In regards to
my post from earlier today, and at the suggestion of DivaMom, I took a look
online for any possible side effects associated with the medications I was
prescribed for my post-surgery recovery period. And I found this...
Psychiatric side effects have included hallucinations,
hyperactivity, disorientation as to time and place, and failure to recognize
people. Well...that would explain it.
After pumping steroids, antibiotics and whatever they put in
hospital anesthesia into my body for the better part of the year, I’ve
experienced a wide range of…let’s go with “entertaining”…side effects varying
from the mundane to the surreal.I’ve
already mentioned my “mental fog” so I won’t bring it up again in this post…well,
okay I totally will but I promise it will be like the last thing I talk about.
First up: Crazy Dreams – And I mean some serious cray-cray.
These I caulk up to the anesthesia, because they are ALWAYS weirder in the
first couple days after surgery.I
remember one about a puppy mill, no not that kind…I mean the kind ‘powered’ by
puppies.Like…strapped into tiny little
harnesses and forced to run in a circle all day because ‘hey, what better way
to use all that energy?’ Or ooh!What
about the one where I was a high school teacher who had taken her class to the
park and we were attached by an overall wearing, box cutter wielding midget
named Bellini who chased me through the park yelling that he was ‘gonna cut him
up a chicka”?How’s that for crazy?
Next: Unreasonable Rage – For no reason at all, just out of
the blue furious.I would walk into the
kitchen and see a dirty glass sitting beside the sink and it would break my
world.(Never mind that this is exactly
where I have asked my roommate to put her dishes when she is done with them,
and never mind that she is super dutiful about it.)I would become an instantaneous bundle of unbelievable
mad!Over NOTHING!Thank you steroids, it’s been so
And Then: Memory Loss – Now, I’ve touched on this one before
but it bears repeating.I couldn’t
remember from one minute to the next where I was going, what I was doing, or
why exactly I was doing it in the first place.This isn’t such a big deal when you are shuffling around your parent’s
house staring at the floor 24/7 for two weeks while you recover…but it can
become a significant danger once you are cleared to get back behind the wheel
of your car.Yeah.Let’s just say I’ve had a few ‘rough’
Small Things: Occasional balance problems, headaches, eye
pain, strange ripple-like ribbons of light across my vision, a patch of grey ‘dots’
across my field of vision…blah, blah, blah…most of this is easy to handle
(Hello, Tylenol!) and has improved/disappeared as I’ve gotten further along in
the recovery process.
Lastly: Mental Fog -(told you, last thing!)I bring
this up again because of what happened yesterday afternoon.I was fine, absolutely fine…until about 5:10
PM.I had gotten into my car after work
with the plan to run a quick errand or two, grab some dinner, and head home.I was heading to the pet store when my train
of thought went completely off the rails.I knew I was going somewhere but I couldn’t quite recall where.And let me reiterate this one point: I WAS
DRIVING AT THE TIME.Yep, completely
gone but behind the wheel.Suddenly I
had a million conflicting thoughts in my head.
“I need to get cat food.”
“When can I get it?” “ I should do that now.” “Nope, do it tomorrow.” “No, because then I’ll be at the other one and I got hurt
there.” “My ankle hurts.” “I need to get cat food.” “Oh yeah, I should go get that.” “Yeah…but when should I go?” I recognized the pet store from a distance and thought “Oh
yeah, I need to go there.” I pulled into
the parking lot and just sat in the car for a few minutes, trying to get it
together.I could actually feel things
getting more and more disconnected in my head.And I’ll be honest…it was a little scary.I wandered into the pet store and thank
goodness the kind of cat food I needed was on a big obvious display.But I’ll admit that I just stared at the bags
for a minute or two trying to remember which one was the right one (FYI, it’s
blue and says ‘Indoor Cat’…not that hard.) I paid and walked back to the car…getting
more and more unfocused the whole time.
“I need dinner.” “I need band aids.” “I need to go home.” “I should go see mom and dad…NO, I was just there.” “Should I go to this other store?” “I need dinner.” “No, I don’t have money for that right now.”
I got into my car and headed home…but stopped at a drug
store instead.I had the thought that I
needed band aids.Now, had I gone to my
regular drug store I don’t think it would have been quite so confusing.After all, at my regular store I know the lay
out. I stopped in the middle of the
store and read the conveniently located signs to find the correct aisle…and
missed it by one to the right.So I
tried again…and somehow missed it by one to the left.So I tried again.I finally managed to land on the correct aisle
and got what I needed.I paid and walked
back to the car…and could feel it getting worse.
“I should go home.”
“I should go….” “I should…” “I…”
By the time I got home was I completely mentally
disconnected.I couldn’t even form a
full sentence inside my own head.I knew
where I was, I recognized it, but I really couldn’t think much beyond one step
at a time.I know I encountered my
roommate in the garage.She asked me a
question…I didn’t understand her and just sort of stared at her, blinking like
an owl.She rolled her eyes and left.I wandered into the house and put away the
cat food and the band aids.The cat
walked into the kitchen and stared at me.I petted him.
I filled the cat’s bowl.He purred and started eating.
I remembered that I still needed dinner, and here comes the
seriously scary part of this story: I GOT BACK IN MY CAR AND DROVE TO GET
DINNER.Yep…went to Dairy Queen.Because at that point the only clear thought
in my head was “ice cream.”I do not remember the drive there or the drive back.
Once I got home I made myself sit down at the kitchen table
and just focused on eating dinner.By
the time I got done the fog was lifting and I was much more aware and connected.By the time primetime entertainment came on
TV I was back to normal (well…as normal as I ever get).
What’s a bit frustrating about this is that I know that the
HOPSF or LibraryDiva would have taken one look at me and refused to let me back
out of the house…and TiaDiva…bless her heart, just isn’t that attentive.But no one was hurt and no property damage occurred
so I would say I was extremely lucky on all counts.
Do I have any idea what exactly happened or why?No.But I’m 100% certain that it was a side-effect from all of the medication. I guess the only "up side" is that at the time it was happening I was
aware that something was going wrong, which means that should it happen again (*fingers crossed that it won’t*)
I will NOT go anywhere near my car.