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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Chemical Dependency

I realize that this is completely different than my previous post. But, hey, that's the point, right? I'm supposed to write about random stuff...stuff in my life: what I'm thinking, feeling, doing...okay, maybe not everything. I promise, I will do a little self-editing! Anyway, here's what I've been doing...trying to find my normal state of brain chemistry! What fun! And let me just say that I am currently imbalanced to be sure. Here's the deal: some of you may or may not remember that I am on medication. It started out as a small amount of meds that have been found to help alleviate the horrendous, sleep depriving, sheet soaking hot flashes that I have been enduring due to early menopause. (I know I don't need to tell you what that is, but here's a refresher: I had my ovaries and uterus removed when I was not quite finished with my hormones, thank you!) So, like I said, it started with a small dose of an anti-depresant to help with my hot flashes. Only the small amount didn't work. So, I went to a larger amount. Then it became clear that I had been suffering some anxiety issues. (As evidenced by my worn down teeth from grinding them and inability to sleep.) So, cue up the anti-anxiety meds. Then it became clear that I was a wee bit depressed. No surprise there as I have always suffered from (what's the nice way to put it?) "melancholy". Not to mention cancer. Cancer makes you a wee bit depressed, but I suppose you already knew that. So...we upped the anti-depressants. fast forward to a couple of months ago. I go to see my doctor who, of course, reminds me that I am wonderful. I remind him that I have no sex life. (Oops! Belated parental warning: stop reading!) Anyway, he says "No sex life?" I say, "Uh, yeah!" (As in "Hell, no!!!!") And I'm grumpy as heck. My doctor gives me the Cliff's Notes version of a depression test and says, "Oh, Yeah. You're depressed." "And, I'm fat", I say. (Just to drive home the I'm-not-getting-any-and-I-feel-like-a-loser point a little bit more.) He states that clearly the meds aren't working anymore and I need to "WEAN MYSELF OFF OF THE ANTIDEPRESSANT." (I am using capitals when I wrte this to highlight the point, in case you didn't get that. Don't worry. It will all make sense at the end.) So, I proceed to WEAN MYSELF OFF OF THE ANTI-DEPRESSANT. I am supposed to taper my dose over a course of weeks. Let me tell you, that after only three days I felt like a huge, steaming pile of horse poo. I was: (check all that apply) a. dizzy, b. nauseous, c. sweating profusely, d. felt like I had a pair of dirty sweatsocks stuffed in my mouth, e. incredibly depressed, f. all of the above. Hmmmm...let me see...all of the above! Yippee! Not to be deterred I continue to taper the meds with these ongoing symptoms (to varying degrees) until I call my doctor's office the other day because other people are expressing their concern about my welfare to me. Let me say that again: other people are expressing their concern about my welfare to me. That tends to get a person's attention. So, as I said, I called my doctor. What I mean to say is I called his answering service because obviously he wouldn't answer his own phone. Ha! What kind of a doctor would he be if he answered his own phone? So, his answering service left him a message and his nurse called and I talked to her. Nurse phone lady proceeded to tell me that this ENTIRE time I have been WEANING MYSELF OFF THE ANTI-DEPRESSANT I was supposed to be taking another anti-depressant to help alleviate the aforementioned symptoms. That's right! Nobody would ever WEAN THEMSELVES OFF OF THE ANTI-DEPRESSANTS without having another medication to help take the edge off, she says. No! That would be horrible! That is, unless, their doctor had not prescribed or mentioned any drugs to help them WEAN THEMSELVES OFF OF THE ANTI-DEPRESSANTS. So, I have been in psychotic, nauseaous, sweaty hell. I have about five more days of this lovely process and then I get to go onto another medication. I am so excited I can hardly stand it. How on earth people ever get themselves off of illicit drugs, I have no idea! Nothing, no kind of high would ever be worth this kind of torture. But, I'm fine. thanks for asking. How are you?

1 comment:

  1. Found my way over here from Have More Fun. I admire you putting all this out there. I related to so much of what you wrote. I've lived/struggled with clinical depression" for about 5 years now.
    Did you get to roll on to a new medication?

    See ya on the boards.

    Monica

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