Friends, professors, and coworkers have continued to be incredibly understanding of my temporary decrease in focus and energy levels. I missed several work meetings to nap the week before last, and everyone was completely ok with it. Those who weren’t aware of my brain tumor and seizure history at work were alarmed and skittish when I casually mentioned to them that I wasn’t making the meetings because I was trying a new medication and needed to rest. They then started asking me if I was feeling better the next day, the day after that, and the day after that, and eventually I just told them that I was feeling ok. Over the past seven or so years, I’ve come to learn you can’t expect those who haven’t dealt with a chronic condition before to understand that you don’t suddenly wake up the next day feeling better, as nice as that would be for them to understand. Regardless, all of my coworkers truly do care, and I’ve heard so many horrible stories from other college students with invisible illnesses about professors and coworkers treating them like absolute crap when they’re feeling sick or changing medications, so I truly am lucky to be in such considerate company. I’d also say that I am either gaining some of my energy back, or that I’m getting a little bit more used to the fatigue after the past three weeks of Zonegran, because this past week didn’t feel as bad as the first two.
The last two Zonegran side effects standing appear to be limited battery life and nausea. They pose the expected problems…
Problem: I still want to go back to sleep after just one class (way more than just a regular college student, I swear)
Solution: drink a chai tea with two shots of espresso as just the right combination to stay alert without getting jittery
Problem: getting everything I need to get done without falling asleep
Solution: plan the entire day out ahead of time, literally hour by hour, in order to spread energy levels accordingly, and allot time for some tasks to take place the next day if needed
Problem: the preschoolers I work with on campus on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons use up half of the day’s energy
Solution: hang out with the kids sitting in the sandbox instead of the cops and robbers lovers when it’s time to play outside
Problem: still relatively nauseous 24/7
Solution: always have ginger tea in my backpack so that I can drink some wherever I am on/off campus, whenever
Problem: decreased appetite re: nausea + in general
Solution: still working on it (/also sad because I love eating everything, all of the time). Your suggestions are welcomed.
Fun fact: it was brought to my attention this week that I was so out of it when I scheduled my six-week check-in with Dr. Z that I scheduled it for the morning of my 20th birthday at the end of the month. Cool.