. . . Or Maybe It Was Just Bad Medicine


It’s 12 hours later, and I’m feeling better.

The worst part was the vertigo. Now, I’ve had a problem as long as I can remember with bouts of dizziness with doing something as simple as planting a flower. Whatever was rocking my world today, the feeling was not unlike motion sickness.


Except I was sitting still. Go figure.

Now, I did open a fresh bottle of prescription meds the other day, so I’m wondering if I received a bad batch, or something. You’ve probably heard that thousands of bottles of the cholesterol drug Lipitor are being recalled because they stink. I don’t know what medicine smells “good,” so I can’t imagine what it would be like to open up a pill bottle and get a snootful of must and mold.

No, I’m not on Lipitor, thank God. But if you’re a regular reader, you know I am on an antidepressant, and that was the new bottle I opened Monday night. There was nothing new or different about its appearance or smell; just the usual, small, blue and white capsules. Yet I remember having a similar reaction about a year ago, and Dr. Bean saying something about the possibility of getting a bad batch every now and again.

Isn’t that comforting?

The odd thing about my particular med is that it has a really short half-life. Like, 12 hours. You would think that after taking something for a year, one will have built up a significant store in one’s bloodstream, so missing a day is no biggie.  

One would be wrong.

I take it at night. If for some reason I forget, I get a room-swaying reminder long about noon the next day, and it tends to go downhill a little bit at a time from there.


It was bit of room-swaying that I was dealing with most of the day. And nausea.

I am not now, nor have I ever been, a sickly person. My goal is to age well past 100 with no more than two or three prescription meds. I have to have thyroid medicine because, like a lot of women, I had a version of thyroid disease a few years ago that had to be zapped with chemo. So, I take that tiny little pill each morning, and I will for the rest of my life – though I have gone as long as three days without it (but don’t tell Dr. Bean). And like a lot of women, including my mother, I take a pill for water retention, which can affect blood pressure and, I think, your heart, but I’m not sure. My condition is hereditary, but I’m not convinced more weight loss won’t get me off that one forever.


As for the antidepressant, it’s not something I ever considered, and I’m still a bit unhappy I’m one of “those people” – even though gazillions of people are either on them, or should be. And as much as I’d like to believe I haven’t really noticed a change, I have.

I have to look back in my old datebook to pinpoint the summer day I walked into Dr. Bean’s office looking for a weight-loss drug and walked two hours later tear-stained, exhausted and a teensy bit hopeful, because for the first time it seemed someone cared enough to offer an accurate diagnosis. Though I fought against starting on antidepressants, he made it all make sense. I especially liked the part that it wouldn’t have to be forever.


But I’m afraid it’s going to have to be a bit longer than even I had imagined. My life is about to take an unfortunate turn, and no matter how well I’ve done with therapy and Tanza, I’m deeply concerned about this next Big Thing. It’s just .  . . nutty . . .  going on now, so really, you wouldn’t believe me if I tried to explain it. But once I go through it and emerge whole and healthy on the other side – and I most assuredly will, because that’s just who I am – I’ll run it all down. Either here, or in another form (hint, hint).

So yeah, I’m feeling pretty good right now. Maybe it was a bad pill, maybe it was just fatigue and stress catching up with me. Whatever it was, there’s really only one, real cure: Shopping!


Onward and upward, folks.

Being in therapy is great. I spend an hour just talking about myself. It’s kinda like being the guy on a date.  ~  Caroline Rhea


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Leslie J. Ansley is an award-winning journalist and entrepreneur who blogs daily for TheRoot. She lives in Raleigh, NC.