I almost felt sorry for my neurologist. He’s a big hulking man, probably 6 foot 5; looks like he just stepped off a Spaghetti Western, and he’s full of the awesome. I’d just informed him that, “the headaches are back and they’re worse then ever.”

This proclamation looked like it might make him weep. Lord knows I’d given up crying about my migraines (makes ‘em worse), but to see him so visibly upset, well, now I wanted to be all, “GIMMIE A HUG!

Except that would be kinda weird. Also: creepy. Instead, I looked at my hands.

Eventually, after much hand-wringing and sighing (from him), he suggested a new treatment regime. I’ve been taking The Max (Topamax) daily for a year and a half and had a various arsenal of other things to take “if” (pithy aside: ha!) I got a Breakthrough Migraine. I’d gone up to 200 mg/day, which, he had warned me at the time, had some side effects. Like “cognitive impairment.”

That’s a fancy way saying I got stupider. If you’ve had chronic migraines, you’ll do just about anything to get rid of them, so being a little dumb? Eh, I figured, how bad is that?

Turns out, it’s kind of a bitch.

Sure, I bought a notebook and learned to make lists, which works to some degree, but being acutely aware of losing my short-term memory? It’s discouraging.

Back when Daver was my boyfriend, he had this ridiculous friend who was in Teaching School. One night, stuck hanging out with her, she gave out her email: aphasia@….com. I asked if she had any idea what “aphasia” was. Yes, she replied, but it’s such a pretty word!!

I nearly smacked her.

Aphasia, for those of you unaware, is an acquired language disorder in which there is an inability to speak, comprehend what others say or understand the written word.

Aphasia is the loss of words. It’s not funny, it’s not cute, and even then, I was mildly offended (which is saying a lot, especially considering my AIM account was/is stinkybutt234)

Aphasia is a commonish side effect for Topamax. Higher dose, higher chance.

Trust me, when you’re asked “where something is?” (which, in my house, is every other minute) and you cannot pluck the words from your mind and string them together properly and worse, you know it, after awhile, it gets old. I’ve been tired of feeling that foggy Topamax brain, but so long as it was keeping the migraines at bay, I was willing to live with it.

I’m going off The Max.

I’m trying Depakote, which has, of course, new and improved side effects that can potentially kill me. “Hair changes are common,” he said, as he wrote out the script. “Hair changes?” I said dubiously. With my thyroid sipping Mai Tai’s with all of your MIA organs, my hair is already unhappy.

my-missing-thyroid

Worthless, lazy thyroid.

“Yes,” he went on. “Your hair can become brittle, fall out, or become very curly.”

He also listed some side effects about bone marrow and liver failure but I wasn’t listening because, well, OBVIOUSLY. HAIR.

you-shut-your-whore-mouth-shirt

If that’s me now, in my not-at-all-inappropriate and totally stylish Shut Your Whore Mouth shirt.

What would I look like bald and/or turned curly?

My mine wandered as he talked about “birth defects” and “blood work.”

Would I look like this?

whore-mouth-shirts

I mean, Amelia’s curls came from somewhere…

aunt-becky-as-a-baby

(that’s an ORCHID in my hair, yo)

The likelihood of curls returning is high.

He didn’t say anything about OTHER hair growth, though. But now I’m wondering if I’m about to become Sasquatch.

whore-mouth-shirts

Pretty much, I’m going to be the sexiest ever.

Wanna make out?

While I was waiting for my script to be filled, I wandered over to the AS SEEN ON TV section of the pharmacy. If I haven’t already expressed this to you, I’m telling you now: I love a good infomercial like I love air and Junior Mints.

It was there that I saw something so wondrous, so amazing, so inspiring that I nearly wept.

The iRenew Energy Band Bracelet thingy.

iRenew-energy-bracelet

LOOK, Pranksters! It could RESTORE my ENERGY (read: my hair) and help me restore BALANCE. Since I busted my lip eating a waffle the other day, I figure that’s a BONUS. It even had a snappy logo. I love snappy logos.

irenew-lame-asses

And look! They’re so…harmonious! I mean, I bet if I got one of those bracelets, I, too, could do a fish-eyed vapid, yet-oh-so-meaningful stare off into the distance with Dexter, looking toward my future. My future with HAIR.

irenew-old-balls

And woah, look at that Old Balls playing VOLLEYBALL. Pranksters, I’ve never played volleyball, but you know what? MAYBE ME AND MY LUSCIOUS HEAD OF HAIR WOULD…if I bought the iRenew bracelet.

