I’ve been taking seizure meds three times a day for nearly forty years and I have all these ways to keep track of taking them to make sure I don’t miss a dose or stupidly take two doses and I have to try really hard to double dose myself. Really hard. Which is what makes the fact that I double dosed myself this morning all the more impressive. Last time I did this was in South Dakota. We’d driven hours and hours the day before, circumambulated Devil’s Tower which is even more manly in real life than in Close Encounters, visited Mount Rushmore, which was nothing like North By Northwest at all. We pulled into Rapid City very late, managed to stay at the only motel in town with actual prostitutes and had Sonic take out for dinner because it was either that or McDonalds. Fell asleep to the sound of a truck driver having an orgasm next door. Left my morning pills out on the nightstand, gulped them down first thing upon waking, showered, ate the free breakfast and then took pills again without thinking about it. It was crazy hot and humid for so early in the morning but we stopped at Dinosaur Park right there in Rapid City, which is full of the huge crazy dinosaur sculptures and was built at the same time as Mount Rushmore was carved and is the coolest hokiest thing. Mandatory stop for dinosaur obsessives. Then we split eastward. Those plains are something, they just swallow you up, and we were in the middle of fucking nowhere when I realized I’d double dosed. The Tegretol comes down like a blanket, soft and sleepy, while the Lamictal is like steroids for the frontal lobe, you think and think and think (or write and write and write) with a testosterone surge. Add half a dozen cups of coffee to that and suddenly I was sleepy, wired, brilliant and very manly. Now there’s a rush. But the sleepiness was winning. Finally had to stop at Wall Drug where I passed out in the car in the blazing Great Plains heat while Fyl wandered through the endless maze of shops. Lots of socks, she said. She watched the dinosaur twice. Bought me some socks. Then revived somewhat we headed into Badlands National Park where I managed to dump a mini cooler full of ice water into my lap, never losing control of the car but freezing my balls solid. That’ll wake you up. It’s an idea, but I’ll probably just nap this time.
(2014….For a year I was trapped in some bureaucratic limbo awaiting medical coverage and had to buy my own seizure medication at retail prices. Financially it was as if our rent had instantly doubled. Everything we had went into buying my medication. This was written at some point in that year.)
So my primary epilepsy med is back to solid gold status, having jumped over thirty per cent in price in one mighty 24 hour leap. Shades of the Weimar Republic, though without Liza Minnelli. The med is now a touch over $3.50 a pill. That’s $42 per day. A nice little habit. The other pill I take is cheap, but then they use that for other wackos too, not just epileptics. It’s the epilepsy specific drugs that’ll nail you. A high class disability, epilepsy. Epicurean, even. We’re special. Too bad you can’t get disability for it. Well you can, but you have to roll around the floor thrashing a dozen times a day. Otherwise, being that you’re not actually mentally ill, you’re considered normal. Unusual, maybe, but normal. I should have picked something else. Depression is nice, I hear. Quiet. And schizophrenia is entertaining. Bipolar types get a lot done, well, sometimes. Plus all those guys can get medicare. Free meds. Even handicapped parking. I get solid gold pills, plus that certain je nais se quois that comes from being so goddamned expensive.
But I hear there’s an opening for a Getty heir.