Sunday, December 30, 2012

Weigh In and Stuff

I love to watch the show, The Biggest Loser.  I find it motivational and inspirational, and I love those moments where people who didn't know each other before make a special connection based on their compassion and support for each other.  Well, when a contestant drops into the 100s, they are excited to announce that they made it to One-derland.  I've always found it corny and silly, until this morning.  I stepped on the scale, as light as I could be and lo and behold...100.  I am at one hundred pounds.  Three digits.  One-derland.  And I am so pleased, happy and full of joy to be here.  100.

Our Christmas break has had its ups and downs mood-wise for me.  Most nights I am sleeping for between 10 and 12 hours.  This makes me feel a little guilty, because I am an 'up and at 'em' girl, and normally sleeping in tends to make me headachey, grumpy, lazy and lethargic (somehow that has not been the case lately though).  On the other hand, I feel like I should take the extra rest while it is possible and hope that it is a part of my healing and that it does me good.  We have had some great family time, but I feel that we should be getting out of the house and doing fun things too - swimming, sledding, bowling, skating...  However, I just don't feel up to that; I am thoroughly enjoying just being home. We spent a couple of days at my hubby's brother's house and by the middle of the second day I had reached my limit in patience.  There were too many people around, I was not comfortable, I had not slept even close to enough, people were arguing and I really just wanted to be alone somewhere quiet.  It was a fun Christmas, but I was glad to be at home that night.

This morning for the first time in a very very long time, I put my contacts in.  It seems like something so small, but to me, for some reason, putting in my contacts seems like a huge chore, and even before the anxiety, I would tend to only wear them once or twice per week.  Once for church, and once if I was going out with friends.

I also put on makeup.

Unfortunately I am still not feeling 100% about my appearance; a couple of nights ago, I bit into a piece of pizza and a front tooth broke off my top denture.  Of course right near Christmas and of course on a Friday evening.  I have an appointment to have it repaired on Monday morning.  I'm hoping for an easy, inexpensive fix and to not hear, "Well, it's about time we replace this whole denture," because well, dentures are pricey and now is NOT a good time.

I wanted to share a bit about what I have been clinging to through this whole anxiety journey I've been on.  At the beginning, I was scared.  A few years ago I was given the awesome gift of a trip to Cuba.  One night I took a walk down to the beach with my sister-in-law to check out the dance party going on there.  As we walked along the shore, I stared out toward the horizon and saw nothing.  Complete darkness.  Only black.  And it stirred fear up in me.  Fear of the darkness, fear of the greatness of the ocean, and fear of its power and fear of what it contained.

I felt that again when this anxiety came upon me.  It came so quickly and with such strength and no answers about why or how it was happening.  The one difference between feeling it while standing at the edge of the ocean and feeling it while trying to live my everyday life was that standing at the edge of the ocean, I could say, "The ocean is big and strong and powerful, but God is bigger than the ocean.  He created it.  He commands it.  I don't have to be afraid of this."

In the throes of anxious days and panic-filled nights, I had no sense of God.  I know that He was, and is, there, but my heart and my mind didn't automatically call out to Him like they normally do.  I felt like I was being pressed down and He was not close.  There were no more spontaneous prayers, I had to struggle to feel grateful for my blessings, I started to become jealous of others who are living life without fear and anxiety - taking their kids to events, having coffee dates and playdates with friends, going to movies and theatre productions - and posting pictures and statuses about it on facebook.  I stopped reading facebook.

I have to admit that I do not read my Bible enough.  It has never been something that has come easily to me and it is something that I wish I could be better at, but I just never make it happen.  My boys, they are fabulous Bible readers.  They know their stuff, and I am so proud of them for that.  I knew that I had to find a way to feel God working in my life again, and since searching the Bible seemed like such a huge task, I turned to music, one of my great loves.  One Sunday when I just couldn't bring myself to drag me and the kids to church, I went on YouTube and searched for songs.  Worship songs that could help me, reassure me, push me to call out to Him.  I made a playlist and since then, I have listened to it many many times.  Some days I have listened to it over and over and over.  My playlist has been my thing to cling to.  The words are words that I can sing when I have no words at all.  One of my favourite phrases, and one that I have repeated over and over in my heart comes from the song, 10,000 Reasons by Matt Redman.

"Whatever may pass, and whatever lies before me, let me be singing when the evening comes."

If you are interested in checking out the playlist, you can find it here.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Cipralex Day 47 and Weigh In

Today I just feel weird.

I feel a lot like I did in the beginning, when I started this whole mess, before the constant and gripping anxiety took hold of me, when I was just tired and breathless and a little scared that I felt off without explanation as to why.

Today at one point I had anxiety run through my body.  It didn't last long, but it did give me the, "Oh no, please not again," feeling.  I've been having breathing issues too.  Blah.

For the last two days I have been beyond thirsty with a thirst that is not quenched with water.  Yesterday I drank over two litres of water, and today about one and a half litres so far, plus my daily frosters.

I just mixed myself up a glass of Emergen-C and I hope that it will help me with whatever is going on; help with my electrolytes and vitamins since I have been playing with my vitamins a lot lately.

After a few days with no vitamins, I still have the throat lump and mucous issues.  My hubby has been noticing that the air has been drier lately too, so this is probably just something that I am reading into now.  We have our humidifier running 24/7, but it has been super cold out for the past few days, so the furnace is likely running more too.

I started my quest to gain weight on November 12, and I weighed in at 93 lbs.  This morning I weighed myself at 98.5 lbs.  Hooray for hitting that five pound mark!!  Five pounds in six weeks isn't quite what I was hoping for.  I had hoped it would go on a little faster, but I can't complain, really, because I am gaining something.  Something is better than nothing.

More thoughts to come soon; tonight I am just too tired, and I want to lay in my nice warm, cozy bed.  :)

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Cipralex Day 46

The comforting goodness that I had settled into seems to be leaving me.  I don't know if it has to do with me not eating as much as I should or if it has to do with me messing with my supplements or if it has to do with me changing my medication time, but it's sucking.

