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Death by Side Effect

By on Saturday, Jun 3, 2017 in Uncategorized | 2 comments

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I’ve talked before about having migraines, that special plague that bestows itself upon the women of my family.

This week I had an entertaining visit with my migraine doctor, a patient, gray-haired neurologist I’ll call Dr. X.

Patient because I’m not the best patient. I was holding out on these migraines, not wanting to start a big-gun medicine, hopeful that they would burn themselves out, as they often do, in middle age. Well, I’m well into middle age and guess what? No such luck.

“I’d like to start you on a new medicine,” Dr. X says, after I describe the special hell deadlines wreak upon my poor head.”The way I see it, you have two choices.”

I look at him suspiciously, as if he’s said, “I want to give you a brand new type of poison.” Which, in effect, is a little true, because every medicine that really works for migraines seems to have a special side effect profile that’s enough to scare you to death if you think about it too much.

“You have two choices. Choice A works great. It shuts the headaches down for good. The only problem is, it makes one out of every ten people stupid.”

“Come again?” I say.

“Not being able to focus, confusion, that kind of thing.”

Oh, well, that sounds like something I can risk when I’m two weeks from turning a book in, yes?

“The good news is you usually know when you’re stupid.”

“That’s reassuring,” I say. Not really. Not at all!

“Patients come in knowing they can’t think or talk or function. It’s not like being drunk when you don’t know how stupid you are.”

“Oh. Any other side effects?”

“Weight loss.”

Weight loss at an age where looking at a pint of ice cream makes me gain a pound? The stupidity might be worth it! “I’ll consider it. What about Choice B?”

“Choice B works great too. But if we don’t titrate it quite right it has the side effect of apathy. Which could help with your deadlines.”

Not caring about whether not the book is going to be a piece of poo when I turn it in? That sounds stress relieving. But also scary in its own way. 

“But the flip side is, you may not care, for example, if the house is burning down, and it can also diminish sex drive.”

Does he know I’m a romance writer, for gosh sakes?

“Just bump up the dose of my normal medicine,” I say, referring to a common, tried and true medicine in the blood pressure medicine family that works…sort of. “And I’ll think about those other ones. See you next year.”

“Three months,” he said, frowning. “Come back in three months.” He looks over his bifocals at me.”You know, none of these medications are really that bad. You might just feel better if you give them a chance.”

I thanked him and told him I’d think about it. After I non-apathetically make my deadline without being too stupid and not gaining too much weight.


  1. Marin

    Tuesday, June 6, 2017

    Post a Reply

    Oh, my. It doesn’t sound like your choices are very attractive, and he didn’t try very hard to sell them to you, either! Wishing you luck as you continue to navigate them!

    • Miranda Liasson

      Tuesday, June 6, 2017

      Post a Reply

      Lol, hi Marin! No, neither choice seemed very attractive, but I’m grateful that my headaches are more annoyances than anything else. They could be a lot worse! Thanks for stopping by 🙂 (By the way, go back and get those black shoes! They’re fabulous!!)

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