I just knew that this was the Answer To My Prayers.

Until I saw it was $20. Then I realized it was Bullshit and bought some Old People Multivitamins instead.

Seemed wiser.

But man, that As Seen on TV Magic Gravity Ball has my NAME ALL OVER IT.

————-

I’m running a contest on Band Back Together to win another (yay!) shirt. A little later, I’ll be over there trolling for new shirt idears. Just have to write up a quickie post about it, yo. I have a couple in mind and I’d love your input.

 

Comments = full of the awesome. Like gravy. I can haz an RSS RSS feed .

64 Responses to I Really Need To Stop Referring To Myself As “Sasquatch”

  • Tershbango says:

    Gotta love the side effects that require more drugs to treat the side effects.

    A particular favorite of mine is when I was on Depo-Provera, the birth control shot. It gave me a nonstop period for nine months and I gained 20 pounds. Turns out? THAT is a pretty damn effective method of birth control.

    • Carrot Top says:

      I know it’s not funny, but the way you put it sure is.

    • Sarah says:

      Wow…My friend had THE SAME side-effects as you did on the Depo shot.. I remember how miserable she was from it, so I never got it. I’ve never even tried the pill form of birth control..I’m afraid my hormones will get all out of whack, and I’ll turn into a huge bitch or something…lol

    • Your Aunt Becky
      Twitter: mommywantsvodka
      says:

      Depo has a ton of weird-ass side effects like that, which has always scared me off it.

  • annie says:

    Oh I so understand this. My lastest drug made most of my hair fall out. The one before it? The new growth was WHITE! It was a 5 week on, 2 weeks off drug so I literally had rings of white in my hair. Like a old ratty tree! I’ve had nightmare drug hair for a year now. It’s coming back in curly and it’s not at all pretty. I can handle any other side effects but fucking with my hair? NOT COOL! I hope it at least helps with your headaches! That must be miserable.

  • Melissa says:

    When my hair went to hell, I was pretty upset. It’s slowly coming back, though (thank goodness) but I had a really bad case of The Fuzzies for a while. That is, when all of the baby hair is just past the “unnoticeable” stage but not quite to the “blending in with other hair” stage. It sticks up uncontrollably and enrages the owner to no extent.
    And just as a side, I think Old Balls up there is playing soccer. I could be mistaken, though. I barely know whether basketball is played in a field or a court.

  • RavNsLove says:

    Yeah….that bracelet…that “MAGNETIC” bracelet….

    It is composed of copper. NON-magnetic wondrous Copper.

    They are such liars. They deserve herpes.

    Good luck going off The Max! You are strong and amazing and you CAN DO IT! hehe. I love Adam Sandler movies.

  • Valerie says:

    I completely get the whole losing your memory thing from Topamax. I actually forgot to do stuff at work that is totally second nature for me. I also could not remember the name of my kids school! It as scary as all hell and I still get the damn migraines from hell but not as often now.

    • Your Aunt Becky
      Twitter: mommywantsvodka
      says:

      Names. NAMES. I am hideous with names now. People I’ve known for years, their names, I forget them constantly. It’s terrible. Also: things to do. If I don’t do them now, I forget. It’s horrible.

  • Your Biggest Fan says:

    OMG. You are hilarious! I triple love you! My sister made some hairy pictures of us on picnik.com that are loverly. Also, wanted to let you know if you want to Photoshop yourself into pictures with celebrities and don’t have Phototshop or personally know any celebrities to be photographed with, try faceinhole.com. It’s awesome and free.

  • your picute of your thyroid off sipping mai-tais gives me the giggles. :) boo on the hair loss side effects but if it makes the migrains go away. it may be a risk willing to take.

  • KJ says:

    Dude. My son’s dr. never said anything about any of these side effects – if my 13 year old goes bald I’m gonna be pissed.

  • Katy says:

    Depakote made my hair fall out – no bald patches or anything like that, but it was certainly disconcerting to run my fingers through my hair and wind up with a fist full of hair. It also gave me a horrible tremor which is a really bad thing for a violist to have. Thus, I will never EVER take Depakote again. BUT, it did help my migraines and I hope it will help yours!

