2/24/12

My first scary aura

Some people might perceive an aura as being a potentially exhilarating experience; perhaps even spiritual in some sort of way - but imagine how non-fun and un-exhilarating it might be when you unexpectedly experience it for the first time as a freakish brain misfire.

I was watching TV and suddenly red & green lights appeared to be spewing out of the TV screen - then spewing from my back door – then red & green lights everywhere I looked no matter where I turned my head. They were bright and strange and unsettling and I started to feel faint and afraid, so I crawled towards my bed, just in case I was going to pass out. Since I didn’t know what was happening and thought I might be on the brink of dyeing, I decided to call my parents right away, but that’s when the situation became even scarier. I could not see the letters or numbers on my cell phone and could not understand its shape or how it worked.

My right arm was starting to tingle and feel a bit limp; causing me to worry it might be on the brink of paralysis, which it was after I suffered from an unexpected stroke a few years ago. My right eye was not seeing properly or clearly and I was trying to hold my phone up close to my left eye and somehow figure out how to press a name that already had its number plugged in. It took way too long, but I finally somehow managed to call my sister who lives near me. At that point, I was having trouble speaking and could not explain the situation in any details, but could only say that something was wrong with me.

My parents soon made it to my house; while waiting I don't remember exactly what happened; but it involved weird sounds randomly zooming around the air. Once my parents arrived, I had significant trouble speaking/explaining/saying the right words. We thought about going to the Emergency Room, but I REALLY did not want to, because last time I did that, I was there for several un-appealing days, receiving all sorts of tests to see if I’d had a seizure – and even though the testing did not clearly indicate that I’d had a seizure, they prescribed me with a seizure pill anyway.

Guess what we think caused last night’s incident? I have been taking my seizure pill for quite a few months now, due to MAYBE having had a seizure this past August. Apparently sometimes people who have suffered from strokes are more prone to seizures after that, which is the main reason I was prescribed this pill even though the hospital testing did not prove I’d had a seizure. I had very recently gone to pick up my new generic batch of the pill I've been taking and they had switched it to a different generic batch pill with different side ingredients. My mom and I both questioned that, but the pharmacy people acted like that was nothing major or unusual and was just the way it was. Well, I took my very first dose of that new version of my pill yesterday - and yesterday evening was the only time I've ever experienced an aura in my entire life.

This is one reason why I dislike most doctors, pharmacists, and especially the pharmaceutical industry and how they handle pills (to make money). Do they really think it's no big deal to suddenly just switch someone's pill to a different generic version with different ingredients? The fact of the matter is they probably just don’t care. What do they care about one individual who for about a month after starting her first pill had serious sleep issues and less passion and less inspiration and felt far more like, 'oh whatever' about a lot of things then she had ever felt before in her life. I spent significant time napping and not caring as much as usual about most things. Then my body finally acclimates itself to that pill; I'm finally getting back to feeling passionate, artistic, energetic, productive and active again. THEN they randomly switch my pill to a new pill.

Fortunately, on the definite plus side, my mom did some research for me last night/this morning (I can’t research pills too much myself or I would probably freak out while reading about all their potential side effects and just stop taking them), found out I’d had an aura due to my sudden pill switch, and called a different pharmacy who seemed surprised that the other one had randomly switched my pill - and they agreed to give me the old version of my pill today - so I got it, took it, and feel fine now, albeit a little overly tired and achy.

It was sure a scary little unexpected episode last night though - especially when I couldn't see the numbers or letters or shape of my phone for an extended time period and thought I might be suddenly losing my eye site...then more of my brain...and then my life, unable to even make contact with anyone to try to help me. Hopefully something like that will never happen again, although if it does, at least next time, I will have an idea what is happening to a certain extent; thus even though it would still be very uncomfortable, unlikable and somewhat scary, I think I would be able to convince myself I wasn’t dying.

In any case, it sure felt like an oddly extreme, uncomfortable brain related mess last night, especially considering I had only taken half a dose of the new version of my pill thus far. It really makes me feel sorry for people who have to take higher dosage versions of that pill and/or a multitude of different pills and then experience a negative side effect and not even know which pill it’s coming from.