This is the twenty-eighth in a series of episodes, detailing my dawning realization, that I have some mental issues, that I must address, or risk losing those around me, who mean so much to me. I do not know how many installments this will entail, because I do not have an outline, for this particular avenue, that my Life has chosen to pursue. Because I have always found writing to be therapeutic, I am going to share my journey with anyone, who cares to read along. Believe me, I am not having that much fun.
Head in the Sand
JT commented, “Funny. I keep my head in the sand. I never pay attention to side effect papers.” That would describe me also, if I were dealing with medication to lower my blood pressure, or possibly to reduce swelling in my knee. However, when I consider the term “life-threatening” when describing arbitrary possibilities for side-effects, I lose my objectivity, and devil-may-care attitude real quick like.
Of course, statistically, the odds are even lower than minuscule, but how do you explain that to the sufferer? “Sorry, old chap, just keep the old chin up, there, what?” If there are a dozen different mood stabilizers, and the second through twelfth does not include the side-effect that is a life-threatening rash, and all are going to have some sort of side-effects, then why in the world would I go for the first one? That makes no sense to me. It makes no sense that medicine that could have that effect is available at all, but hey, who’s talking here? Anyone with an objective viewpoint? I don’t think so.
So as always (and I do mean always) Annie was into the research mode, as she found out all of the pertinent details. The research gives the drug high marks, and Annie found out that “life-threatening” still does not necessarily mean always fatal. By introducing the medicine incrementally initially, and closely monitoring my body for any unexplained rashes, the assumption is that any difficulties, would be noted and dealt with immediately, as opposed to what may have happened in the test cases, when the patients did not know to be on the lookout for that sort of development.
It just goes to show that catastrophizing, that is, fixating on worst case scenarios, does not pay off. However, when considering all factors, I do not see as an option, ignoring something of such critical importance, especially when it comes to calming anxiety. Now I am able to get past the potentially deadly side-effect by recognizing the astronomical odds, plus the fact that there is a plan in effect to contend with the rash, should it materialize.
I mentioned in the most recent episode, that I am now getting much more aware of my moods and the way they shift. Yesterday marked one of the most benign days in recent memory, with my legs feeling strong enough to go out and weed-eat for an hour (with the rest of me accompanying them), in addition to two walks with Annie. I mentioned to her how positive I was feeling, a result I was sure of the information she had acquired about the mood-stabilizing drug that Dr. G. would prescribe to me at this juncture in time.
Then I awoke from a late afternoon nap, a sound sleep of 45 minutes, to an irritable frame of mind that defies explanation. Annie was preparing a meatless pasta sauce, it had been simmering for hours, dinner was slated for six, we were fifteen minutes away, and my psyche was being rubbed raw by sandpaper, for no apparent reason. The meal was excellent, and halfway through, I explained what was going on, and that I could not figure out why. I was trying desperately not to let my fame of mind mar our dinner, but even being quiet, and not trusting myself to speak, did not liven the mood.
Afterwards, I tried to post a piece of writing, but the new blogger format had me in a tizzy. One “side-effect” of Eric’s tinkering with my technology system, and restoring my email account, is that the rest of my system is royally flubbed up. I have to enter either my new email address or my old email address to take each and every step now. I have to include the password, and I mess it up every time. So I am on the proverbial edge, 24/7. The scene is enough to drive a normal person to a mood disorder.
So now I feel that the mood chart should be expanded to cover specific characteristics of my illness, such as an AM/PM reading on the irritability level, or my newly assessed issue with nausea. For the past 18-24 months, these waves of nausea have been gently intruding into my sphere of awareness, first as mere impressions, growing in intensity as time has progressed. I believe that the fainting spell in the laundry room a few weeks ago is partly attributable to this nausea. What I did not do is attribute it to mood disorders, which it clearly seems to be. So now I feel adding this component to the chart is logical. We are looking for patterns to emerge, which may lead me to be able to link actions with symptoms, or even to be able to predict when difficulties may occur.
I am good at minutiae. The Virgo in me embraces the intricacies of having to track as many as twenty or more pieces of data, every day. When it comes to the minuscule details, as trivial as they may appear, I am the Pro from Dover. Besides, it’s actually entertaining, in a macabre sort of way. Who is this dude, and where on earth did he come from? Moreover, what’s it all have to do with me?
I plan to find out, and when I do, I will let you know.