Posted by: Noni | February 22, 2011

Drug Induced Delay. Understanding How Medication Affects Lifestyle.

I kept putting off writing this post.

Not because I was short on ideas or content, and certainly not because I was shy to share. I never managed to get around to it, because I was just too tired. I had written the idea on a slip of paper and set it on the corner of my desk. It’s been getting shuffled to the bottom of the pile for 2 weeks now.

I’m usually pretty good at getting tasks accomplished but the past few months has been a challenge. This list is not meant to be whiny or self-pitying, it’s simply to illustrate a point.

  1. I’m way over-extended. Life offers opportunities and we snap them up. I’ve been trampled by an avalanche of stellar prospects too fabulous to pass up.
  2. I broke my wrist in mid November and needed surgery; complete with plates, screws and pins then 4 different casts and no comfort since. (That’s a mild way to express the fact that I’ve been in constant pain for 4 months.)
  3. Lack of sound sleep (due to pain)
  4. Inability to focus clearly and bury myself in the work (due to pain)
  5. Back-log of correspondence, design and writing due to limited use of hand. (Okay, its pretty much useless!)
  6. Personal and family commitments.

But the main reason I haven’t written this post is the DRUGS!

I’m not talking street smack here, I’m talking prescription meds. I gave up on analgesic pain formulas months ago since they did nothing to manage my discomfort. (Some even added new complaints like constipation and upset tummy) I hate taking pills and see no point continuing if they aren’t doing the job. Until…until Gabapentin. The wonder drug!

Within hours of taking the first dosage the swelling in my hand went down considerably and over the course of a few days the pain faded progressively. This was a pill worth popping. I was so busy celebrating my newfound freedom from aches and twinges that I didn’t realize I was turning into a Zombie. I had listened attentively as the pharmacist explained the possible side effects of the drug. She also made mention of the fact that Gabapentin was used to treat epilepsy.

I understood the connection since the damage to my wrist/hand and epilepsy were both neurological conditions. My granddaughter has epilepsy and now I understand how she feels. She’s a teenage girl taking a powerful medication (necessary but evil) that makes her tired. I could barely drag myself out of bed on day 2 and I was in a groggy haze all day. I decided to cut back the dosage thinking it was more than I required. The pain came back. I took the recommended dose and staggered like a drunk almost falling down a flight of stairs one afternoon. Not only did this drug make me drowsy, it made me dizzy!

I cut the day time dosage by half. It helped me function but I had more pain in the evening before the bedtime dose. The problem with patient compliance was becoming more and more clear. This is why my granddaughter needed to be told over and over again to take her pills. Skipping a pill will result in slightly more pain for me; but for her…its a grand mal seizure. I’m grateful that my nerves will heal and my hand will eventually get back to normal. Her the prognosis isn’t so bright. I can stop taking the pills, she’s locked in for life.

It’s been an enlightening experience for me. I have a greater empathy for epileptics and anyone who takes pills that effect energy and alertness. I’ve gained a tremendous amount of respect and a broader understanding of my granddaughter. I wish she could have the same freedoms as other 14-year-old girls and with luck there’ll soon be a drug that can cure epilepsy.

To Learn more about EPILEPSY

The word epilepsy is derived from the Greek “epilepsia” which means “to take hold of” or “to seize.”


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