(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.
Seven bucks worth of Carbamazepine.
(written a couple years ago….)
It’s Friday morning, and here’s the old people medical news, plus a ten pen cent discount. Good article in AARP magazine about the meds you take and why you can’t remember anything. Luckily for me both my anti-seizure drugs (that sounds much nicer than anti-convulsants) are listed so now I have twice the excuse for not remembering your name or what I promised or where I am. Plus the good thing is that I have twice the excuse for not remembering your name or what I promised or where I am. And here’s an article about the meds you take and why you can’t remember anything. Thank god it’s Thursday. Or Tuesday. Though it doesn’t look like Belgium. Or Weld, for that matter. And I read somewhere that some meds affect your memory.
I was going to say something.
Memory! That’s it. And you thought I couldn’t remember anything.
Tuesday Weld, looking like she forgot something.
I take fifteen seizure pills a day. Without those fifteen pills a day, I couldn’t go out in public, I’d be potentially dangerous, and it is highly doubtful I would have any friends. Indeed, without those fifteen pills a day I would in all likelihood have to be institutionalized. Not because I am crazy–I seem to be a lot saner than many people I know–but because I would be so wracked by seizures and all their side effects that the world and all you people would be too much for me to handle, and certainly vice versa. Without seizure drugs I would have to be on very heavy sedation, though that would do nothing to keep me from having spectacular grand mal seizures in my sleep. Without fifteen seizure pills a day I would be the creepy guy in the back of the bus, scaring all the other passengers. Not that it is likely I would ever get near a bus.
Without fifteen seizure pills a day the brain damage from a lifetime of uncontrolled seizures would have been so extensive by now that I would probably appear to be quite mentally retarded. Without fifteen seizure pills a day my memory, what remained of it, would be a refuse heap of random recollections. Without fifteen seizure pills a day I would either not be writing this, or I would be writing things just like this tens of thousands of words long every single day and you would have unfriended me long ago.
The funny thing about being epileptic is if you ever happen to mention any of the effects and symptoms of it everyone tells you that they get that too, indeed everybody gets that. But then they only think that because they have never seen me unmedicated. Without vast amounts of anti-seizure medications coursing through my veins 24/7, none of you but my family would even know I exist.
And that is how I am different from almost all of you.
Epileptics are asked by advocates all the time to talk about their epilepsy. I don’t like to talk about my epilepsy. People weird out. It’s like talking about your syphilis. Epilepsy is not one of the hipper maladies. But a neurologist said I ought to write about it.
So I did.