Thursday, 2 October 2014

New Drugs, Old Problems

This is my first day on my increased medication for PBA. When I started the Venlafaxine last February, it had an impact almost immediately. Within a day or two the panic attacks and unexplained tears stopped completely. It seemed almost miraculous to me that something so emotionally debilitating could be resolved so simply. Here I go again.

Of course there are other issues to be dealt wit here. For example I think I still owe apologies to a few people. I am also not sure how long it will take for the higher dose to have an impact. I am already on this drug and clearly my body is building up a resistance to it; I am told this happens with most anti-depressants. In addition, while this dose is double what I was on before, it is only the normal dosage; I was taking a half dose prior to this. So I suspect it will take a bit longer to have an effect on me. Until then, I am going to continue with a reduced social schedule, at least until I feel like I have a better sense of control over my emotions.

The final part of this new regime is alcohol. I've noticed a substantial increase in my drinking over the last few months. I am now convinced that a large part of this is simple self-medication. The sad thing is that alcohol depresses your body's systems, counteracting the beneficial effects of the medication. When I started this regime back in February, I was asked to keep it to a couple of drinks a night; there is a known interaction with Venlafaxine and alcohol. I did, for a bit. Once I found no ill effects, I moved up the scale to three. Then, a few months back, it started to get worse and worse.

So now I am going back to healthy living, or at least as healthy as I can. I will once again reduce my beer consumption when I go out, and my wine consumption at home. I will do as the doctors say and keep it to one or two in the evenings until we see what happens. After that, I may go back up to three in an evening. Beyond that, it is pretty clear that there is danger there.

It seems almost unfair. I have a disease that will kill me soon enough, yet the drugs I take to control the wicked side effects of this disease force me to live a healthy life. I don't want to live a healthy life; it is much more fun to be naughty, an all round bad boy. I want to ride a motorcycle, wear a leather jacket, get into fights, drink too much, have lots of women... wait, I couldn't do that even when I didn't have ALS.

Perhaps what I really want is to get rid of this stupid emotional lability, and to feel safe again. It would seem to be the best thing to do, at least for now.

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