Content note: this post is a bit graphic about menstruation and sex, and also describes an unpleasant dream involving a Nazi.
Today is Purple Day, for epilepsy awareness, so what better day than to update on my lamotrigine adventures? I’ve now finished titrating up with my lamotrigine regimen, and I’ve been on the full dose of 100mg (50 in the morning, and 50 before bed) for about a month.
First of all, in good news, most of the side effects have gone away. I am no longer itchy. I get a little light-headed once in a while, but it’s nothing I can’t handle. Even the weird dreams have either died down, or I’ve got more used to them. Either way, my sleep feels more restful, and less of my unconscious attention is focused on the dreams, so it’s less of a bother. I managed to exhibit some rudimentary control over one of the lucid dreams, wherein my abusive ex was sucking off a fucking high-profile Nazi in the church of San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane. I decided I didn’t need to look at this, so I spent the dream enjoying the iconic geometric Borromini dome, which was quite nice.
The side effect that has remained is my periods are from hell. The cramps are terrible, the headaches are awful, my wisdom teeth swell up and everything hurts. I am in a world of pain for two days, because fortunately, at least, my periods only last a little over two days now.
One of the worries a lot of people have about taking any medication is what it does to sex. I’m pleased to report that for me, lamotrigine has killed neither sex drive nor sensitivity. It has had one weird effect though: I never hit that sexually sated feeling; no matter how many orgasms I have, I could keep going. Therefore, for me, sex (solo, or with others) is now mostly constrained by when someone gets tired. I am sexually satisfied, but basically could keep going and never hit the roll-over-fart-fall-asleep point. Which is a blessing and a curse, I suppose.
I had a fuck-up with my meds the other day. I’m taking two tablets a day, with one in the morning and the other at night. On days where I go into the office, I keep the tablets on top of my phone, so when the alarm goes off I take my pill before switching off the alarm and getting up. My big mistake on the day of my fuckup was I hit snooze after taking my dose. And then woke up to the alarm again, automatically took my tablet, switched off the alarm and got up. So, I took a whole day’s dose in the morning. And let me tell you, it was not pretty. I spent the whole day asleep on my feet and itching horribly. The only thing keeping me awake was the interminable itching. So, kids, be careful with taking your medication on time.
The great news is, it seems to have knocked the seizures on the head. I haven’t had one–not even an aura!–since the seizure I had during the first week on the meds. This is pretty fucking great for me, given I was having at least one a month, and now it’s been nothing since January.
I hope this series has been helpful for anyone who is starting on lamotrigine. I know it doesn’t work for some, but I will say this: the titration process is fucking unpleasant, but it settles down once you’re not upping the dose every two weeks. I’m glad I started taking it, because it definitely seems to work for me.