re: Intestinal Parasites
« Reply #28 on: January 14, 2007, 04:58:10 PM »
Well, I can relate to the cryptosporidium; I had that a year ago just about to the day - I was in the hospital, as they were frustrated, thinking it was something else, and testing testing testing. They had told me it was either water-borne or through rimming. I thought it more likely it was the latter. They never mentioned undercooked food to me. It took a long time to get over it, but I did get one big benefit out of it: I switched doctors to the one I have now (the one I am madly, deeply, passionately in love with, LOL!)... actually, that hospitalization was the hardest one I've ever endured. My doctor told me months later that they were very very worried about me. So I'm grateful for where I am now - much healthier, albeit depressed, but at least alive!

Rich from Boston

Offline lforsyth

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Re: Intestinal Parasites
« Reply #29 on: November 05, 2010, 08:27:57 PM »
I just hope the ultrasound and my Doctor are up to the task. But they don't have a clue about care for an old man (61) living with HIV since 1986.  And I might say that I'm treated rudely  by the gay community in general and gays who think that being a queen is what gay is all about.

What I cant understand is that newly infected is treated as Poor Him.  I've been living with HIV since before 1986 and I'm treated like he got what he deserved.  The Gay community of Phoenix say's I'm not worth carring about. I only say this because I feel that I'm not accepted.

I was in communication with the gay community about HIV and they suddenly stopped communication with me. Not of my choice.

I'm just an outsider looking in.
« Last Edit: November 05, 2010, 08:35:28 PM by lforsyth »
Tested POZ in 1986, knew there was something wrong in 1985. 04/2010 CD4: 975 Viral Load undetectable. Prezista, Norvir, Truvada, Acyclovir, Plavix, Lisinopril, Metoprolol and a bedtime snack of Lipitor (YUM)

 


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