Sunday, September 19, 2010

Dr. Mars and The Impoopible Dream

Okay, so things have been a little bit iffy since I went off two of my three antidepressants, but honestly, I just had to do it. Not to be a scatological bore, but do you know that children’s book “Everyone Poops”? Well, everyone doesn’t. If you take medication whose side effects make pooping impoopible (or even improbable), you know what I mean.  I can’t believe I’m even discussing this.

“Let’s think of this as a scientific experiment,” I told Dr. Mars, who kindly agreed to wean me slowly off one medication, and then, even more slowly, the other. “I mean, who knows? Maybe I’ll go off them and realize I did not even need them. “

Dr. Mars gave me a look.

“Then again,” I said hastily, “if I get into trouble I can always go back to taking them, right?”

His look altered slightly.

“And maybe get a colostomy bag?”

I am always trying to get him to laugh (i.e., to prove that he loves me) but he is way too professional to ever succumb. Which is probably just as well because as soon as the drugs were fully out of my system, I pooped like a mad man and then promptly went mental. I don’t know how else to describe it (going mental, I mean) except to say that I got up one morning and, triggered by nothing, panicked and wept and then wept and panicked and found myself asking Boo Radley (my cat and fourth Pretend Husband) in all earnest despair, what he thought I should do. (“What’ll I do, Boo? What’ll I do?”) And, since Boo didn’t answer, I called Dr. Mars, who did know what to do, which was to take a small dose of one of my two missing meds and see if it helped. Which it did, except I also stopped pooping again. So I went off the med yet one more time and told Dr. Mars I was just going to have to learn some very tenacious Mood Management Skills.

As I tell all my pretend husbands (except for the cowboy with whom one really should not discuss psychopharmacology), going off meds is like going home again.

I lived in Depressionville from age 13 to 42, and for the next 18 years, got to live somewhere else. And while parts of Depressionville still look and feel exactly the same, those 18 years also make it feel different.

The biggest difference, of course, is that I spent those years finally getting some sleep. And—PRAISE GOD AND EVERY ONE OF HER KIND SPLENDID MINIONS—I am still able to sleep because my third antidepressant--the one that reintroduced me to the glories of slumber—doesn’t make pooping impoopible. I will take it for life, and afterward too.

Ergo, no matter how lethal depression feels now, I know, as I never did before, that I’ll get the daily reprieve known as unconsciousness. Nightmares be damned, at least it’s unconsciousness.

What did Bette Davis say at the end of that hideously addictive movie “Now, Voyager”? 

Oh yeah: “Don’t let’s ask for the moon. We have the stars.”

Who knew the stars would be sleeping and pooping?

But I mean, really, I'm asking: Who knew?


  1. You are a dream yourself!

  2. I've had to give up my (admittedly miniscule) sex drive in exchange for Effexor-induced sanity. Luckily as long as there's lots of cuddling, my husband and I are both relatively okay with this. I'm glad sex was never huge for me.

    Life really is a cost/benefits balancing.