  • alisha says:

    omg my friend i just wrote about? the one that od’d? he just bought that bracelet!!! i shit you not. they don’t even mention on the package that it cures addiction. p.s. bald women? hot.

  • LOVE the pictures. Stupid Thyroid.

    Hope the Depakote helps.

    I go today to a neurologist for Marvin the Migraine who has taken residence for what I think is like day 8 it could be day 20 I don’t remember. I am on a lower dose of The Max and I can’t remember words and it sucks. I forget my children’s middle names NOT funny or cool. It sucks.

    And I am so totally IMing you one day when you least expect it haha.

  • Ewokmama
    Twitter: ewokmama
    says:

    I have aphasia and yeah, it fucking sucks donkey balls. Luckily my husband has learned to read my mind.

    God I hate migraines. I feel like I’ve gone through a bunch of meds for them. Had an MRI or catscan or whatever, too. There is nothing wrong with me! Except my head hurts almost constantly and the stupid things get more crippling as I age.

    Anyway, I can’t take many of the preventative drugs because I am allergic to sulfa. Apparently. I stopped drinking red wine because that was a contributing factor…I’m *trying* to drink more water in the hopes that will help, too. Also sleep is PARAMOUNT.

    I need to get on the waiting list for a brain transplant, I think.

    I hope the Dep works for you!

    • steph gas says:

      not sure if i have aphasia, but it sounds like what’s happened to me. i’ve had trouble with my big girl words since a car accident a few years ago and my over (or under) medicated brain can’t communicate with my mouth properly. going to webmd, kthxbai.

  • Ina Jones says:

    Well if you want more hair worries I can tell you that when my stupid lazy thyroid abandoned me and they put me on a big fat dose of the thyroid meds, my hair started falling out. Not cool at all. But on a happy note, if your hair gets all funky you can always rock a really kick ass wig. You could go all Elvira or Dolly Parton. :)

  • Penbleth says:

    I had aphasia as a side effect of what ever it was that was wrong with me last April, and I still get it when I’m tired, stressed, generally not well. There’s not much of a joke about it.

    I hope the new meds help you and that your hair behaves.

    Chin up.

    Lynn

  • emily says:

    Aunt B, thanks so much for the laugh today. I’m not laughing at your problem, I’m laughing at your pictures. My 6mo is going on a week of waking up 5-6x a night and fighting naps AND has a cold. My husband is off on Army training and wont be back for 3 weeks. Thank GOD we have her 6m appt on Friday because I’m about to go nuts. YAWN.

  • Tisti says:

    Have you tried riboflavin for your migraines? I have a friend that it worked wonders for and just heard about it. But you probably have tried it so tell me to shut my whore mouth. :D

  • Sounds like your thyroid needs a harsh performance appraisal. And definitely, whatever you do, don’t get if it a raise this year.

  • Gen says:

    These migraines? They are a plague upon your house. For real. I hope the new drug works.

    And if your hair turns curly and you want hair product advice or for me to come over and shape it into a clown wig, I’m very good at that. I have my own personal clown wig that I shape into various unsightly formations every day. Happy to oblige.

  • andygirl says:

    of course I wanna make out! duh.

    I feel stupid enough when I have a migraine. like, when it hurts that bad, no way I can access anything rational in there. I just want to kill someone and make the light in the sky stop. so I can’t even imagine my migraine meds hurting my brain function too. lame to the max. don’t worry, I won’t tell you what drug to take. I’m not on any migraine pills because my mom is an addict and I’m scerred of anything too strong. so I just suffer, which doctors think is stupid, but they wouldn’t if they knew my mom yo. okay, this comment is entirely too long now. sorry about that.

  • Chris in PHX says:

    Who knows, maybe you will get super luck and the hair loss will only affect your cooter, just think how much free time you would have if you didnt have to bush whack!

  • Sarah says:

    Hey Becky-
    I’m sorry to hear about your migraine issues! I’ve never had one, so I don’t know how it feels, but I can’t imagine it would be fun :(
    I have a question: Can’t the Dr. just give u a bunch of vicodins or percocets for the migraine pain? …I take percocets for my back issues, and they work great for me! Feels like I have my life back…I was just wondering, because they have hardly any side-effects and they work really well…Thanks! Hope u feel better, and your hair stays how it is!

