Known Johnson

July 16, 2007

Dumb drugs

Filed under: General,Migraine — Tom @ 11:34 pm

After just over a year on “Dopamax” (I use its nickname here to try to avoid the spam-bots from tagging me like they love to do when you mention a drug by name – Google it and you’ll see what it is) and successfully avoiding migraines for quite a long time, my neurologist and I have decided to try and get me off of this crap. I’ve been doing so for the past month and a half, slowly moving down in dosage one pill at a time to see if lower doses allow the migraines to creep back in. So far, so good. I think most of my migraines were food-related, a realization that is both comforting and sad at the same time. Comforting because it’s therefore easy to avoid migraines – avoid the food that seemed to cause them (chocolate and cheddar cheese – believe it or not, I ate way more of both of these than I realized on a regular basis.) Sad because, well, it’s pretty obvious why – I love chocolate and cheddar cheese. But if that’s what keeps migraines and daily headaches away, fine, I’ll do without.

I must also throw in here the issue of allergies. My neurologist suggested from the start that out-of-control allergies could set off migraines, so getting started on a serious treatment program is sure to have had a big effect on my headache issues. I’m two months into a several-year long treatment by way of injections. At the end of that time, I’ll be far more resistant to the annoying things that set off sinus headaches and possibly what caused a lot of migraine problems. I’m absolutely stunned at how happily I will offer up my arms twice a week for a shot in each one.

However, as I’m coming off of Dopamax, I’m now starting on something some call “Morontin” (again, Google it.) I’ve had a nagging issue with my right arm for a couple of years now, something that has finally gotten to the point that I had to ask about it. Simply put, my pinky and ring finger, along with the portion of my palm attached to them, go numb during the night. This is not normal under any circumstances. It’s a condition called ulnar nerve neuropathy. Nearly every night, I will awake with either those to fingers completely, totally numb, or tingling as if I’d just had them in freezing cold water. Neither is a particularly pleasant sensation, and it wakes me up at least once a night, sometimes several times a night, and very rare is the morning that I wake up without those finger being numb and slowly over the next hour regaining their normal sensations.

My neurologist sent me for nerve conduction testing a couple of weeks ago. This was fun. Oh, it was fine at first – just some electrodes taped onto various spots on my hand and arm – but when no results came up, it was time for needles. Needles in muscles. Most were bearable, a couple were almost completely unnoticeable, but two were absolutely awful: the one going into the side of my palm and the one going into that big fleshy part on the palm by the thumb. The latter, actually, was excruciating. I have distinct, sharp memories of feeling the needle poke through my skin and then resist going further at the muscle until the technician gave the needle several short, sharp shoves. And then it just hurt constantly while she made me move my thumb against her hand for resistance. All that for absolutely no results – and that’s what my doctor expected would be the result! (To explain, he said that it’s possible that at this point only a small number of nerve fibers have been affected, and they may be in a position that the tests can’t reveal anything yet. I didn’t think to ask if this meant that someday I could look forward to more nerve testing.)

So, in lieu of surgery, because whatever is going on is just not bad enough right now, I’m on a drug that should hopefully eliminate some of the nighttime numbness and waking episodes. So far, three days into it, absolutely nothing has happened. I still wake up numb, but now I wake up numb and groggy. Fun. And, as luck would have it, in trying to get away from some of the side effects of Dopamax, like making me forgetful, I’m now on a drug that is also blessed with the same damned side effect, only it seems to make me aggressively dumb. Before I could kind of predict what I would forget, but with Morontin, it’s completely random. Example: I went out yesterday to hit a pool store for supplies (oh, yeah – we bought a “cheap” above-ground pool – more on that later!) and Zia for musical supplies. By the time I got half way down the road, I knew I was going to a pool store, but not why or, more accurately, what for. After I got there, it started to clear up, but I couldn’t help but walk around and wonder if I was forgetting something vital. When I left, I had no idea if I had something else to do besides Zia – but at least I had my priorities straight, right? So part of me is hoping that this drug just isn’t going to work and I can get off of it soon and just be drug-free (besides my allergy stuff, can’t live without that.) I don’t know what the solution is, or even what the situation itself is, but some good has to come from all of this, right?


1 Comment »

  1. […] I’ve gone and done it. After dealing with the stupid numbness in my hand over the summer, I’ve finally gotten to the point where an actual issue is going on. We moved […]

    Pingback by Known Johnson | Official Fanclub LOL!!!111!! OK! » Blog Archive » Give me a hand, give me a break — December 13, 2007 @ 8:05 pm | Reply

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