Too Damned Hot Already!

95°F=35°C= too damned hot for the month of March, even in Southern Arizona.  But wait, “there’s no such thing as climate change.”  That must mean that it’s now normal to have temperatures >15 degrees above normal, in a sustained fashion, two years in a row.  OK, I’ll try to squeeze yet one more incongruity the size of Texas into my pea-sized brain.  

For reasons that are well explained by Ayurveda, my tongue got the word about the heat wave first:

That thing that looks like a small liver on the underside of my tongue is an aphthous ulcer.  It’s the classic “punched out” kind.  Makes me feel pretty damned punched out, let me tell you.

That was a few days ago.  The ulcer kind of propagated into the back of my mouth and throat.  I’ve been literally living on aloe vera juice and coconut water, which I leave in the freezer and sip on.

It occurred to me that this was rather more ulcer-ness than I’m used to.  I get them every few weeks or months.  A Crohn’s thing, you know: it’s a “mouth-to-anus” disease.  Meaning that, lesions can occur anywhere in there.  And do.  

My brain survives and at times even thrives, by continuously scanning for outliers.  That’s how the prey animal survives.  That ripple in the tall grass that wasn’t there earlier?  Lion.  That shadow in the water?  Crocodile.  

Those bizarre mouth ulcers?  Could be just the ol’ Crohn’s monsters.

And on the other hand…there’s lamotrigine (Lamictal®).

Ever since I landed in the hospital in 2001, and ever since the amateur psychiatrist who tried to kill me with every antidepressant under the sun nearly succeeded, and ever since she thankfully went on vacation and left her on-call beeper with the brilliant neuropsychiatrist who correctly identified my brain as bipolar, I have faithfully taken my “L&L cocktail” every day.  Lamictal in the morning, lithium at night.

It’s worked better than anything else.  It’s been my staple.

There’s a problem, though.  It’s been a theoretical problem, till now.

Lamotrigine has one major potential adverse reaction.  It doesn’t happen often, but when it does, it can be devastating.  It’s called Stevens-Johnson Syndrome.  (The linked article downplays what the syndrome really looks like….)  It’s a known and much-feared adverse event that’s associated with Lamictal.  That’s the reason for the very slow dose buildup, if you’ve ever taken it, and the huge black box warning that says if you ever get these nasty lesions, stop taking Lamictal immediately.

My tongue up and turned completely white, then started peeling.  I put my Lamictal away.  Increased the lithium dose by 25%, got out some high CBD cannabis to help with the transition.

If you take medicine for brain stuff, you just naturally deal with side effects.  How not?  Most of this shit we dump into our bodies, no one has any clue what they actually do, outside of the one thing they have to look at for the studies.  Beyond showing that this does or does not increase dopamine levels in the brain, for instance, researchers are not able to predict every single one of the thousands of other chemical interactions a medicine may set into motion all around the body.

Fortunately most side effects are merely unpleasant but not life-threatening.  Stevens-Johnson is extremely unpleasant and also life-threatening.  You just don’t want it!

Lithium has its bad side too: kidney failure holds down the position of real bad actor.  But lithium won’t kill you today.  It might take decades.

On the other hand, Lamictal’s dark side will put you in the burn unit…or the grave.  Right quick.

It’s a terrible choice to have to make: my sanity or my life!  There’s no percentage in trying to gamble with Lamictal, once these mucous membrane lesions appear.  There’s no guarantee that a break from the drug will fix the problem.  For me, this is the red line.  No more.

So what am I gonna do now?

Well, I’ve increased my lithium dose.  That means I have to be incredibly careful in this heat, because lithium can become toxic via dehydration.  And since lithium has a diuretic effect, that makes it even harder to stay hydrated.

I’m making plans to move to somewhere cooler after the end of the month, when I have my hand surgery recheck.  Oregon is sounding good to me….

And yes, my medical cannabis is once more doing yeoman’s duty.  I read an abstract of a study that looked at using CBD to treat psychosis.  Holy crap, the stuff holds up alongside conventional antipsychotics, with absolutely zero side effects!  I’m on that bus.

Leave a comment

15 Comments

  1. You hang in there
    I need you
    Just got diagnosed with tb
    Got to go to the city
    On Thursday
    It’s driving me crazy

    Reply
  2. so sorry to hear this. I had a very bad reaction to Tegretol that my psych thought was SJS but just turned out to be allergic reaction, thank goodness. We stayed of meds until I had to go back on them so I feel your pain. Hope you stay hydrated enough till you reach Oregon. that sounds nice.

    Reply
  3. Reactions to drugs sux! Here ya go trying to fix an issue and 6 more pop out 🤕😲
    I am getting a weird issue with my lips being chapped. Long time ago, I ate too many tomatoes and that was to blame. Now I’ve tried everything (low b12 levels, dehydration, fever blisters, drug reactions) nothing has fixed it. I’ll need to research further. Luckily, its just a nuisance, not life threatening.
    I just started taking legal CBD a month ago. (Wrote a post also) This stuff is awesome! I still have some mental feelings of anxiety, however the physical are hardly noticeable. My BP had gone down also! I sleep so much better too. Gosh, I wish I could just get a bit of THC in there (legally)… I’ll just have to continue to sneak around 😉
    I wish you the best, sweetie! One of these days, we’ll have to corral our campers for a good time 😋

    Reply
    • Oh yeah! One honking good time there! 😉

      Wait, are you officially IL or MI? I forget.

      For the lips you might consider a broad spectrum B vit and a daily lecithin capsule. Of course you already use the highest SPF lip balm in existence, right? Of course.

      I’m so glad the good ol CBD is kicking anxiety ass for you. It’s helping my PTSD immensely. I think the backlash from the current Captains of Industry (my “term of endearment” for the government, or one of them) might be due to the fact that it’s a wonderful medicine that Big Pharma didn’t make. Money out of their pocket! They won’t get our hard won medicine away from us without a fight. You who voted them in, I hope you make your voices heard loud and clear: don’t screw us over!

      Reply
      • I’m in the political criminal capital of the world… Illinois!
        I Will try lecithin… I do do your other suggestions.
        I think our broke ass state would want the tax $ legal Maryjane would generate.

        Reply
        • Ya’d think!? Serious logic gap going on between his mouse-ears. We NEED Republicans to be making with the cards, letters, and phone calls, like this: “Dude. It’s about those JOBS, that INFRASTRUCTURE, that INDUSTRY. Shit like that.”

          Or something of that nature.

          Reply
  4. Crap! Now Stevens-Johnson’s Syndrome on top of all else! Hope that stopping Lamictal stops the lesions.

    Reply
  5. Reactions to drugs sux!
    I’m so glad the good ol CBD is kicking anxiety ass for you.

    Reply
  6. I’m so glad the good ol CBD is kicking anxiety ass for you.
    For the lips you might consider a broad spectrum B vit and a daily lecithin capsule.

    Reply

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