Today I am short of breath and my chest is aching.  I just feel weird altogether.

Last night I had panic attack symptoms when I went to bed.  They were intense; I thought that I was coming down with a stomach bug.  I was so nauseous that even my husband moving in the bed sent my queasiness into overdrive.  I was so hot, which never happens, and then so cold.  My heart was pounding away in my chest.  Thankfully, I fell asleep rather quickly despite the movement I felt the room making every time I closed my eyes.  It was awful.  I was praying, "Please, God help me to be healthy and well.  Please let me fall asleep quickly."

I slept in this morning and then lounged around my bed for awhile after that.  I skipped all supplements, even the ones that I make a point to NEVER miss, and I am spending the day in my jammies.  My chest is aching and I am so thirsty.  I have already drank a litre of water this morning.

Tonight I'm going back to taking my Cipralex with dinner.

I am trying to make arrangements in my head for all that needs to be done for Christmas, everything that cannot be forgotten.  It is stressful and I've tried to make it easier on myself by buying rather than baking, but a lot of the stuff just has to be done, stressful or not.  My hubby and I have made arrangements to make things easier for us as well, and I am so thankful that he is pretty laid-back and will go with pretty much anything I suggest, as long as it is logical.  Which I mostly am.

Yesterday I went out to get a few last-minute things and stopped in at my favourite jeans thrift store.  They sell much more than jeans, but I only like them for their jeans.  LOL  The last pair that I bought from there a year or two ago finally sprung a hole in the knee yesterday after losing one of the two buttons last week.  Pretty good for a $10 pair of awesome jeans!

Anyway, I went through the racks and picked out some size 2s, a size 5 and a size 0.  I went into the change room and tried on the 0.  It fit, but it gave me a bit of a muffin-top that I think will just get worse as I gain my weight back.  Even though I am trying to gain weight - I WANT to gain weight - it made me sad to see that.  The size 5 and one of the size 2 jeans were gigantic on me.  I took the size 2 that was "good enough" and paid for it and left.  $6.99.  Hopefully it'll do me for awhile.

Today I am feeling low.  I feel like I need to do *something* but I don't know what.  No energy to run away to a tropical island, don't really want to be alone, but don't want to have to deal with people.  My hubby struggles with vacation time because he is always so busy he can't just sit still when he finally gets the chance, and also the kids get on his nerves very quickly with their antics, and him being frustrated makes me frustrated too.  I send him out on errands to give him a break, but then I have to deal with the kids on my own while I imagine my hubby out enjoying himself in the company of other adults.

I guess I'm in the best place right now, just sitting alone on my couch in the silence by the beautifully lit up Christmas tree that holds so many cards full of good wishes and thoughts for our family.  Electronics have been banned for the day, and the kids are off on another floor playing some camping game that they are making up as they go along.  It's the best gift ever when they just get along.  I suppose I should go find myself a snack and get back to the laundry since I can.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Vitamin B and Christmas Spirit

I've decided it is time to play with my supplement intake a little.  As much as I love the energy it gives me - it takes away my afternoon slump - it also has been giving me a lump in my throat.  I noticed that every day that I take my morning supplements, I immediately have a lump and uncomfortable swallowing on the left side of my throat that lasts for the day.  I also am noticing increased mucous presence in my throat and as post nasal drip for up to 48 hours afterwards.  Not worth it to me.  I looked up vitamin lump in throat on the internet and some of the pages that came up mentioned that my symptom could be an allergic reaction.  Today I took all my morning supplements but not my B100, hoping that was it.  But the lump is here now, so tomorrow I'll take away the vitamin C.

I also am noticing a serious lack of Christmas spirit this year.  I am just not into it.  All the Christmas music is depressing.  I can't wait for it to be done.  This isn't new, per se, I have actually seen a steady decrease over the years of my desire to "do Christmas".  It just has become all the things that I don't like.  My kids are really hard to buy gifts for, as they realize they don't NEED anything (proud of them for that) and getting them to make a list of stuff they want is near impossible.  I don't have time to wander around malls looking at everything to find "that perfect gift".  I feel like the gifts that we purchase or make for others outside of our family of six are just not enough.  Not expensive enough, not thoughtful enough, not good enough.  I don't like secrets or surprises.  I'm feeling an overwhelming sense of being kept in the dark about something right now.  This year Christmas has a whole different set up and time table than normal and I am already mourning the loss of our own little family traditions.  I know that my kids are going to have the best Christmas ever and I am so excited for them, but at the same time, sad for myself.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Cipralex day 41(?) and Weigh In

Gained two pounds and am now at 97.  I stopped tracking my calorie intake and that sets me back.  It is not easy to eat to gain weight.  Many days I eat as my stomach threatens revolt.  A lot of the time I will eat whatever is in front of me (lots of goodies on my counter right now) even if I don't want it, just because I realize that I haven't eaten near enough for that day.  Food, bleh.

On Saturday I was out all day and forgot my Cipralex at home.  Instead of taking it at 6:30, I took it at 9:30, and have stayed with that for the past few nights because there is a better chance that I will be home and not trying to rush somewhere with the kids at that time of the night.  My body has been readjusting to that; I didn't think it would make a difference, but it has a little.  I am exhausted by the night time again, and have noticed a low point in the afternoon where I really just want to take a nap.  I had some of the eye flashies again too, either this morning or yesterday morning.  I don't really remember.

The jaw clenching is pretty much gone now, thank goodness.  For awhile I was wondering how I would be able to function with having to constantly think to relax my jaw.

There is likely a lot more to write here, but my daughter is asking me to play with her, and my body is asking to lay down, so it will have to be written another day.  :)

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Cipralex Day 32 and Weigh In

Last night I had a really hard time getting to sleep.  Still with the lump in my throat, though it did get better with hot tea.

Yesterday afternoon, I had a short period of dizziness.

