Health: The Ups and the Downs

Sometimes I laugh at my own wit. Not often, mind you, because I’m told my sense of humour is sick – and that doesn’t mean great and wonderful, it means the old fashion “sick” (totally rotten). But I think the people who say that are all weird in the head.

Anyway, let me get back on track. Today, I want to talk about health — my health, in particular — and the wonderful (sometimes misguided) science of medication.

Three months ago, I felt fine. A bit tired maybe and I had a few headaches, but nothing I couldn’t cope with. Then I had a niggling feeling in what looked like a scratch on my face, so I went to the doctor. It’s been all downhill from there.

I had to have a biopsy done on that scratch, which turned out to be a skin cancer. Better out than in, as they say. Now I have a lovely scar under my eye but at my stage of life, I don’t care about that.

When I visited the doctor, after a brief whack over the knuckles for not following up on a blood disorder I have, he ordered me to have a ton of blood taken and tested. So then I had a scar on my face (at that time it was a black eye too) and a huge bruise on my arm where they took the blood. No problem. I’m passed being chosen for Ms World, so what does it matter?

The results were not good, so the doctor sent me to a specialist. The specialist also gave me a whack over the knuckles and then told me to have more tests. One of them was a bone marrow test. Still no problem. Black eye and scar on my face, large yellowing bruise on my arm and now a hole in my back followed by a reaction to the dressing which left a messy rash there too (which is still clearing up).

Still not satisfied, the specialist puts me on medication. Now, I know it was necessary. I’m in a high danger zone for a stroke. I’m having the warning signs on a daily basis. Medication is necessary. I know that. But…

The medication makes me drowsy.

Great, I think to myself. I’ll take it at night and will sleep better, which in turn will make me feel better.


Correction, the medication makes me drowsy for two hours and then I’m wide awake staring at the ceiling for the rest of the night. Let’s do the math. I go to bed at 9.30pm because I have to get up so early in the morning. I sleep for two hours, which means I wake up at 11.30pm and remain awake for the rest of the night.

Not good.

I continued on with my life. Getting up and going to work, even though I’d only had two hours sleep. This was fine to begin with but sleep deprivation has a way of playing with the mind. After ten nights, I started feeling exhausted and this in turn made me feel other things. Apart from the obvious – feeling worthless and having bad thoughts – suddenly I didn’t care about anything (myself, my job, my house…everything, really). And on top of this, the headaches intensified due to the lack of sleep.

Something had to change.

I approached my bosses and told them what was happening. Then I told them that I would no longer take the medication at night. I intended to take them at work. Their eyes widened, but, hey, I’m backed into a corner and have no other options. I know it. They know it. I can’t continue to have virtually no sleep as depression is setting in and who knows where that will lead. On Thursday, I took my tablets at 8.30am. By 9am my brain had disconnected and I felt like an alien on a strange planet. I couldn’t think yet I was meant to be working. My speech was slurred yet I was meant to be answering the phone. I got extremely upset, because this medication is meant to lessen the risk of stroke, yet how am I supposed to function when I’m taking it? And this is long term, not for just a couple of weeks!

Anyway, by 10am, I felt my brain reconnect and I started functioning as a human again, but in slow motion. By 10.40am I was pretty much back to normal. In the afternoon, when I usually feel like a siesta, I was wide eyed and happily working my butt off.

I sleep well that night.

On Friday morning, I did the same thing. I had the same experience. As the people I work for and with know my situation, they just stayed away from me until my brain reconnected. Luckily, the phone didn’t ring, so I didn’t embarrass myself there.

But is this a life I want? Is this what I can look forward to in the future? Yes, I can now sleep a lot better. That is better for my mental health, so maybe as I catch up on the sleep I’ve missed, I’ll be more able to cope with the situation. However, I’m not allowed to be stressed but I have to be a zombie at work for an hour or so, which makes me stress.

I return to see the specialist in two weeks. He will be told what’s happening and hopefully he will offer a solution to the problem, or maybe my body will grow used to it. I don’t care which of these things happen, all I know is that I don’t want to be a zombie for two hours each and every day. I have enough trouble being a human!

So, yes, I make myself laugh over my own wit at times. But it’s good that I can laugh. I need it. Seriously, I really need it. And the ups and downs (quite literally) of my medication will have me laughing all the way to a mental institution, if I’m not careful.

2 thoughts on “Health: The Ups and the Downs”

  1. Writing about it does bring it into perspective. Also, it’s a good record for me to refer back to when I’m feeling mentally able as it reminds me how silly it is to make rash decisions during the tough times.


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