Providing an update on my PFS experience about 4.5 months since taking the 1mg pill…
I am still struggling with pretty moderate to severe cognitive side effects. As of now, I have experienced a significant cognitive shift - a change in the way I view things in my field of vision. It is like everything in my vision “runs together”, that is, nothing stands apart. The best way to explain it is the “lost in the woods” feeling, where if you were drunk at a party in a field or the woods and were trying to find your car. When I’m in a grocery store shopping for groceries I have to concentrate extra hard on what i’m looking at, where i’m going, and what needs to happen next. Is it terrifying and very frustrating.
I also have hard eye and facial pressure pretty constantly or consistently. It is worth noting that before ever taking the drug, I had the same pressure which would get worse when I was stressed out. Now, it is that pressure but more extreme and more often. It is noticeably there constantly; when it is gone I definitely notice. It is very apparent and gets worse when I lay down to go to sleep.
I also have experienced quite oily skin, particularly on my face. As of 2-3 months ago, I started waking up in the mornings with my face extremely oily, and I started developing acne on the left side of my face. I am 24 years old and never had a problem with any sort of acne; I have always had a smooth complexion my entire life. This is persisted enough where I have sought out a dermatology office and gotten on an acne regimen : 10% benzoyl peroxide wash in the evenings, followed by a Cerave PM facial moisturizing lotion. It has helped keep some of the oil at bay, but even with this I still develop an oily face.
I also have developed significant dark bags under my eyes, where I appear exhausted all of the time. This is very disheartening, as it makes me look like I am a shell of a person, which I am starting to feel like I am. I have made great strives to combat this condition with enough sleep. I am in bed by 10:30pm each week night and get at minimum 7 hours of sleep at night. I purchased a fitbit heart rate monitor to track my sleep stages accordingly. On good nights, I average 1 hour REM and 1 hour deep sleep. I wish this would increase. My sleep is also very strange to describe. I dream a lot more now, almost every night I remember my dreams. Some nights, I have multiple dreams I remember. I don’t sleep near as deeply, and I wake up almost every night in between 3-4 am for seemingly no reason at all. I tend to fall back asleep, but I don’t fall back into deep sleep after this stage, as confirmed by my FitBit.
Overall, I have made some improvements as far as getting my thoughts together and being able to write and type out sentences, but it is still very much a problem. I have a hard time reading information, digesting it, and just don’t feel the same way. A good friend on here, Mcbbould, has described it as “not feeling at home inside my head”, which is quite disturbing but unfortunately very true. I just wanted to share an update with you all, as I have reached out to a lot of people thus far, and I still have the hope of ultimately returning to normal and feeling like myself again.