Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Side Effects?

Okay, it's official. I'm definitely suffering from insomnia again. My psychiatrist prescribed some medication for me to help me sleep but I am absolutely terrified of taking them. On some level I know it's irrational but I really feel like I might just stop breathing in my sleep and die if I take these pills on top of all the other stuff that I have to take everyday. I felt the same way about the Percocet right after my first surgery but the pain was so bad that I got over that fear really quick.

I just can't get to sleep or stay asleep for long periods of time. I think it's the nightmares. And what's causing them, you ask? Why, I suspect it's from the anti-depressant that I take. In the drug information that came with the bottle, it says that this medication can cause "vivid dreams". They aren't the kind of loup-garoux-chasing-you-up-the-stairs sort of dreams. For instance, two days ago I had finally gotten to sleep around 9 a.m. Awhile later I woke up and decided to lie in bed and watch some t.v. and I started feeling like my teeth were crumbling in my mouth. I grabbed my mouth and started trying to catch them. All of a sudden, I jumped up gasping and trying not to choke on my broken teeth. I looked around on my bed for about ten second trying to find the broken pieces before I realized that all of my teeth were still in my mouth unbroken. That might not seem that bad to some people but those who know me are aware of the fact that I have this little compulsive tooth-brushing habit because I'm absolutely terrified of getting cavities. That dream left me shaking.

I still dream of being completely off of all medication one day. Before the Lupus, I was the sort of person who hated taking pills and only did so if absolutely forced to do so. Even then I had to ground them into a powder with a mortar and pestle first. Nevertheless, you do what you have to survive, so I've always done my best not to complain to others about it. I think that's what makes writing this really therapeutic. I can express my gripes without seeming really ungrateful to the folks who have helped me through all of my struggles.

I went to see my local oncologist last week and told him that my Neurontin dose was keeping me from being able to function because it made me too drugged to do anything during the day. He adjusted it so that I'm only taking 300 milligrams in the morning and in the afternoon and then 600 milligrams at night before bedtime. I don't know if it's helping or not because of the insomnia right now.

I used to take the Lexapro (antidepressant) and Mobic (anti-inflammatory) at bedtime but they were killing my stomach even though I take Nexium every evening. I've learned to switch it around and take them right after dinner. That's the only way that I can avoid the really horrible burning sensations that make me eat a lot of bread in order to try and calm my belly. I didn't know it but the Nexium shouldn't be taken on a full stomach so taking it at bedtime has really been working out well.

At least I haven't been needing to drink any Maalox lately. That is a blessing in and of itself. God, I hate that stuff! I mean, if you make a product that is supposed to help someone's stomach, why would you give it the most gag-inducing taste known to mankind?!! I think I'm done whining for tonight. Maybe I'll go and take another crack at getting some sleep.

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