"Our life evokes our character. You find out more about yourself as you go on. That's why it's good to be able to put yourself in situations that will evoke your higher nature rather than your lower. 'Lead us not into temptation.'" Joseph Campbell

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

My drug can take the world's troubles on its shoulders

I decided to cross-post a personal entry today. :-)

Some background info.

1. This past winter my husband and I came to a bit of a crisis point in our marriage. No new issues, just a higher need to finally resolve old ones. And before you express sympathy for me, I've been more of the guilty party. :-(  I actually made myself a star chart to form some new better marriage habits. (Not stars, though. Stickers of kitties and dogs.) (You won't believe how motivated I am by stickers.) Anyway, we got through the worst of it, and we intend to go to counseling later, so all is well.

But the salient info is that almost every time we fought I ended up crying. And to the point that I felt like I was having a nervous breakdown. And one day in February, outside of a comic book store on a busy street, set off by something truly meaningless, I started crying uncontrollably and couldn't stop. This has never happened to me before. It was intellectually interesting. But it also turned out to be the turning point. A week later, after a speech by my husband, and a day of philosophizing while riding around on the bus, I pulled myself out of my general breakdown. But I do still cry easily.

2. I got a cold in February, which landed in my lungs. Once the cold cleared up, my lungs remained inflamed and I've had a cough ever since. Two weeks ago my GP gave me a pump, and it's pretty much gone now.

3. I've had chronic headaches since I was 20 (I'm 37). For a couple years I've been seeing a specialist. I take a daily medication (Elavil) that's helped a lot, and I have good drugs for getting rid of headaches when they come. In January I started a second daily med to prevent headaches. I reached the full dosage my doc was starting me at in February.

Today's Story
Today I went to see my headache doctor and we talked about the Topamax. I'd read about the side effects when I first went on it, but I don't tend to remember everything. And I'm not a worrier, so I don't look for side effects. When I started getting a lot of pins and needles, I remembered it was a side effect. When I was sick and found myself getting hot too easily, I realized I was sweating less and remembered it was a side effect. One day in February I had a Coke that tasted flat even though it wasn't flat, and hours later I remember it was a side effect (isn't that totally weird?)

But I forgot that one possible side effect is sluggish thinking, for example. Probably because I wouldn't want to remember that. I remembered today when she asked me about it. I told her that when I learn new French words, they seem to stick, so no, I don't think it's been a problem.

Then she asked me, how are my moods? I didn't know what she meant. She asked if I was feeling angry, or aggressive? No. Was I crying more?

... !!

Yeeees. I told her about my marriage problems.

She asked if the crying was uncontrollable.


I told I thought I'd been having a nervous breakdown!

She kept asking more questions, I assume until she was comfortable I wasn't going into a depression, before upping my Topamax dose. And she said if the side effects get too bad, then to just cut my dose back again.

Just now I went back to re-read the side effects. I can see why the moods thing didn't stick with me, cause it's very broad. It doesn't say "uncontrollable crying" -- that might be something she's run into in her practice, or in journals etc.

BUT. It does say: upper respiratory tract infections.

So the thing is... I'm now going to blame everything in my life on Topamax. Got a cold? It's the Topamax. Marriage problems? Topamax. Cats fighting? Must be the Topamax. Not in the mood to do any chores? Obviously it's the Topamax.

Feel free to blame your problems on my drug too. My drug is big enough to handle it.


lora96 said...

Good plan!

When I read Perfect Fifths, I loved that the ex-boyfriend said, If there's any awkwardness let's not apologize. Let's just blame Lord Byron.

It was totally arbitrary but I adored the idea.

I blame my phenargen for some stuff that is probably my personality right now...

London Mabel said...

"let's not apologize. Let's just blame Lord Byron."

lol lol lol

I LOVE jokes like that.

widdershins said...

That's quite a story. The moral is, read the labels so you can have something to blame. I love it!!!

Skye said...

Or you can end up so medicated --- like I am right now --- that you can't feel anything but a vague calmness. It's so not me. I don't want to return to the unbelievable depression and anxiety, or to the extreme mood swings, but this is not me. Ugh. What's the phrase? I feel as if I'm wrapped in cotton wool.

I totally get the uncontrollable crying, altho mine came about many years ago from NOT being medicated. You have my sympathies because it sucks. I hope you and the Mr. are doing better and that your side effects have subsided. Sometimes mine do one I've been on a med for awhile.

London Mabel said...

Ya sometimes artists don't want to be on meds because they need those highs and lows, and dread the cotton wool. :-(

My pins and needles have gotten better this past week, and that was the worst side effect, so maybe it's all lessened a bit. I mostly feel like my old self, which is good cause I need to be--for the sake of others right now.

Me n' the Mr are better though. Thanks. :-)


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