When I last saw my doctor, she was concerned about my weight and arranged for me to visit the dietician and exercise physiologist. She said if that didn't work, the next step was diet pills - specifically Duramine. I was rather horrified by the whole conversation - firstly that I was fat enough to qualify for subsidised dietician visits, and secondly at the idea of medication. I rarely even take aspirin, turning to 'drugs' is not my natural impulse. But I did some research.
Durmine is amphetamine-based, an appetite suppressant that also gives you energy. Side effects can include insomnia and anxiety. Also 'cotton mouth' ie very dry mouth no matter how much you drink, although that and other side effects should fade after a few days or weeks. When I was about 14 (I thought I was fat, ha!) I stole one of my obese aunt's diet pills, I assume similar to Duramine. For three days I wasn't hungry (I ate at meals so people wouldn't worry) and was full of energy but had a lot of trouble sleeping at night. And I remember an episode of Family Ties where Alex takes a diet pill given by a friend of Mallory, so he can stay up and study. He instead spends the night frantically cleaning the house and even breaking into a neighbour's garage, then sleeping through his exam and missing it. A cautionary tale. I found plenty of people online who hated the side effects and thought it wasn't worth it.
But there are also lots of good stories on the internet chat rooms. People who have had little or no side effects (or thought they were worth it) and lost lots of weight, and kept it off after going off the medication. People who felt the risks inherent in taking any drug were outweighed (forgive the pun) by the health benefits of no longer being obese. Motivating weight loss, energy to exercise, food cravings gone. Short-term insomnia instead of long-term sleep apnoea. No diabetes or joint pain. For some, it really worked.
Well, going to the weight-loss specialists didn't work, in fact I have put on weight. So I did some more research on the diet pills available, and went back to my doctor today. Or rather, the new doctor, as they change every six months. Ugh, she was slender and stunning. I worried that I might have to convince her to prescribe it to me, but after looking at my history, BMI etc, she was quite willing. She did ask if the previous doctor had discussed other options with me. I thought she was going to say medication was a bit extreme and I should try more other things first. But no. She brought up the most extreme solution of all - surgery! I am fat enough that a doctor suggests weight loss surgery could be an option in the future, if Duramine doesn't work. How depressing is that. How long have I been kidding myself that 'I'm not really that fat.'
So I got a prescription for the lowest dose of Duramine (15). You have to take them first thing in the morning so they disrupt sleep as little as possible, so I start tomorrow. Excited/scared/hopeful. I'll keep you updated.