Saturday, September 14, 2013


All right, I've made the switch.

Dropped the Wellbutrin (which I discovered quite unpleasantly has been causing me anxiety at a low and constant rate for the past year and messing with everything), have started the ramp-up with Cymbalta, and am continuing the ramp-up with Topomax (my first-ever preventative migraine med).

Update, 9/14 2:30pm: In migraine news, since I began the Topomax 2 weeks and 5 days ago, I have had 7 migraines, one of which lasted 10 hours, the rest of which lasted 2-5 hours, and only one of which "broke through" with full-fledged migraine pain. As ridiculous as what I am about to say may sound now that I've written all that down, this, my friends, is HUGE PROGRESS! 

I'm not even up the the full therapeutic dose yet and I've already dropped from an average of 75% migraine days over the past few months to 36% migraine days in the past 19 days. (!!)

Anyway, back to Cymbalta and Topomax:

Both of these are expected to make me excessively tired during the ramp-up phase.


I feel like I've been hit by a bus. A really, really tired bus. After I had collapsed from exhaustion in the middle of the road.

This level of tired is seriously uncool. I've already been operating at a ridiculous level of sleep deprivation with this over-active amygdala of mine-- according to the sleep sensor bracelet I wear, I never have more than 4.5 hours of non-consecutive sleep in a night, no matter how long I'm in bed. So I'm sort of stumbling around trying not to fall asleep in my soup.

But believe it or not, I already feel... better. Lighter. Easier. Just... a bit... better.

The biggest difference, and the most welcome one: I am enjoying my children more.

I have more patience with them. I am not constantly just trying to get a moment of peace and physical distance from them. I am able to look into their shining little faces and enjoy moments with them without reservation.

It's been a while. I shudder to think how much longer it might have been.

That anxiety, that agitation, had wormed its way into my personality and was really starting to make its mark. My husband keeps beaming at me and saying, "It's so nice to have you back!"

I guess I'm back. :)

Or at least, I'm on my way.

I didn't know I was so far gone, which is ABSOLUTELY TERRIFYING JESUS CHRIST. But I'm on my way back now, and I'm grateful for that. I don't know if what i'm doing will be enough, or if it will be the right combination of chemical magic, and let me just say that I am more than a little horrified by this whole chemical clusterfuck, yes I am indeed, but today, I feel remarkably better than I did last week, more than I believed possible.

So that is something. No small something.

I want to get out of this state of chemical dependency as soon as bloody possible-- I've never had an experience like I had with that Wellbutrin a couple of weeks ago, and realizing what it's been doing to me for the past year is terrifying and frustrating and confusing and infuriating.

How could I not know?

I knew I was uncomfortable, but I figured it was just the price of playing poker, you know? I thought I was just pushing myself to uncomfortable places. But I think also that I just have a really, really high bar for what I'm willing to put up with. In fact, I think there's probably an incredibly high threshold before I'll even notice the discomfort in the first place, so dissociated have I been all these years, and so used to dealing with chronic pain.

I've been told that before, that people with migraines have ridiculously high pain thresholds, and I've seen that in myself. So I think that's played a part in my lack of awareness. I know that when I cash it in-- when I reach a breaking point and have to go lay down or stay home or whatever-- it's because I am BEYOND jacked up. Discomfort is de rigeur for me, so it takes something fairly catastrophic to take me out.

Thanks, Wellbutrin. You jerk.

Anyway, I'm not feeling great today, although I did get a bit of a nap yesterday and might get to bed early tonight, too, in my ongoing efforts to mitigate this hit-by-a-bus feeling. So I will leave you with this song by Simon and Garfunkel, which seems quite apropos.

Enjoy. And Happy Fall. I hope the leaves are beginning to change where you are. To me, that always feels like the real New Year season, when the slates get cleaned and the world gears up for a fresh start.

I'm ready. Are you?

The sky is gray and white and cloudy,
Sometimes I think it's hanging down on me.
And it's a hitchhike a hundred miles.
I'm a rag-a-muffin child.
Pointed finger-painted smile.
I left my shadow waiting down the road for me a while.

My thoughts are scattered and they're cloudy,
They have no borders, no boundaries.
They echo and they swell
From Tolstoy to Tinker Bell.
Down from Berkeley to Carmel.
Got some pictures in my pocket and a lot of time to kill.

Hey sunshine
I haven't seen you in a long time.
Why don't you show your face and bend my mind?
These clouds stick to the sky
Like floating questions, why?
And they linger there to die.
They don't know where they are going, and, my friend, neither do I.


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