Hi, all... well, it's been about three months since I've started taking Topamax for seizures. It's probably too soon to tell whether or not it's actually doing anything though, since I sometimes go that long between seizures and migraines. I had a follow-up visit a few weeks ago with my neurologist, who made another appointment for six months. In the meantime, I've been referred to a cardiologist to rule out blood pressure problems. I guess blackouts can also be caused by heart problems - people often pass out if their heart doesn't keep proper pressure in their legs. Well, the first test, called a tilt-table test, came out negative. They strapped me to a table, and tilted me to about 85 degrees (almost to a standing position) to see if my blood pressure would drop to a point that I'd pass out. Nope, I was fine all through it. Tomorrow I go to have a heart monitor fitted for a day or two to see if I have any problems with the ol' ticker. I do have a history of heart problems in my family, but nothing that gives the doctor any reason to suspect that I will have any problems of my own. So this is mostly just to say that we've tried it and ruled it out.
I read the note from Lisa - I can sympathise. I saw one doctor who sounded like he was ready to say "gee, it sure sounds like you're making all this up, kid." I was ready to slug the guy. Just because it doesn't show up in the form of a bunch of squiggly lines on a chart, doesn't mean it isn't really happening. In one sentence, they tell you that the human brain is an amazing thing, but it's not completely mapped out and understood, and then they turn around and tell you that unless they can prove what's going on, they can't help you. Maddening.
Meanwhile, I think it's safe to say that I've finally developed a tolerance for the Topamax. I still can't drink soda, but I'm well past the nausea, although I think I'm still sorta droopy - I've had people tell me I'm not quite back to my normal chipper self. I can sleep 14 hours a night but I still feel sleepy all the time. I'm also forgetting to eat quite often. I am just not hungry most of the time! I called my neurologist a few weeks ago complaining that I was feeling really sick, and wondering if the pills were causing it, and the nurse had to ask me when the last time was that I had eaten. I had to admit that I didn't know :/ Okay, chalk one up for stupidity
As a result, I have lost about 25 pounds since September, which I certainly don't miss, but I still have to watch that I don't drop weight too fast.
The one thing that does worry me though, is the lack of memory retention and an inability to think properly. I have noticed that I can't seem to logic my way through things as well as I used to. The week before Christmas, my wife and I went to Bertucci's for pizza, and I actually had trouble trying to figure out 15% of $50 in order to leave a tip! That's simple math, and I couldn't do it! Then, on Christmas Day, I was talking to my sister-in-law, and was trying to figure out something that involved the differences between our ages, and again, I was having trouble with the math of it. Simple math was failing me. I also have problems finding words for things that I used to have no difficulty with. 90% of my day involves e-mail or other forms of typewritten communication, and now I find myself doing a lot of staring at my screen searching for the correct word. The ideas just don't flow as easily as they used to. I know this has to be the medication doing this to me - I am too young to go senile!!
At least my wife is understanding, but it's killing her to watch me frustrate myself trying to search for a simple word - she knows what I was like before this all started, and she hates to see what I am like now. But what's the alternative? Stop taking the meds, and risk the seizures again? Which is worse? Physical or mental distress? Tough choice.
Enough rambling ....
Happy 2003, everyone...