Small amount of anxiety this morning when I woke up.

I'm noticing less intense jaw clenching.

When I got to church this morning, my whole body was exhausted.  My muscles ached and felt weak.  I forgot most of the stuff I was supposed to bring with me to church this morning and we were late.  I'm feeling like I'm in a bit of a sleepy fog lately.  I didn't enjoy church like I normally do.  Came away thinking I probably should send a Christmas card to my biological father since a big part of the message was about forgiveness.  Felt bad that we missed last week and my oldest son missed out on a wood working project.  My third son threw a temper tantrum all the way home, lost three privileges for today and refused to get out of the van when we got home.

I am clinging to the thought that I only have to take the kids to church alone for one more week.  I'm not feeling particularly strong - physically or mentally - lately, and taking all four kids anywhere in the van is the hardest parenting task of our family life right now.  I don't know why, but being in a small space like that brings out the worst in all of them.  And when you are trying to drive safely, it is hard to dodge thrown footwear or ignore the fact that one child is whipping another with a seatbelt or punching him in the face.  Last time hubby took the four of them to church alone, he was quite emotional when he got home, so I know this is not just me.

Setback on the weight gain.  I lost three pounds this week and am back to 95.  Bummer.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

One Month on Cipralex

I did it!  I made it through the first month.  I am in my fifth week on Cipralex and except for one minor setback (the flu this week), things are going well.  I've read that by six weeks, it should be well into my system and working at its full potential.  :D

I was feeling so good (normal??) before I got the flu that I actually forgot to take my pill one night until two hours after my normal time.  That made me happy.  :)

Last night, I think I was feeling the effects of not having the Cipralex as full in my system as it should have been.  Headache, nausea, pounding heart, jaw clenching that I could not stop, unable to fall asleep despite feeling so horrible.  I did take my pill last night, but it didn't seem to be effective; I really felt last night and this morning like I did before everything stabilized for me.  It was quite upsetting because I feel I've come so far, then all of a sudden everything I've done is gone and just the debilitating feelings remain.  It is scary, and I don't want to go back there.  I so want to live a normal, busy life again, where I just do what I want to do instead of feeling like my life is in jeopardy for doing it.

Today I have a lump in my throat that feels like a sharp pebble.  I had it last night as well, and I've been able to calm myself and convince myself that nothing is physically wrong with me when I am feeling short of breath or having chest pain, but this throat thing is startling to me.  I've spoken to friends who have anxiety who've shared that they have the same symptom that comes and goes.  It is probably the most scary symptom I have - it feels like my throat is narrowing.

I started my newly acquired pills a couple days ago and found them way harder to break in half than the first bottle I got.  Strange.

I don't remember when, but one night this week I decided to take a Tylenol Rapid Release to get some headache and muscle pain relief.  It did NOTHING for me.  Normally I get relief about half an hour after I take pain medication.  I very rarely use pain medication, but when I do, I've turned to Advil Liquigels.  Since it is advised to avoid ibuprofen when taking Cipralex, I went back to my old friend, Tylenol.  I know that I woke up groggier than normal the next morning, but I don't remember my headache lessening at all.  I will have to remember this for the next time I feel a need to take Tylenol and see if I get the same (lack of) results.

I think these are all my observations from the last couple of days.  Life is busy, we've been ill and stressed, and everything is running together in my fuzzy, sinus cold-consumed head.

Thank you to everyone who has been there for me, sent me messages, been patient with me (I know it's not easy!), and listened to me blather on for the past month.  I hope the next month will see me with the courage to invite people over for tea and playdates; and in January, I hope to be able to visit friends in their homes, and to take my kids on fun outings again.  Baby steps.  :)

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Just Rants and Rambles

This has been one freaking crazy week.  If I didn't have such good support, and such undying hope, I'd sit down and cry.  It's like I'm in topsy-turvy world.  Or a dream.  Am I going to go to parent teacher interviews tonight and hear that my boys are all horrible??  Because that would fit right in with everything else this week.

My Leading Star husband is getting punished and yelled at at his job but receiving no explanation as to why.  My family has been ill.  It started with boy #3 on Tuesday.  Normally we get our illnesses from church, and they always start on Tuesday.  This week we did not go to church because my sinuses were draining copious amounts of mucous.  But still, the Tuesday illness.  We didn't go anywhere on Sunday, and only to swimming  early Saturday morning.  We do, however, get sick EVERY time my hubby has to work in the office.  I used to joke that I made him strip his clothes off at the door after he worked at the office, and run straight up to the shower.  I didn't do this on Monday.  Perhaps I should have??

Also, I never get colds.  I seriously think I have had only one or two colds in my life.

So then, what I guess is the flu runs through our house and guess who gets everything at once??  Me.  On the week that my husband is not working from home, and is therefore gone for 12+ hours of the day at his two jobs.  So last night, I am sitting on the toilet and I have my period (TMI, sorry), sinus cold, diarrhea and am vomiting.  Nice right?  I puked up my anxiety med.  I cannot stomach my vitamins.  I can't drive to get my stress-relieving Froster that not only gives me a nice bit of caffeine, but also calories and yummy hydration (because 2L of water per day gets boring).  AND tap water makes me gag, which is not good this week, because it is not cold enough.  So normally we have a jug of water on our water cooler that I fill my water bottle from.  No water at the store when I got groceries last Thursday.  Blah.

Oh yes, AND I ran out of my probiotics two days ago and the store I normally get them from is out so my hubby ordered some from Shoppers for me, but since they don't stock it (I know this), it usually takes about 4 hours for them to get it in.  This week - one and a half DAYS.

My jaw is clenching almost constantly, my mouth STILL hurts from the root canal (probably also from the clenching).  I have a headache that I can't even guess what it is from and I am afraid that the next person to vomit (my daughter, likely) will do it a) on the couch, and b) when my hubby is not here to help me.  I'm sure my kids are so tired of me saying, "Does your tummy hurt?  Do you feel like you are going to throw up???"

