An Ode to Lyrica

My PCP and I had agreed, some time ago, that once the heart madness settled down, we would pursue finding a drug that would potentially work on generalized anxiety, the gut issues and migraines. The theory was that since the gut and the heart are very dependent on one another, medication that soothed the other issues would also benefit my heart. It was solid reasoning.

We already know that Cymbalta is not our friend (serotonin syndrome, up for two days clenching my teeth and wildly anxious). We know that Effexor is an enemy (19 day period, folks, NINETEEN DAYS). So, we tried Lyrica. After about 2-3 days at 50 mg a night, I was having migraines that were back to easily aborted with Fioricet. So we went up to 75 mg at night, while still carefully weaning off the Xanax–and I haven’t had a migraine since.

The first issue were the dreams. They are nearly hallucinatory in nature, and they go on all night long. I wake up, I am mostly aware that I was dreaming, I go back to sleep and it picks right back up. Sometimes I would think that a conversation that happened in a dream had actually happened, and have to then try to figure out what was real and what wasn’t. As usual, I wanted to be a good patient and not quit too soon. I could handle weird dreams,  told myself, even if they were more than just dreams and disrupted my sleep and emotions and I was starting to fear them.

Last week, I noticed that I was having small, random thoughts of suicide. They didn’t even seem to be my own thoughts, they were just there, briefly intrusive, then gone. I texted this to my PCP but he was on his way out of town and trying to finish my FMLA paperwork and I think he didn’t see it. So I mentioned it to my spouse (who is sometimes not so well equipped to respond to these things emotionally and immediately asked if I was saying I wanted to quit my job–the thing is, when people say they aren’t sure they are thinking rationally, it doesn’t help to ask questions that demand rational answers).

A few more days of monitoring my intrusive thoughts (“you could just take the whole bottle of Xanax”) and I texted my PCP that Lyrica is, along with so many others, not the option for me. Backing down to 50 mg last night the dreams were so hallucinatory and weird that I really feel I didn’t sleep at all. I’ve advised the spouse that in a week, he may need to be in charge of dispensing Xanax if I begin to crash and my brain is not my own for awhile. And, of course, that means the migraines may very well return.

Back, as always, to the damn drawing board. I hate the drawing board.

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