Wednesday, August 27, 2008

I'm Back!

I believe the old Heidi is back. Don't know if that's a good thing or not....

Most everyone knows that I attempted to treat my depression and anxiety for the past 4-5 months through medication. Previous to my speaking with the doctor I had tried various other options over the past several years. Exercising, positive thinking, and mental exercises. I finally decided to speak to someone on the subject and was finally lead to medication. I was hesitant to take anything but I told myself it wasn't a sign of weakness but strength acknowledging I had a definite issue. I went into the situation with a positive outlook. Being open-minded with no real expectations. I just went with the flow. As stated in previous posts I've been on several medications and finally settled on Zoloft. I thought I had the answer with Zoloft. I had no adverse immediate reactions and after several weeks in I was feeling GOOD. Positive yet laid back.

The weird thing was this "good", laid back feeling continued to increase to the point where I wasn't too comfortable. I had never had the sensation of being so chill. To get things done I'd have to keep mentally telling myself to, "Go pay pills. You need to run. Cleaning needs to be done." Basically daily things needed to be done, yet I could never get enough fire under my butt to get it done. Eventually it'd get done but I felt as though I was failing and losing my edge. Knowing that, I told myself, "It's okay. Let your body go and do what it needs to do." It scared me, but I attempted let things fall into place.

As time went on my running fell to shit. I couldn't get myself up in the mornings to run. The alarm would go off, I'd turn it off and tell myself, "I'll run tomorrow," reset the alarm and sleep for another hour. I did this knowing full well that more than likely I'd do the same thing again tomorrow. I recognized my actions but it was as though I couldn't change them because my mind wouldn't allow me. It was almost as though I was in denial. And when I did go on a run I felt slow. Now mind you, we all know I'm slow to begin with, but the medication made me slip to an even slower pace. I didn't feel good before, during, or after my runs. Nothing like a little negative reinforcement to make me not want to run the next day. At first I thought this was all because of finishing my training for the half marathon. You know, you reach your climax and then all of the sudden it's done. For the longest time I told myself that's what my problem was, but deep down I knew it wasn't the issue.

In addition, I found myself very tired being on the medication. It wasn't like I was exhausted and walking on a cloud the entire time, but if I had a moment to close my eyes, I would. Whew, and my dreams...I've always been a dreamer and can remember my dreams but being on the medication led to vivid dreams where I could remember every little detail and oftentimes they were confrontational with people that are in my life. Dreams are cool and all but I like to get a good sleep every once in awhile and I definitely didn't dig fighting with people all night. Not cool.

Finally I found that my memory was totally shot. I've always had a super memory. Most people that know me would say that I'm a person that can rattle off almost any situation throughout my life. Stories, where I was when I saw/heard something, and stupid non-important stuff. I was to the point where I couldn't remember what I had done the previous day. Coworkers would as me about a case and I'd say, "I didn't do that...." I'd then look at the chart and see that yes, I did perform an injection, or whatever it may have been. And lastly, I could be holding a conversation with someone and couldn't remember from one moment to the next what point I was trying to get across. I don't know too many work situations where this wouldn't be an issue but these were symptoms that I felt compromised my situation to a point which was unacceptable given I'm constantly communicating with clients and dealing with a variety of medications, from preparing to administering.

So I decided to begin weaning myself off of the medication. I cut my dose in half and had no issues the first several days. Then on one day my schedule changed where I totally forgot to take my medication along with my other vitamins, etc. This happened 3 days in a row. By the 3rd day I figured since I had weaned myself off of the medication and had now been off of it for 3 days I'd be fine.That's when the real hell began. I began having this "trailing" sensation with my eyes/mind. I'd move my eyes and it was as if they had to catch up. I also became sensitive to any noises and light changes. Small changes seemed extreme in my mind. That came and went and by the 3rd day of being off of the medication, as if the trailing wasn't enough I started having almost a dizzy feeling. Any little move would throw me off balance. And then the nausea kicked in. I never vomited, but man oh man did I want to. The last symptom that came about was my ears/hearing being muffled. It wasn't constantly but it'd come and go randomly for seconds at a time. I had the physical sensation of my eardrums moving, which having my increased reaction to sensations, was not comfortable one bit. All of these symptoms totally threw me for a loop. I figured I was just having withdrawal from the medication but it truly scared the shit out of me wondering if I had some other problem(s) going on. The sensations left me feeling like I had low blood sugar so I'd eat but then the nausea would kick in hard core. I attempted to keep my normal day to day activities but finally came to the point where I know I needed to take some time off of work. And attempting to run during all of this was going on was a feat in itself. I hadn't felt that bad on runs since I started running. My heart and lungs hurt like you wouldn't believe. My legs cramped up. I could only finish about 1.5 miles and then had to walk almost the rest of my 3 mile route. I was totally bummed. I even got to the point when I checked my blood sugar on the glucometer to verify I wasn't having severe highs and lows. The readings proved to be normal so this confirmed I was definitely having some withdrawal issues. I just wanted them to end and hoped it'd come soon.

After having over a week's time of issues my symptoms began to lift on Monday afternoon. What a relief. By Tuesday morning I had my zest back to life. I literally hoped out of bed ready to run and beat David out the door. To top it off my run was flippin' awesome! And even better, today's run proved to be another great run. I'm so happy to be back.

Of course this leaves me with my depression/bi-polar issues. I'm not sure what my gameplan is but at this point I had to decide the lesser of two evils and my choice was to get off the medication and try to find my happy medium in another way. But at this point I'm lovin' having the old Heidi back.

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