Tag Archives: energy

Medzzzzzzz…

I had like 3 fucking meltdowns over Christmas weekend which is sorta normal for me but this year was probably worse than previous years ‘n I don’t really wanna talk about it right now, not because I don’t wanna revisit that shit but because I’m sleepy as fuuuuuck…..

My doc and I decided to halve my Welbutrin dose ’cause I think neither of us is 100% sure that I still need it. I tried it a long time ago, pre-bipolar diagnosis as a treatment for depression and that didn’t really work out, obviously (see LBD: antidepressants). Then a couple years ago, while on mood stabilizers, my doc prescribed it again to help me quit smoking because I have like zero willpower and I get upset a lot and it’s super easy for me to rationalize breaking my tobacco fast if I’m really, really, really upset (so, like, often). Welbutrin makes smoking really uncomfortable (I frequently liken it to trying to inhale a large marshmallow I picked out of bag of wet garbage) and also disrupts your brain’s ability to enjoy nicotine so you may as well just be smoking the paper for all the good it’ll do in terms of calming you down.

The other reason we went with Welbutrin is that it’s kind of an upper – not in the same way that speed or even caffeine is, but among its peers, Welbutrin is the most likely to give you a little boost. All my other meds are sedating so the intention was to sort of counteract that problem with more meds (I’ve written about medicating my medication before, but probably not thoroughly enough, remind me to get back to it).

This time around, I don’t think I’ve been prescribed Welbutrin specifically to combat depression, but if it happened to do that, then yay? So last week, my prescription ran out and I was talking to my doctor about it and we thought maybe cutting to dose in half might be fun (ahem: a medically sound choice that is reversible if it happens not to work out). I didn’t start taking the smaller dose until after my Xmas meltdowns because I fucking hate the holidays and I didn’t wanna start experimenting until they were over. Which turned out to be, probably, a really good idea.

This is either day 2 or 3 of the halved dose and I’ve been a fairly drowsy. Which, I mean, is unsurprising considering the drug’s invigorating properties. I suspect I’d feel similarly if I switched from coffee to tea or something – which will never fucking happen, when I die, I wanna be ground up like coffee beans and served, hot or iced, to all my mourners (no I don’t, that’s gross, Laura). 

So, like, I spent the day fucking around with my roommate’s mandolin and working on some poems just for fun, and I think I paid off the balance on my Target card. Like, I got some shit done. I taught myself this song on mando:

Don’t get impressed or anything, it’s not a super complicated song, just a really good song and a fun one to sing and play. But now my fingers hurt ’cause mandolin strings are a little more ouchy than guitar or banjo strings ‘n I’m not really used to them yet. But I did like, at least one or two things today and I didn’t actually have to do anything today, so good for me. Fine.

But it’s me, so I worry a lot about these specters of things that are pretty unlikely, chiefly here: I’ll be sleepy forever. Before my various Christmas freakouts, I had been doing really well. Depakote seems not to have given me the stupids like I worried it would. My moods were pretty even, almost predictable (!!!) and I was feeling good about myself and having all these neat ideas for creative projects which, at this point, I haven’t been neglecting as severely as I usually do when I have good ideas. Good. Cool.

But I wanna take as little medicine as I can get away with and Welbutrin, among my other meds, is the easiest to play around with, so here we are. Slightly less medicated, but markedly more sleepy. This should go away. I mean, if I were taking Welbutrin and nothing else, I’d be about 100% sure the drowsiness would wane after the physical withdrawal was over, but that’s not the case ’cause, like I said, I’m on other meds, 3 others exactly, and they all sometimes make me very tired. More specifically, they shorten my battery life. It’s not that I’m evenly sedated throughout the day, it’s more like I only have energy for one or maybe two activities in a day and I don’t like to stay out late anymore.

So right now it’s a little after 4 p.m. It’s rain-snowing like the goddamned apocalypse outside and I’m legit afraid my power will go out. I’ve run out of shit to do except take a shower which is only necessary because it’s my habit to shower daily, I’m not actually dirty enough right now to warrant bathing. After that, it’s very likely that I’ll get high and watch cartoons or something. Maybe reread my poems a few hundred more times. They are part in Italian and I’m like real stoked on that point. But that’s about it. I don’t have energy for much else. I could:

Clean something, like my desk maybe (nah…)

Investigate the meaning behind the text I just got from my sister which simply reads: “Butt fun?”

Learn more mandolin chords and maybe develop some muscle memory and build tougher calluses

Mulch Arturo more thoroughly (Arturo is my pet blueberry bush. He lives on my patio and should be able to withstand a northern Midwest winter storm but he almost died this summer so I worry about him a lot)

Play some solitaire chess. Gotta stay sharp ‘n whatever.

