I’ve been off of Topamax for about 11 days now and all I can say is, my world is back to normal. In the past, I found that Topamax was a good solution for my cluster headaches but not so much recently. I’ve been chronic since summer of 2010 having at least one major headache every day, totaling over 300 since I’ve been keeping better track in November of 2010. I did have the “Dopamax” effect where I couldn’t find words for everything immediately, but it was such a gradual process that I forgot what it was like to be normal.
My neurologist and I have decided to stop Topamax because I have been having vision issues, like the last time I was on it. Waking up in the morning I would get ghosting of images and my eyes in general would hurt all day long. This probably is related to the possible side effect of closed angle glaucoma that Topamax can induce. I had my eye pressures checked a while back and they were fine – but I didn’t again after increasing to 200mg/day.
The other thing I hadn’t realized is that Topamax seems to have been affecting my ability to develop software. You’re reading that right – it prevented me from finding the right CODE TO TYPE. I thought it was concentration issues or just the headaches in general but I think it has to do more with word association and the ability to think ahead of the code before programming it. Even a few days after being off of the Topamax I could tell something had changed and I was back to my previous performance levels of slinging out code and finding solutions to problems. I’d almost say that I’d rather deal with the cluster headaches than not have the ability to be a software engineer.
Anyone else have this type of experience?
I just said this week I don’t post news articles. Well, I was wrong. Here is a quick article on the potential triggering of migraines with fluorescent light bulbs.
Upon direction of my neurologist, I have taken caffeine out of my diet completely. All I can tell you that it sucks. Sucks suck sucks. I’m getting by with drinking caffeine-free tea, a lot more water, and once in a while a flavored La Croix. I’ve also had to drink sugared soda when visiting restaurants because Sprite or 7-up is the only beverage available without caffeine. No buzz, but lots o’ calories!
I’m tolerating the new medication well. From my previous experience, I know not to expect anything until at least about a month into it. I’ve had some horrible headaches this week but that’s most likely due to the drop in caffeine. My eyes have been dry and bleary again lately; I’m hoping it’s not related to the “Topamax Eyes” (increased ocular pressure) that I had before. We shall see how it pans out.
I’m looking forward to the Thanksgiving weekend. I need the two days off to recuperate and catch up on homework! Tazz has a really good chance at two places he interviewed at. One already called around for reference checks and had him take an online personality test. We’re hoping that they don’t wait too long to at least give some sort of feedback. Talk about a headache!
This Wednesday marks two full years of me
complaining about discussing my headaches and my life that revolves around them. It’s crazy that it’s only been two years since it seems like I’ve been actively involved in blogging longer than that. Honestly, this is the first thing I’ve kept on doing longer than a month before some other shiny metal thing grabs my attention.
I wanted to review a little of what’s happened to me in the past two years. Maybe not so much for your sake, but as a tool for me to reflect. That sounds sappy but why have a journal if you never reread it, right?
- Topamax hurt me more than helped me.
- I finally got out of my deadend job; 4 employers total in the past two years since leaving the hell hole.
- I got my bachelor’s degree and now I’m going back for my master’s.
- Coffee is a drug and I’m a pusher.
- I’ve had raw sewage dumped all over me.
- Stomach acid sucks big time.
- Losing weight also sucks big time.
- I’m more scared about losing my vision than being in pain all day.
- Verapamil made me fatter.
- Hawaii is awesome.
- Podcasts are fun but take a lot of effort to do them.
- Aging parents frighten me.
I’ve learned and experienced much more past these twelve items. I never wanted my head pain to define who I was or to change how I interact with the world. The truth is, I am the headache pain and it’s me. I’m just glad I have a place to bitch and whine about it! 😉
There is a guy that walks around where I work with his bluetooth headset on all day long. He goes into the bathroom with it, the elevator, and into meetings. Since when do you have to be poised to get a call 24×7? Take the headset off and put it into your pocket. When you get a call that lasts longer than a minute, put it on. Simple as that. The blue light on it gives me a headache too!! Seriously.
Then I found this post today on the 37 Signals blog. Holy crap you need to read the comments.
I went to my favorite eye doctor on Thursday; she ended up telling me that my eyes were healthy. What I do have is something like dry eye syndrome. Because the cloudiness was only happening in the morning and because it responds to regular eye drops, it wasn’t a concern. She gave me samples of various eye drops and they seem to help. I think if I consistently use them I won’t have the problems in the morning. I’m just glad it was nothing like glaucoma or cataracts. I know I’m way young but the Topamax did have my ocular pressure in the high range at one point.
We’ve gotten a boat load of snow today. As we’re ready to leave from our bowling league last night, it started to snow. It looked pretty at first and then we realized a quarter inch or more fell in a matter of 15 minutes. Fun. Driving was exciting and very unsafe. I do enjoy snow on the weekends because you have nowhere to go. Tonight we’re supposed to get another 8-12 inches. That’s nearly 30cm for you metric peeps.