Friday, August 18, 2017

How things are progressing

I am BLESSED  to have a Neurologist's Office that is proactive and very caring.  My Neurologist is young and embraces technology.  They have an email portal that enables me to have near realtime communications with the staff.  Since I went back on Effexor, and even during the time I was off Effexor, I kept my Doctors informed of how I was doing and the issues I was having.

I told you before that during the time I was off Effexor, my BP spiked and caused me headaches, dizziness, and other issues like muffled hearing.  Well, the BP is lower but not where it was before I went off the mega dose of Effexor.  That is because of the autonomic issues in my brain due to LBD.  However, my Neurologist is worried that the earaches that increase when I sneeze, cough, exert myself, and get my head lower than my waist, may be a symptom of something going wrong in my brain, de to the increased BP.  So, they have me monitoring my BP and headache location and intensity and then reporting it, daily, on the email portal!!   Not bad.

The head pain is located around my left eye, left forehead area and radiates behind my left ear.  It intensifies when I cough, sneeze, exert myself, or get my head lower than my waist.  Why, I do not know.  However, the neurologist told me in an email she was probably going to do another brain scan and possible put me on a mild BP med.  Makes sense to me.  The good part is, I do not have to go into the office to get this information!!  Isn't technology wonderful!!

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Back on Effexor; Update two

It has been a couple of weeks since I went back to taking a low dose of Effexor XR.  Many of the negative issues are gone.  But the headaches that come on when I sneeze, cough, or bend down with my head lower than my body are still there.  Those headaches are sudden and sharp, located in my forehead area and behind my left eye.   My BP has dropped to 135/85 when I am sitting in the chair, an improvement over the 160/110 readings before I went back on Effexor XR.   This issue is directly related to the Autonomic Dysfunction issues caused by LBD.  I am a text book case!!  The Neurologist is concerned about them and is considering placing me on a BP med and ordering another, more specific, brain scan.  I agree with both of these approaches.

I am also experiencing agitation, anger, and angry outbursts, but not as severe as I was before I went back on Effexor XR.   This is an balancing act.  Getting me back in physical and emotional balance while trying to retain some emotional release.  I do not envy my neurologist!

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

A pending trip

Our Middle Grandson is in Army Boot Camp at Fort Benning Georgia.  This weekend is Family Weekend.   He is close to graduation and I guess the Army does things different than we did in the Navy in 1969!  We are going up, alone with His Wife, and Parents.  It is only a 3 hour drive, so that part is good.  But my Wife's preparations for any trip, be it a week or a month, is a painful litany of lists, walking back and forth, looking in every nook and cranny in the apartment, and asking me a hundred time what outfit she should wear.   She has always been a very nervous traveler.  And it has always bothered me, but no, with LBD, her gyrations now drive me crazy!  She has to pack enough for a month in the arctic!   I take two pair of skivvies and a tooth brush!  But the most disturbing part for me is it has lasted ALL day!!  And now into the night, my most difficult time.   I have tole her this many times. to no avail.  She does what she does!!  She wants to be equipped for any happenstance!  Heck, I never took as much stuff on an 8 month deployment as she does for a two day trip!!

I hate travel now.  I never really liked travel, but now it is a bridge too far and the preparation is too painful.   But, once there, I hope we will have a good and interesting time.   Until then, I have to endure the skittering around and the constant quest to take more things!

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Neurologist visit today

We met with my Neurologist today.  She is a caring, professional, medical professional that I respect and trust.  We discussed the unfortunate Effexor experiment and how I am doing now that I am back on a much smaller dosage of Effexor.  I AM doing better but she reserved the right to increase my dosage slowly and cautiously as we see how I progress.  My BP was down, now 130/80.  Much better than 160/110!!   I am also becoming less agitated and grumpy.  All good things.  I am having less issues regulating my body temperature and  I am having less issues regulating my bowels.  SO, things are getting better.

We also discussed the brain CT scan that was done a few months ago.  She was able to get the previous scans from my Virginia Beach Neurologist.  The comparison shows some deterioration, but not major deterioration.   The "Black Holes" are still there and increasing some.  Again, that is to be expected.

It was a production, informative, visit.  I am feeling better and I realize I was foolish to try to get completely off Effexor.  I promise I will never try to play Doctor again!  Trust me, the three months of misery taught me a valuable, painful, lesson!!

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Back On Effexor; Status Update

I have been back on Effexor (37 mg) for three days.  The Brain Zapping has stopped.  That is a wonderful thing!!  I have not had my BP taken, so nothing to report there except my ears are not as clogged with pressure.  So, that is positive. I still have headaches but not as severe and they go away if I lay down.  I am still grumpy during the day, but after I tale my Effexor at night, I get more mellow.  All positive so far.   I have an appointment with the Neurologist this Tuesday, so we will see what that brings.  More later.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Back On Effexor

As I wrote before, the grand experiment of stopping Effexor has come to an end, today.  I went through a controlled draw down of Effexor starting 14 May.  I was on 225 mg of Effexor, a very high dosage according to my Neurologist and what I have researched.  The plan was to reduce the dosage to zero over 3 weeks.   May 28 was my last day on Effexor.  The side effects of stopping this drug have been terrible as I have written.   Yes, I did regain my ability to express my emotions.  That's has been a good and bad issue.  I also regained my sexual functions.  But, the autonomic portion of my brain, which had been diagnosed as dysfunctional, went completely wacky.   My BP spiked in the second week of the draw down causing headaches, ear ringing, loss of hearing, and severe dizziness.  I also experienced difficulty regulating my body temperature.

So today, I took my first Effexor pill in 10 weeks.  I am on 37 mg, a far cry from 270 mg.  The goal is to return my BP and other Autonomic functions to as close to normal as possible.  If I have not written this before, Effexor has been found to have a positive impact on Autonomic Dysfunction.  That discovery was a surprise to my Neurologist and me.

My hope is that I will retain some emotional release and some sexual function along with regulating the Autonomic Dysfunctional issues.  Again, we will see.  I also hope the Brain Zapping will subside! While it is less than the beginning of the draw down, it is still there, still intense, and still annoying.

So, the gran experiment is over.  I gave in or gave up.  I cannot defeat Effexor or live with the damage it caused me.  I wish I could tell the Neurologist that increased my dosage to the dangerous levels, what I think of him.  But, discretion may be the better part of valor.

I will lee you informed.