But I totally won’t do any of these things (except maybe find out what the deal is with “Butt fun?” ’cause there is zero context for that text and it’s fucking funny). I’m probably just gonna return my roommate’s mando to his room, take my evening meds (including the ones I prescribed to myself), move from the office to the couch, watch some Jaclyn Glenn youtube videos, lazily entertain sexual thoughts about this woman who I only know through her Etsy shop but who seems like my kinda people even if I can’t quite see what she looks like or tell how old she is from her tiny picture, and maybe see which of the cats is more amenable to being used as a pillow today ’cause one of them will usually let me do that, but it’s not always the same one. All eminently slothful pursuits.

Anyhowl, getting back to things, I’m gonna give it maybe another 7-10 days of grogginess before I decide if the new Welbutrin dosage is right for me. Like, fingers crossed real hard, I guess, ’cause, like I said, the less medicine I can get by on, the better. In the meantime, jammies ‘n couches ‘n…”Butt fun?”

-LB

You Understand, Don’t You?

When you invite friends to come over at 8, are excited about it all day, then, at 6:15, you’re overcome by inexplicable tiredness, mental and physical.

When you hate all your clothes and try outfits on for a solid hour, just to decide on leggings and a comfy t-shirt which you will grouse about internally all night ’cause you look boring.

When you were filled to spilling with thoughts to share but got struck down by a puzzling silence when you finally got the chance to share them.

When you realize the imaginary conversation you were having in your head on the bus is not imaginary ’cause you’ve been gesticulating the whole time.

When one half of you can’t hold the other half up.

When you don’t know what to say next, but you know you want to say something.

When your birthday dinner becomes a depressing reminder of your and your loved ones’ mortality, prompting you to take a ponderous walk through your old neighborhood that does nothing but leave you feeling totally fucking impotent.

When you can’t take a nap in your contacts.

When someone sends you a bouquet of flowers as a gift and the bouquet has lilies in it, the smell of which is intensely evocative of funeral homes and just makes you think of death.

When you feel like an ungrateful shit for nitpicking a gift of flowers.

When you visit the athletic track where your dad collapsed and died and think poetic garbage like how a bunch of college students are now stomping all over his final breath and have no fucking idea.

When you notice that the neighboring church bells never adjusted for daylight saving.

When the only things you really want are completely unreasonable.

When other people treat you like their therapist because they can’t be bothered to get their own.

When the line between becoming someone’s unwilling amateur therapist and simply being a shoulder to cry on is too goddamned blurry so you either let it nourish your messiah complex or start making up lies about needing to get off the phone.

When you know what you know about yourself and know that you’d rather not know it, but still don’t care whether or not it’s true.

So, I can’t be 100% Laura this evening. But I’m gonna try really hard, K? Careful, though, this introspection is pretty catching.

-LB

Nothing, More Nothing, Bathroom Break, Nothing

I tried a new migraine medicine last night ’cause I could feel a migraine brewing and I didn’t want it to last all through today, which is a thing that happens to me sometimes because 1 day of pain, nausea and sensory overload isn’t enough, clearly. I tried Axert. It’s in a class of drugs called triptans, of which I’ve tried 5 others: Zomig, Maxalt, Relpax, Frova and Treximent/Imitrex. Triptans work by shrinking the bloated blood vessels in your head that are causing the migraine. They also have like the worst motherfucking side effects of pretty much any drug I’ve ever taken (with the exception of that time I had an ear infection when I was 4 and my doctor prescribed the wrong dose of antibiotics and then we went to Virginia for Thanksgiving and I had diarrhea all over one of the dining room chairs and a few hours later was rushed to the hospital because I was screaming in pain and my mom said my distended belly looked like I swallowed a basketball. That was most certainly worse).

But triptans give me joint pain, a constricted feeling in my chest, a tingly and sensitive scalp, mild nausea depending on the drug, severe lethargy, feelings of sadness, loss of appetite, difficulty concentrating, irritability, and sensitivity to heat and cold. Also (fun) if I take one before I go to bed so I can sleep through the side effects, I get stress dreams. Good stuff.

There’s a supposed link between migraines and mental illness. I would actually go like look up some hard facts for you because this stuff is pretty interesting, but I’m so goddamned tired and I super don’t feel like it, so go do it yourself. Or don’t. But, migraines tend to afflict people with mental health issues more than the general population because LIFE IS TOTALLY FUCKING FAIR. When I was in the hospital a few years ago for bipolar shit, most of the professionals I talked to were really interested in my migraines and I didn’t know why until a while after I got out. But I had to give my medical history to like 2 or 3 different people every day and when they asked about other maladies I have (see LBD: comorbidity) I’d say “migraines” and they’d “ahh!” with a knowing nod and then not tell me shit about why my answer made them react. Hospital people tend to assume you’re an idiot.

