The Challenge of Withdrawal

Not all side effects are bad; undoubtedly most are ranging as they do from the mildly irritating to the severely debilitating. With the cocktail I down daily its frankly difficult to work out what causes what and as my GP used to say as he scanned the notified side effects: numbness, poor co-ordination, impaired balance, blurred vision etc these are all the symptoms of MS anyway so you probably won’t notice any difference! Fair play he is a good sound doctor of the old fashioned sort with the added bonus that he speaks to me as if I was an intelligent person (on balance an accurate assessment putting the occasional lapse of judgement (personal relationships and speeding) on one side).

 The main side effect that is causing me grief as it wears off is my hair is losing its bounce; really it is slipping gradually from curly to wavy to limp lifeless and lank (not quite there yet but not far off). Aside from being irritating there is a real impact on the time it takes to get my mullet into a world ready state; either I will have to get an even shorter crop or get up 30 minutes earlier! Except if I’m going to get the week day morning swim in that won’t help as the Council aren’t going to accommodate me needing half an hour more to style my hair by opening at 630 am instead of 7 – although given the Council Tax we pay I feel justified in making the request!

The real differences I have noticed this week are associated with my co-ordination or rather lack of co-ordination with an enhanced shake. Some things are becoming rather more dangerous or at least require a greater degree of concentration to manage the associated risk. If Health and Safety Legislation was applied to the home I’d be slipped into a firm jacket with cross over sleeves – I wonder if they come in a range of seasonal colours…

 For illustrative purposes this week’s challenges fall into two categories:

–      Problematic i.e. really need to find a way around them

–      Potentially useful i.e. those that could bring added benefits

The problematic:

–      Personal Grooming: the plucking of one’s eyebrows is for me non negotiable and I blame Auntie for introducing me to the practice some years ago now. Darling she said it gives your face a real lift! At 25 I didn’t really feel I needed lifting as in those days I had a short bleached blonde cropped ‘do’ which gave me all the umph I needed (until it started to break off when austerity led me to bleach it myself – remember the days when peroxide was peroxide and mixed into a blue paste? Hells bells that takes me back!)

–      Beard Removal – this as with the eyebrows is another must do activity. I wish I could wean myself off stroking my chin absentmindedly meaning the skin is worried into a permanent state of anxiety before I’ve whipped the tweezers out! This and the eyebrows are dangerous high wire activities with the current shaking ‘n’ shivering going on and the nipping of delicate skin is PAINFUL and not exactly life enhancing. The professional beautician I seen regularly made me promise to stop over plucking as I was ruining her handiwork given the attention she paid to creating the perfect arched brow. Believe me given the amount of time I spend scrutinising said areas she’s telling the truth. She is minded to come and remove the magnifying extendable mirror from the bathroom; guns at dawn if she dares!

–      Contact lenses – several of the drugs cause dry eyes (ears, skin and well any area that is meant to well not be dry not to put too fine a point on it!). Until about two years ago I wouldn’t have dreamt of wearing glasses everyday – you know the adage men never make passes at girls who wear glasses – without the glasses of course you’d never know who was passing by and frankly that would be preferable in many cases! But now the challenge is to clean the contact lens without flicking it somewhere never to be found (without the aid of torch light) and then of course insert the lens without poking yourself in the actual eye. My advise keep your nails short (and unvarnished) to avoid infection (following injury).

–      Finally the decoration, the finishing touches otherwise known as make-up. Well I’m minded to start a trend for the wavy/discontinuous eye liner – remember rick-rack anybody? The zigzag edging that was attached to clothes in the 1970s? The shiver effect applied to an eyebrow pencil (that seems determined to migrate giving the attractive black eyed look – hmm not quite the smoky kohl heroin chic of the 1980s more someone who hasn’t had a good night’s sleep for a week)

Today the good news arrived the Pain Consultant has prescribed the new wonder drug that is going to release me from the tortuous side effects of opium based painkillers. Typical as I had just resolved to reverse the dosage upwards as the challenge was beginning to bore me rigid or more accurately 10 days of hardly sleeping was getting tiring ha ha! But before I get all excited I have 6 days before I can see the doctor who will no doubt tell me he needs to take advice on the transfer process; working with drug addicted patients must play on one’s mind given the responsibility that comes with it. And then of course the Pharmacist will have to order the drug as its new and won’t be in stock so that’s the best part of 10 days…

 However more pressing on the Friday afternoon is what to wear to the Labour Party Fundraising dinner at the Mount Sorrel Hotel in Barry tonight. Fear not I am going as a guest of a party supporter to the extent I have omitted to remember the name of the candidate beyond thinking it is a male and the Christian name begins with a C! I’ll wear black, keep quiet and focus on being earnest (with a hint of pale and interesting for that read pallid complexion with dark circles under my kohl rimmed sockets)!

 What possessed me to agree to go out on a Friday night when the chances of me feeling like a rag doll whose stuffing is seeping out are always rather high? Try as I may I can never find the source of the leak where my energy drips from – still it would be like the proverbial small boy putting his finger in the dyke i.e. not the most effective of solutions! And I am gutted that there wasn’t Prawn Cocktail on the menu! So I’m holding out for a slab of Sara Lee Black Forest Gateaux – nothing like a dose of addictives to damp down the withdrawal symptoms!

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