May 20, 2008
See?† I told
you thereíd be a next time.
not fun, but easier than I had reason to expect it to be, thanks entirely
to Instigatrix who babysat me remotely from New York, fed me lots of online stories
(her Brigade Saga Ė wonderfully silly and loads of funs) and kept me relatively
Thatís the thing
about these crises though:† you really
find out who your friends are.
The cats and I
survived yesterday (it was iffy there for a moment or two for Ivan, but that
little bastard is faster than he looks) and no innocent bystanders were killed,
so I guess itís all good.
Iím not at all thrilled about the fact that my day has
begun at 5 a.m. and began with a cat fight that occurred on top of me.
Iíve got a headache from hell, but maybe things will
look a bit better after Iíve had a coffee.†
Iíd really love to go back to bed, but itís pointless.† I was lucky to get 6 hours sleep.
Iím listening to some wonderfully hypnotic music
(Trespassers William Ė Different Stars) and reading the news.† Things seem A-OK for sanity this morning,
but Iím about to take my meds so thatíll change.
This is the hard part of this first bit, fellow
seizurites:† taking the meds when you
have this much clarity and you donít particularly want to kill anyone.† God, *this* feels great because some
of the meds have cleared my system.† Iím
not back to normal or anything, but itís plain I donít have blood levels
yet.†† I donít want to take the meds Ė
but I just did.†
You HAVE to keep doing it.† Even though you know what youíre in for. Itís 5:30 a.m. now and
Iíll check back in when my brain begins to melt.
This is all part of the Public Service Announcement
thing.† If thereís even ONE of you out
there experiencing this and being scared, you need to know itís possible to get
through it in one piece, with mind and personality relatively intact.† Iím hauling you all along for the ride and
it probably wonít be pretty.† Until I
get my sanity back in a more or less reliable form, youíll be getting a column
a day on the process.† Just in case it
helps someone else.
And let me stress that things might be different for
you.† I metabolize things quickly.† Really quickly.† I heal really fast too.† I
clear drugs out of my system at light speed, which is probably why I didnít
have appropriate levels in the first place.††
You might have a harder time of it.† What might be a week of hell for me could
turn into a month or so for you.† Or it
might be six months.† Or it might not
ever really end.†
But donít go off your meds:† youíll seize.† And when
you get suicidal or really angry, remember:†
itís just the drugs.
OK?† I know
what Iím talking about here.† Just read
through my back columns:† youíll see
that my seizures have been getting progressively worse since around 2004.
Back to the news for a bit.† That ought to cheer me up.†
And here we goÖ
Lunchtime now, or thereabouts and hereís another
hint.† Although you may feel perfectly
up to it, going outside is probably not a good plan.† Even old pros like me can get fooled into believing they can get
away with it.† Err on the side of
caution:† you probably shouldnít unless you
absolutely have to.† Itís dangerous.
I got stranded on someoneís lawn today when I went for
a walk around the block and the world went wonky on me.† It didnít last, but it wasnít fun.† Hallucinations, for those not in the know,
are also a feature of these meds.† They
go away too.† Mine generally confine
themselves to spatial and depth perception problems and are of short
duration.† I didnít stray far from home
but I had to get out of here because Ivan wouldnít leave me alone.
Which brings me to the cardinal rule of riding this
roller coaster:† as far as you are able
to, control your environment.†
That means keeping the neurological stimulation to a minimum or at least
at a level youíre comfortable with.†
Soothing music, soft lights:†
whatever does the trick for you.†
Anything else is going to ramp up the anxiety and more anxiety is the
last thing you need right now.
Oh, and stay away from the stove.† Microwave everything, if youíre lucky enough
to be able to eat.† And no baths Ė just
showers and make them quick.† You donít
want to lose your bearings in there, trust me on that.† Avoid the stairs if youíve got them.† Fainting on this stuff is common.
If youíre on other prescribed medications, write down
what you take and when you take it. This is very important.† You might forget to take an essential
medication or you could accidentally overdose.†
And ONLY take what youíre supposed to take, when youíre supposed to take
it.† Do not take anything else.† No alcohol.†
No pot smoking or whatever else youíve heard will calm you down.† I know youíll be desperate for some relief
from this but the last thing your brain needs now is MORE chemicals:† leave it alone.†
Another important thing?† No self-pity.† Absolutely
none.† Itíll lead you right back to
those nasty little suicidal feelings, so if you start feeling sorry for
yourself, shut it down immediately.†
Music helps with that.† I highly
recommend Eminemís ďLose YourselfĒ, but find something that suits your own
Feel like youíre crazy?† Technically you are, but itís not your fault, so calm down.† Your brain chemistry is being fundamentally
and profoundly altered by the drugs Ė itís bound to be a bit unnerving.† If you start feeling like an outcast because
of it, have a look at this snippet from Jack Kerouac and remember that not
everybody hates crazy people:
people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad
to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn
or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn, burn, like fabulous yellow
roman candles exploding like spiders across the starsÖ
helps.† Who cares if other people think
A case in point.
Today I also had
to go out to get my blood levels checked and I had to pick up another
prescription.† (This was the sortie that
convinced me I was OK to go for a walk.)†
As I stood in
Shoppers Drug Mart, I glanced over at the magazine rack and saw this monthís
Cosmopolitan.† On the cover was a huge
banner advertising an article promising to let you in on ďThe Secret to Getting
a Man Scorching Hot in Under 60 SecondsĒ.†
I instantly had a visual of dousing some poor bastard in gasoline and
setting him on fire.† This struck me as
the most hilarious thing in the world and I stood there laughing darkly as
people just stared at me.
So what?† I didnít actually do it, but it sure
was fun to imagine.
And nobody died.