Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The Sad Truth About Happiness (a book review of sorts) and other news

I read this novel recently and quite enjoyed it. It's a little strange and unexpected but some of that can be good now and then.

Here are 2 quotes that clung to me and wouldn't let go. They are long, but very pertinent to what I've been going through so stick through them.

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"Everyone's response to pain is different. There is no way to be sure that any two people feel pain in the same way. So much depends on our idiosyncrasies, how finely attuned our nerve endings are, how tightly or loosely our pain receptors are wired in to our brain and spine and fears. Our responses are entwined with our history and emotions, and are unmeasurable in any case. Even if we did all experience the same stimulus in the same way, there would be no way of knowing it. It is impossible to tease out the physical from the complex overlay of our motivations, anxieties, and tolerances. Pain has a limited and far from perfect vocabulary. I read once about an African language that must have arisen in a country with a great deal of experience with suffering. This language had a word for a malaise as specific as a painful pinching in the armpit. English is much less precise. Not much useful is conveyed by the words "sharp," "searing," "throbbing," or "dull."
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"Life is perhaps after all simply this thing and then the next. We are all of us improvising. We find a careful balance only to discover that gravity or stasis or love or dismay or illness or some other force suddenly tows us in an unexpected direction. We wake up to find that we have changed abruptly in a way that is peculiar and inexplicable. We are constantly adjusting, making it up, feeling our way forward, figuring out how to be and where to go next. We work it out, how to be happy, but sooner or later comes a change - sometimes small, sometimes everything at once - and we have to start over again, feeling our way back to a provisional state of contentment."

- The Sad Truth About Happiness by Anne Giardini

Pretty relevant quotes there for me, wouldn't you agree?

In other news, I have weaned off the Zonisamide (yay for no more heartburn and crappy sleep!) and onto Tegretol, the gold standard anti-convulsant for Trigeminal Neuralgia. It's a little scary since I have to have bloodwork done periodically to check my liver and immune system function, which both can be affected on this med. Nice. But!!!! Come here, I'm afraid to say this too loudly . . . I'm gonna whisper (and if blogger were being nice to me this would be in teeny tiny font, but it's not) . . . but the thing is . . . I think it might actually be working!! Shhh . . . I don't want to scare it off. But yes. Amazing.

I got up to 800 mg, and was hit by carnival-funhouse-style dizziness, like everything was just a touch off balance, like someone tilted the floor just a little bit. Whoa there! Yikes. And . . . I started having moments where my face didn't hurt!!! It feels miraculous! It's not gone completely . . . but the pain comes more in waves instead of a very constant push. It feels amazing compared to what it's been like. I've been on this dose about 5-6 days now and the dizziness has faded quite a bit and I am feeling the best I have felt for nearly 6 months. If I stay very still, the pain is almostalmostalmost gone. The more I move around, of course, or exert myself in any way, shape, or fashion, the worse the pain is. But even that is more like a 3-4 on the 1-10 pain scale, instead of the very nasty 7-8 where I was hanging out before. So!! Very good news for the time being. :)

It's not a cure all, of course. But for now, I'll take whatever I can get.

4 comments:

Linda McFate said...

Awesome that the Tegretol seems to be working!! And thanks for the quotes - they put into words some things that I've known for a long time, but wouldn't have been able to express nearly as well :)

Carrie Bolser said...

That is awesome! So very happy for you. Happy Dance :):):)

Amy said...

That's wonderful! I'm praying that things just keep getting better.

Jennifer Pelo Rawlings said...

I'm glad to hear that. I hope things are still going well.:)

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