    Sarah

  • Kana says:

    Loved your thyroid illustration! I have a soft spot for blog doodles, and yours was cute.

    …However, your daughter has a plumeria, not an orchid, in her hair. It is my favorite flower EVER, so I cannot let it go mislabeled even if you are phasing into aphasia.

    Your tribulations are tough but your delivery is very humorous — good luck, and thank you for letting us laugh at (/with?) your pain!

    • Al_Pal says:

      I was going to comment on the plumeria, too. In Australia and some other places, they call it frangipani, apparently.
      One of my favorite flowers as well.

      Orchids have much pointy-er petals, and six rather than five, Dearest Becky. ;p
      (& you’d still be totally hot even bald.)

  • Flannery says:

    On the bright side, you can start sporting sassy new wigs!! A new look every day, oh yes, it can be yours!

  • Melissa says:

    GAH – I just read all the side effects on the Interwebs. Not fun. One of the side effects is headaches. But its for migraines. Thats a weird ass drug.

  • steph gas says:

    i second the wigs. sometimes i think about shaving my head and going for wigs. just seems easier since i generally hate my hair.

    also. migraines suck. i only get them every few months and they’re nowhere near as bad as yours, so i suck it up and lie in a dark room for a few hours.

    also also. fuck your thyroid for not sharing the mai tais. dick.

  • Alyssa says:

    Don’t know if this helps or even if maybe you’ve already tried this.. but it could be worth a shot. My best friend used to have migraines since she was about 12 and she took almost every type of drug she could get.. or that they would give to a 12 yr old. They never helped her and the migraines just got worse as she got older. Then somehow (I’m not sure how) she went and saw a OMT – osteopatic manipulative therapist. He did some sort of something to her jaw.. sorry I don’t rememeber what at the moment, but it wasn’t surgery or drugs and I guess after a few sessions with him she stopped having migraines and actually hasn’t had one in quite a few years.

    • JennJenn says:

      Hmmm…. my best friend went to some tappy-tappy chap (will get the real term soonest) and her migraines went too… she hasn’t been in the country for a while and they’re back because she can’t find a tappy-tappy chap in the UK in her area. Aha! It’s called bodytalk and you can read about it at bodytalksystem.com.

  • linlah says:

    It’s a known fact that Old People Multivitamins cure everything but being old.

  • The Max = Full of The Bullshit. Thanks for making me laugh with you, I was having a pretty crappy day. And while it feels strange laughing when you’re in pain, your written word and hysterical pictures are to blame. I hope the other drug works and you don’t get hair trouble for your efforts. Also, seeing that picture of the Shut Your Whore Mouth Tshirt always makes me laugh. I have *got* to get me one of those!

  • Kirsten says:

    So sorry to hear the migraines are back. I had hoped for you that your surgery had solved it. I know this has been a long road for you already, but I can’t help sharing this one thought in light of your post about anxiety. Have they prescribed you any muscle relaxers to see if the muscle tension is playing a part in the migraines?

  • ohhh please don’t get hair on your knuckles. that’s so “B.C.”

  • Breann says:

    I was put on The Max by someone and was not told that a side affect could be nightmares that almost make you pee the bed and being super angry (like PMS on roids) ALL THE TIME. It took one month of being on that and I was done. Good luck with the new meds!

  • Kelly says:

    Migraines are dirty little bastards.

  • KaraB says:

    My mom was on the Depakote for something or other. She usually has the crazy weird side effects. I’ll see how she was on Depakote for ya.

  • sarah says:

    depakote – appetite stimulant
    topamax – appetite suppressant
    just saying watch the weight gain.

    I take topamax, my kid takes depakote – works and we haven’t seen any hair loss but we have seen weight gain. hope it works for your migraines. It isn’t as effective as the topamax was for him but he cant take topamax due to other side effects and other medical conditions he has.

  • gaylin says:

    13 years ago, thyroid disease = escaping hair . . .

    I did shave my head for charity 6 years ago, extremely thin thyroid hair + shaving, got lots of unwarranted sympathy re: it must be cancer . . .

