Friday, 17 May 2013

Don't Panic!

Another month, another preventative. This time we are trying the anticonvulsant, Topiramate.  Ok, I have to start this post with a warning. I usually don't let on to exactly how things went until the end of the post. Tantalisingly stringing you all along until the very last paragraph. But this time I feel it only fair to warn you all, especially my mum, that this preventative didn't work.  Not only did it not work but the side effects were quite horrendous.  So mum, probably best not to read on.  No really, close the page down now...  I can wait...!

So here the story starts... Another month, another preventative. There is always a slight trepidation when taking new pills as to what the side effects you will encounter this time.  Tiredness always comes near the top.  Will these give you weight gain or weight loss (not that I have experienced either).  It only took two tablets before I found out and nearly two years later I am still living partly in fear of them.

Day 1 and the first tablet went down without any discernible effects.

Day 2 and tablet two.  I went to bed as usual, feeling quite rested. But then, at about 1:30am, something clicked in my brain.  It started like any other dream.  Then I got stuck at the end of a path and had to turn around, but there was no way out of the other path, or the one after that.  I like to think that I have a pretty good control over my mind, and I realised that this was a stoopid dream so I forced myself to think of something else.  But my mind started to speed up and nothing that I tried to focus on was right. The wrong path. The wrong decision. I didn't know how to correct it or make it stop.

Then with a start I jumped out of bed and stood in the corner of the room looking at the indentation my head had left in the pillow. 

"ok, ok, ok, ok" I repeated to myself, trying to gain control of my now racing mind.  I was calm on the outside but a jumbled mess on the inside.  I realised that something was wrong and that I should
be able to control it, but no thoughts were sticking as everything was happening so fast.  But only on the inside of my head.

Understandably my wife, at 1:30am, couldn't make out what was going on and suggested that I go downstairs and read for a bit.  So I did go downstairs but decided to turn on my laptop.  The calm outside of my mind then managed to squeeze a good idea passed the manic inside of my mind which was that I needed to speak to someone.  Realising that 1:30am wasn't the ideal time to be calling friends, I called the Samaritans.

I remember nothing of the conversation other than thanking the very calm and kind man at the end of it.  Each sentence I spoke to this wonderful man helped my mind to slowly calm down.  My wife heard the talking downstairs and realised that this was more than the normal kind of nightmare, came down to investigate further.  She hit the nail straight on the head by recognising that it was probably the tablets that had caused it.  Needless to say, I have never taken another Topiramate again and quickly disposed of them.

It took a good week until I was able to sleep without getting another panic attack in the small hours of the morning.  But each one was less intense and I worked out how to control my mind a little better to stop the intensity of them.  If one was coming on I would move the duvet from my feet and the cold feeling would deflect it away.  If that didn't work, then getting up and going to the toilet would reset my mind.  I continued to get them on an off for about a year, although by the end of the year they were pretty lacklustre.  I read in a book once that now the door has been opened, it can never again be shut.  One has to accept the issue and push it to the back of ones mind. 

Thankfully I have now done that and after the debacle of the botox have managed to pluck up the courage to try another tablet.  But more about that in another blog!