...I feel the sky tumbling down. Well, sort of. I kind of tend to tumble down. Or rather, if I were not trailing a hand along any wall, furniture, or supporting surface at hand, I would be. While the hearing loss is distressing and annoying, I'd have to say the vertigo/dizziness is much worse.
So today was my first full day of Prednisone. I opted to stay home and see what would happen, rather than trying to be out and about. This means tomorrow is errand day, and as I sit at my computer at 2:36 a.m. typing this, I'm wondering if that was a miscalculation. We shall see.
One of the many side effects of this drug is that it plays merry hell with your blood sugar. In some cases it can even bring on diabetes. Since my family is riddled with that disease on both sides, this is something I want to avoid. I've been flirting with the idea of doing a complete sugar purge, and trying to reset my sugar cravings, which have been ginormous ever since getting a wee bit peri-menopausal. Plus, the damned stuff is like crack for some of us, and I'm one of the some of us.
So when my doctor was going over the myriad details of my new life, he mentioned this, and that many people have luck with minimizing this particular problem by going on an Atkins-like eating plan. Goodbye carbs. Goodbye sugar, simple and complex. Goodbye potatoes. Corn. We won't even talk about chocolate. And not even fruit! No. Goddamned. Sugar.
Which is perfect, when we are talking about a drug that turns people into Captain Crankypants and emotional roller coasters. Sounds like a perfect time to kick the sugar habit. Because what could POSSIBLY make Ramona crankier than a drug that wreaks havoc on emotions and irritability levels? Hey! I know. Let's have some real fun and take her absolute favorite drug away. Yippee!
I won't lie. Tough going. They say the cravings go away in 72 hours-ish, I think. Something to look forward to. Like an oasis in the desert. Like a life preserver to a drowning woman. Like a deus ex machina.Tonight, desperate for something sweet, I had a red pepper.
Now, it was a lovely red pepper, but it was not a bar of chocolate. It was not even grapes. It was a red pepper. Sweeter than a green pepper, but still. Not candy. Not even close. Not a bit like a deus ex machina, I've got to say. But I said I would do whatever it takes, and I am committed to that. Hopefully in a few weeks I will be blissfully sugar-free and fully hearing again, looking back at all this and laughing. Oh, how I hope to look back and laugh!
Right now, sleep is elusive. I'm tired. Very, very tired. But my skin feels a bit too small and I can't get comfortable. This is something I remember from the epidurals for my back and neck - this curious, restless feeling. Tossing and turning. Sheets not ever quite cool enough, or warm enough. This is all your basic insomnia stuff, at which I am expert. With the added fillip of steroids. But there's also the additional fun of the sounds from my party-in-the ear goins' on.
I mentioned my freakish good hearing at status normal. So freakish that when they were testing me, they found it nearly impossible to fully isolate the left ear from the right. To do this, they play annoying static sounds in the ear they are trying to block, then add in the beeps, or spoken words, to the other ear to see what it can hear. But my right ear hearing is so sharp, they really couldn't quite get there without causing me actual pain. How that plays out with daily life is multi-faceted.
Sounds hurt now. Or are quite annoying. They move around, they are discombobulating. And while super-high pitched ones have always been painful, now the sound of someone, oh, say, breathing next to me in bed takes on almost a magnified quality. And honestly? It might not even be him. There are all of these aural hallucination sounds, and it could be that. Or my superhuman right ear picking it up through the earplug and pillow, and then bouncing it around the new sound-effects machine in my left.
True story: my mom and I traveled Europe some years back. (Ah, Giverny.)
Now, my mother is a snorer. Not just a snorer. She doesn't just snore. She vibrates walls. She rattles houses. If there were a Snoring Olympics, it would only be a matter of which medal she would get, not if there would be one going home with her. I, at the time, in addition to my hearing super-powers, was one of the world's lightest sleepers. (And yes, insomniac. Such a lovely trifecta that was!) So I knew this would be a problem. I had been known to take my bedding into hotel bathrooms and sleep in the tub when desperate after awakening in hotel rooms to Mom's cacophony. So I was concerned. I knew earplugs were not sufficient. I was seeking ideas and sympathies from friends and co-workers, and my boss at the time, who was a hunter, said he would loan me his shooting ear muffs.
Not just attractive, you can see where they would be super-comfortable for sleeping. Oh, my, SO comfortable. And even with heavy-duty foam earplugs in, then these on top, and usually a pillow over that, my mother's snoring would still keep me awake. But I digress. (I did tell you to expect a good bit of that...)
So I am accustomed to struggling with sounds and sleep. But over the years, one of the great compensations has been turning into my mother in that once I have finally managed to fall asleep, you could march a brass band through the room, and it will not wake me. (Sadly, I have begun snoring as well, though not quite at her level. Please, Sleep Gods, keep me from that. I beg of you. The Husbandly One begs of you. We all beg.)
But this is different. I can't tell if sounds are real or not. I suspect the ocean is not, and if it were a more pleasant oceanic sound, like waves, it might be soothing. Heck, people pay good money for white noise tapes of the ocean. But this is not soothing. Maybe I will get used to it, and it will become so. Or maybe if it even stayed the ersatz ocean, instead of then morphing into so many other bizarre noises. There are the metal-on-metal shrieks, the high-pitched squeaking and sputtering, and various buzzes and crackles.
It seemed, mid-day today, that perhaps my hearing was a trifle better. Too soon, I know, but from my father I seem to have inherited a lightening-fast reaction to most medications. Or perhaps it was just delusions of hope. But as the day wore on, the small improvement seemed to fade. Perhaps like a cold or flu, one gets more symptoms as time without sleep goes on.
Which brings me back to sleep. My nemesis, my love. My enigma, my curse. Let's hope this mellows out, because I know already just how fabulous life without sleep is. I've been practicing that action since I can remember. Literally. Six or seven years old, laying awake for hours, unable to sleep. Speaking of Olympic medals they really ought to be handing out, this is one I've been training for my entire life.
So. Day one, while not horrific, shall win no prizes. Let's hope for a better day tomorrow. Though I've got to say, as we head on in to four a.m. those errands are looking less and less likely from here.