Sunday, December 29, 2013

A Change is Coming

I don't know if all Epilepsy patients have the same problem, but I can feel a change coming on the medication front.

Seizures are pretty steady, about three a week on average. This can be good, because Sara and I can somewhat predict that if I have one, then a couple more will come fairly soon after.

When I talk about a change coming, I mean that I'm starting to feel the physiological side-effects making their way back into my system. When I'm around a large group of people, I think at any moment I could stand up and scream, or have any number of other "fits." I don't think about hurting myself, just that I could, if I wanted to, lose control.

When you're on medication, there's a difference between "real" feelings and feelings brought on by these medications. I can't quite describe it, but you can feel inside that it's not really my personality, just a side-effect of the meds. It's like being drunk... you can't blame a man for some of his actions while he's been drinking, but you can blame the alcohol. This difference, of course, is he chose to drink too much, and I'm forced to take these medications to control seizures.

I've become pretty good at noticing these feelings, knowing that they're not really "me." I made Sara aware of how I feel, and we're in the process of finding a new psychiatrist. The one I have now is pretty heavy-handed when it comes to medication, and he really doesn't understand the interactions between psychological meds and seizure meds.

Right now, I'm on Abilify to counteract any psychological feelings I might be having, like depression and mood swings, but one of the big side-effects has been weight-gain. This, in itself, could be a major depression trigger. I guess too much weight-loss could also be depressing.

Ideally, what I'd like is to be able to understand my body a little better, and have a mix of medication that, not only helps with my seizures, but also helps with my ability to live a more productive life. Lately, I just don't care very much about the consequences of my actions. I eat something bad for me without thinking it will effect my health, I go to bed too early without understanding that I will wake up at 3am, and I ignore chores without thinking that I could be frustrating Sara when she gets home and sees that nothing has been done. These are some of the side-effects that I can't "feel;" side effects that are unlike the anger and depression that the medications cause. Moments of clarity, like right now, are few and far between.

I'll meet with the new psychiatrist, and see what he has to say, but I want to make it very clear to him that I need help with the chemicals in my body, and the pain they may be causing me, and the people who support me.

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