Wieg tot Graf: a typical woman’s story 2010
The girl takes paracetamol for occasional colds and fevers and by the age of ten has had one course of antibiotics. She is a very healthy teenager and the only drug she is prescribed is something for a short episode of diarrhoea.
In her late teens she starts taking the contraceptive pill with painkillers one day a month for period pain. After a couple of years she changes the brand and then the type of pill she takes. She has little else wrong except she needs azithromycin when she catches chlamydia. She also gets occasional candida for which she takes diflucan.
In her twenties and early thirties she has two pregnancies and takes folic acid for some months when trying to conceive and in the first three months of the pregnancy. When she is breastfeeding her baby, she has to take the contraceptive mini pill cerazette.
In middle age two major events happen. She becomes depressed around the time that her children leave home. Initially she takes the anxiolytic diazepam and propranolol for anxiety but after a while needs a long course of antidepressants. She does make a complete recovery, but she needs diazepam again when a breast lump is found during routine mammography. This is a breast cancer which is removed at operation and after radiotherapy she is put on daily chemotherapy for five years. She first takes tamoxifen but is changed to arimidex briefly. Side effects mean she has to stop this and return to the tamoxifen.
Her breast cancer proves to be cured and she is well for many years until she develops diabetes in her seventies. She takes metformin up to three times a day to control her blood sugar levels and also an ACE inhibitor, an aspirin and a statin to reduce the risk of complications from the diabetes. At the age of 80 she is still going strong.