Happy Halloween, O readers. One year ago today, I posted the last installment of the main Dangerverse. Who would have thought that one year later, I'd be... well, pretty much just where I was last year at this time, except more so. Things have changed, certainly, but mainly they have not changed for the better, I'm afraid. Let me explain.
As most of you know, I inherited from my father a tendency to light-sensitive migraines. What I did not know until recently is my mother's contribution. From her side of the family, I seem to have inherited a higher probability of depression and/or anxiety. The little qualifier is there because I've never been thoroughly examined and diagnosed, so I can't really say what's wrong. Just that, as many of you know all too well, I tend to talk myself into downward spirals, which get deeper and faster the more people try to pull me out of them. It's frustrating, to me and to the people who care about me.
Lately, the two conditions have decided to play feedback loop. I walk into my workplace in the morning, and the brilliant white fluorescent lights, reflecting off the brilliant white tile floors, touch off my migraines. The computer screen at my desk, and the screen on my cell phone and tablet, only make things worse. I begin to get angry with myself for being so "weak" as to have this problem, and then I get upset with myself for being angry with myself, and the stress makes the migraine worse, and... well, you get the picture. It isn't fun. I end up spending a lot of time in the nearest coat closet, which is the darkest and quietest place available to me on a regular basis.
Up to this point in my life, my migraines have always been occasional. They would sometimes last a couple days, up to six or seven at the longest, but they would only strike once every couple months. This latest one has lasted two weeks, and it is not going away. I am typing this with my eyes mostly on my fingers, because every time I look up at my screen, that nasty dull ache starts above both my eyebrows. And while I do have medication, it works only for a short time, and only if I can get out of the triggering environment... which means if I take it at work, it will only help if I go home, and as mentioned, I've been having migraines every time I walk into the office. Not a particularly sustainable situation.
I've also started experiencing fun little anxiety episodes (that sounds so much nicer than "panic attack", don't you think?) when I try to do what used to be very ordinary things. Drive on the highway, for instance. Sing with my choir at church. So when I had a doctor's appointment last week, I told the physician's assistant that I thought I might be having trouble with anxiety, and he prescribed a certain drug which he said would probably help. I was told to take it once a day, and that it might take a couple weeks to fully kick in and relieve my anxiety, so he wanted me to come back in a month for a checkup to see how well it was helping.
Would this drug have helped my anxiety? I can't say. The side effects, which hit pretty much instantly and included being snapped out of a sound sleep at 3 o'clock every morning and constant agitation while awake, were so disturbing to me that I had to stop taking this drug after less than a week. I then proceeded to have such severe withdrawal symptoms that I had to work from home on Friday, because my head was spinning so much that I would not have been able to drive safely. Ever so much fun.
So what is my greatest fear? Well, it's multifaceted, but really it comes down to what do I do now? Now that looking at a computer screen, which is necessary both for the work that earns me money and for the writing I love to do, is causing me pain that doesn't seem to respond to anything I can do? Now that things that I used to do casually, things I still need to do on a regular basis if I'm going to live any kind of normal life, cause me to shiver in fear and gasp for breath, and the first cure I tried turned out to be worse than the disease?
I know there are other medicines out there, medicines that work differently and might be better for me. I know there are people I can talk to, people who might have ideas that could help me. But finding those medicines and letting them take effect, finding those people and getting slots on their calendars, all that takes time, and time is the one thing I just don't have. Literally -- I'm out of paid time off at the office, so I either go in Monday and try to cope with the pain or I'll have to call off unpaid. And bills don't stop coming just because the person who pays them is sick.
You probably didn't need to know all this. But I suppose I just needed to tell someone. So now I've told the universe. Go me. Oh well. *shrug* Thanks for reading, if anyone still is, and sorry to be a downer. I'll try to have something a bit more cheerful for next time.