Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Side Effects

Back in the beginning of this latest chapter, it amused me to no end that everytime I turned around, I had someone wanting to write me a prescription for Ativan. Here's the deal. I don't take a lot of medication. I'm not sure why, but I end up with side effects. For instance, one of the times I turned down Ativan, I did say that what I needed was something to help me sleep sometimes, that my mind seemed to slip into gear the minute I layed me down to sleep. I would get up in the morning exhausted and half sick. Everything seems much worse when you are tired, every ache, every pain. Molehills become mountains. So I asked for, and got, Ambien. And lo: it was good. For about two weeks. Then the stuff built up in my system. I got up one night, walked to the bathroom. I was not feeling well, but suddenly, at the stop of the stairwell, I got this overwhelming feeling that I was being sucked down the stairwell. I did a little shriek, hugged the wall, felt stupid, but by the morning, could not move my eyeballs, or turn my head without being so dizzy I nearly threw up. And I stayed on the ground floor far away from stairs. Back into the doctor, who gave me something for vertigo, and back home. Within 24 hours, I was markedly better, 36 hours back to normal. I made up my mind then that I should simply avoid whatever medication I could avoid, keep my system as 'pure' as possible, despite chemo, despite the pre-chemo cocktails to make sure that I don't throw up, despite the post-chemo drugs to make sure I don't throw up. It works pretty well. Although I am nauseous a lot, I don't throw up. I consider this bonus. One of the anti-emetics is Ativan, an anti-anxiety medicine. I'm supposed to take it every 8 hours. I simply don't. I'm not anxious, and the Emend and the compazine have taken care of the post chemo problems.
The first six weeks went okay. This past week, I've discovered that I'm a bitch. Really awful. Everything annoys me. Noise. Christmas planning. (Bob B: Take note! This is not my normal nature.) I was sharpish with my family. I was weepy to the nth degree. Instead of looking at people in my church and thinking 'they don't know what to say' when they said unhelpful comments, it irritated me, although I managed to bite back the harsh words. I was perfectly awful, and could barely stand myself. I just felt jangly, for lack of a better word. Yesterday was the worst. Tim and I argued about the Christmas tree. I was being unreasonable. I knew it. I was trying to make myself stop, and couldn't. So I did the only reasonable thing. I fell all completely to pieces apologizing for myself. I also blew the dust off the Ativan bottle, and I began taking it every 8 hours just like the bottle said.
I'm better today. I can already feel the difference. I've apologized to everyone. If any of my posts seemed out of charactor and extraordinarily 'whinging', I apologize to you as well.


Bush Babe said...

Don't be a bloody dag... if you can't be a bitch now, when the heck is it ever going to be allowable?? Seriously?

Seize the moment, I say! (But don't forget your Ativan!)

A Novel Woman said...

Yes, what she said. Bush Babe, I mean. Seriously.

Do you remember what your kids were like when they were little and they got sick? My kids were always mega-cranky right before they came down with something. As their mom, I knew cranky = ill, so I let that stuff slide and gave them Extra Love and Extra Attention because I knew they didn't want to be cranky any more than I wanted to hear it. Treat yourself the way you would one of your sick babies. Nurture yourself, and let the guilt go. Me? I'd be in my jammies every day, watching old movies, LETTING OTHER PEOPLE DO STUFF FOR ME and concentrating on getting better and nothing else.

I had major surgery when I was 46, so I know it's hard to just stop everything and surrender. Women, as moms and wives especially, are used to being in control.

But you know how to do that?

You just stop. And surrender.


steviewren said...

Debby, I'm glad you are feeling better. Please take the meds if they help. BUT it is okay to be real with us. If you feel bad, it's okay to say so. We wouldn't be very good friends to you if we expect you to make US feel better about how you are really doing.

*sending a virtual hug and a smile*

Scotty said...

No apology needed here, Debby - hang in there.

Mary Paddock said...

Debby, I didn't notice the shift, if you want the truth, simply because I assumed you needed to talk about whatever you needed to talk about.

Don't apologize to us. We're here for you.

Anonymous said...

You have a right to keep it real. Say what you need, when you need, how you need. You do not have to be thinking about how other people react, for that is their own business.
Wishing you peace x

Anonymous said...

Yes, I agree, no apology needed. DavidM

nanatrish said...

I'm glad you are feeling better. I love your honesty and frankness.

Hal Johnson said...

I think you have nothing to apologize for.

Bob said...

But if apologizing makes you feel better . . .

Continued hugs and prayers.

Redlefty said...

Dang, I've been grinchy lately but I don't even have cancer or Ativan in the mix! If I can be forgiven I think you can too!