Sunday, June 8, 2014

A Cautionary Tale of "What the fuck were you thinking?!"

I'm not sure how much I swear on this blog. But I swear a lot in general and especially on my fibro blog. Today's post may include a lot of swearing. And I'm not sure how funny this will be. Because today was a long day.

Last night, my body had what I call "Insomnia Lite". My pain overtakes my pain meds and I can't sleep. I usually give my body a couple hours to settle in, just in case I do actually fall to sleep. But I usually end up getting out of bed and then whining in a blog post like I did last night. I finally got to bed around 4 AM. And, in getting to bed around 4 AM, I slept till 930 AM. After I showered and blowdried my hair, the Disabled Guy came into the room.

And he said: "I think I might be trying to have another seizure."

Me: "What makes you think that?"

Without looking at me, he said: "Because, I get this... this feeling... like jumping... in my gut. And it goes to my throat. It gets tight and then I can't control my motions."

Me: "When did you last not be able to control your motions?" (by the way, I wasn't dressed yet. I was standing there in my underwear and slippers).

DG: "Not the thing. I can't control my mo-motions. Like crying. I just cry for no reason and it won't go away." And he then proceeded to cry for a few minutes.

So, while I put my clothes on and tried to act like I wasn't freaking out, I asked him the usual stroke questions. "Do you feel weaker than normal on one side? Can you see with both eyes? What's your full name? What's my full name? What state do we live in?"

After each answer, he would repeat the thing about his emotions and his "jumpy feeling" in his gut.

After I was sure he wasn't having another stroke, I asked about his seizures. I've seen him have two full-blown seizures in our lifetime. And one of them he had that "aura" thing that some get. It was obvious then that something was wrong. But this time, he acted normal, except for the crying.

I told him we were going to DVR his race and go to the ER. He didn't disagree, so I knew he was scared. After getting my shoes on and taking the dogs out, I asked him if he wanted to go to the local ER or drive the hour to the VA hospital. He said he was good to go to the VA hospital. I told him that if he had a seizure while I was driving, I'd punch him in the face. He didn't disagree with that, either.

So... I had to stop and get gas in the truck and that's when I found out something. About six months ago, he decided he didn't like taking so many pills, so he cut his seizure meds dose by half. Instead of taking two tablets at night, he started taking one tablet. I wanted to punch him in the face right then and there.

HE DECIDED TO CHANGE THE DOSE OF HIS OWN SEIZURE MEDICATION.

The last time he was off the seizure meds was in 1997 when the VA hospital saw fit to wean him off Dilantin, "to see what would happen". About six months later, he had a full-out seizure, complete with the pre-seizure aura, and full-body flailing, including biting a huge gash into his own tongue.

At the VA hospital's ER, they asked him the usual questions ("Why are you here? No, I mean here at the hospital, not man's existence in the universe.") and he started to downplay it, like he does. (he once slipped on the ice and injured some ribs. When the ER doctor asked him how the pain was, he downplayed it, saying it wasn't too bad. I stopped him from talking, imitated a movie quote that I knew would make him laugh. The doctor told me it was a clever move and of course, he was able to see how much pain he was actually in). I interrupted his side-stepping and told the nurse what happened in our room where I was not yet dressed. I left out the "not yet dressed" part because I didn't think it was important to her.

She then started in on the psych eval to make sure he wasn't suicidal or hoarding his pills to attempt suicide. He hasn't been through that before. And I let her do it. He got flustered trying to explain himself and finally looked at me and motioned for me to take over (I usually take over without him asking, if I see him getting increasingly frustrated). After a few more questions, she was satisfied he was just a stubborn asshole and not a suicidal asshole.

When the doctor came in about ten minutes later, he did the same thing. This time, he looked at me, hoping I'd take over and I said: "Nope. You dug yourself a hole, you climb out of it." He managed to get through it and assured the doctor he was a stubborn asshole and not a suicidal asshole.

So, the Disabled Guy learned a few things. One- he is not a doctor or a pharmacist. Two- seizures can kill you (he never believed me when I told him that myself). Three- withdrawals from seizure medication can also kill you. Four- if you're a stubborn asshole who takes medications that are also a treatment for bipolar disorder, you might want to listen to your goddamn doctor and take your fucking meds on schedule.

He promised that he wouldn't do it ever again. He assured the doctor and nurse that he was just tired of taking so many pills. They were satisfied with his assessments (both physical and mental) and sent us home. He's taking his full dose of medication, of course. But they suggested he not handle his power tools in the shop for a few days, to make sure he's got his full sense back while the medication gets back up to the right dose. The doctor told him that he needed to discuss all things with his primary doctor. "If you want to change something, that's who can help you. You should never change things on your own." He's going to submit the report to the primary doctor, so we might have to go back next week for an appointment with him. But let me repeat something:

YOU SHOULD NEVER CHANGE YOUR MEDICATION DOSAGE ON YOUR OWN.

He takes lamotrigine, which, according to Google, is also used (in different dosages) to treat bipolar disorder. So, he was slowly putting himself through withdrawals, without the supervision of his doctor.

So yeah... I've had a very long day. I'm exhausted. While at the ER, he was weepy and a little scared. (as he SHOULD be, for freaking me out like that). He's fine now- watching his DVR'd NASCAR race.

This is the Disabled Guy, in the exam room, between the doctor's visit and the discharge orders.


4 comments:

Judi Anderson said...

Scary shit, Patty. Hugs to you all.

My name is Ansel. said...

Glad to hear it came out alright.

Lettie said...

How frightening for both of you. I hope he's learned his lesson and will be okay. Love. <3

Anonymous said...

Dear Patty, you are a saint.

Dear Disabled Guy, Please Don't Ever Change Your Meds without discussing it with the doctor first. It is not good for you and not good for your dear wife who loves you very much.

I know how it is to get tired of taking so many pills. Do it anyway, and when you do, remind yourself that you are doing it to stay well, because as much as you don't like taking pills, you love your wife a thousand times more, so do it as a gift for her, because you love her.