Sunday, August 15, 2010

Not for the faint of heart

I read something the other day that said Motherhood was not for the faint of heart.  I'm going to rephrase it and say LIFE is not for the faint of heart.  
(Motherhood is a work of heart! read that one on a church sign)

I guess I should start at the beginning (a very good place to start.)  

In January of 09 I began having bad symptoms of depression.
At the time I thought it was simply postpartum because Madison was only 4 months old.
If it wasn't postpartum, then I figured it was because Madison was demanding more of my attention and I was having a hard time balancing a baby and a toddler.

The symptoms got worse.
In July of 09 I got a prescription for Zoloft. 
By September 09 I was off of it... I hated the way I felt, or didn't feel at all, while taking it.

In September I also started working outside the home.  
I thought getting out more and making friends would help my symptoms.

In December of 09 I heard a radio ad for a study on depression by Vanderbilt.
I called and got the info.  I would receive my medicine for free and also be paid to be a part of the study. 

I was put on Lexapro.  It helped at first (2 months I think) then stopped working.
I was then put on Effexor XR.  
When I mentioned it was not helping, my dosage was upped. 
 And upped.  Usually doubled!!!

It never really helped much.  I would have high Highs, but low Lows.  
I couldn't think for myself anymore.
I was not acting like myself.
I started having awful nightmares, to the point I was afraid to fall asleep.
But I could hardly sleep as it was because of an awful insomnia.
I had wicked migraines.

I decided to get off the medicine.
I tried to slowly come off of it, but the side effects were so bad, 
I ended up needing to go back to my prescribed dose.

Last week, I decided to quit cold turkey.
Not the smartest thing to do, but necessary.
The first day was alright.
The second day was HELL.

The withdrawal symptoms are awful.

Here is a list of what the FDA says are the withdrawal symptoms. 
agitation, anorexia, anxiety, confusion, coordination impaired, diarrhea, dizziness, dry mouth, dysphoric mood (opposite of euphoria), fasciculation (muscle twitches), fatigue, headaches, hypomania, insomnia, nausea, nervousness, nightmares, sensory disturbances (including shock-like electrical sensations, "brain shivers"), somnolence (drowsiness), sweating, tremor, vertigo, and vomiting.

I have literally had all those symptoms, except diarrhea... 
should I be grateful for that one?
I have to say the Sensory Disturbances are the WORST.
They feel like electrical pulses shooting through your body every few seconds.
I'm even having them now.  Not cool.

By the third day, I couldn't handle it, 
and had to call my mom 
to ask if she could watch the girls for me overnight.  
Of course she did.
That night, I had awful dreams 
that I can't even talk about because they're so painful to recall,
I even ended up questioning where the girls were, 
though I had dropped them off at my parents.

The fourth day was slightly better.
The fifth, better again.
And today, the 6th... I'm doing okay.

There are still TONS of symptoms.
They've said the withdrawals can last a couple weeks to a month,
and that's only taking it for as long as I did.
It is much longer for those who are on this prescription for a longer period of time.
In fact, I've read it sets a NEW STANDARD for how long the withdrawal period lasts. 
Even surpassing Paxil (guess that's a bad one too.)

Anyways, The reason behind me saying all this is
1. TO WARN... If  I had known this prior to taking the medication, I NEVER would have taken it.  In some surveys almost 90% of patients had some of these symptoms.  And they're AWFUL.
2. To let you all in to what's been going on lately.  I'm afraid I've offended some people, acted weird or rude or ignored people, or whatever.  
I haven't meant to at all.  
I've just been dealing with alot.  
But I'm getting better.  
In fact, My symptoms would have lasted longer 
if it was for Asea (a new health product out.)

Moving on... I'm excited to be getting better.  
I feel more like myself 
(although a twitchy self) 
than I have in over a year and a half.

So many people have helped me, blessed me, and just been kind and understanding
 when I felt crazy, broken, and worthless.
I'm so grateful to my friends and family.
Especially Chris - There are just not words enough to describe 
how grateful I am for you and how much I love you, Handsome!!!  

Anyways - If I don't answer my phone, or return a call or email, If I say something weird or rude, or if I don't show for a playdate, cancel last minute, or act anti social - 
I'm honestly just trying to get back to normal... well, normal for me!
Would it be bad to ask for prayers?  For me and my family.  
I have been so blessed by my Father in Heaven already through all this, but I know I won't be able to get through it without him and the prayers and priesthood blessings.

Anywho - Some happy thoughts that have helped me lately:

Looking back you realize that
a very special person passed briefly
through your life - & it was you.
It is not too late to find
that person again.

Robert Brault

The true way to be humble is not to stoop until you are smaller than yourself, but to stand at your real height against some higher nature that will show you what the real smallness of your greatness is.
Phillips Brooks 

"The best two indicators of whether you're living your value system are your calendar and your checkbook."
                                                                                      ~Jody Antrim

If you're in a crisis—whether it's a medical issue, a relationship problem, an addiction, too much work to do, spiritual unrest—remind yourself that things will improve. Be intentional about making things better, and ask others to help you. Take steps toward healing. This is your happiness at stake. Fight for it!


  1. thank you for sharing. I'm on zoloft currently but will probably be switched soon because it doesn't seem to be helping anymore. i'll be thinking about your advice. andof course, you and the family are in our prayers. love you, girl.


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