Monday, December 7, 2009

48 hours out

I've been out from under my "wonder drug" for almost 48 hours now. I'm not going to say what it was, because not everyone responds the same way, and I don't want to prejudice you against a drug that may work better for you than it did for me. Suffice it to say, it was an arthritis-specific NSAID. At first, it really was a wonder drug. My pain level went down. At first, the acid reflux got better. I wasn't having many side effects. I seemed to have gotten a cold I couldn't shake, but that was it. I'd found a wonder drug, that could relieve my symptoms without crazy side effects.

That wonder drug robbed me of 2 months of my life, 2 months that I can never get back.

You see, I have very little memory of the two months since I started taking this pain medication. I've been on the edge of brutal exhaustion, mentally and physically. I can't remember much else. Oh, the procedural memories are there. The stuff I learned during this time, I remember; I just don't remember learning it. That in and of itself should have told me something was wrong. I usually have a very vivid memory of class time. When I was studying, I would remember a fact, but I wouldn't remember attending the lecture it was from.

I've lost the memories of learning under some amazing professors.

I've lost the memories of getting to know some awesome people in my new lab.

I've lost the memories of spending time with my friends. I've lost time with those friends, too, because I couldn't be bothered to move from my room most of the time during the last weeks.

I've lost time with my boyfriend, who means more to me than anything. I actually don't remember much from a whole two months of our relationship, what I said and did. Thank goodness for his patient devotion, yet again.

I've lost the memories of bringing a new pet into our lives. I remember rescuing him at the shelter, because that was before the medication took hold. But once we brought him home? Very little. (Except that he's the most amazing dog ever... but he snores. Like a freight train. I'm serious, y'all.)

I've lost two months of my life, and I can never get those months back.

It might be better to say I never had the memories. Within a few days of something happening, they were gone. They were never assimilated into long-term memories. I can never get them back. They're gone.

I was a zombie for almost two whole months, and during that time I just let life pass me by. I went along on autopilot. (let it be said, my version of "autopilot" is pretty damn productive. Just because I was a zombie doesn't mean I got nothing done!) My health was deteriorating, and instead of doing something about it, I just felt helpless and crushed. I was easily panicked, as you saw in the last post. Everything that went wrong meant the end of the world. I could. Not. Deal. With things that went wrong. I would fall to pieces, because the bottom had dropped out.

And did anyone ever mention that flying a plane on autopilot is a bad idea? Seriously. Just because there's nothing up there but clouds, doesn't mean you can't crash and burn. I got lucky. Really, really lucky. I'm off that medication now. I'll be dealing with the damage it caused (to my mind, to my relationships, and to my body) for months. Aside from what it did to my mind and to my life, which it's now done doing, it messed with my gastrointestinal system. I've got acid reflux so bad I had to go off all NSAID meds. My only option is tylenol, which leaves me still stiff and sore, but mobile. For the rest, we'll see. I'm getting tests done to see the extent of the damage to my esophagus, and later we'll check my lungs. (Did you know that severe acid reflux can cause acid to be aspirated into the lungs? I wish I had.)

But enough about the depressing stuff. I'm ridiculously happy now. I'm in pain, I'm stiff, but I feel alive again. 48 hours ago, I didn't give a shit about my future. I just wanted to sleep for the rest of my life, fuck the rest of it. I didn't want to die, I just didn't want to deal with... anything. But now? I freaking LOVE my life again, like I used to.

Maybe this is just a backlash against how dead I felt on this medication, but I'm in love with life again. The sky was so blue today that on my way to lunch, I just stopped and stared, ignoring the cold. The "boring" papers that put me to sleep a week ago are the coolest thing ever. They got me excited, literally bouncing around the lab with ideas. Going to choir rehearsal almost made me cry, because the music we were making was so beautiful.

I'm in love with life again, and I never want to lose it ever again. I'm going to keep looking for an answer to my medical problems, but never again will I settle for a drug that takes the world away from me, that takes my life away from me.

((and now, back to your regularly scheduled sex toy ramblings))

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