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


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


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.