Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Hello darkness, my old enemy

I had a difficult weekend.

The new antidepressant didn't work out for me, but I didn't realize I was suffering side affects until Monday. Friday I felt sad, more depressed than normal, but it was similar to my mid-cycle/PMS feelings, so I dismissed it as such.

Saturday was a low key day anyway, so my lying around reading pretty much all day wasn't a big deal. I actually managed to run/walk 5 miles, but they were the worst 5 miles of my life. I walked about half, crying a lot of the time because of the horrible thoughts going through my head (what's wrong with me? how do I live my life like this? why can't I be normal? my kids and husband deserve better than this. I'm just so useless when I'm like this. will it ever get better?). I truly thought I was losing it on those 5 miles. But I kept it to myself when I got home, telling Mark when he asked how my run was that it was just OK, not great.

Sunday I could barely make myself get out of bed. We were ushers at church so we had to go, but I stayed in bed until the very last minute & then I was very down and rather disconnected at church. That afternoon we had a cookout/pool party at Mark's cousin's house, so I was focused on the kids, but I had very little energy. And I drank three bottles of Mike's hard lemonade (an alcoholic non-beer drink), which is rare for me. I was starting to figure out something was wrong.

Monday morning I slept very late, had to take the kids to day care before I got ready for work so they were there on time. I got home after dropping them off & collapsed into bed. It just seemed too much to do my makeup and hair and get dressed. But I made myself, moving slowly & feeling like I was dragging my arms & legs through thick mud.

When I got to work, 2 hours later than usual, I told Mark something wasn't right with me. Then I started crying. Then I just felt numb. So numb that someone could have told me my mom had died & I'd have likely felt nothing. I was in trouble.

Mark told me to call my mom & have her pick up the kids and keep them for a few days. He wasn't in any position because of work and school obligations to care for them with me totally out of commission. Thank God for my mom. She picked them up & they were happy to see her & stay at her house. Thank God they didn't have to see me go through what I went through.

I've been very, very depressed a couple times in my life, with that moving-through-mud feeling oppressing my every movement. But it was before I had kids and it was before I was on antidepressants that worked.

I'd never felt that completely numb sensation--an emotional flattening, my psychiatrist called it. So I knew it wasn't me. It was the medication, pristiq, that brought on the darkness.

I went home Monday late afternoon and took a xanax, drank some Mike's, and went to bed. I woke up at 11 p.m. and took another xanax and went back to bed.

Thankfully the psychiatrist was able to see me Tuesday morning. I didn't take a pristiq when I woke up. I didn't shower, either, putting on a cap, shorts & a long t-shirt. No makeup. I brushed my teeth, but that was it. I didn't feel hopeless and numb anymore, though. 24 hours away from the pristiq did make a difference.

The doctor was surprised it only took two weeks for the pristiq to affect me the way it did, but she has seen this reaction before with some antidepressants. I asked about going off medication completely, and she thought that was a bad idea. Getting ahead of the depression is what we need to do, she said, not let it overwhelm me and then have a hard time getting me back.

We decided to go back on Wellbutrin 150 mg, and she is going to monitor my feelings/ups & downs, and add medication to stabilize my mood if needed. She knows SAD is an issue for me, & we are already talking about how we are going to treat that in October (I have a light--I just need to use it).

I felt so good after the appointment that I went home & did laundry, cleaned the kitchen, and vacuumed the floors. I haven't cleaned in weeks. I guess feeling normal felt so much better than how I'd been feeling the 4 days before, that it seemed like I'd been granted superhuman strength. I did make it to work that afternoon, and obviously my husband was tremendously relieved I wasn't going to be out of commission for days or weeks, which is what we were both afraid of.

Mom still has the kids. I get them back tonight. I miss them. I'm glad they have a safe haven to go when I'm off the rails.

Needless to say, I self medicated all weekend with food. I had no energy to "be good" and I gained back everything I'd lost the 2 weeks before.

So it's time to start again. Again. Hopefully I'm rid of the darkness now and I'll have energy to devote to getting healthy, both mentally and physically.


Vickie said...

major hugs
I have been there
And I know that it really sucks
so glad you have your doctor
there is no quick fix
it is going to take a bit to figure out the right combination of meds

one thing that Mark CAN DO is figure out NOW how to install your SAD light at work - even if it means an electrician has to put something in the ceiling by your desk. Tell Mark to take care of this now - so you are set.

MCM Mama said...

Just wanted to send some {{{hugs}}} and positive thoughts your way.

Jill said...

Aw honey I feel so bad for you for having to go through this nightmare. I'm glad you are feeling better, though. I've never felt those feelings to the degree you have, but I've felt them. When it feels like putting on makeup is the biggest chore in the world, or doing the dishes just seems damn near impossible...I've been there.
But look on the bright side - you had enough forethought to go for a run (even though it didn't really help - at least you did it!). The weight will come off quickly - so don't sweat it (the worry, not the weight!). I hope you can get the right meds sooner rather than later, and be on your way to "normal". Email me, text me, or call me anytime chica -you know I'm here. :)

Diane, Fit to the Finish said...

Sounds like you have had a rough go of it. Take care of yourself.

Heather said...

Im sorry that you have had a rough couple days. your drs right - this does happen sometimes with new medications, but it still isnt any fun. Im glad that you were able to get back on something that doesnt affect you as much. hang in there!

by the way, I bought the Crack book so Im going to read it and give it a go! youll have to pass on some good tips.

Doc Manette said...

So, so sorry the darkness returned. Reading this made me want to cry - I have experienced that walking through mud feeling myself and just looking at a load of clean clothes to fold looked like a mountain.

I know the psychiatrist will get the meds working - it's just going to be a lot of wait and see until you are on the right combo.

You are so smart and saw you were not doing well and made plans - appt. with the doctor, your mother helped with the children. Hope your reunion with them tonight was pure bliss.

Thinking and sending good vibes your way.

Annimal said...

I just had a very similar experience. I've been taking weight loss drugs, phentermine/tenuate for 12 weeks and it occured to me monday that I was having very scary thoughts, not experiencing joy out of life and so tired on a day to day basis I could hardly keep my eyes open. I immediately stopped the meds and already feel a difference. I am sleeping/dreaming like normal and feel like the strait jacket has been removed.
It's scary when meds go wrong, so glad you got the help you need.