More about Niall
Niall says he is taking his medicines for ‘his genetics’. His father’s medical history includes diabetes, gout, kidney failure, kidney transplant and heart valve replacement, so his then-partner was concerned about Niall’s risk of developing these conditions. Despite being tall, eating well and exercising regularly, Niall was found to have a cholesterol level three times higher than it should be. He also had other signs of quite advanced metabolic syndrome including high triglycerides, high blood sugars and fatty liver.
Because he works in a health-related area, much of Niall's information about his medicines comes from written information he receives in his work capacity or from knowledgeable colleagues he approaches to discuss things with. He has found it frustrating finding information about having multiple conditions, as is the case with metabolic syndrome. He moved house a couple of years ago and has since used the one pharmacy, so he is increasingly raising concerns with one of the pharmacists on staff. He also has a good relationship with his GP. Niall has found GPs and pharmacists to be very willing to engage in discussion and they appear to enjoy having rapport with their patients, regardless of how busy they may be. His work has also influenced him in taking a more coordinated approach to his own healthcare, such as keeping a Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record (PCEHR) to coordinate the care he receives as he transitions between health professionals.
Taking medicines is not really a problem for Niall. He has a routine that is very easy to maintain, so he has rarely made a mistake. He has experienced few side effects and they all passed quickly. One exception was the day his daughter was born, as everything was disrupted. He also keeps his medicines where they are visible to him, but out of reach of his daughter, which helps him to remember to take them.
While Niall is conscious of spending quite a bit of money on medicines, particularly as it adds to the cost of seeing specialists, he is also aware that he would have to spend far more if he lived in a number of other countries. The most difficult thing for Niall is coming to terms with the fact of chronic illness and that he will be dependent on medicines for the rest of his life. But his blood test results and his lack of symptoms clearly indicate to Niall that his medicines are absolutely worthwhile.