• The trouble with drugs.

Ever since I suffered a severe traumatic brain injury in 2006, I’ve resisted taking any daily drugs. Every drug has side effects -- noticeable side effects -- and I was wary of them. Also, drugs mask recovery. How much better are you truly getting if drugs are keeping you from feeling how you really feel?

But about a month ago, I finally gave in. I’d been having near daily migraines; worse, my twitchy movements had simply become borderline unbearable. I was so tired of stuttering and shaking my head and making weird, grimacing mouth motions when talking to people I wasn’t completely comfortable around (stress, etc. aggravated my condition). And my damn neck hurt. All the physical, Parkinson’s-like moments really tighten up my neck and shoulder muscles, which, for all I know, was making my headaches more frequent.

The neurologist I called runs a headache clinic here in SF and after examining me he suggested Klonopin. I was at wits' end and said, “fine”. At first, it was great. I hardly noticed the side effects, my headaches stopped (mostly) and my twitchy tendencies faded, not completely, but enough to notice. And so I’m thinking, hey, this drug stuff is pretty good.

Then the headaches started again, as bad as ever, and although the twitchies stayed somewhat muted, they worsened a bit, too. Who the hell knows why. I called the doc and, you guessed it, he suggested adding another drug. This one is known as a beta-blocker and is considered to be an ideal first-line defense against migraines. So I’m on that now. And the headaches are gone and the twitchies are reduced... and that’s the trouble with drugs. First off, maybe I would have gotten better anyway. Second, where does it stop? I am NOT going to become a person with a medicine cabinet that could challenge Walgreen’s for selection.

My plan: give everything another month or so, then start weening myself and see what happens. The kids will be sleeping more, so I should be getting better rest and be better prepared to deal with whatever withdrawal discomforts come my way.

Oh, for life without brain injury. And Keith Richards’ constitution.