Since posting this article on "The Irrationality of AA" I've become obsessed with naltrexone.
Not just for alcohol cessation but MORE so for the fact that it's being used with MS and HIV patients, and patients with myelin sheath damage. I have myelin sheath damage (Acute Idiopathic Transverse Myelitis, aka TM) from '10, when my body seemed to have taken flu symptoms as a cue to attack the protective covering over my spinal cord, right at the C1 vertebrae. That's led to mostly just weirdness, where it left other patients permanently paralyzed from the neck down. Some lost bowel and bladder control. Some are paralyzed from the waist down. You get the point: Pins and needles, vague pain, and an occasional "pseudo relapse" (those are
terrifying SUPER FUN) which leaves my legs all "electrified" feeling and my torso with a "second skin" feeling.. ain't so bad. But it'd be so good if it was gone. I used to be a jeweler and I can't do that because my left hand is just "wonky" and sometimes exhibits little tremors. Probably not a good mix with dremel bits.
So I bit the bullet and scheduled a well-woman visit with a new doctor.* We talked about the drug, the TM, and the way that my particular disordered drinking seems to beg for a prescription. She was like "ohhhhh, no. I'm not prescribing that." Foiled. sadface.
When I don't drink it doesn't bother me, and I don't crave it or even really miss it. Like now, I'm low-carbing to actively lose weight, and find that drinking screws with weight loss in a huge way. (The body uses the easy alcohol fuel before using the harder ketogenic/fat fuel, and slows weight loss wayyyyyyyy down.) So, no booze during the week at all, and only on some weekends. No big.
But when I do drink, I go big or stay home, because I'm going to get drunk, and Drunk In Public is not something I'm anxious to have on my resume. I have the classic trigger that naltrexone inhibits: If two drinks or glasses of wine are good, five or six or polishing off the bottle are going to be WAY better. Except we all know it's not better. Drinking for a buzz is great, waking up the next morning hungover and pissed that the rum's gone? Not great.
Dammit, it seemed so perfect for me.
BUT BUT BUT, I go over to get my boobs squished and photographed and have some blood work done and while I'm getting the mammogram miss a call. It's the doctor, and she's researched a little and found out I'm kind of pushy, but not a flake. She's willing to consider it, but wants to see how my labs turn out, basically I think she wants to see the liver function info. (I exhibit no symptoms of liver complications, but yk, they could be there. What amounts to binge drinking can't be even a little good for your liver.) (Actually, if she doesn't prescribe it, I'm probably going to make the 2hr drive to go see my old doctor, who was with me all the way during my TM diagnosis and talk to him about it. He's a friend, young and super open to new information, and just basically that doctor that will spoil you forever. New doc gave a great pap smear though, so I'm down for her involvement in my lady parts.)
I am just also SUPER intrigued. I've found out that naltrexone + bupropiol = Contrave, a weight loss drug that works on the same principle as naltrexone works on drinking or opioid abuse; it seems to modify the brain chemistry in a way to shut down the anticipated pleasure, leaving patients with a "eh, nah, no thanks" feeling.
What is this stuff? Unicorn horn powder? Eye of Newt?
ADULT FAIL: So I show up for Grand Jury duty this morning, anticipating a pretty juicy schedule, our little town's had some shit go down lately... and it was LAST WEEK. I fucking blew off my civic fucking duty because I copied the judge's Google calendar into my own incorrectly. HOLY FUCK.
tl;dr: Might try naltrexone, might not, hard to tell right now.
*Um, I won't admit how long ago my last Pap was, and at 44 just had my first mammogram. Adulting fail #2