My neurologist looks like he stepped off a the set of a Western. I wouldn’t be surprised if, at any moment, he said “Saddle up, Pardner.” In fact, I’m kind of hoping for it. It beats the shit out of all the depressing options for different options for treating my My Grains.

Also, I have diagnosed him with GERD. I can’t remember anything about Nursing Diagnosis, but I remember most of the medical diagnoses we learned to get INTO nursing school.

My neurologist has GERD (gastroesophogeal reflux disease). I’m sure of it. I sort of want to tell him. I wonder if he knows…

Wow, these drugs all have incredible side effects, and in spite of the fact that he’s not wearing a fringe jacket or a gun holster and is telling me about drugs that may kill me, I really, really like my neurologist. This makes my current tally for neuros that I like at 3/3. Must be a record.

Okay, after all of that, we’re going to increase my Topamax dosage and add in a non-narcotic. Who knew narcotics could change headaches? Also, do you think he thought it was weird that I insisted that I DIDN’T WANT VICODIN over and over?

I was kind of the antithesis of drug-seeking behavior.

I was all “No, doctor who normally gives out pain meds, don’t give me drugs!” I probably said it 50 times. Probably the opposite of what he normally gets. Heh.

Oh shit. Now he’s asking me what I do for a living. Does “lazily pollute the Internet count?”

Phew. Went with “writer.” That’s an odd question.

OH. Now I see why. He’s warning me that I’m about to get stupider. Except he said it all fancy-like. “Cognitive impairment.” 1 out of 4 patients may experience cognitive impairment.

Well, now, I’m officially screwed.

Now I’m laughing like the village idiot. I mean, how do you get much dumber than this? Tears are coursing down my cheeks because I’m laughing so hard and the doctor is beginning to look alarmed.

Finally I catch my breath and explain that my stupidity is okay because no one’s lives are at stake with my job anymore. Then I take my new script, walk into several walls, and try to get into 3 cars that are not my own before realizing that I sold that particular car 5 years ago.

But the guy totally has GERD. For sure. I should call him and tell him so.

*A Fsssssshhhhh.

66 thoughts on “What Do You Call A Fish With No Eyes*?

  1. Well, maybe the cognitive impairment will cure you of the need to diagnose your neurologist. See, there’s an upside to everything!

  2. I’m slightly alarmed that you are driving in your current condition…unless you tried to get into 3 cars that weren’t yours before remembering you came by bus?

  3. Haven’t some of the best literary giants been on drugs while writing?? Like wasn’t hemmingway hooked on Heroin.

    Edgar Allan Poe – ” I have absolutely no pleasure in the stimulants in which I sometimes so madly indulge. It has not been in the pursuit of pleasure that I have periled life and reputation and reason. It has been the desperate attempt to escape from torturing memories, from a sense of insupportable loneliness and a dread of some strange impending doom.”

    Sigmund Freud cocaine and other drugs..

  4. FSH!

    I get the My Grains too. They suck. But I take the drugs. I also take a beta blocker that is actually for a tremor, and they switched it when I started getting the grains all the time now. Its called Nadolol. I maybe get one twice a year rather than twice a week!

  5. I have cognitive impairment as a side effect. But I figure it’s better than either the comatose state I’m in from a pain killer or the bitchy state I’m in when I try to suck it up.

    I can’t be that bad. The kids are clean, fed etc. My husband hasn’t left me yet. I manage to find your blog everyday.

    My point is…. Never mind, I lost my train of thought!

  6. I kept your blog to read last this morning because it is usually my favorite. I was right to do so. The Fsssssshhhhh joke made me laugh like you would expect a 7 year old to laugh. I am pretty sure there was an actual blog between the joke, but I was too busy trying to figure out who to tell that joke to to actually think about the rest of the blog.

  7. I love going in and asking for NO MEDICATION. Then *my* doctors always follow it up with “What do you want me to do?”. Next time I am asked that question, I’m answering “Your damn JOB!”

