vladdraculea: Julia set fractal with Ace and Arrow Pride colors, black, grey, white, green, and purple (Ben)
2017-06-16 02:26 pm

Brain zaps and other shit …

The past week and a half has been full of brain ugh. Lots and lots of brain ugh. Mostly of the brain zaps and feel like we're falling asleep on our feet variety, with a little heightened ear-ringing thrown in. It's not so much brain fog but, it's like we have a fever but without the high temperature and without the aches and pains that sometimes come with a fever. Or like the time we went off Effexor XR back in 2013: same exact problem.

We've been on a different SNRI called duloxetine for the past 11 years and we went through a period a year or two after having been on 60 mg twice a day where this started happening again, but we got our doctor to change the dosing schedule to 30 mg four times a day and the problem went away and never came back. Till this month. So we figured it probably wasn't that either.

And someone in our hypermobile Autistics group on fb said it could be a temporal lobe migraine thing, but we have been told by a doctor (not our regular doctor and not even a neurologist, so maybe they were wrong?) that our headaches aren't actually migraines, and anyway, we're taking 7.2 grams (yes, really that much) of gabapentin a day (divided so we take half at bedtime with three smaller doses at breakfast, lunch, and supper) and we haven't had much in the way of headache pain in the past two weeks. So it's probably not that either, since a. gabapentin is a migraine prevention drug and b. it especially assists other anticonvulsants in treating temporal lobe epilepsy. And while temporal lobe epilepsy is not the same thing as temporal lobe migraines, my intuition says there is little chance we've just out of the blue started having non-headache migraine symptoms of the sort that would be obliterated by taking even a quarter of the dose of gabapentin we're taking.

But going back to the SNRI withdrawal thing, this afternoon, I wondered if the current batch of our SNRI might be ... off ... somehow. Like could it be a bad batch, or not the extended release kind we've been on for a while? So went and counted the remaining pills in our current bottle and it seems we started taking this batch on June 2, three days before all this started. It might be a coincidence, but it's suspicious timing.

On the other hand, according to our doctor, perimenopause could explain just about anything. Including this kind of thing. So maybe it's not our SNRI after all. Ugh. And we won't know for sure unless we get a refill and all of a sudden these symptoms just go poof! But that won't be for another two weeks.

Meanwhile, we have to have our first mammogram because breasts. Which I wish we didn't have, though Vlad doesn't mind them and surgery isn't covered and ugh.
vladdraculea: Rainbow Autistic Pride lemniscate over the black, grey, white, and purple stripes of the Asexuality Pride flag (Default)
2015-07-11 02:15 pm

Adventures in Zen: Zen while chronically ill

There's not much going on in my Zen learning and spiritual development at the moment, but I thought I'd update everyone on what little there is, since it seems I haven't posted in quite a while.

This is partly to do with Seattle's recent heat wave, which finally broke over Thursday night. We had 15 days straight of heat over 80°F/27°C, which given my dysautonomia and that practically nobody in Seattle has AC, was miserable for me. My executive function took a major hit during that time and I couldn't keep track of much at all, and it was as if Zen wasn't even part of my life: I couldn't maintain attention for long enough to meditate for more than a breath or two before completely forgetting that I was meant to be in meditation, and I'd be off to do something else instead, not realizing till several minutes-to-a-few-hours later that I'd been in the middle of meditating and gotten distracted with something and never remembered to go back to it. *sigh*

I would love to say that given the much lower temperatures, I've been able, finally, to return to regular meditation, but alas, I find myself so sleepy — probably because I never got really good sleep over the two weeks of excessive heat — that when I sit down to meditate, I end up just falling asleep, which is not much of an improvement over getting distracted.

My partner and I mean to attend group meditation at the Zen center tomorrow morning, so if my tummy lets me get away with it, I may try ingesting some cold cocoa and a chocolate-coffee brownie for breakfast to help me stay awake.