Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
comic strip overdue media

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

I have a drug problem

No, it's not what you're thinking. Apparently Lortab (hydrocodone) causes me to itch from head to toe (even the tips of my fingers, not to mention some more delicate areas) and puts me into an ultra-manic state where my thoughts jumble and crash against one another, I actually consider running around outside naked, and just generally bounce off the walls like a ping pong ball. So, the pharmacist suggested I try Benadryl. Knowing that most antihistamines knock me on my ass, I picked up some children's liquid and took the kid's dose. This meant I finally collapsed in a still frenetic stupour and awoke with what I can only surmise was equivalent to a hangover and was so sluggish and unable to put words together or drive, so I missed work. I finally found a happy medium by taking one-half a Lortab and one sip (not one teaspoon, one sip) of Benadryl. Even this gave me push of speech and a little too bouncy to be around. Today I checked with the doctor's office and we're settling on nice, normal ibuprofen.

I have to admit, though, I'm not surprised. My mom had the same reaction (minus the itching) to codeine in some cough syrup years ago. And the Lortab never made me sleepy. Still, it's a little scary, because 1) I could see where that could be an easily addictive feeling, when you seem to have the world in your hands, and 2) I've had a few episodes like this (usually related to medication), but many others where I could be considered hypomanic just on my own. That, along with my tendency for depression could mean that some of the emotional instability I've had in the past could actually be a form of bipolar disorder, rather than 'merely' BPD. I'm planning on getting back into therapy in the next month or two (after the surgeries), and so I can check then about that possibility. For the most part it's treated similarly although it might mean having a mood stabiliser such as lithium as well. We'll see. Usually at the best, I'd say it's not such a problem that I can't overcome it using skills, etc., although overall I could see how it's really mucked with my life. But sometimes...well, let's just say, I could use some help, and it would be nice to be more certain of the root cause. I still very much feel like I'm fine-tuning my life and health. In the meantime, I found a nifty spreadsheet that lets you chart ups/downs/anxiety vs. medicine, sleep, menstruation, etc. That will help next time I speak to someone.

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