    Hope that whatever Dr McGERD gave you works!

  8. Awesome! A choice between pain so bad you want to stick an ice pick though your eye socket (if your my grains are like my my grains) or stupid. That’s just wonderful. Besides I think my migraines already make me stupider. Thankfully, I only get one full blown want to die migraine every several months. Currently instead of a preventative I’m taking a ridiculous amount of B-2.

  9. So was this doc belching constantly? How did you come to the brilliant diagnosis of GERD? We are dying to know. I myself have GERD and actually, that just reminded me I’m supposed to call my doctor. Thanks Aunt Becky! What the hell would I do without you to remind me of things I’m supposed to do?

  10. Sorry I don’t mean to laugh at your expense, but that was so freakin funny. However this is exactly why I refuse to take any medications. I hate not being in control. I hope everything works out for you.

  11. “Lazily pollute the internet” is so freaking genius I wish I had come up with it! Hilarious!

    Also? Can’t believe you’re still struggling with your My Grains. Feel better Bex.

  12. My sister has suffered with migraines her whole life. I never once doubted her pain. It wasn’t until mid-menopause that I began to have them and it wasn’t until I was cold, blue, puking and wrapping a heating pad around my head that my sister said “You know that’s a migraine, don’t you?” They plagued me for a year or so and then went away – mostly. My heart goes out to anyone who suffers regularly from these horrible headaches. I’ve seen my sister’s eyes sink into huge, black circles and her face is so pale she looks deader than dead. She can’t stand the light and staggers to the toilet to puke. I can’t imagine going through that. Her meds put her totally to sleep and believe me, it’s a blessing. If I had to suffer that pain, you bet I’d take a little cognitive impairment over the alternative. Besides, when they list side-effects everything under the sun is in there. The actual chances of you suffering anything like that are probably so minute as to not matter at all. Just keep going like you’re going and tell yourself that none of that shit is going to bother you. Hell, even with some mental impairment you’re still smarter than anyone living within 25 miles of me! The story of the International Stump-broke Cow Training Facility will have to wait for another day.

  13. LOVE IT!!! So glad I found you – someone else knows that great phrase “Mommy wants vodka!” Here’s another one I love to use, “Mommy doesn’t need any ice in her drink.” Look forward to more! pampersandpinot.blogspot

  14. The topamax made me have crazy insomnia. I don’t do so well with no sleep. It kind of makes me crazy. When I told my doctor, and the pharmacist that I couldn’t take it and why, they both said that is not a normal side effect. WTF? Anyway, now I am taking, Amitriptyline, and it makes me so sleepy I go to bed at 7. CT scan and MRI showed nothing “unusual” so now my doctor thinks the headaches are all in my head. Duh, of course they are in my head, they are HEADACHES. Currently doctor shopping…

  15. My son’s neurologist is supposed to be a rock star of neurology….whatever that means……..If it means he has the bedside manner of a turnip….then YEP! He is the most famous of them all….Which reminds me I am extremely late at scheduling his appointment…like 9 months late……….I can’t stand that guy. But he knows his stuff and has a team of doctors who will do anything for him….so I should probably call

  16. I usually tell people “you don’t know a migraine until you’ve had epilepsy.” But I like you.

    Topiramate is horrible for your kidneys. Personally, I couldn’t write on it. It made me sort of crazy. You’ll probably be fine.

    Good luck with that.

  17. Hello Vodka Wanting Mother:
    Just stumbled across your blog for the first time today. I too am a topamax taker. Alas, I did not experience the coveted LOSING WEIGHT side effect. However, I often can’t feel my feet, which is awesome, when say, jogging. It works though – once you figure out the proper dosage, etc. etc. My neurologist basically looks like a homeless woman – except that she is on staff at Mt. Frickin’ Sinai. Smells clean though – and is very nice.

