I’ll admit, I’ve made a whole pile of mistakes over the past few years, the most galling of which has been trusting a certain individual to have my back during a very difficult period. Without wearing that one down to a nub, I do claim responsibility for it and all the others. However, I did something really stupid a couple of weeks ago and I’m still feeling the effects of it.
For the past 3 years, I’ve been taking a certain medication just to take the edge off. For the past couple of months, one of my big projects has been writing extensively about this type of medication and how its side effects can wreak havoc on those of us who have been taking it since it was introduced about 20 years ago. I think I know the details better than a physician at this point, including the names, manufacturers, side effects, everything.
Speaking of side effects, I got it into my head that I wanted to stop taking this medication and decided to wean myself off of it on my own. I made the mistake of thinking I knew enough to do it, but alas, I knew nothing. The first week was not bad, but after 10 days, I was just about ready to swallow whatever was left in the prescription bottle. The side effects were prolific: dizziness, nausea, insomnia, inability to concentrate, and a general sense of dread that washed over me like sewage. Oh – and the destruction of my sense of smell. I think that side effect has shaken me up worst of all.
My schnoz is recovering slowly but surely. I actually had to take a break from any and all things scented, including shampoo and shower gel. Anything stronger than Ivory soap was an assault on my senses, and I’m still not able to sniff certain scents yet. It’s funny because this happened to me once before: when I was supposed to move to Toronto back in 2008 and was nabbed by the Canadian Border Mafia for supposedly attempting to “immigrate illegally” from the U.S. As much as this ailment alarms me, it amuses me that when the going gets tough, my sense of smell shuts down. How weird is that?
So, a little advice from me to you: never, EVER attempt to wean yourself off anything without help from a trained professional. I was so incapacitated at one point that I placed a call to my family doctor back in New York and cried to her about what an idiot I am. She was always really great to me, especially when things got tough. Talking to her made me feel much better, even though she was the one who wrote me my first prescription. It has helped me tremendously, but now I’m scared to death about what’s going to happen when I do try to properly stop taking this stuff. I’m going to need many hands to hold, that’s for damn sure.
Here’s a Friday question for you (I won’t call it a poll because it probably doesn’t apply to everyone): Have you ever done something, or gone through a traumatic event that affected your sense of smell? My re-focused, inquiring mind wants to know!