A few things I forgot to mention in my last few posts:  A few nights ago, I woke up in the middle of the night because the doorbell rang (it often rings and there is noone there).  I held my breath and listened quietly in the night, but heard nothing, so tried to calm myself and go back to sleep.  I had the flashies behind my eyelids as my heart raced.  I eventually woke up my hubby and asked if he could go take a look around the house, which he so nicely did without grumbling even once.  I was able to go back to sleep pretty quick after he gave me the all-clear, which I normally can't do.

At my dr. appointment on Tuesday, my dr. asked how I was doing on the Cipralex.  I told her it was helping with anxiety, and she told me she would put me on the 10mg dose then.  I asked if I could just stay on the 5mg.  She seemed a little surprised and said yes, and gave me another prescription so I can continue on the med.  I know that 10-20 mg is the full therapeutic dose, but I'm confused about why she'd want to bump me up to 10mg when 5 was fine.  She gave me a prescription for 3 months after asking me if I thought that was a good amount of time.  This kind of gives me hope that maybe I won't need to stay on this long-term.  I thought that once I was on it, I would lose my ability to function without it and it would be a lifetime commitment.  All that said, I have to say that all of my emotions, IBS problems, anxiety, depression, everything has seemed to really level out since I started taking the Cipralex and right now I don't want to go off it, ever.  Well, as long as I can get rid of the jaw clenching thing.  On some levels, I seriously feel better than I have in my life, and there are many days (well, there were, before this week) that I feel so HEALTHY, and I just sit and revel in the feeling of not having a stomachache or headache or nervous feeling or fatigue.  I hope that this flu bug goes away quick so I can keep getting better.

And, speaking of getting better, I went out and got my hair cut on Monday, and I bought a haircolour from the drug store and put it on a couple days ago.  I wasn't as excited about it as I used to be, but it is a start.  Just a couple weeks ago, I felt like I would never be brave enough to step foot in a hair salon again, and "who cares what my hair looks like?"  Now I care a little.  :)

I hope to be able to eat again soon...I'm a little scared that I'll step on the scale on Sunday morning and see that all the weight I worked hard to gain is gone.  My hip bone is feeling a little sharp today, and I know that I've lost a bit what I've put on.  Frustrating.

I think that is all the rambling for now.  Tomorrow the boys have no school and hubby will be gone from the morning until late night with our vehicle, so it should be a laid-back sort of day.  Hopefully I'll remember to take the girl to preschool, as long as she is feeling okay.  I never can really tell for sure with her.


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

This is not the Tuesday I am looking for

Normally Tuesday is my favourite day of the week.  No need to get dressed and run out of the house in the morning.  I can stay in my jammies as long as I want.  Not today.

Today the PLAN was:  Send the boys to school, have my daughter and hubby accompany me to my dr. appointment, drop my hubby off at work (since his manager has decided that he cannot work from home any longer, even though he is an AT HOME AGENT and has worked from home for 5 years), do some errands, laundry and baking, eat dinner, pick up hubby from work, drop him off at his other work, drop son #3 off at Beavers and pick him up an hour later.

What actually happened...so far:  Send two boys to school and one back to bed with a stomach ache.  Rush to my dr. appointment early hoping that she is in early and will see me quickly (didn't happen) while hubby stays home with the kids and has the right side of his face slowly go numb starting at his lips and expanding up to his eye.  Since there is no paralysis, he decides it is not a stroke and that he should go to work rather than the hospital (so he doesn't lose his job since we seem to be on the cusp of that!).  He meets me in our parking lot with all his work stuff and I get out and he gets in.

I come in the house and check on the sick boy, who is asleep in his bed.  I decide to start that laundry and find that my washer has not appropriately spun the last load I did so I need to restart that.  I get bagels out to make myself breakfast and pop one in the toaster.  Get phone call from school saying son #3 is not feeling well.  Wake up sick son (#1) and tell him I'm going to the school.  Get daughter and self bundled up and trudge to school where son #3 has now puked all over the sick room and is sitting in the office bathroom by the toilet.  Sign out the boy, make sure he is stable enough for the trek home, and away we go.

10:30 am and I am STARVING and feeling quite like vomiting myself.  I got the boy settled on the couch in his jammies with a bowl.  Sanitize my hands.  Retoast my bagel.  Try not to think that there are five more people in the house who haven't vomited yet and that of course this would happen when I am behind on the laundry.  It always does.

Today I will be doing laundry like mad to try to catch up for when I am vomiting and can't do laundry.

I still have my cold - my nose is running like a faucet, and aunt flo arrived with a vengeance this morning.  Her timing is impeccable.

And with kids at home and no van, I will have to skip my beloved stress-relieving Froster today.  I might have to try getting creative with my blender and some ice.

I hope my hubby is okay.

I am handling this with poise and confidence and am not anxious at all.  A lot like my old self.  I'm proud.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Cipralex Day 25 and Weigh In

Today I woke up feeling great.  Energy, joy, hope, peace.  Happiness.  All this despite the nasty sinus cold that started yesterday.  I've gone through almost one box of kleenex, I am carrying a hot pack around with me, slathering Watkins' medicated ointment all over my nose and lips every couple hours, and my head and muscles ache.  But I can't complain.  I don't feel anxious, depressed or nauseous.  I feel better than I have in so long.

It is so wonderful to feel light again.  :)

I want to say that the medication has not fixed everything that was wrong with me.  I still am short of breath most of the time, and I still have a place on my chest that aches constantly.  It is on the right side and feels like the pain is in a bone.  Also, every evening I get what feels like a lump in my throat that sometimes makes it hard to sleep.  I think that that has to do with mucous and post-nasal drip, and I plan to battle that after I am well established in my eating and on the Cipralex.  I have an appointment with my doctor this week for a prescription refill and I will let her know about the lingering chest pain and shortness of breath.  We'll probably just continue to watch it - I have been suffering from these two things for over three years now and all tests have indicated there is nothing wrong with my anatomy.

