Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Side effects are bad deal but good research!

By W.S. Gager
I’m going to stray a bit from the normal blog post. This post is about taking charge instead of something about writing. I love writing but good health and doing what is best for you is more important. As writers we have a terrible reputation for not taking care of ourselves. The stereotype is that we smoke and drink too much and never get any exercise.  While that is probably not accurate, we do sit too much at our keyboards and I for one am a bit too fond of sweets, especially when I’m writing.

Because of these issues and that we rarely have good posture or are in a good supportive seating with the computer at the optimum height, we have health issues. This past year has been a horrible one for me with my body rebelling. While I don’t want to dwell on the bad, I do want to talk about one. I knew at the time it was a bad idea but I didn’t question the physician or ask for another way or wonder why this was a standard protocol.

I’d been having horrible headaches and very high blood pressure. The key was to figure out which was causing which. The other problem was the headaches would wake me in the early hours of the morning and I couldn’t sleep. The lack of sleep and pain was making me a little crazy.  We’d tried a couple of things and nothing would work. The last course of treatment was an anti-depressant that would help me sleep.
I’d never taken any of these before and I knew it was a bad idea.  But I just wanted to sleep. The problem was the pills had the exact opposite effect on me. I was wired. I was the little energizer bunny all night long walking the floors and not even able to stop or concentrate.  The other change was more subtle. It was the voice in my head that said life wasn’t worth it anymore. Basically I was having thoughts that if allowed to run unchecked could have resulted in suicidal thoughts. If you ever met me, I’m one of the most positive people you would ever meet. 

Fortunately, I had a little intervention and ended up in the ER. While I still have headaches, they are not severe and I have a natural remedy that helps me sleep. My point is never take a drug for its side effects. It is too great a risk and not a guarantee you will have the same side effects. I was very lucky. Thanks for the soap box. Now back to writing! And just a positive...I've done the research on how to write about a brain taken over with bad thoughts and hearing voices. My main character Mitch Malone will be encountering some strange characters soon!

Award winning mystery author W.S. Gager has lived in Michigan for most of her life except when she was interviewing race car drivers or professional woman's golfers. She enjoyed the fast-paced life of a newspaper reporter until deciding to settle down and realized babies didn't adapt well to running down story details on deadline. Since then she honed her skills on other forms of writing before deciding to do what she always wanted with her life and that was to write mystery novels. Her main character is Mitch Malone who is an edgy crime-beat reporter always on the hunt for the next Pulitzer and won't let anyone stop him. Her third book, A CASE OF HOMETOWN BLUES, was a finalist in the 2012 Daphne Du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense. A CASE OF VOLATILE DEEDS, her fourth in the Mitch series will be out this fall.


Evelyn Cullet said...

What an experience you've had, Wendy. While it was a great experience for character development, it wasn't so good for you. I know people who have to take drugs to counteract the side-effects of other drugs they're taking. I prefer the holistic approach to medical problems, and I have a great doctor who practices holistic medicine. I've been very lucky.

J.C. Hanks said...

Exactly why I will never take an anti-depressant and have trained my doctor well. Glad you are okay!

If caffeine doesn't bother you, you might try it for your headaches, I've found hot caffeine (tea/coffee) works best for me.

WS Gager said...

Evelyn: Since that experience I've tossed my drugs and am doing much better. Wish I could find a holistic doctor!

JC: I'm a big tea drinker but will have to check and see if it has caffeine in them because many do not. Thanks for the tip!