Thursday, November 15, 2012

That Happy Place

In which our Heroine takes Drugs.
What happened after/during the seizures:
I now go to a neurologist by the name of Dr. Troxell.  If the true sense of doctoring lies in the ability to heal, then she passes with five stars.  As an aside, she happens to know certain members of the Dahle family.  Ahem.  I am pleased to induct her into my corps of doctors.  Conversation is easy.  She actually listens and seems to understand.  She heals both physically and emotionally.  I’ve had some excellent doctors in my short time, but they quickly lose interest in me once they realize that death isn’t imminent.  With them, I am to be monitored—at a distance.  The need for anti-epileptics is both a current and continuous problem.  For this reason, I am glad to have someone like the good Dr. Troxell.
At that first visit, we discussed how my then current medication, Keppra, needed an increase in dosage.  At the thought, I literally felt a sense of panic when it was mentioned—hair standing on end and all that.  I had taken that dosage before, and it was awful.  That’s why I (with my P.A.’s clearance) had tried to go lower and then had those seizures.  Hah!  Great solution.
I personally hated Keppra, but to be fair it was excellent as an anti-epileptic.  On the other hand, it was tough on my otherwise tender emotions, etc…. On a graph: a gently undulating line the mean of which is lower than my usual.  Steady and… boring.
Instead we decided to try the switch to another medicine, Lamotrigine.  I am still trying to figure out if it works well for me.  Some medications take time to get into.  You increase slowly until you reach the target dosage.   In my case, three months.  I reached full dose and then leveled off for a few weeks.  I felt great.  Then I had what I felt was a seizure—small but it had that feeling of mind-freeze and then uncontrolled jerky movement.  Welcome to the world of intimately knowing a seizure.  It comes, you instantly recognize it.  “Oh, hello erstwhile friend.  Not glad to see you.”  Anyway, Lamotrigine was increased a teensy bit, and then I began the too-slow purging of Keppra. 
Here’s the thing, changing dosages is murder on me and I have to do it every week.  If I can just get to that happy place—the one where I stay constant for a few weeks—then I feel great.   The weekly adjustments, though small, are severely hampering my lifestyle.  The good news is that so far, Lamotrigine seems better for me emotionally.  Once again I wield a pointer at the imaginary graph: its gets me back to a higher mean, though I do have a tendency to go up and down a lot more.  That’s okay with me—feeling emotion is worth it as long as the ups/downs don’t get too high/low.  Anyway, my creativity is back and that is almost good enough for me.  Well, we’ll see what happens.  Taking both Keppra and Lamotrigine at the same time may be quite different than doing either individually.  The clock ticks.  Eventually we will see. 

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