Back in January, my doctor decided that the medicine I take for my anxiety/depression wasn't doing quite as well as I thought it was, so she upped the dosage.
Things have been great since. Sort of. When I'm actually awake and not groggy enough to do things, that is.
Medicines come with side effects. Who hasn't heard the myriad of potential side effects in the background of a pastel cartoon commercial with a butterfly floating through the air?
"Side effects may include heart attack, heartburn, fainting, dizziness or even death. Please consult your doctor before starting ...."
For me, it's sleepiness, or, more accurately, "I cannot possibly sleep enough at night and I think I need a second nap today." It was annoying on the lower dosage, but it's downright bad on the increased dosage. Late last week, Matt asked, "How have you put up with this for so long? Why haven't you made an appointment by now?"
It sounds obvious, doesn't it? Why would someone in their right mind put up with feeling like a zombie for three months when it can, and should, be corrected by a doctor?
The truth is a little more benign than you might think.
Until this month, our insurance was a local Michigan company. So, since Matt hadn't moved yet and I was already going to be in town for a convention, I scheduled a physical with my Michigan primary care doctor, which is when they changed my dosage. When I got home from the trip, I figured that I was exhausted because train travel is, in fact, exhausting.
I then figured that I was so tired because it was winter. Then I figured it was because I took another train to go fetch Matt and bring him back to Virginia.
While it popped up as a possibility in the back of my mind, I shrugged off my sleepiness as one big life event after another, with no time to recover in between. It's only been fairly recently that I've fully realized that no, it's not because I stayed up too late last night - I can usually bounce back from a sleepless night pretty quickly - I'm tired all. the. time.
Now that we've secured new insurance, a new doctor, and figured out our travel plans for the near future, I can deal with this responsibly.
The problem with side effects is that they're not always glaring red flags. Unless they're very sudden and dramatic, it's not always easy to pinpoint. Be aware of what you're taking and what it could cause. Play detective with your health and be vigilant. You're worth it.