Monday, October 24, 2011

October 24, 2011 ~ Day 319
Bend With The Wind

Over the past ten months, this blog has taken the form of many things:

Comic Sketch.
Venting and Sounding Board.
Deep Conversation.
Dialogue With My Children.
Snapshot Of Life.
Shout-Out To Love.

As the 300+ days have passed, I've written my way through a lot of different kinds of events.

Some of them have been joyous, others tragic.

I've typed many of these posts while laughing out loud, and a few while weeping.

Here I am though, still keyboarding my way through life.

Today, a new page flipped unexpectedly.

Not to sound melodramatic though - nobody has died, nor are we making any major changes. I'm not pregnant, we're not moving, we love each other, everyone is okay.

It's probably no big deal at all.

* * *

I just found out tonight that I am going to have to stop taking the medicine that has kept me feeling well for the past eight months.

I don't even know why yet. I got the doctor's message once I returned home from tutoring tonight, too late to call back for more information.

The message was short and simple. His assistant had called.

"Dr. Garcia would like you to discontinue the doxycycline. He'd like to explain further. Please call me first thing in the morning at this number."

That was all.

* * *

Except of course, the call didn't come completely out of the blue.

I've been having these headaches lately.

When the doctor doubled my dosage in September, the headaches started almost immediately. It's felt like a vice grip on my skull. After three weeks (while my doctor was on vacation) I decided to play it safe and return to my original dose.

I'd read a few studies describing doxycycline as the cause of "benign intracranial hypertension" which apparently is anything but benign.

It actually causes severe vision loss in up to 25% of people that experience it.

Severe vision loss = no bueno.

So I'm guessing the message I left this morning, alerting the doctor that I'd reduced my dosage back to the old dose - and explaining why - I'm guessing this was the cause of the sudden and unexpected telephone call tonight.

It isn't possible to connect the dots yet but I'm guessing they look something like this:

Doxycycline + Killer Headaches For 1 Month ==> Unhealthy

There is also the possibility that the Doxy has caused me to come up positive in my recent bloodwork for DILE (Drug Induced Lupus) which would also suck.

* * *

You may wonder why I'd bother getting so worked up over discontinuing a common antibiotic, especially when I don't have an acute infection.

I myself have to laugh. Just a year ago I was terrified to even take antibiotics.

Now I can't imagine living without them.

I guess I'm going to have to, though. At least for now.

Letting go of the doxycycline is probably not going to be a big deal.

Surely there must be something else I can take for the chronic lyme disease and the variety of autoimmune problems I've been outrunning for the past 16 months.

After all, my amazing, conscientious doctor didn't fire me as a patient. He's been doing this for 35 years. Surely he'll know of an alternative medicine I can take. Maybe even another antibiotic!

I'm just scared, that's all...

I'm scared that without the anti-inflammatory affects of the doxycycline I am going to go back to being the woman I was a year ago.

Exhausted all of the time. In constant pain. Anxious. Complaining. Depressed. Ill.

A total pain in the ass to live with. Even worse of a person to BE.

Doxycycline turned my life around last March and reminded me of the vibrant gal I'd been for most of my then-34 years. As soon as I began treating my chronic infections with the doxy, I felt human again. I felt wonderful. I felt normal.

* * *

Yesterday night I wrote about my addiction to sugar, having no idea that tonight I would unexpectedly be writing about a different substance that I guess I've become addicted to.

I've become dependent upon this antibiotic to help me feel well and functional.

I want so much to hold onto this person I have become - someone optimistic, cheerful, energetic, giving and sharp-witted.

I don't want to descend into that dark space again.


I'm taking a deep breath.

A really deep breath.

And I'm going to relax now.

Somehow, everything is going to be just fine. The world hasn't ended.

I'm blessed and fortunate to have access to outstanding medical care, the ability to purchase medicine and supplements, and the incredible luck to be born in the United States of America... a place of cutting edge research and many options for those folks with means.

I'm lucky to have a brain and an education, to help me generate the means with which to pursue treatment. I'm even more lucky to have the support of a loving family behind me, standing by my side even during the rough moments.

My road back to health hasn't ended.

It's just taken a small, unexpected turn.

Maybe the new path is leading somewhere wonderful! (This seems likely... even probable.)

It's time then for me to learn how to adapt to this sudden gust of wind :-)

(I'm definitely not going to break. Time to bend.)

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