Today's weigh in showed that I have gained two more pounds in the past week.  WOOHOO, it is working!!  I have not been denying myself anything - when I feel hungry or crave something, I go for it.  I did have some IBS issues on Friday and yesterday that reminded me I still need to pay attention to what I am eating and I will adjust to accommodate my body again, but for the most part, food is not causing me pain.  And I am thankful for Christmas cookies, PowerBar and peanut butter.  And banana-avocado-orange juice smoothies.  :D

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Cipralex Day 22 and 2000 Calories!

The start up side effects are mostly gone now, I think.

I have been shaky in the mornings for the past few days, and I hope that passes like the rest of the stuff.  This morning I climbed back into bed and turned on my electric blanket and warmed up and I was better pretty quick.

It may also be from hunger too, as I am finding my appetite and feeling hunger now.  Since my root canal on Monday, eating has been painful and not easy.  Today, though, I ate.  I had breakfast.  I went out and did grocery shopping and errands.  I had TWO hot dogs at lunch when normally I can barely finish one.  I cleaned dust from every inch of my living room, including giving the couches a good vacuum.  And then I had two helpings of spaghetti at dinner.  And after I came home from the Parent Council meeting tonight, I had over 700 more calories to finish off my day.  I finally consumed over 2000 calories without feeling horrible.  YES!

I have been neglecting my stretches for awhile and I can feel my muscles crying out for them.  Tense and hard to relax on command.  This could also be a cause for the shakiness.  I guess I probably will never know.  Tomorrow is another full day, but stretching really needs to be on the list!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Cipralex Days 19 and 20

Yesterday morning I woke up anxious again.  I had two flashies behind my eyelids and my heart was racing.  I think it had a lot to do with my dentist appointment.  I had a root canal yesterday and I was pretty nervous about it.  After I got out of bed and going for the day, though, my anxiety got better.  I didn't have a nervous tummy on the way there.  This is amazing to me because ALL MY LIFE I have had a nervous tummy before things.  Most things.  My dentist appointment was not horrible.  It wasn't even bad at all.  Cipralex, where have you been all my life??

I also think that my anxiety from yesterday morning may have came from my failure to keep up with my other supplements.  See, in addition to the Cipralex, I have been doing more natural things to help with my anxiety.  I actually tried them on their own before I started taking the drug, so I didn't stop when I started it.  My chiropractor knows about my anxiety and is adjusting me to help with it (he, by the way, is horrified that I'm on medication and really wants to get me off it).  I am also doing the P90X X-Stretch DVD 2-3 times per week as needed (when I feel tense), and I have learned how to breathe properly and how to sit and stand with a proper posture.

And the supplements - some are for IBS and some for anxiety - I start my morning with L-Glutamine to repair my intestinal villi.  I take that before I get out of bed as you need to take it on an empty stomach.

After I am out of bed, I take a quality fibre supplement that I drink down in V8 juice.  I follow that with a probiotic strain that is helpful for IBS sufferers.  One morning I will take Tuzen, the next I will take Align.

My multi-vitamin is a raw blend for women that includes digestive enzymes and a small amount of probiotics in it.  I did a ton of research on what I needed about a year ago and found this multi to be almost exactly perfect.  I am super happy with it.

The rest of the supplements I take have been chosen as a result of an internet search on which vitamins and minerals women really need to function; and as a result of books I have read on adrenal fatigue and nutritional healing for anxiety.

In addition to my multi-vitamin, I take a vitamin B-100 complex, vitamins C, D, and E, a quality calcium-magnesium supplement, zinc, and a combo pill of Coenzyme Q10 and Omega 3.  Occasionally I will add iron.  I've done lots of research and planning about what can be taken together and what cannot and I am really excited to say that despite my history of pill swallowing problems, it is working quite well for me.  If anyone has any questions about this, I'd love to discuss.  :)

This morning I woke up with a sore jaw from the dental work, and I noticed through the night that I was waking up clenching my jaw.  I am hopeful that it will all resolve itself quickly.

This is a busy week and I feel like it will definitely put me to the test.  I was really not looking forward to yesterday with the root canal and my oldest son's final performance with his drama class (all improv including the parents, by the way!), and now that it is done, I feel much lighter.  However, I still have the regular activities of the week, a condo meeting tonight and a school meeting Thursday night and am hosting a small get together at my house on Friday that I need to prepare for.  I have volunteer duties in my middle son's class tomorrow and for my daughter's class, which I will probably do on Friday.  Right now I feel energized and excited to run through the house with a few garbage bags - I do love a good declutter session.  ;)  I hope that this feeling lasts through the week.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Cipralex Day 18, Goodbyes and Weigh In

Last night we drove my mom to the airport so she could get back home in time to return to work.  It was sad to say goodbye, but I knew she couldn't stay forever, even if I wanted her to.  Her being here for the past six days was exactly what I needed, and I am so glad that she came, even though I told her not to.  Having my mom here to be a support to me through my normal day-to-day routine really helped me to get back on track, and to "stay in the game" with all that we have going on here.  I am so thankful for and blessed to have such an awesome mom.

This morning I woke up anxiety-free.  I did not have any flashies behind my eyelids.  My heart did not race, even after I went back to bed after getting up to use the bathroom.  I think the Cipralex; mommy-love; prayers, thoughts and support from all of you is really working.  Thank you, thank you, thank you all.  <3  I have appreciated every note and comment that I have gotten from so many of you encouraging me through this time.  Thank you for sharing your experiences and compassion with me.  Many people have let me know that they think I am brave for sharing all of this, but I don't feel brave.  I feel like I am asking for help, and I most certainly have gotten it.  I hope that anyone else traveling this journey will be touched to know that you are not alone.  I know that I am not alone, and I hope that this blog radiates support and love, from all of you  through the words that I type to each of you, if that makes sense.  :)

This morning's shower was the first shower I have had in months that did not fill me with anxiety.  I did my hair and makeup without feeling weak and needing to sit down in the middle of it.  While I was faced with an old IBS issue this morning (the idea of having to leave the house used to always trigger my bowels to move; now it doesn't all the time, but today this did come up), I made it out of the house in a timely manner with all four kids in tow and we made it to church on time.

