I have had terrible experiences with a few prescription drugs and didn’t know what was wrong at the time. After 15 years of dealing with chronic illness and drugs that are supposed to help you, I decided to share my stories. When you are newly diagnosed with an illness you’ve never heard of, it’s tough to handle. I was so ill in the beginning, I took anything my doctor wrote a prescription for believing it would help. It didn’t always help. Some drugs actually made me feel worse, and some created side effects I couldn’t manage. Add to the mix the doctors that tell you that your body will adjust and just give it time.
In 2001, when I was first diagnosed with Adrenal Insufficiency, I had an endocrinologist who was an excellent doctor, but she knew little about my condition. She learned, and took good care of me, but she just couldn’t understand why I continued to be so sick. She was of the opinion that if I was taking my steroids I should feel better. I am on my fourth endo and have finally found someone who is knowledgeable about my condition. She gets it.
The first medication that messed me up was Paxil. Of course I was depressed. Of course I cried all the time. Of course I felt hopeless. But depression was not my problem. But doctors thought Paxil would help me, so like a good patient I took it. It was a nightmare. I slept all the time. My vision was so horrible I couldn’t read. I experienced “brain zaps” buzzing electric shock sensations in my head, jumping movements in muscles in my hands, feet and legs. (I kicked my Hubby a lot during the night) I fell down a lot and fell out of bed often. If I had to get up to use the bathroom during the night I would get confused and completely disoriented. I finally talked to someone else who was taking Paxil, we compared notes, and realized that some of these unusual symptoms might be from the drug. I was referred to a Neurologist who weaned me slowly off Paxil. It took a while, but all those scary things stopped.
But the Neurologist started a whole new nightmare for me. In my next post I will discuss that long long struggle with another medication.