Medication roulette

I shake the bottle to hear the pills giggle around against the plastic. Force of some old habit I assume since I have no reason to do this. The lid twists off and I shake them out into my hand. Tiny green and white pills greet me with their seduction; their small size in relation to normal pill sizes makes my hand feel giant. I remove exactly one from the few I managed to get out.

I place it along with a few other pills into my mouth. “This is going to suck” I think, as I swallow the pills. I feel the even tinier balls loaded into the already tiny pill bounce around inside the capsule. A feeling I get to ‘enjoy’ as it goes all the way down. It is enough to make me gag, every time.

I’ve been on this medication over a week now. The headache caused from it is more than I expected. Although, in fairness, they warned me it would come. It hit like a ton of bricks the second day, directly at the base of the skull, pounding.

Pounding so hard it felt like my brains were going to splatter out the back of my head. After two days of trying to sleep it off it calms to a dull ache, a light throbbing on beat with the pace of my heart. By the end of the first week the dull throbbing enveloped my head, now the pulsing can be felt all the way from the base of the skull to the back of the eyes. I watch in the mirror as the vein in my forehead pulses in unison, I muse to myself that if only it stopped pulsing maybe the throbbing would too.

It’s already starting to work; I am feeling more in a dream than I am in reality. As if I am gently floating, my only indication that this is not a dream is the pounding. It could be the lack of sleep since the medication makes me drowsy.

However, despite my brains exhaustion my body will not allow me to sleep. Forcing me to be ready to defend myself, the memories of the past still etched in my muscle fibers, always ready to fight. It will be almost three more, long weeks before the before the Doc is sure that the medication is even doing the right things.

This is medication roulette, like the Russian kind but in this version, every chamber leads to a slow death. The odds stacked heavily against you but you keep pulling the trigger and dying just a little bit every time. You keep doing it because eventually you have to win; you have to find the pills that will make life, livable.

That is the game; the house always wins.  You have an addiction, you need that fix; you need to live.

21 responses to “Medication roulette

  1. I remember watching My Husband go through this arducious procedure time and again. Sometimes it worked…….others the “famous line…… Maybe this new one, let’s try again” Eventually, like a twisted rubics cube, it will come out right.

    Thinking of you baby.

  2. Medications affect everyone differently and unfortunately this is the only way to find out. I’m familiar with the headache, though mine went away after a week on the medication. I hope what you’re on now is the one and that you don’t have to try another medication.

  3. I’m rather tired of the daily pill box myself. The saddest thing is I did this to myself, and only I can get myself out of it. It took several years to destroy my body and it’s taking a couple of years to get it back in shape. I’m half way there. Motivation is hard to come by and the meds have me on a bit of a slippery slope with trying to keep the pit of depression at bay. But I push through and so will you, the alternative is not an option.

  4. So much truth to this, it took what seemed lifetimes to get the right cocktail for me, even still it doesn’t always keep the demons away. I have all this compounded by TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury, for those not familiar) and a spinal injury where 3 discs were ruptured. I still made it through my tour, albeit on an insane amount of pain killers. My wizard told me to write as much as I can, I have not shared them before. I have been avoiding it like the plague, after every time I read my material, my nights descend into dark waters full of corpses and my days are in full mission mode. The oddest part of it all, I loved gunfights, nothing beats the adrenaline rush of combat. I must have got a few screws loose.

    It has been awhile since those hellish months, I have been fighting this for about 2 years and I am starting to find a new normal. It took me the better part of a year and some change to get better, with very intensive treatment. You will too, I don’t know where you were or what you did, but it was yours and not mine. Only you know the true horror of where you have been, but its not a matter of getting cured. I had some quack of a shrink try to tell me that, its the first sign of a quack. My wizard is great, and this is what he told me, his words, not mine, ‘you have been through fucking hell and your understandably wound up tight, dude its going to take awhile to get to your new normal’. That is what its about, getting to where you can function and live life, yes we will have the demons at our bedside, but in the end we still have each other, its our bond that was forged in hell.

    Anytime you need someone to vent too, I am here brother, Semper Fi

    • Thank you for that, TBI’s and spinal issues are no joke. I’m sure you and I will be talking more often than. I enjoyed the adrenaline rush as well I can’t lie about that. I suffered a TBI albeit a ‘mild’ one. Along with shoulder and nerve issues that cause chronic pain but I am refusing to go the serious painkiller route since I don’t want to do that to myself. Now I’m just fighting for a good nights sleep and something to keep me from going completely nuts and just living alone from the rest of the world haha.

      Best of luck to you on your journey as well brother and I look forward to reading about it and swapping stories.

      • Sounds good, my TBI is mild as well, I hate the TBI meds, I dont take them. They make me feel stupid and I cannot stand not being able to think. Unfortunately I am on the strong painkillers, without them the neuropathy would drive me to the fourth floor of the Naval Hospital. I have the pain patches on me and Lyrica, which controls my pain to where I am good. I am being medically retired like a week from now, so I am getting sentimental about leaving the Corps, like my last hair cut, makes me sad.

        • Damn bro, that’s shitty. I’m 100% disabled myself but I can manage to get around just fine. I know what you mean about the TBI meds though. I’ve been trying to get something to help me focus like ritalin or something but they keep giving me the runaround. Good luck on the transition out, I’ve been out 5 years now… wow, seems like only yesterday sometimes.

  5. I have Adderall and I highly recommend it, because all of our shit makes us tired and its hard to focus as it is. Adderall makes a huge difference, I have been getting it for 2 years and I have had no problem with it, I just picked up a 3 months supply of them because as of next week I will be a military retiree and will have to find another doc who will continue the Adderall, we all know the docs are covering their ass by not prescribing schedule II meds so they don’t get sued when some twerp OD’s on it. Oh well, keep up the fight on that, Adderall also boosts other chemicals that improve your mood, it makes a night and day change.

    I am very fortunate, I am getting my medical retirement from the DOD, which is 70% of the average of my base pay for the last 36 months, which is the same as the 100% for VA. My VA ratings are 90% because my TBI addendum has not been completed, next week it will and plus sleep apnea will boost me into the 100% range, but I have to wait until I get my DD-214 which will be soon, but who knows how long the VA will sit on it. Anyways, will talk to you soon, got some ideas that need to be put into writing.

  6. It does get better…but every ounce of fight you ever had to use to keep yourself alive in battle is NOTHING compared to the fight to keep yourself alive now…and, like your previous battles, worth every effort.

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