Last Night

trigger warning: descriptions of being injected with a needle

Things went to total shit last night.  Let’s see if I can tell this in a stream-lined enough way.

First of all, the workshop was successful, in the eyes of my company.  For me, it was too effin’ long and I had to stand the whole time fighting an oncoming migraine.

I cave at one point and down a vicodin.

It doesn’t make a difference. Fantastic- it’s going to be one of those migraines.

I manage to make it home and curl up on the couch for a brief pity-party before Army comes back from visiting some douche.  He glances at me.

“Hey, I gotta cook up the steaks in the fridge tonight before they turn.  You want one?”

Army is a steak connoisseur. I am spoiled by the steaks he purchases. I adore steaks.  And the combination of animal fat and protein usually makes my migraine reduce. Weird, I know. Probably related to the eating disorder I struggle with.

“Sure.” I murmur.  He flips on “The Walking Dead” on Netflix and I stare at the screen, not really hearing or seeing. At some point, a plate of gorgeous thick steak is placed in front of me.

Despite my migraine, I am able to tell he overcooked it. Medium-rare is ridiculously hard for this man. Still, it’s a good enough cut that I can forgive him and down a good portion.

I feel momentarily well enough to take the dogs out for a brief walk.  Then I decide to go to bed.

Migraine turns on full blast.  I am forced to the bathroom a couple times to vomit violently. I lament the loss of such a good steak.  I am moaning and curled in the fetal position, knowing I won’t be able to keep down any pills I take when I remember the new drug my doctor gave me the other day.

An injectable drug.

However, not only can I not manage that myself (waaaay too trigger-y), but I’ve never done it before and I’m in no condition to manage a complicated self-injector applicator thingy.

“Army.” I call towards the living room. He does not hear me due to the volume he has “American Dad” turned up at. I stagger to my feet and stumble into the living room, attempting not to vomit again.  He blinks at me.

“You look like shit.”

“Can you give me that injection of my migraine stuff please?” I ask.  He’s aware of the drug. He’s tried to explain to me how to use it in case he isn’t home when I need it. I tried to tell him the explanation is pointless as no power on Earth could get me to inject my own body with a needle.

“Yeah!” He says, a bit too excitedly. He gets up and follows me back to my bedroom where I direct him on where I hid it. He pulls out the box and quickly opens it up and pulls out the applicator. “It’s been awhile since I’ve been able to even do an Epi, so this’ll be good practice.” He says.

“What??” I say, starting to get nervous.  He chuckles and just grabs my leg, arranging my thigh between his so if I flinch (he knows me well), he can hold me firm.

I look away.

“You’ll feel a prick.” He says. I tense. Suddenly, I feel a poke on my thigh. I yelp. I hear him sigh, “It didn’t engage. Hold on, gotta do it again.” He does.


Hurts more than the stupid lab techs at hospitals who attempt to draw blood from me.  Distantly I hear him counting to ten as a flurry of activity goes on in our head.

He removes it.

“Hey. Hold your hand here.” He grabs my hand and presses it to the prick site.  I feel something warm and sticky. Glancing down, I see blood.

“Am I supposed to bleed that much?” I murmur distantly.

“You have hypertension, remember? You’re a bleeder. It’s okay. It’ll stop in a second.” He says calmly while putting the needle safely back in the box.

Suddenly everything goes sideways.

My face and ears are burning. I feel tightening in my chest and upper arms. I stare wide-eyed at Army. He tilts his head.

“You okay?”

“I feel weird!” I shout, not really knowing I’m shouting.

“Shh. I’m right here. How weird? Describe the weirdness.” He coaxes, pulling out the paper that came with the drug and looking at the side effects. “Is it your throat? Are you having trouble breathing?”

“What?!” I shout again. My brain is a mix of emotions, alters, and thoughts. It’s like we’re all in a blender. The outside world seems far away.

“Can you breath?” He asks again.

“I think so.” I say, not entirely sure. He stares at me for a second, then looks back at the paper, “Hm. A lot of these indications of a reaction match up with possible side effects. How useless.”