I am feeling hopeful again, and I have a new energy to declutter my house and organize my life, which really signals a return to normal for me.  I have to say, I am a little tentative about getting my hopes up that I am going to stay feeling good, but today I feel better than I have in longer than I can remember.

One of my biggest struggles lately has been dealing with my children's behaviour.  I have heard that 10-11 year olds go through a phase that is not a fun time for the parents, but it is all of them that are just misbehaving way too much for me to deal with all at once.  The 10 year old cannot pass a sibling without punching.  The 9 year old has a potty mouth and is trying to keep up with the angry energy of his two brothers.  The 6 year old is impish and unable to sit still.  He has a need to outright defy any request asked of him, just for kicks.  When he gets into trouble for it, he turns into the Hulk.  The 4 year old is mostly sweet, but has been quite clingy through this time, mirroring my low-energy moods.  She says that she feels ill when I say I feel ill.  I try to hide it, but it is hard.  My hubby has also noticed that she will be chipper and happy and fun...until I enter the room.  Then she is a mopey, whiny mess.  Fun times for me.  I have gotten tons and tons of compliments on my children's behaviour from so many people.  I was puzzled about how the kids could be so impressive with their actions for others but not for me.  This weekend, after my 10 year old spent the day with another family and my 9 year old spent the day with his grandma, I figured it out.  They are great one on one.  Each one of them is.  I do not know how to fix this so that they will be good four on one, which is how most of our life is.  Me and them.  Is it even possible?

My hubby has been stressed by all this too, and he has been battling his own frustration and impatience with his co-workers, students, the kids and the world in general.  He has not been feeling well health-wise either.  I really think that a trip to a nice wellness resort would be great for our family.  Do those even exist?  A warm and sunny vacation with nice healthy meals provided, activities that teach the kids compassion and how to get along with each other and obey their parents, exercise facilities, massage and relaxation sessions, unlimited babysitting...aaaaah.  What a dream come true that would be.  We all have two straight weeks off together over Christmas that we will be spending at home together in our 1000 square foot townhouse condo.  At least one of us is not especially looking forward to this time.

Today I weighed myself to check on my efforts to gain weight.  Since I started keeping track of calories on Monday, November 12, I have gained three pounds, and am now a solid 96 lbs.  I hope that going into the Christmas season, my weight gain will continue and the pounds will be much easier to pack on.  I hope to be able to do some real high intensity cardio one day.  Funny the things that you miss.  For now I am sticking to high intensity stretching.  LOL

Friday, November 23, 2012

Cipralex Day 16

Okay...

I get the flashy light circle once every morning after I wake up.  It's like my brain is turning on for the day and the med is adjusting to deal with my increased brain activity.

On Wednesday morning I volunteered in my son's grade 1 class.  The teacher asked me to write "My World" on each of the kids' projects.  I wrote it on the first one and did not recognize the word, world, at all.  It looked like it was spelled completely wrong.  I had to look it up on my phone.  Then I didn't trust the internet, so I looked it up on my phone again.  Seriously.

Last night I took my little half-pill with water and it got stuck on the back of my tongue.  It tasted disgusting and I chugged some more water to wash it down.  I then proceeded to choke on the water and the pill and the force of the choke shot the pill upwards into the back of my throat behind my nose.  The burning in my sinuses lasted for the rest of the evening and was incredibly painful.  My eyes, cheeks, jaw, ears, nose, everything was affected.  I am so glad that I woke up this morning and it didn't hurt anymore.  I will not be doing that again.

I want to set a day to weigh in so I can track my weight gain per week.  I'm trying to decide on when that will be.  I am quickly learning how many calories are in things and am tracking everything less.  I don't want to fall into the habit of not tracking and having the number of calories I eat slowly fade back down to normal, so I am trying to stay on top of it.  Yesterday was just over 1700.

There are so many people in my newsfeed on facebook who have gastroenteritis running through their families (Too many people call it the stomach flu, but it is, in fact, not a flu.  One of my pet peeves.), including some of my hubby's family members.  I have to say that knowing it is out there in full force right now is freaking me out.  But just a little because I have meds for the phobia-related anxiety now, you know.  ;)  I am praying fervently that it misses our house this year, despite my hubby carrying a bowl around with him this morning.  Such a busy week ahead, my mom is leaving soon, and I still don't feel quite strong enough to take on the extra challenge of cleaning up vomit and germ infested surfaces for two days per person.  Ugh.  Everyone, if you don't feel well, stay away from the rest of the world!  Don't let anyone in or out of your house!  Pretty pretty pretty please.  I will love you forever if you do this.  :D

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Cipralex Day 14

This morning I woke up not anxious for the first time since I started taking the Cipralex.  It was nice.  Unfortunately after I went to the bathroom, then crawled back into bed, my heart started pounding and I started thinking about way too much stuff and I spent the next hour trying to calm myself.

I think most of the other side effects are dying down.  My chest still aches constantly.  Hope that goes away soon.

I've had a couple friends wondering about my use of the word anorexia - I am using it in the sense of the definition "a prolonged loss of appetite" rather than the more commonly-known anorexia nervosa, which is the eating disorder where a person purposely starves his or her body due to body image issues.

I think the eating is going well.  I am never hungry, but I try to eat something anytime I think of it.  I am learning what I can consume that has high calories in a small package.  Yesterday I finally was able to eat over 2000 calories without feeling disgusting.  I didn't feel great, but it wasn't as bad as I feel most nights by bedtime.

