I couldn’t write yesterday. Things got a little easier in the afternoon, but I’ve been having an extremely odd time starting to ramp up on quetiapine (Seroquel).
The word people keep dropping when they ask how things are going on this front is zombie. As in;
Are you a zombie yet?
Quetiapine, a rather intense antipsychotic, has a reputation for a certain level of zombification. I can’t say I know for sure what that means, but I was hoping that starting small and working my way up would help combat this effect.
I started with the teensiest of amounts (12.5 mg) a week ago on Sunday, and what I found was that I quickly became totally ridiculous. Was I a zombie? I don’t think so… but I will admit to having done the following:
- I started last week by waking up and intending to make some eggs. Somewhere between point A (thinking, “mmm, eggs might be good,”) and point C (eating the eggs) I got lost. Before I could realize what was happening I was standing over the stove with cracked, oozy eggs in my hands and no pans or dishes anywhere near me! Errr… oops!
- By wednesday I mailed a father’s day card two weeks early because I couldn’t (for the life of me) figure out what day it was.
- A little later in the week I went to take Luna out for her afternoon walk and couldn’t figure out why my headphones weren’t working. Well, I was trying to plug the dog’s leash into the headphone jack instead of the headphones. Ouch!
- I was feeling a bit better (and a bit smarter) later in the week until having a long conversation with a couple police detectives and having to admit I could not recall when I worked last or what job I had. The detective tried to console me by saying, “oh, if it’s been like 5 or 6 years that is natural,” but it has definitely been less than half that time.
As amusing as I was finding these comical situations, I’ve began to feel increasingly concerned. Was I becoming stupid? Was I engaging in some kind of bargain with the devil? If so (and I considered this next bit with grave seriousness) would trading intelligence for stability give me a happier life?
By Sunday night at the end of that week (a few nights ago) I scoffed at the thought of myself flailing in such an odd existential conundrum. Things appeared to be back to normal at that point -with the exception of thinking it would be a great idea to drink some nesquick 9 years past the expiration date. Ok. Maybe I was still having some issues getting from where I was to where I wanted to go, it seems to be all those actions in the middle that are getting scrambled by the quetiapine.
12 hours later (yesterday, Monday) I sat down to try and blog. Not only was I sick as a dog (from drinking that exceptionally past-due beverage) I had doubled my dosage of quetiapine in the night. The lines between the dreams I’d had the night before and reality were completely blurred. Every post I began writing took on a life of its own, traveling somewhere I didn’t intend to take it. I didn’t have control over what was coming out, and that is when I always try to put writing on hold.
I didn’t break any eggs or try to plug a leash into my iphone but I did provide some of my lovely neighbors with an interesting show when I took Luna out for her walk. I put my keys in my pocket, but within 90 seconds I couldn’t remember where I put my keys (or even if I had them!). I panicked and began spazzing out, patting myself all over and furiously looking through my bag to try and find said keys. The neighbors found this display particularly comical, and though I agree the simple act sent me right back to that point of concern.
I don’t mind being that person everyone else is laughing at. For most of my life, I’ve been that person anyway -first by accident, then on purpose when I found I could make it work to my favor. My main concern about my seemingly newfound inability to rationally think things all the way through before doing them is one of safety. Frankly, I already knowingly drank some seemingly poisonous chocolate milk, how long before I really do lock myself out -or (even worse) forget to lock things up completely and come back later to a ransacked apartment?
At this point I can tell I am acting differently. If my mind is normally a stadium filled with all manner of people screaming and cheering (with half the fans angry at the home team for scoring and half elated by it) what I have now is a completely empty stadium with players who can’t remember how to play.
My anxiety seems to have improved, but only because I can’t seem to remember anything long enough to keep worrying about it. This has been helpful in a sense, but has generally left me in that situation where I couldn’t find my keys. It feels like waking up constantly and not being able to remember exactly what I’m doing.
Will that go away once I get accustomed to the medication? I couldn’t say, this is a place I’ve never been before. Since I have so few options left in the realm of medication to try I feel inclined to keep going and see where this takes me. After all, by this point with most medications I’ve tried I’ve had rashes and weird swollen glands and uncontrollable diarrhea, even headaches that went on for weeks. Right now my physical side effects are so minimal (tiredness) that putting up with some general stupidity and confusion might be the least of my worries.
So, apologies if I’ve left your comments unanswered. I am in that place where I’m hardly eeking through the day, and I’ve only been deemed a minimal amount of brain power. Hopefully later on this week I’ll be feeling better, in the meantime I need to take it easy.