      1. Yes! Absolutely – one condition. I’m cool with cherry pez – not so much with orange hostess. Regular chocolate “flavored” hostess – yeah, but that’s as far as I’ll go. If that’s okay – than yeah, bff!

    1. Just found this web site today. Found both of your comments SO funny. I did get the “lose weight” benefit from topamax..but now everyone who whispers behind my back that my diseases are probably all in my head; now had new fodder – a few believed I was anorexic. UNBELIEVABLE! Also, the husband, (whom I truly love) had not seen this skinny body in 20 years – he was “hands on” ALL the time, dry humping me like an 18 year old, constantly begging for sex..”you are so hot, etc” I had to hide in the closet to change and wear layers of baggy clothes. I know the male species is visually turned on, but he was making me crazy and I was beginning to think that for the past 20 years I’d been way beneath the “sexy bar” for my husband. (I am 5’9″ and usually weighed 150 to 170, I was a slim 120). Once I adjusted to the Topamax I went back up to 140 and have stayed there for 2 years. The sex maniac has backed off somewhat (I guess he likes the boney look), but I still dress in the closet and wear conservative PJs (I’ve been sexed up while on sleeping pills when going to bed naked..sneaky man!) I’m sure having a sick wife isn’t his dream come true; but my self esteem can only handle so much. So, my message is “nothing is free”. My headaches have really decreased and my body looks awesome (although I don’t usually feel well enough do anything but just lie around and watch TV), but I am also an “anorexic, sex object”.

  18. Dear Aunt Becky,
    As someone who lives with someone in chronic (and terrible) pain, someone who’s taken the “new” drugs, like Lyrica, and the “old” drugs, like gabapentin, and who really only gets paind relief with slightly more vicodin than anyone really wants to prescibe, I am more than usually sympathetic, glad you bring this to your blog with a light and hilarious hand, and send you love and light for the goddamn things to just go away.
    Angie at Eat Here

  19. Cognitive impairment? My migraine meds only suggest that they may cause heart attack or stroke in people with no known risk factors… your’s sounds way more entertaining!

  20. I couldn’t form sentences or remember what I was talking about mid-sentence (when I did form them) when I was on Topamax. I am impressed you’ve lasted this long! And they are upping your dose! Good luck!

  21. This was a great post, as always, but what really got me was what this was filed under! I think I may have passed out from laughing so hard!!

  22. I’m so sorry. This truly sucks, my friend. I read somewhere that Botox was being used to treat migraines. Wild, huh? Know nothing about it, but it does seem like a win-win, doesn’t it? Hope you find relief soon.

    Hugs, Jayne

  23. Hopefully the changes in medications work for you. I blame all of my cognitive impairment on the children.

    In all honesty, I have taken drugs recently that made it really hard to focus and think. It was unpleasant. I would be standing there, having said half a sentence and waiting for the other half to come, and Kent would say something. Which would lead to a big argument about how he ALWAYS interrupts me. Good times, good times.

  24. I get sorta migraines from a bad neck, and frankly I don’t care what you call them or how they are treated if sht sore spots on the back of my head go away. I am going to try some physical therapy to “abort” the neck caused pain, and I just taker Percocet because I’ve been lactating. Soon I will quit making milk and try new stuff, so keep posting on this, please?

  25. I get the trippy ocular migraines where you get a dazzling, Grateful Dead light show in one eye for exactly 20 minutes. The headache sometimes follows, sometimes not. When it does, it is the variety that feels like an ice pick has been deposited just above the eyeball.

    I also have GERD, which totally blows. I figure John Wayne would probably welcome your suggestion that he look into that, since it might improve his quality of life. And possibly save his esophagus.

    So sorry you’re havin’ the my grains. Have you ever tried to change your diet just to see if it helps? I’m trying gluten-free to see if it helps the GERD. Here’s a link in case you haven’t already explored this avenue. Hope you feel better on your fab new drugs.