My mom has been here for a few days and I am so thankful.  I think her presence is really helping me a lot.  I'm trying not to think about the fact that she'll be leaving too soon!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Disappointments

For the past few years, I have been one of those annoying people who just does things even though I feel a little anxious about it.  I figure the discomfort of the situation won't last forever and I'll be a stronger person for doing it.  I got my driver's license, conquered my fear of the dentist, sucked up my shyness and met new neighbours and attended playdates and girls nights out with people I didn't know, and went to baby showers for people that I didn't know.

I've been confident - in my driving, in my parenting, in my relationships, in my everything.  My self confidence and self esteem has been healthy - perhaps a little too healthy at times - and I have seen my value and the value of others, even where others could not see it.

I've been one of those annoying people who always can see the bright side of things.  I have trusted purely in God to fill in the gaps of my life that I feel that I can't fill.  And He has.  I've felt strong and blessed and grateful and smart and chock-full of love.

But now I feel weak.  I feel alone.  I feel insufficient.  I feel like I am letting everyone down.  I feel like I am wasting time and money.  I feel like I am a horrible mother.  I feel more broken than ever.

I feel like a whiner.  Why can't I just suck it up like usual?  How can I help other people when I can't help myself?

What kind of worth do I have if I can't help other people???  Helping others is my whole life.  Slowly, slowly, I have had to pull out of commitments.  It's been slowly unfolding over the past few years.  I look back and I see it.  Committing to things and then pulling out after I had over-filled my plate.

This morning I couldn't even bring myself to suck up my uncomfortable feelings and go to church.  'It is too far,' I thought.  'I can't handle the kids' misbehaviour on my own,' I thought.  I sent three emails explaining that I wouldn't be at church today and that I was sorry to let the person down, but could we make other arrangements to get the forms handed in, to get the sewing items to me so I can get them done in a timely manner.

This week I'll send three more emails explaining to the boys' teachers that I probably won't be able to help in the classrooms again until the new year, hopefully.

Next Monday I have a dentist appointment for a root canal.  I'm considering calling to ask if I can move it up to this week so my mom will be here to be with me at the appointment.  I don't feel brave anymore.  But I hope that having it done will make my mouth stop hurting and I hope that that will be some magical key to a step of my recovery.

I want to be better.  I don't want to work for it, but it is becoming very evident that this is going to be the hardest thing I've ever done - recovering from anxiety and anorexia.  I can't just take a pill and eat more food.  I wish it were that easy.  I thought it would be that easy, but I was so so wrong.

The truth is, I don't know how to work for something.  Life has come easy to me, all the way from school to marriage.  I even only had to labour to deliver two of my babies, and even at that, not all the way to their births.  Now hard has set in, and I am floundering because it is a whole new life for me.

Still trusting in God, still loving others, newly trying to figure out how I feel about myself.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Cipralex Day 11

I think the Cipralex is starting to work.  It doesn't take away my anxiety completely, but it helps me manage my anxiety with a lot less effort on my part.

For example, every morning, I wake up and am filled with tension and tingling as I think about the day ahead and all that I need to accomplish.  This morning I was able to relax and breathe and imagine my anxiety just evaporating off my skin.  It is a coping maneuver that just popped into my brain this morning;  I visualized the evaporation and it has really helped me today - I'm able to relax really easily.  I hope that it continues to work as time goes on, and that I'll eventually lose the chest ache that I've now had for over a month.

My sleeping is getting worse and worse.  I wake up probably hourly through the night and sleep very lightly now.  This could also be due to the increase in food consumption though, as I have been going to bed feeling extremely nauseous every night.  I can feel that I need to have a BM probably by 3:00 or 4:00 in the morning, but I force myself to stay in bed until 6 or 7 so that I don't wake myself fully in the middle of the night.  I don't want to train my body to think that that is okay to get up when it's still dark!  Bonus though, that my digestive system seems to be regulating itself.

I forced myself to eat a bit of breakfast and take the kids to swimming lessons this morning even though they were being very uncooperative and I felt like I would vomit at any second.  They are probably missing next week, so I couldn't just keep them home this morning, as much as I wanted to.

I have worried my mommy so much that she is hopping a plane to come take care of me even though I said not to.  I admit I cried when I got her message saying she'd be here in a couple of days, and it seems that it couldn't be better timing.  I am finding it ridiculously HARD to take care of myself AND the kids.  Laundry, no problem; dishes, got it.  Making meals and snacks and pouring drinks...I just don't have the motivation.  Luckily we've had a house full of fruits and veggies for the past few days (not anymore) so the kids could just grab and eat when they want to snack.  Luckily my hubby has been done work at 3:00PM this week so he has been cooking.

This is all funny to me because I always thought I was doing a great job of taking care of them and my hubby and also making sure I was taking care of myself too.  Guess I was fooling myself!



Friday, November 16, 2012

I hate food.

Well, I made it to 2000 calories today, and now I feel full up to my chin.  I am so nauseous and have spent most of the evening laying on the couch trying not to move.  No food looks good to me.  No food tastes good.  Bleh.  And my poor kids have had to fend for themselves for the past few hours.  Not that they mind playing electronics with unlimited time.  :P

I am feeling anxious already about taking the kids to swimming lessons in the morning.  I felt relatively good at one point today.  I hope to have that feeling again tomorrow.

Cipralex Day 10

It has been a rough morning so far, and it is only 8:21 am.  Oy.

I didn't sleep well last night - more heart racing.  Hubby is also not sleeping well, which is making me worry and panic for him.  I don't want him to turn into me!

No headache yet today, and my jaw doesn't hurt, but I did have some bright circley spots appearing this morning when I was laying in bed with my eyes shut.  I've read about brain zaps as a side effect...I'm not sure if this was that, but maybe.

I am irritable, however.  My youngest son has phlegm problems and the cough-hork thing he does is grossing me out.  My middle son is biting his nails and the sound is making me incredibly tense, and my oldest son is going through a stage where he fake cries and makes noises like he is choking and suffocating when he gets upset.  These noises make me stressed and anxious and annoyed because I really feel like the way that he is acting, but I can't go around acting like that.

