A week ago, I went off my medications.
I did this for a variety of reasons, but the primary purpose was to get a base line of my symptoms and how I felt off of them. After FIVE months of dealing with the pain, dizziness, memory issues, anxiety, etc., I wanted to know how sick I really was and what, if anything, is triggered by my meds.
Like, what if my primary source of pain is from rebound headaches triggered by medication? What if I'm becoming chemically dependent on this crap, and just need to get away from it all? What if I've actually gotten better, but my meds make me think I'm still sick?
Guess what? No withdrawals. No shakes, no cravings. In fact, the only aggravated symptom was my extreme lack of patience caused by pain and still having to deal with people--this is not a skill at which I excel.
There are plenty of people out there who will argue that I'm not giving myself enough time off the meds to truly get a reading of how I am without them. You know what? You're all welcome to your opinions. I'm the one living with this--me and my family, you know, these poor saps who have to deal with me. Just so you know, I went to my doctor this week too. We talked about medication half life and how long it takes for all of it to truly flush from your system. I drank a TON of water this week--to literally aid in the flushing.
I can tell you that, yes, my symptoms are real. And miserable. For several days this week, the pain in my head was such that I could hardly move. Without the meds, my confusion and disorientation increased. My dizziness increased. I fell over today in the storage room, and really all I was doing was standing there. My insomnia is much, much worse.
This answers the important question of whether or not the medications are really doing anything for me. I've concluded that they are. Bryan and I talked today about when I was going to start the regime up again. Or if I was going to, because that was also a consideration. It's hard, because I hate taking so many chemicals. But, during my recovery, I need to be as easy to live with as possible. I can't give my kids a short-tempered, constantly-in-pain couch potato, can I? How is that fair for anyone?
I've learned a lot this week. Mostly, that this really stinks. The worst thing is that nobody can tell me when I'm going to be better. Though she didn't tell me (ever--I had to learn from my regular Dr), the neurologist DID diagnose me with Post-concussion Syndrome. Look it up. The Mayo Clinic website has some great info about it--mostly what they don't know about the condition. Huzzah.
Lately, I've been dreaming of peaceful beaches and ocean views. I can't travel anywhere, but the thought appeals. Perhaps I'm just looking for an escape, but I can't escape my own brain.