I’ve been getting migraines since I was 9 which was roughly when I hit puberty (like I started growing pre-boobs and leg hair around then which seems early, but really isn’t, or so I’m told, because of dairy or chicken or whatever people feed children that has too much or too little of something in it, I don’t know, I don’t have kids and I’m rarely tasked with feeding them so I’m the wrong person to ask about the hormones in your kid’s poultry). I wasn’t treated for migraines until I was 15 because my dumbass pediatrician diagnosed me with “allergy headaches” despite the facts that a) I’m demonstrably not allergic to anything but bee stings and b) my migraines are so completely textbook, I can’t believe that dude has an actual job as an actual doctor for actual kids. He prescribed me an ineffectual plethora of allergy medications (most of which are now over-the-counter because this was 18 years ago) and most of which listed “headache” as a side effect, so I spent 6 years medicating my migraines with medication that made my migraines worse until my parents took me to a headache specialist when I was 15. It took my migraine doctor – who I still see like 3 times a year – about 40 seconds to diagnose me with what were VERY OBVIOUSLY GARDEN VARIETY MIGRAINES.

So he gave me Zomig and Zomig aborted my migraines when I needed it to. But after 3 or 4 years of crappy side-effects coupled with grueling prep school and topped with inadequate sleep and respite, I ditched the Zomig and – honestly, to this day, I don’t know how – I powered through ~6 years of migraines with coffee and ibuprofen and naps. I hate naps. I fucking hate naps. Naps are traps. So, fed up, I started shuffling through all these migraine pills trying to find the one that would be maximally effective and minimally uncomfortable to use. Fun thing: the meds that work the best for me (Zomig, Relpax, Treximet/Imitrex) give me the worst side effects. The drugs that are less effective (Maxalt, Frova) are easier to tolerate re: side effects. At the end of the day, I’m gonna feel like shit no matter what I do. Most people don’t have this problem as severely as I do and can take their migraine medicine and still function. I seem to be particularly sensitive to medication side effects, as was my dad (thanks, Dad) so that’s the reason I’ve been on the medication carrousel with these drugs for so long.

Last night, I just thought, what the hell, I’ll try the Axert and smoke some weed to dull the aches and hopefully I won’t have a migraine tomorrow. It’s tomorrow and I don’t have a migraine, but I still feel the Axert. I feel like crap. I’m exhausted – either from Axert induced lethargy or from 9 hours of the frantic-ass stress dreams I got instead of quality sleep last night – and I’m having mild pain in my joints and muscles. I’m also itchy. That one’s new. But the worst of it is twofold: I can’t think straight and I feel bummed out. How I managed 900 words so far is a little beyond me because my brain feels like gutter slush and I keep stopping what I’m doing to stare at nothing for like 15 seconds at a time. Also, I’m sad. Not genuinely sad, more just listless and bummed. I don’t wanna do anything, which is Ok because I have nothing I absolutely need to do today (but I have plenty of stuff I’d like to do today), BUT this brings me, at long last, to my dilemma:

Do I have a shower and some coffee and try to power through the discomfort and do something useful or do I throw in the towel, have a cup of THC laced hot cocoa and spend the day in bed watching Hoarders on my laptop?

I could go either way, really. I feel like there’s a “should” implied here, but it’s not a very convincing one because, seriously, there are like zero negative consequences to me accomplishing a heaping pile of nothing today. I have the option of accompanying my husband on the drive downtown to pick up his newly fixed up bass. If I did that, I’d get to chat with a friend of ours who works at the shop where Nameless Bass (my husband doesn’t name his instruments like I do) is being restored. But I don’t have a lot to say, ’cause, like I mentioned, my mind is running at a snail’s pace today and I’d be like, “Hi, Friend. How’s things? Good? Good. Me too. Kinda. Yeah. How’s your girlfriend? Any headway on those Grateful Dead 50th anniversary tix yet? That’s gonna be a shitshow. My sister’s gonna move Heaven and Earth to be there, she’s really persistent…” And then I’d be talking about the Grateful Dead which is basically the same thing as talking about nothing and the whole while I’d be like mining the sloppiest tar pits of my brain trying to string together the words to form a cogent sentence, which would invariably result in many pregnant pauses and OH MY GOD I DON’T FEEL LIKE IT. And seriously, why am I so itchy??

So that zero negative consequences thing isn’t 100% true because when I do nothing all day, I feel shitty about myself and I don’t wanna pile more shitty on top of the the shitty I already feel due to the meds. But I’m pretty sure I could forgive myself for one wasted day – after I got done berating myself for having wasted a whole day. Damned if I anything. Good for me.

Even after all this writing, I don’t feel much closer to a decision. My husband is making lunch downstairs and I can smell it and I totally don’t wanna eat it. It smells salty. I want ice cream. We don’t have any. Why don’t we have any? I think this post is devolving into unbridled whining. Whatever. I did a lot yesterday. Let’s go with cocoa and Hoarders.

-LB