    Got sick last year with C. Diff. 2 weeks on Flagel – 6 months of guess what – losing hair.

    Aphasia, got it, the combo of thyroid disease and chronic iron deficiency = what the hell – I can’t find the words.

    Enough already, hope the new drug helps with as few possible side effects. I really hope you don’t lose any hair, you be having pretty hair.

  • katrina says:

    Sorry you’re in pain Becky. As mentioned above, riboflavin sometimes helps migraines. Odd that so many of us have lazy ass thyroids….?? They must have a damn strong union to be off vacationing all the time.

  • Beth
    Twitter: star_momma
    says:

    Were they the old people vitamins that are in gummy form? Cuz otherwise it’s bullshit, Becky.

  • Brandi says:

    Aunt Becky, Have you tried the acupuncture? It helped me whipped my thyroid back into shape–that and giving up the YAZ BC pills. Before acupuncture I was wake up eat breakfast, take a nap.

    Love Always, Brandi, the prankster in NJ.

  • Jenny says:

    I just started a medication about a month ago for my migraines with a small chance of a psychotic break. That would suck.

  • Carrie says:

    well, The Max made me lose my eye sight for three days, scary as hell and no Neuro would admit it was the Topamax, they were saying possible MS, but LP and MRIs were normal.. check the fine print of possible side effects.. der I can’t see the possible side effects!

    Seriously, after a $9 billion hospital bill, and steriods my eye sight returned.. they recommended Depakote to me too, I said no, I was wanting to get pregnant…

    I so feel your pain, it sucks monkey balls <—shirt idea

  • Rebecca says:

    I know someone who had migranes and she had nerves or blood vessels or something clipped in her forehead??? which didn’t work as well as they wanted so they are now going in through the back of her head and are going to do the same thing except behind her head…………The cippings they did on her forehead gave her double black eyes and swelled her eyes shut for a few days.

    And back on the band website……it won’t let me comment….but on the shirt that said something like ‘I’m stronger because of the stuff I’ve been through’….I think it should end in a question mark because……well, I’m feeling pretty weak and with every new thing that comes our way…….I’m feeling like a gentle breeze could tumble me over the edge forever.

  • gina says:

    As a language therapist, I can vouch for you that aphasia is no joke. Good luck….

  • c8h10n4o2 says:

    My step-mom has the migraines REAL bad, and Magnesium (IV and High-dose supplements) has really helped her. Topamax was a fucking joke. Good luck on the Depakote.

  • Squatlo says:

    Hey, hair’s way overrated! It’s much nicer to have someone around who is in control of the ovary-GPS, that mysterious device that allows women to find things men and children have misplaced in front of their faces. If your ovary Tom-Tom is going haywire, consider a change in meds, if for no other reason than to be able to find shit everyone else needs to function!
    And go ahead and hug Alpha Doc, he probably needs it more than you know.

  • Kristin
    Twitter: dragondream
    says:

    I hope the change in meds helps. And, dude, you totally need to check out the entire As Seen On TV section in Wally World.

  • Justme says:

    Also been on The Max. Actually, I just quit because my last doctor “didn’t like it” (?!). So now, I’m going through friggin withdrawal. Almost-daily migraines, super bad icepick headaches (they’re exactly what they sound like – headaches that feel like you’re being brained with an icepick) and mood swings. Also I’m dead tired all. the. time.

    On a more positive note, have you seen an optometrist? Apparently small astigmatisms can cause major migraines. I’m going to have my eyes checked next week – my regular optometrist told me I do have a minor astigmatism, but it’s too small to do anything. If it turns out that that’s the cause, I’ll be giving him a big ol’ mushroom print!

  • badbadwebbis says:

    Yeah, any birth control pills seemed to give me a period every 2 weeks. So that is why mr webbis got snipped.

  • Sam says:

    There is a supplement called Cognitex that my rheumatologist recommends for brain fog. It helped me (of course I won’t take it while pregnant or nursing AKA the last 3 yrs). But it did help noticably the “losing words for things” issue.

  • Denise says:

    I hated dopamax/stupamax. I finally got off of it after I was afraid I was going to take my kids somewhere and forget to bring them home. Not a fan of Depakote either due to the 30 lbs it brought with it. Good luck and hope it works without any side effects.

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