Thankfully I did not grow another eyeball, lose any appendages, or experience sudden death today after taking the first dose of that dreaded antibiotic. Unfortunately, I have experienced enough signs and symptoms that I know I am reacting and am not just panicking:
-hearing changes. I haven’t exactly lost my hearing, but this evening suddenly everything got muffled. I’m hearing a strange phantom ringing sound in my right ear that drives me crazy if I don’t distract myself with something else…like writing. Except I just wrote about it and now am thinking about it again!
-vision changes. I made my daughter put the closed captioning on the television because I was having trouble hearing the voices. Actually it drove me crazy because I heard them but their volume seemed lower and sounded like they were all wearing gas masks or something. Anyway, I noticed that my vision is blurry when I tried to read the captions. I had Lasik surgery back in 2009 and haven’t had blurry vision since. Until tonight.
-low back pain. Yes, this is something I deal with frequently. Honestly, it could be a fibromyalgia flare up caused by all my anxiety about taking that pill. But it was weird in that it suddenly came on and is hurting in a different place than usual.
-dark urine. Now this is something I can’t conjecture out of thin air out of an intense desire to not have to take that bitter Biaxin again. Sorry for TMI, but when I stood up I nearly passed out because the stuff coming out that is supposed to be yellow was instead dark brown.
-nausea. Of course for me this is the end of the line. My phobia avoidance kicked in this afternoon when the nausea hit me. I probably waited too long to eat…but when I got queasy with my staple snack of an oatmeal cookie, I knew something was off and ended up skipping lunch altogether…then ate my standard “safe” food of cream of wheat for dinner.
So here I rest with a constant urge to pee, being very thankful and praising God for giving me the courage to take the Biaxin…but also for having me take just half a dose. I shudder to think of what a whole dose might have done. It’s been twelve hours now, so hopefully soon these effects will wear off. Dark urine and hearing problems are on the “Call Your Doctor Immediately” list at MayoClinic.com, but since it’s Friday night after 10, I doubt anyone will be manning the phones, so “immediately” will instead be “tomorrow morning.”
I feel like I’ve just fought a battle. I smelled like it, too. Dogs can smell it with their superior noses, but after I have a day-long panic attack, I can smell it too. Phew! I probably had a little cloud of stink surrounding me all day, like Pigpen, but I felt too lousy to shower until tonight when I couldn’t stand it anymore.
I don’t know why the Lord has allowed me to go through this storm. Over and over in my life I have battered myself with anxiety until now I stand so bruised and broken that there’s nothing left inside. So it was with profound gratefulness that I read encouraging words from several friends who celebrated with me the fact that I did face my fear and take the medicine.
So grateful you took the medicine this morning. No, it isn’t a tiny step- it is huge and I am praising Jesus for strength for you this morning. Just praise Him out loud until you smile. Praying for His love to envelope you and cast all fear away. Will it be there later? Probably will pester you but we are holding you in prayer and the Lord of All comfort and love is at your side. Not a platitude! The enemy does a great job of masking the abiding presence of Christ.
She is so wise — the abiding presence of Christ WAS masked until I read her words, and then I did as she suggested and praised Jesus for the peace and strength He gave me this morning that enabled me to push aside all the worries and thoughts about possible side effects and just take the cursed thing already. Did it all work out the way I wanted, with no side effects? No. But there was value in taking that step. And even though I’m feeling a little nervous about these side effects, I also feel peace.
I want my words to be uplifting and edifying. I want them to inspire passion and wisdom and love for the Lord. Instead I find I have lost a bit of faith along this rocky road, and I need to take some time to find it again so that my every word will glorify the One who made me instead of trash him. It’s hard to glorify when you feel like a worm, isn’t it? There’s a tendency in me to point my finger at God and blame him for my lifelong fears and then for judging me by them. I want to lash out at someone because I am so bone tired of reacting with such anxiety. I don’t want to have this phobia of nausea or H Pylori and I don’t want to have to take multiple drugs and I don’t want my kidneys to have a problem because I DID take the drug. I am under such spiritual attack that thoughts come unbidden to me, whispering of utter despair.
Most of the time I push those thoughts away — I know they come from the liar and the thief. But now tonight as I think about how I faced off with the giant today, I hear a taunting “I told you so!” If Satan has no hold or authority over me, why do I tremble and shake and panic? Am I not a daughter of the King? Does He not hold me in his arms? Yes, Yes, Yes! One day I will have a spiritual body that will not react to or even need antibiotics. Death has no sting when there is victory in Christ, who rose from the grave after three days, and these taunting thoughts have no hold on me, either.
Next week I am going to an initial appointment with a psychologist who uses neurofeedback therapy. I’ve been researching this technique and have learned that it isn’t even a “new” field. This particular doctor has been practicing for seventeen years, specializing in anxiety disorders. I have friends who have seen amazing results in their children. I’ve learned that professional musicians, athletes, and artists frequently seek out neurofeedback therapy to help them focus and sharpen their brain power. Think of it as physical therapy for the brain. My dear husband is going with me to this first appointment. I’m so glad because I rely on his wisdom to help me stay away from snake oil! But the fact that our insurance covers it means it’s already been vetted, so I doubt there will be any oils to worry about, snake or otherwise. Just having my man with me, though, makes me feel stronger.
Thank you, thank you for your many prayers lifted up in my behalf. I pray for you tonight, that somehow my words will encourage you as you face your own battles, despite my setback today. I may have lost this battle, but God has already won the ultimate victory, and it feels empowering to be on the winning team.