In 2017, we travelled Australia after my successful neuro modulator implant. The implant helps to manage the nerve pain I experience. It’s not 100% effective, but I can do most things on most days. I still have bad days though. I’m also still on some medications that hinder cognitive function. Throughout that year the word Probiotic was my Kryptonite. I still struggle to remember this word today, and to pronounce it properly. This was a source of comedic value for my wife on some days as she prompted me with other P words, until I told her to piss off and tell me what the word was.
The medication I’m on is an anti-epileptic or neuro inhibitor that slows down the neural pathways and chemicals between the brain and nerves. It reduces the pain signals from my damaged nerve. A common side effect is a slowing of cognitive function – thought processing. This slowing is even more noticeable when I’m having breakout pain. Pain that my normal medications and neuro modulator can’t fully control. All my brain power is focused on doing the necessary things and nothing else. My wife has been known to wait up to a whole minute for my response, that’s if I don’t forget halfway through.
As funny as this is, it is also one of the most frustrating parts of managing a complex condition. I’m not trying to float my boat, but I’m pretty smart. I’m no Einstein but I go alright. I used to be able to talk to people easily and I was confident in using a variety of words to illustrate my point. Enter this drug, and I felt like I had been reduced to a ‘bimbling, bumbling, … baboon [sic] (I hope that quote’s correct, my wife and her HP loving friends are going to love this). Anyway, I felt like I was stumbling my way through conversations, sweating up a storm trying to focus on the words coming out of the other persons mouth. As I was speaking I was getting side-tracked racking my brain trying to remember the word I actually wanted but had to substitute. This gets even worse if I’m having breakout pain. I feel like I’m reduced to babbling idiot. A toddler could do better.
I’ve been on the neuro inhibitor for the longest period out of all the drugs I’ve been prescribed. It’s the most effective with the least amount of liveable side effects. It’s certainly not the best drug when it comes to pain reduction, but it takes the edge off the bits the neuro modulator misses. However, it does almost nothing for breakout pain and I don’t like taking the special breakout pain meds due to… you guessed it, side effects. Though the special med reduces breakout pain it replaces the pain with an elephant sitting on your chest and erectile dysfunction. It’s just backwards. But sometimes I’ve got to make the call as to what’s more liveable in the moment.
What would you do?
If only this could be fixed with probiotics.
Headline photo by Me! Taken this exact date 1 year ago. We were on the Old Eyre Highway in Outback SA. All by ourselves.