  26. I thought cognitive impairment was a prerequisite to blogging. **wink** (This is why I’m starting my own blog …)

    Sorry about your migraines, MWV. I get nasty headaches on rare occasions and they knock me off my feet. They stopped for the most part when I cut most of the sugar and processed foods out of my diet and bumped up my intake of fruits and veggies. Would medical marijuana help at all? Fewer side effects if it’s an option and I hear it makes people positively brilliant.

    So I take it the Fssshhh was silent? I hope it wasn’t deadly. Those are the worst. ; )

  27. This would be okay with me…

    “My neurologist looks like he stepped off a the set of a Western. I wouldn’t be surprised if, at any moment, he said “Saddle up, Pardner”

    The same would not be true if you replace neurologist with gynecologist. Having a GYN saying that in a cowboy hat and boots, “Saddle up.” Hmm, Dunno. That would disturb me on so many levels, besides medically.

    Anyhow – Topamax, some cognitive changes at different doses possible. Yes but not for sure and it can subside with time. And I don’t know, they arent all dramatic – I transpose letters while I’m typing which is picked up fancily by spellcheck. Not a big deal, not even a deal.


  28. Should I be ashamed to admit that I would take get-dumber over the awesome side effect of appear-8-months-pregnant that I got to experience until the recent reduction of my dose of Prednisone?

    This was preceded of course by half blind, sleep deprived, paranoid, anxious, short-fused and starving, with the constant feeling of urgency nagging at my bladder.

    Now I just have
    grew-a-tire-around-my-chin..which is only almost as awesome.

  29. So, I am totally curious now. Topomax is part of my anti-seizure cocktail(I like to call it a cocktail, makes it sound way more apealling than massive amount of fucking meds I have to take to keep from zoning out and scaring my kids). I LOVE that whole not being able to eat, feel my hands and feet, or the random complete loss of my thought processes. NOT! Of course, with me they aren’t sure which one of the cognitive altering drugs causes that last little issue. My last visit to the humorless but bemused neurologist last week I told him that I have been suffering from insomnia. I am capable of short catnaps throughout the day and night, but never any solid sleep, he says that is normal with my combined drugs and offered me some Ambien. I declined, as I have tried to make him understand on numerous ocassions I really don’t like taking meds. SO, I left with the suggestion that I try to stop taking naps during the day!!! Hmmmm, why didn’t I think of that??!!! Do you have trouble with sleep on Topomax?

    1. I’ve had trouble sleeping since I got my thyroid fixed 4 years ago. I haven’t had a night of normal sleep since then (not to be TOTALLY depressing) and it sucks. I’m sorry. With the Topamax I haven’t seen a difference, but I take stuff to sleep already. GOOD LUCK.

      1. Nah, no apologies, I just get more writing done. Clean out my stove twice a week, scrub the bathroom floors with the toothbrush of whichever teenager happened to get lippy that night before they headed off to a peaceful slumber, have taught myself to touch my nose with my tongue and can now do fascinating yoga moves that I never thought I would be able to do. Sleeping really does limit the human’s ability to be successful in life. Besides, at a certain point, I have just given in and said ok, to hell with you sleep, you can’t elude me if I don’t chase you. It’s my doctor who gets all, why do you look so tired, why are you losing more weight, why is there a cut on your hand???? Uh, I don’t know, dipshit, maybe because you have me doped up and sleepless!!! Thanks for answering my question though. Appreciate it!!

  30. Ohhh the Dopamax gives me the stupids for sure. When ever we increase my dosage I’m dumb for weeks until I adjust. Not to mention the numbness and tingling on one side or spots of my face. How much fun! I’m over due for an increase… I’m also avoiding making a follow-up appointment with my neuro. 😉

  31. I prefer not to read side effects of the drugs I take. I discovered while pregnant I never had any of the side effects until I read about them or someone asked about them. “Hey – how’s that pregnancy constipation?” “What?” Next day – I’m straining with the best of ’em.

