Saturday, November 09, 2002

Another boring medication related post.

I've been reading quite a lot about this new drug, Provigil. It's an anti-tiredness med, originally developed to treat narcolepsy, and apparently it's the bee's knees: very effective, with few side-effects. I'm going to see if I can put my hand on some, because if I could find something to counteract the effects of all the Carbamazipine I'm taking my life would improve dramatically.

I know some of you will be reading this crap at work with matchsticks propping open your red and watery eyes because you've dragged yourself out of bed at some ungodly hour to do the utterly sucktasitc job that Fate has thrust upon you and are biting back a stroppy comment e'en now. I know there's also the issue of the existance of drugs like this being used to cover up the effects of overwork. ("Sick? Take a Contac and keep working. Stressed? Take a Valium and keep working. Eighteen hour days every day for the last week? Take a Pro-Plus and keep working! If you don't we'll find someone who will!")

But seriously, the stuff I'm taking for my epilepsy is just evil. I'm tired pretty much all the time. I still get stuff done (work hard, play hard, blah blah blah) but I'm constantly working round the side-effects; it's alarming how much of my day I spend wishing I was back in bed. There's things you can do to limit the impact of the meds: regular meals, exercize, vitamin supplements and so on, but it's hard to work out when all you want to do is keel over on the sofa and give it zeds.

And this, my friends and droogies, is coming from somebody on a relatively lightweight 1200mg of Carbie. I'm one of the lucky ones. How the hell people on higher doses or more than one kind of medication cope is a complete mystery to me.

I've tried pretty much every over-the-counter remedy for tiredness (Pro-plus, Yeast-Vite, various herbal concoctions) but they're all a bit rubbish, really. There's pseudoephidrine, in the form of allergy treatments, but it makes me jangly and headachey. As to the various extralegal "remedies" avaliable out there, I either can't take them at all because they make the fits worse, like MDMA, or they're just too fucking unhealthy to take regularly, like amphetamines. I'm not claiming that I've ever been an angel when it comes to recreational pharmaceuticals, but I was sort of hoping to make it to fifty. 'Sides, I neither need nor want to spend my life on a permanent speed high. I mean, how much more of a paranoid narcissist do I really need to be?

Unfortunately my chances of actually getting prescribed anything like this are slim to none. I'm not even sure that Provigil has been licenced for use in Europe yet. Then there's the issue of GP charges here in Ireland-- apparently it costs twenty or thirty Euros to see a doctor. Added to that, all GPs are heinously overworked and spend their entire lives feeling like crap and being around proper sick people. It's understandable, therefore, that they tend to give you rather short shrift if you come to them and go "I'm tiiii-er-ed!"

I'll have to see about online suppliers, which is less than ideal but there you go. I'm planning to buy my meds-- the asthma ones as well as the epilepsy-- online for the next couple of years anyhooo. (Which reminds me: I must check and see if anyone sells Carbamazipine. I stocked up before leaving London, but it won't last forever.)

On the plus side, my asthma's got wayyy better since leaving the London flat and its funny funny dry-rot. I've started singing again! It's going to take a while to get back on form but in a couple of week's time... Killer soprano! Hide yourselves, bad people-- here comes the KILLER SOPRANO!

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