The one major, maddening side effect I have with Seroquel is brain fog/drowsiness. It isn’t an every day sort of thing, and yet it is – some days it’s really bad, and others it’s not. It does seem to get continuously worse if I don’t minister to it, though the only way I’ve found to do that is to set aside a day to sleep! Okay, that happened once and was so wildly effective that I’m going to try it again tomorrow; losing part of a day is worth it if it means that I go a couple of weeks feeling human in the morning.
As it were, I’m sort of stumped as to what else I can do – I work hard to do things to assist in keeping the old body ticking along as placidly as possible. This includes (but isn’t limited to):
- A Regular Sleep Schedule: I’m in bed by 12:30am most nights, and we get up around 9:15am. I know, I know – spoiled brat schedule. I’ll add that I’m usually reading anywhere from 5 minutes to an hour after I get into bed, which brings it closer to that vaunted 8 hours that we’re supposedly supposed to be getting. Even with periods of insomnia, I generally sleep the night through with no disturbances.
- Eating Well: While I’m sure it would make any of my friends on Atkins or paleo tsk at my stupidity, I find bread filling and sustaining (as brown bread should be, being complex carbs). A slice of toast for breakfast, and often the same for lunch (because I’m not hungry at midday really) is fine for getting me to dinner. If I’m still feeling hungry, I’ll grab a piece of fruit. I do my best to avoid junk, but…
- Caffeine/soda: I know that, much like the processed oh-so-evil carbs above, sodas are considered the debil by most. And while I am actually working on slightly paring back my caffeine intake for the sake of my anxiety, I don’t see myself cutting it out fully any time soon. I don’t dessert often, I stopped smoking and drinking – this is my last vice. And as it were, a can of Dr. Pepper or a cup of coffee is one of the quickest ways to blast away the morning haze, even if there is the argued after-crash (which I’ve never noticed).
- ‘Exercise’: This will always be a problem area for me, because I abhor exercise. Before the Air Force started getting ashamed of fat Airmen and insisting that we all start killing ourselves over-cardio-ing where they could see it, I used to just list times I had sex for my exercise sheet (trufax). I also rail against the concept of organized clocking measuring, ’cause I tend to get unhealthily obsessed, and erm… dude, I can fling a toddler around. Flinging a toddler around is harder work than non-parents savvy. So while I might manage to coax myself into a bit of DDR or grooving to the radio (or doing the 3 minute workout for lulz), it’s a difficult piece of the puzzle. Doing exercise and exercise-like events is good, obviously – Seratonin and all those other happy chemicals work a treat against depression and other such mood imbalances. But if one cannot maintain normal exercise, then it’s worse than having done none – firsthand, I’ve watched my mood plummet to some pretty scary depressive episodes because I couldn’t make myself move a bit (or because I had to stop ’cause I’d hurt myself trying too hard).
- Water: Drink a few liters a day? Heck yeah! I taught myself to like water years ago, and try very hard to consume the right amount for the dual purposes of replenishing my body, and for the alertness its consumption is supposed to provide. All I really notice is needing to pee even more than I do normally (which is a lot), but it’s something that I consider generally worthwhile to do.
Like the depressive spells, the fog is problematic because I’m trying to do the right things. As I’d commented to a friend, that makes it worse when things don’t go the right way – you run out of things to blame for your woes, or hide behind. It’s maddening when you’re stretching and flailing, trying to shake off the cobwebs of either – I’m not sure I’ve the word to explain how heavy and leaden one feels in these moments. Is it better than the brittleness of the unmedicated state? I would say no from first-hand experience, but that doesn’t make it exactly palatable either.
What about the rest of y’all? Any antecdotes or suggestions? I mean, besides the obvious ones of never having anything with sugar in it, ’cause that’s not happening. 😉
[[radio edit]] Another suggestion of goodness is to take in some sunshine. I’m amused that attempting to do that today ended up with me blown back inside nearly as soon as I could sit down – d’oh! Ah well, perhaps tomorrow.