My daughter is really needy lately.  Unfortunately, I've been not really up to doing much with her, so there is a lot of afternoon TV watching going on for her.  Also, though, we've had much more time to cuddle,  she has done some crafts with me, and we've played with her dollhouse collection twice this week, which I have not done a lot of in the past.  I am realizing that I have no idea how to play.

I am trying to take it easy, but I don't know if that is the right thing to do!

Wondering if I should go back to 2.5mg of Cipralex after a friend told me about pill splitters.  I don't want to make things worse for myself, but I feel unsure about needing the med.  I am still in the adjustment stage and I am thinking that if I make the change now rather than later it would be easier on my body.

I forced down half of a cinnamon raisin bagel with cream cheese for breakfast this morning even though I felt like vomiting the whole time I made it and the whole time I ate it.  Yesterday I made it up to almost 1800 calories, even though I cheated a little with a Froster.  I am aiming for 2000 calories a day right now.  I hope that I will get there soon!  I am intrigued that actually consuming regular sized meals is creating nice sized BMs.  Way TMI, but isn't that what this blog is about?

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Cipralex Day 9...and Anorexia

Okay, so my body is still adjusting to the Cipralex.  I had a middle of the night fast heartbeat session a couple of nights ago, and also some jaw clenching.

I have a headache today, that I think might be from jaw clenching.

Also, in the last few days, it has come to my attention that I am starving myself.  I think the cause of my anxiety is anorexia.

I didn't do it consciously - cut myself off from food - but looking back, I can now see that I've been doing it. IBS has stolen so so much from me, and now that I am on anxiety meds, perhaps my brain is clear to see that I am depriving my body of the fuel it needs to function.

I am heartbroken that I've been treating myself like this.

This morning I stepped on the scale and saw that despite my efforts to eat more - I have started tracking calories - I am still losing weight.  My heart sank when I saw that, much the same way that I imagine overweight people's hearts sink when they see that they have gained.

So, along with the Cipralex, I am force-feeding myself calories and trying to not be too active (seriously, this is the hardest part!) so that I can get back to a better-than-ever me!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Cipralex Day 5


I am on day five of taking 5 mg Cipralex (Lexapro) and I am panicking a little at the side effects.

I had prepared myself for a headache, nausea and occasional racing heart, which I have had all of so far, but two days ago I had this weird piercing hot feeling in my chest that then spread left and right and up into my neck and my face.  Then this morning I woke up and it felt like my heart was not even beating, my left arm and face got cold and tingly and I was a little dizzy even though I was laying down.

I am afraid now that I am going to have a heart attack from this.  I am trying to take it easy for the startup period, but I fear that staying close to home is just making my anxiety worse and that I am becoming agoraphobic.

Anyone experience this?  Can anyone talk me through this?  I don't know anyone else who understands what I am going through and I know it is hard for my family to be patient with me.  :(

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Cipralex Days 3-4

Last night despite my best efforts, I could not split the half-pill into two 2.5 mg bits.  So I just took the whole 5 mg.  I admit I was a little scared of the increased side effects, but there really hasn't been anything yet.

I was tired and stayed up as long as I could, but ended up heading up to bed at 8:20pm.  I then proceeded to sleep for 12 hours.

This morning I woke up still kind of sleepy, still with the headache and muscle aches.  My chest is the worst today.  My mom is a nurse and told me that I can take acetaminophen if I want to.  I think I just might.  I want to feel well enough to go to church tomorrow morning.  We'll see.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Cipralex Days 1-3

Two nights ago I took my first dose of Cipralex.

My doctor prescribed it to me on September 26 and after taking one 5 mg dose, I decided that I would rather figure out some other way to deal with my anxiety than suffer the side effects of the medication. Well, nothing else has helped me and my anxiety has become worse and constant.

So, I looked at my calendar and figured out a good time to start it. I wanted to make sure that I had a fairly open schedule to deal with the start up side effects in my own way, which is staying in the comfort of my own home, with a hot pack and my family.

November 7th was the day. I decided to half the recommended dose and started with 2.5 mg. It is hard to cut the pill into quarters, but it seems to be worth it because the side effects are mostly mild so far. I am also taking the medication at suppertime so that I can sleep through the sleepy and gi side effects.

Day 1 - I already felt the "good" effects of the drug. There weren't really any horrible ones to note.

Day 2 - Still good effects. I woke up with a dull headache that lasted all day, and I noticed a huge increase in appetite. This will be good for me since I lost a bunch of weight due to IBS issues that I have mostly resolved. I currently weigh 99 lbs and I hope to gain some weight. I had a nice burst of energy a couple of hours after dinner, so I used it to vacuum, sweep and mop my floors because I have not been able to bring myself to do it for quite awhile now.

Day 3 - I woke up in the night/early morning because my heart was POUNDING. HARD. I breathed through it, trying to relax myself and calm my heart. I will have to look into ways to slow my heartbeat down a bit. I was a little afraid that I might have a heart attack. I was very happy to be able to get back to sleep relatively quickly.

This morning was a rough one. I woke up with a mild headache, shortness of breath and tingling extremities. Anxiety. I was mildly nauseous but had to get my kids ready for school and out the door anyway.

After dropping my daughter off at school, I came home and laid on the couch and listened to some calming frequency sound waves then some worship music. It seemed to help a little, and I went to pick my daughter up early from preschool so we could go to my son's assembly at his school.

While sitting waiting for the assembly to start, I got this weird piercing hot point in my chest. Then the tingly anxiety started up. Then the nausea. Then the hotness started to spread, across my chest, to the left and right. It crept up my neck too, and into my face. I focused on being thankful that I was warm for once. LOL

After that I was feeling pretty okay. There are still about 5 hours to my next dose, and I have no plans for the next four and a half days, so hopefully the headache will be gone by then, and everything will be evening out a little more.