  32. Please please forgive me for the unsolicited advice because I know it makes me crazy to get this sort of thing. I don’t even get real My Grains, I just get Head Aitch.

    But. I take the topamax (100 in the a.m., 150 in the p.m. – doc upped the dosage after a 12-day h.a. during a visit to the outlaws – there is no drug strong enough to counter my husband’s parents, alas).

    And no, I have not lost the weight this time. I did a few years ago, then I stopped taking it, then I got married and here I am, built for comfort, not speed, but whatever, it’s cold here and heating is expensive, so a little Milwaukee roll to keep me warm is not so bad.

    My doc wanted me to take depakote. I did the research and saw what the side effects are, main one being weight gain. I tend to get all the side effects and none of the therapeutic benefits, so I knew I would be part of the 9% to gain. I declined.

    She also recommended butterbur, which, although it is OTC, is still a drug, but there apparently is valid research on it.

    I started taking butterbur last month on the same day that I stopped using artificial sweetener. I was a 10-15 h.a./month woman. Not crippling h.a., just enough to turn me into a bitch, which frankly, is not a long walk.

    Since I’ve stopped with the Splenda and nutrasweet and started with the butterbur, I’ve had two h.a. I am hoping to get off the topamax, although the cartoon effect of the trails in the morning is kind of cool. I don’t think it makes me stupid but I would be the last to know, wouldn’t I?

    So. For whatever that’s worth. You may take this information with a grain of salt.

  33. I hope the new treatment helps. As an aside, I spent ten minutes in Publix parking lot trying to get into a car that apparently wasn’t mine and I don’t take any meds, so…

  34. ha! I love that joke! My husband and I tell it to each other all the time!

    Also. It’s no wonder you like your new neuro. People with GERD are awesome. I would know.

    Hoping the new regimin works out!

  35. Hey Aunt Becky!

    I used to have massive issues with My Grains too (still do if I don’t take my meds) and at one point we tried to Dopomax (which did give us The Dumb and didn’t work either), what did work was getting stabbed repeatedly in the back of the head (by a doctor, with needles, and I believe a cortozone (I don’t spell) shot). But they frown on that if you wanna have babies, and I did, so we had to find “alternative therapies” that actually work.

    Here’s what we found that worked – and I’ve got a healthy 8 month old baby to prove it:

    1. 800 mg Magnesium Citrate. Take it at night and be warned it will make your life VERYYYYYYY liquid in the morning. I personally had to start at 400 mg and work my way up to 800 cuz otherwise I never left the bathroom. My body seems to have adapted though and I no longer have any unpleasantness in the bathroom department. (You know you wanted to know the graphic details….)

    2. 400 mg B2 (aka Riboflavin) This one can take up to like 3 months to tell if its working. Take it at night w/ the Magnesium. Only side effect is that it will turn your pee BRIGHT orange (and depending on the brand, your poop too).

    3. 200 mg CoQ10. This one works surprisingly quickly but you’ve got to spring for the good sh*t. The cheap crap from Walmart doesn’t work for nothing. Go to the health food store, or hell go to Costco, and get a big bottle of the good stuff. Take it in the morning. Makes for a nice energy booster too.

    You don’t have to try it but its worked great for me and none of those drugs give me the dumb. FYI – these are all migraine preventers, once you’ve GOT the headache you’re screwed- go with the Imitrex or whatever. But doing this I went from 3-5 migraines A WEEK to 1-2 migraines a MONTH. MAX.

    My life is much better now. We don’t like pain.

  36. I’m glad you liked your neurologist, and I hope the meds help. I can’t imagine what it would be like to spend years trying to get a headache treated. (I know this isn’t a mere headache; but I’ve been lucky enough never to have a migraine and can only picture it as the worst headache ever.)

    And I’m giggling way more than I probably should over the fish joke.

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