I’ve been singing a lot of Aladdin to myself recently, a whole new world and whatnot. I’ve also been facing a few of my fears. This month I started a new medication, and not a medication that you can purchase over the counter either – I started amitriptyline (Elavil). Whilst I’ve started taking it for nerve pain, it’s also used for depression, migraines, and a number of other medical maladies. Doctors like spreading the joy, and throwing medicine at things – granted I’m a little biased because every time I go to the doctors at the moment they recommend a shiny new drug instead of looking at the reason my body is being odd.
I’ve been avoiding this particular medication for quite some time. It’s not that I don’t trust my doctors per say, it’s just that I don’t trust my body. It’s a drama queen. It does what it wants, when it wants, and it doesn’t care about surroundings. There have been far too many times I’ve had a reaction to foods, and substances in public places that are not pleasant.
Speaking of food, at the start of this year I developed an aversion to new foods, due to a new food allergy that had anaphylactic consequences. As a result my anxiety about putting new substances, and foods into my body has tripled. Maybe even quadrupled. But, when it comes to medication it’s a whole new kettle of fish. Medications come with pamphlets full of side effects and what to look out for, and most of them list ‘death’ as symptom. Granted, it might be worded in a less dramatic fashion, but I know what they mean. They mean death. Of course, as is the way with life, anything and everything can cause death, but my anxiety riddled brain focuses on that little tidbit.
Now, I’m at a low dose, but my body seems to be particularly susceptible to side effects. I started amitriptyline straight off the back of a bout of Labyrinthitis – I’d put off taking it that month even though the doctors were hassling me about it because one of the side effects is dizziness, I figured I had enough dizziness to contend with for the moment in time. But, as the Labyrinthitis had cleared up I had no excuse.
This is where the Gent comes in. This month, he’s been amazing. He’s sat with me for hours, watching cartoons with me whilst we wait to see if my body has a reaction to the medication. The first time I took it, it took me 45 minutes of ‘you’ll be fine’ and gentle coaxing, before I actually ingested it. It may seem extreme, and silly, but I’ve resisted this medication for so long that the idea of putting it into my body seemed ridiculous. I’m nearly two weeks into taking the medication consistently, and the Gent still sits with me every night for at least an hour. We’ve gotten taking the medication after measuring it out down to 5 minutes, but the paranoia is still there. That’s one hurdle we’ve overcome together, but the one we weren’t really expecting was side effects.
The Gent has been quietly supportive this month. Giving me a ‘you got this’ look every time I question if taking it is a good idea. Propping me up when I’m too tired to work out which limb goes where, and being ready to hand me chocolate as the liquid version tastes revolting.
Could I have taken the medication without his support? Maybe, but I’ve started to learn that sometimes it’s okay to lean on someone else for support.