Sunday, November 16, 2014

Dear Carbamazepine,

Dear Carbamazepine,

If I'd wanted to feel hungover, I'd have gone out and drank drunk imbibed lots of good wine, or cheap wine, or heck . . . some of the "hard stuff" that I haven't touched since, oh, 1992 or so. But to be honest, I haven't felt a desire to lose myself in an alcoholic haze in a long, long time. And I certainly haven't craved a hangover. Sheesh.

But I got one, or something like it, dear Carbamazepine, thanks to you.

The Prescription. One pill for four nights, increased to two pills per night after that. Makes perfect sense, doesn't it? Well. I tried my one pill for four nights and that was fine. Then two pills for two nights and . . . ugh. It started out with a little dizziness, some slight nausea, nothing unexpected.

The Symptoms. Soon I couldn't feel my feet, other than some tingling below my ankles. And I started sweating buckets, particularly at night. I woke up Friday morning thinking I'd wet the bed. And again Saturday morning. But folks, you'll be happy to know that I haven't yet broken my 40-year not-peeing-in-the-bed streak after all, but that's how much sweat I'd excreted in the night--enough to soak my clothes and sheets.

My Weekend on Carbamazepine. So the Hubster had planned on a weekend backpacking trip with the guys for several weeks, and he left Friday morning. This was before my reaction to you, Carbamazepine, had gotten bad; otherwise, Hubster would have stayed home. Friday evening, I didn't feel great, so I let Scout watch TV and play computer games all evening. We got to bed early that night because we had fun plans for Saturday: Go to the Barnes and Noble at Biltmore Town Square, maybe go to a movie if an appropriate one was showing, and then hit the ol' Waffle House for some waffle-eatin' and Johnny Cash. Sounds like a fun day with a four-year-old, doesn't it!

Well, it would have been . . . if it weren't for you, dear Carbamazepine.

Saturday morning, I had that feeling of being somewhere between very drunk and very sick. Weirdly enough, it reminded me of the bathroom at the Chimes in Baton Rouge, probably because I experienced that very same feeling in that very same bathroom so many times back in the late 80s. I couldn't walk in a straight line and kept thinking I was going to throw up. The only difference between Saturday morning and the Chimes was that I wasn't being further nauseated by the familiar old aftertaste of Bacardi and Diet Coke.

Still, my sweet kid was so excited about going to B&N, so we went to B&N, which we probably shouldn't have done, considering how dizzy I was.

Oh, me. When we got there, I found I could barely walk. I thought, "You know, I haven't had much to eat today. Maybe I just need some food in my belly." So we went to a burger place (I figured I needed a large dose of protein). I sat on the floor of the burger place for several minutes, so sick I thought I was going to throw up right there. But I was merely dry-heave-y, thanks to you, Carbamazepine. Oh, how I've missed my dry-heaving hangover days from so long ago. (Insert eye-roll here.)

So right there, sitting on the floor of the burger joint for twenty or so minutes, I sent out the modern woman's version of the APB: I posted my location to Facebook, said I was sick and couldn't drive, and hoped someone was in the vicinity to pick me up. Probably not the smartest thing to do, but I wasn't thinking very straight.

My sister (who I suppose I could have just called, but she was having a fun pajama day with her young daughters) saw the FB post and was able to pick us up. We went by my house to pick up clothes, she brought us to her house, where I promptly went to bed (at around 5:30) for the most part of fifteen hours.

I did wake up a few times with another hangover (or a continuation of the one from before) and spent a couple of those hours on the floor of my sister's bathroom, kneeling before the porcelain god.

Now. Now I'm feeling a little better--good enough to do something other than lie in bed and/or hang out on the bathroom floor. I also got some food in me and drank lots of water and only a little coffee since I'm probably pretty dehydrated.

Should We Break Up Already? Should we break up already, dear Carbamazepine? My pharmacist brother-in-law said it could be more of a dosage issue than the medicine itself--which means I have too much of you in my system, or maybe too little, or maybe you and Fluoxetine just aren't playing well together. If you're able to perform as a desperately-needed "mood stabilizer" for me, then perhaps we just need to make changes in how much we see of each other.

Whatever it is, dear Carbamazepine, I'm not very happy with our relationship right now. That is all.

Your pet guinea pig,


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