25 September 2006


The headache is not gone, but it is much reduced. The last day or two it's only come about at work, usually around hour three, and then is gone after lunch. I can handle this. I get up and take a walk and stare down the hallway every few minutes, and that seems to help. I know not whence it came, I care less where it goes.

The insomnia is still a problem. Thursday night, for the first time, I lay down at 7 in the evening and actually fell asleep in short order (not having slept a wink the night before). I only slept until midnight, but still, this was five hours, the longest stretch of uninterrupted sleep in at least two weeks. Then Friday I tried to pull off the same trick and could not fall asleep. Finally I got out of bed, around midnight, after tossing and turning for a few hours. I got dressed to go to the gym, but some tiny little snag occurred--I think the string on my combat wallet got stuck on the stem of a banana and I couldn't extricate it--and I flew into a rage. I tore the sheets off the bed, threw the pillows against the walls, swept all the books and papers off my desk, pulled downt the clothesline, and threw the mattress against the wall.

Obviously I was a little troubled.

But I went to the gym anyway, and then there was some excitement, and I finally got back to my clu around two. I played on the computer for a bit, felt tied around four, and went to bed. For an hour. I was dead tired when my alarm went off at five.

Saturday night I finally managed to fall asleep around ten or ten-thirty, after tossing and turning for a few hours. Then I woke up again around two and couldn't get back to sleep.

Sunday night I didn't sleep. Interestingly, I've been much more awake and felt better today than I have any of those nights when I got a couple hours' sleep. But I'm also feeling a little loopy; I didn't know the date (I though it was the 26th today, all day, to the point that I argued with one of our missions that they'd put the wrong dates on their confirmation form and needed to redo it), misspelled my name on a form, forgot whether I sign my name in all caps or not (not anymore, but it took me a while to remember that and I had to cross out my first attempt), and so forth. Somehow I remembered to shave this morning, though.

I went to the doctor. I went yesterday, but there was a line out the door at sick call and I decided not to wait. Today I was the only one in there. The med tech offered Ambien, but, after consulting with the doctor, decided against it as it's very addictive and I might need it for a while. Then they offered diphenhydramine, Benadryl, which has never had any effect on me. Then they decided that maybe the mefloquine I'm taking as a malaria prophylaxis (exactly what it sounds like) was the problem. Given that the drug worksheet for mefloquine makes several remarks that people with my medical history ought to avoid the drug, I'm glad they arrived at that conclusion. When I first brought that up in August, after learning that mefloquine was bad for people with histories of depression or anxiety and has been known to cause serious emotional trauma even in healthy people, I was told that there was really nothing to worry about. This time, a different doctor actually came in to talk to me.
You said you have been depressed in the last year?
And you have been diagnosed with anxiety?
Who prescribed you mefloquine?
The doctors at my home station.
Did you know you shouldn't take mefloquine?
Not until I was already out here.
I'm taking you off the mefloquine. That should help you sleep. It may take a week, so here's some ambien to get yourself adjusted.

Ah. It feels good to know that not all the doctors are insane and like to prescribe inappropriate medications at incorrect dosages.

Okay. Enough navel-gazing. I don't want this to turn into one of those blogs where the writer just whines all the time. Still, if anyone has any cheese...

1 comment:

Melinda said...

Good Lord, Matt. All I can say is, hurry home soon.