I’m still on the pills to stop me from getting any more of those “mind static” partial seizures, and while mostly it works, at times things can still get strange for me — and it doesn’t help that I made a major error last year regarding one of the two drugs I’m on, while the quacks think I should come off the other entirely, as that’s likely to be the source of my weird symptoms (rather than the “space invader” making a comeback so soon).
It doesn’t help that, much like over three years ago (and still with that GLC quote in mind), I’ve got a cold — no, not the one I had over Christmas, a different one now — and both things leave me with the prospect of offending someone at work by being too “abrupt”, and getting myself in trouble again… especially today, when I had to rush home in the vain hope that my local pharmacy would have my repeat prescription, when in fact they didn’t, and I had to go see my local surgery again, just before it shut for the day!
Just to summarise, the hideous concoctions I’ve needed to take since my diagnosis early last year (2018, if you’ve forgotten it’s 2019 already… go ahead, put up your new calendar, I’ll wait…) have been let— levit— levetin— levetiracel—… oh, fine, Keppra, let’s go with that, which I think holds back the worst of my quasi-epileptic symptoms; and lamotrigine, which I think negates some of the Keppra side effects and helps me manage my emotions (my personal trainer said his mother was taking this drug as well), though the latter I started after briefly being on clobazam at the start (which helped me feel a lot better, but which I could only take short-term).
The quacks I spoke to late last year (with my supportive mother present) think it might be the twice-daily 1,500mg doses of Keppra that are leading to my not-quite-the-same-as-before dizzy spells, where although I don’t lose the ability to understand English, I nonetheless hear things differently at first, and may then experience what I can only describe as metallic sensations in my head, possibly leading to tingling on my right side (controlled by the left side of my brain, of course); on that basis, they may recommend I come off it entirely, and switch to something else with different side effects — but hopefully only until I can come off drugs entirely, when the pesky intruder in my cranium has gotten out of town and gone back where it came from.
(If only I had Trump’s budget to build that wall, eh? Eh?… oh, please yourselves!)
Different brands have affected me differently over time, and I think I’m better if I’m not taking actual Keppra but one of the other varieties of leve-wossname — but it’s the other drug, lamotrigine, which I was prescribed at 50mg twice a day, where I made a critical error. Remember last August, when I said I’d been given “clearance” to reduce my dosage? Big mistake to even try — and not just for immediate health reasons: getting my quackery to approve a repeat prescription for 25mg instead of 50mg tablets, so I could experiment with taking two or one at each dose, seems to have made them think my overall dosage had been reduced to 25mg, and so the repeat prescription my local pharmacy gave me just before Christmas effectively included two months of “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Keppra!”, but what amounted to only one month of lamotrigine, and this has just run out.
Don’t you just love it when you need something important, but just can’t get a sensible update on its progress? I asked for a repeat prescription at my pharmacy after work last Wednesday (couldn’t go to the quackery as they close early on Wednesdays), this time for 50mg tablets, and they seemed to be fine with it — but they said it’d take three working days… and though they told me nothing out of the ordinary when I chased up on Saturday (just that it hadn’t arrived), it was only today, when I rushed home early from work, that they said my doc hadn’t approved it, and I’d have to go visit the quackery!
Fortunately (a) the pharmacy were able to give me a week’s supply of 50mg tablets, and (b) the receptionist at the quackery was able to arrange a proper repeat prescription (with a doc who was offscreen for the entire scene), so hopefully I’ll have enough at least to last me until the second half of February, when (after my first MRI scan of 2019) I’ll be meeting another quack for what I hope will be a discussion of medicine, and how I should proceed on that topic. Assuming it doesn’t get put back suddenly (and that Southern Rail don’t have any of their usual problems), I’ll have my mother there to support and guide me…
However, different brands of lamotrigine can also have different effects upon me. The ones I had over Christmas (and for which I’ve been given another week’s supply today) weren’t bad, but as a stop-gap solution I’ve briefly switched over to the leftovers of the different brand I got in late 2018, and which may well have been in no small way responsible for strange feelings of déjà vu I’ve had at times. For example, the play I saw with “Polish female best friend” just before Christmas seemed oddly familiar, despite A Very Very Very Dark Matter having only started showing in 2018, and at the weekend I finally began playing Batman: Arkham Knight for the first time, only to think I’d experienced cremating the Joker’s corpse before, realising it wasn’t a passive cutscene and that I had to actually press something on my joypad to make it proceed!
(And I’ve been listening to Gwar again lately… well, I’d listened to them so many times in the past, it could hardly be unfamiliar and brand new to me, could it? I practically sing along, at least inside my head!)
I’d love to get off all that stuff sooner rather than later, since it’ll be three years before I can give blood again, and I feel like I owe the world such a donation (it’s not enough having done it around 25 times before 2018) — but it’s worth noting that I’m getting cold symptoms again, almost as though I’m returning to normal (for a given definition of “normal”). Thus, Lemsip is one of the other major drugs I’m on at the moment, and I’m also popping vitamin pills at dinner times, in the hope of making up for whatever nutrients I’m lacking and thus getting sick.
The cold January weather isn’t helping: aside from wondering whether my hat-with-flaps is putting extra pressure on my skull (!), I’m finding it increasingly difficult to keep my room warm without resorting to turning on my wasteful electric heater; somehow I’ll have to persuade my female housemate to let me keep the heating on all day, every day this week (especially if we get snowed in and I have to work from home, not an entirely unpleasant prospect), and to turn off her own damn radiator if her room gets “too hot” in winter, of all seasons.
Plus, after meeting up with her for a visit to Freud’s museum, “Polish female best friend” has left the country once again (hopefully Brexit won’t stop her return in April), and “best mate” is stuck working outside London for another week, leaving me with virtually no-one to hang out with, especially since I can’t go climbing in this condition. Worse, I couldn’t visit my folks at the weekend because (a) they’re doin’ up the house, and (b) the trains were in a state once again and it’d have taken me at least two changes each way (Southern Rail get their second negative citation in this blog post).
Perhaps it was lucky, as I might have spread this phlegmy cold to my mother and/or grandmother, and they’ve suffered enough lately… but maybe the cold itself is a refreshing change: could I be entitled to take my first proper, non-surgery-related sick day in years? I think the last bad cold I had was in August 2016 (shortly followed by a worse condition), so it’s about time, isn’t it…