On quitting

Sunday, October 5, 2008

I've made a decision, with some input from Slappy, to quit Topamax. I will admit that I never wanted to take it, but I also was firm in that I would give it a try and see if it helped. I have not yet achieved the dose my doctor wanted me to get to, but I know that I simply cannot take this drug. I know that I cannot increase the dose again. When I tell you that I'm willing to take the headaches over the person the Topamax makes me, then you need to understand that I'm being serious.

And I realize some of you are wondering how I know it's the Topamax and not the 2 and a half week long headache, but, well, I do. Because Thursday and Friday I forgot to take the morning dose of Topamax and holy crap, I was practically a functional human being. Sure, I still had a headache, but the Topamax had yet to do a damn thing for that. But like, I didn't want to sleep all day, I'm pretty sure I laughed and smiled and remembered what it was to be happy.

And then Friday night I took the double dose (right now I take twice as much at night as during the day) and was overcome with tiredness. I laid down and had one of the crappiest nights of sleep ever. I was so tired, but could not stay asleep. Then I woke up Saturday morning and had to take more Topamax, which just perpetuated the cycle of tiredness. I laid down to take a nap at 12:30 and that was after forcing myself to stay awake an extra hour longer than I really wanted to.

Twice this week I left the lights on on my car all day long, killing the car battery. This seems trivial, but I've never done this before, in the 9.5 years I've been driving. And I did it two days in a row. I also missed the turn for my house at least 4 times this week alone and forgot (that I can remember) 3 important work things I needed to do. Aside from ruining my memory, Topamax has also ruined the flavor of carbonated beverages, upset my stomach horrendously and made my bladder rather uncomfortable. Oh and I have the "pins and needles" sensation in my fingers and toes all the time. It's awesome.

In addition, my moods are horrendous. I'm not happy. And not just, I have a headache not happy, like, I'm never happy. I can have a perfectly peachy day and not be happy. My libido is, well, if there were a stronger adjective than gone, that would be it. I feel somedays like I'd rather punch Slappy in the face than do anything touchy feely with him, which is horrible and makes him feel bad even though it's absolutely unrelated to him (which he knows, and we've talked about).

Topamax is about to shatter my marriage and force me onto antidepressants that I do not need when not on this drug. Oh, and importantly, it's not fixing my freaking headaches. I will wean myself off because I'm not stupid, but I want to be done with it, like 2 days ago. I will still be on a small dose when I see the neurosurgeon so if he insists, I can re-start it, but I really really don't want to.

I know some of you disagree with this decision (some of you have already sent emails about that twitter announcement...), some of you have had wonderful Topamax experiences and I'm happy for you. It simply isn't right for me. Please understand and respect this decision and know it wasn't made lightly.


shitwit said...

Trust me when i say i understand the topamax druggie feeling. It's so not worth it.

I pray that you find some relief for your headaches...as i know too well a headache that won't go away.

Wonderful World of Weiners said...

HOw can anyone judge you for your decisions? We don't wlak in your shoes which means we have no right to pass judgement.

You do what you need to do for YOU.


brneyedgal967 said...

You are a very smart woman and no one knows your own body better than you.

Flush, baby, flush!! (That would be the Topamax)

Ness said...

Katie, no one has the right to judge you for what you determine right for your health. As far as Topomax, your mileage may vary. It did NOTHING for my daughter and made her a very undesirable person to be around. You do what you need to do for you. Hoping the neuro apt. goes well. You're still in my prayers.

Anonymous said...

You know your body and yourself better than anyone. It is your choice, and I happen to agree with it. If your headaches are not better, why take even aspirin to no avail, let alone serious meds with side effects you describe?

I just hope the new doc can find some answer that really works for you.

kim-d said...

I feel the same way as everyone else. Why on earth would you continue to take something that not only doesn't help, but is actually more of a hindrance. You, and you alone, have been dealing with all of this for a very long time and I have every confidence that you more than know when to quit a med. Nobody has the right to say what another should or shouldn't do, especially when it comes to drugs because they work differently for everybody.

Always, do whatever you need to do to make your life the best it can be.

Flea said...

Good for you. You hadn't said anything in a while, so I assumed you'd already stopped taking it. And if Slappy says so, and he's a doctor, fer cryin' out loud, go for it. :) Glad you have one tiny way to resume some element of control.

Patti said...

Totally support you on your decision to stop taking something that not only isn't helping, but also causes so many other problems.

I commented not long ago about starting neurontin. Well, I stopped taking that for the same reasons. First of all made me REALLY bitchy. Second I ate everything in sight. Along with some other things, it didn't do for me what it was prescribed to do!!

Not worth the frustrations!!

Anonymous said...

That is very interesting... I have a vocal chord disorder (Spasmodic Dysphonia) that is sometimes treated with Topomax. I've been unwilling to try it because a friend of mine takes it for migraines and it totally changed her. At first it was just that her response times were slower but... it is bad. I don't think she thinks properly anymore. She forgets stuff and she gets on these rants. It is really weird. Our oldest daughter ran away in January (she's 19 and in her own apartment now) and she spent the night at this friend's house the night before... her daughter and my daughter were best friends. Well, before we had been able to locate her, my friend called me up and literally lectured me on how I should handle the situation and was repeating herself and everything... and then never called me again. She's even dropped her daughter off over here. Another friend and I are positive it is the Topomax because this all started after she started taking it. And she doesn't seem to remember stuff. It is very weird.

I'm sorry your head is still hurting but I am glad you've been able to determine that drug isn't working for you.

The Floydster said...

There's nothing more that I can add to what's been said, but wanted to let you know that you can count me, along with everybody else, as one in your fan club. Prayers continuing.

Unknown said...

Stay strong!
Pray Hard!

~AirmanMom returning to her blog...

Lipstick Jungle said...

I think I told you once before I know how much it can suck, and that I quit taking it for many of the same reasons you are quitting, so I support you 1000000%!

I would like to share your blog with my cousin who is a Neurologist in Minneapolis. He may not have any suggestions or ideas, or he may have something wonderful to say.

I hope that is ok.

Take care!