“Am I gonna die?!” I exclaim. I feel like maybe I’m seeing things but I’m not sure if it’s the bleeding of the inside world of my head with the outside world. Army turns into his normal button-pushing asshole self, having no idea that this is entirely NOT the time.

“I dunno. Let me have your tablet, gotta Google something.” He reaches for it and I don’t stop him. “Aren’t you on anti-depressants?” He questions.

“Yes.” I whisper this time.

“Apparently you could have something called serotonin syndrome if you take this drug while also on SSRI or SNRI type anti-depressants. Remind me the name of yours.”

“Amitriptyline.” Midori recites automatically. She is keeper of all drugs we have access to. “What’s serotonin syndrome?? Am I gonna die???” I start rocking back and forth on the bed. I can’t seem to stop. Zoe appears out of nowhere and curls closely to us. Armes appears briefly to stroke her, then flees.

Army doesn’t answer me this time, focused on the screen of my tablet. He glances up at me with his focused “medic expression”.

“Hm. Says the effects of the syndrome are high blood pressure…” I squeak in terror. He igonores me and continues, “Dilated pupils and increased pulse…which you do have. Mental effects include unexplained agitation and mania…”

“WHAT?? I’m gonna die!!!” I scream, rocking even more violently. He clears his throat.

“It’s not usually fatal.”

“Not USUALLY???” I retort. He hands the tablet back and stretches, “You should be fine. I’ll keep an eye on you. I’m gonna go back in the other room.”

How can he be so calm??

But he is. And he goes into the living room. And I start freaking out again.  I’d been texting Jeff throughout the evening, talking about stupid shit, and I text him now, explaining that I feel weird.  He insists we keep texting. That seems to focus me, so I agree.

He keeps trying to calm me down by calling me K—–, the body’s name.  It’s freaking all us out for some reason. Normally we don’t bat an eyelash, after all, it’s the body’s name.

Then the mania finally retreats and we feel extremely drowsy.  I text this to Jeff, thinking it will be obvious that I’ll probably fall asleep shortly.

I’m aware of Army checking on me again before saying he’s going to work. I nod and roll back over.

Then I hear my phone ringing distantly. I groan and move to hit the silence button. Then I go back to sleep.

Suddenly Army’s back over me, shaking me awake. I jerk, staring at him wide-eyed.

“Hey! Are you all right?! Can you focus? Are you really just sleepy or are you having other problems?”

“Lemme sleep. I have work in the morning.” I say and try to turn away. He sighs and mutters an expletive under his breath.

“Look, I have to go to work. And I can’t check my phone most of the time when I’m on shift, so if you feel like you need medical help, don’t call me. Call someone who can drive you to the damn hospital. Understand??” He grabs my shoulder and turns me to face him. “Hey. Got it?”

“Yessir.” I whisper. He rolls his eyes and disappears.

I sleep.

This morning I send an embarrassed text to Jeff apologizing.

I receive an embarrassed apology text in return.
“I’m sorry if I created awkwardness. When I couldn’t get ahold of you, I asked [Army] to check on you. I figured he was just watching Netflix in the other room.” He didn’t realize he was already on his way to work.

It’s whatevs. We were both dumb.

Also, I’m not sure whether the drug was actually effective or it was just the mania and adrenaline, but the migraine disappeared for the night.

5 thoughts on “Last Night

  1. sleepingshadowdragon

    I’ve accidentally took too many of my anti-depressant before when I was actually on something (was supposed to take half a pill ended up taking two full pills forgetting the correct dosage since two pills was right for the other med I had been on previously) I hit Serotonin syndrome pretty harshly while driving up from VA to MD. Luckily since I’m already trained as an EMT, my EMT alter came out sober and clear-headed enough to let me know what was going on and how to handle it. It sounds like what you were dealing with too. I’m glad to hear you came out of it ok and that it still managed to kill the headache.

    Make sure you tell your doc about the serotonin syndrome effect because if you have to use the injectable again the serotonin syndrome could be worse and be actually detrimental to you.

  2. Pingback: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly | pen, paper, and crazy

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