Monday, May 12, 2008

If I have to withdraw from something, why can't it be from something fun?

I've never been an addict. (Well, there was the caffeine but that's pretty much overwith.)

But I'm discovering that someone can be addicted without having a choice in the matter.

I have epilepsy. (No shit, right?) Because I'm on oodles of expensive drugs (I'm not kidding. By the time I die I will probably have been able to tour the world driving my very own Porsche), it's my deepest wish to be on less of them.

So, here we go. Lower dose (but not the lowest I will go, which can only mean more fun awaits) - side effects that are currently making me psychotic:

DIZZINESS: And I'm not talking about the dumb blonde ones, even though my hair is currently red and bright pink. Sounds frightfully clashy but actually works well. Anyway, remember when you were a kid and you used to twirl around and around until you fell on the ground because that, for some reason, was really fun? It's not fun anymore. And you don't get any forewarning - it just sweeps through my body like a twirly, seasick tornado. Probably worst of all is I'm trying to hide this at work because (a) no one would understand (b) no one would care. For example, after I had a seizure at work a number of months ago, one of coworkers recently told me he thought I was just trying to get out of work. Do the math.

NAUSEA: This goes hand in hand with the "weight loss" side effect also warned about. Today I've managed to eat a bowl of cereal and, following that, a sh*tload of Tums. A word about Tums - if you have to take these things, go with the variety pack. You can choose which flavor you like or, if you're an adventurer, just turn the bottle upside down and let sponteneity run its course. Do not choose the all cherry or all pork flavor (or whatever all they're offering these days). You will be bored causing a cessation in Tums and continuation of uncomfortable, barfy stomach. Gas-X are also tasty. . .

FLATULENCE: You can skip this part if you are of weak constitution or consider the discussions of farts to be in excessively poor taste. These are nothing to laugh about. They are deadly. Not just your average pressure relievers, these crop dusters will take out your co-workers (sometimes that's what you want but still) and make your dog run for cover. They are silent, as the bad ones usually are. Of all of the side effects, I hope this one goes away soonest. Not for anyone else's sake but for my own. Let's be honest. Usually farts of your own doing are tolerable and, some say, enjoyable. These are so bad that I sprint for the bathroom every time I'm clinching and praying it won't leak out into the open in a black, funky cloud. At home I just hope the sofa absorbs (who hasn't had one like this?).

FATIGUE: You could sleep more than your grandpa in an easy chair and

INSANE, FREAKING WEIRD DREAMS (not the way this is listed, medically speaking): The inspiration that makes LSD seem like not such a scary option for first-timers. I don't remember exactly what they were when I wake up but I know that I'm still in a shaky, sweaty haze even as I'm on my way to work. I know, in no particular order, that some of the content included a shopping mall with no way out (truly hell for me), being caught as a cartoon figure in an out-of-control cartoon car, exploding stars while floating through space and permanent darkness in the house I grew up in. These dreams would not be complete without NIGHT SWEATS (not pants, actually drenching myself and bedding in sweat resulting in many sheet changes. No pee. Just sweat.)

Now, I'm on the fourth day of this crap. Here's some further side effect fun that are listed as distinct possibilities:

- intense insomnia
- extreme confusion during waking hours
- intense fear of losing your sanity
-steady feeling of existing outside of reality as you know it (this is my favorite.
Although I think I could deal with a little unreality sometimes.)
-memory and concentration problems
- Panic Attacks (even if you never had one before) (Oh, I've had
- severe mood swings, esp. heightened irritability / anger
(I think this one's waiting in the wings)

- suicidal thoughts (in extreme cases).
- the feeling of shocks, similar to mild electric one, running the length of your body
- an unsteady gait
- slurred speech
- headaches (Yeah. Big change. A better symptom would be no headaches. I'd withdraw all the time if that were true.)
- profuse sweating, esp. at night
- muscle cramps
- blurred vision (Can this get worse from the blurred I already have without my contact lenses?)
- breaking out in tears.- hypersensitivity to motion, sounds, smells.
- decreased appetite
- nausea
- abdominal cramping, diarrhea
- loss of appetite
- chills/ hot flashes

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