Health Update #347: Making Progress...Hopefully
Hello all, sorry I've been slacking a little the past couple weeks. I've been dealing with side effects and sleep studies and the usual fun health stuff recently, but I'm feeling a little better at the moment, so here's an update.
After two years and one dosage increase later, my trusty antidepressant, Celexa, stopped working for me. After talking to my doctor, I went on a combination of Celexa and Effexor. This made my brain feel great, but it tore my body down like you would not believe. I had pretty much every side effect listed for Effexor: elevated heart rate, shortness of breath, dizziness, shakiness, nausea, migraines, joint pain, constipation, and insomnia so severe I only got about 10 hours of sleep in one week. After a sleep-deprived mental breakdown, I called my doctor. He took me off the Celexa, and while the side effects went away, the Effexor on its own wasn’t enough to keep me out of depression and anxiety’s clawed, scaly hands. Yet again, I called my doctor. (The tech who I usually speak to, Eunice, and I are basically best friends at this point.) I’m now off the Effexor and on Cymbalta. So far I haven’t had any Cymbalta side effects (other than a crying wallet), but I have been withdrawing from the Effexor, which basically translates to walking around like I’m four drinks in at all times. The dizziness and accompanying tingling is pretty intense, but it’s already fading, so at least I’ve got that going for me.
I also started seeing a new therapist, Ken. I saw him a couple times when I was younger when my parents got divorced. It was a weird time, and I think my parents just wanted to make sure my brother and I were ok. All I really remember is that Ken had a long, weird ponytail. Ken is now ponytail free (and when I brought it up he insisted we never speak of it again), and I feel really comfortable with him. He’s already helped me implement a few cognitive and behavioral things that will hopefully help me cope with my depression. He also referred me to a great yoga studio, and that alone is pretty awesome. Thanks, Ken!
That’s it for mental health stuff, but I’ve also got a short sleep update. I had my sleep studies done on Monday and Tuesday. Alice and Esteban, the techs for my studies, were wonderful, even if the studies themselves were totally horrible. I had the polysomnogram done Monday night, and it turns out the weird O2 sats the at-home study showed were caused from the fact that my finger is too small for the device reading the O2 sats. Alice taped the reader over my finger to keep it on properly, though, so the readings evened out. I didn’t have a great night’s sleep, but I also don’t have breathing problems. That’s one thing ruled out. On Tuesday I did the MSLT—from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. I took a 20-minute nap every two hours. Yes, it was as boring as it sounds. I got through the day, though, and hopefully I’ll get the results this week. Here’s a photo of the millions of wires attached to my body and head for the studies.
So that’s the health update. Super exciting, I know. This is basically my life right now, though. I don’t want to look for job right now because I’m afraid to move away from home before I get healthy. It’s a positive and a negative. On the one hand, I can focus all my energy on getting better. On the other, I have no money and am totally dependent on my dad, which of course makes me feel guilty, which in turn adds to my anxiety. I’ve been feeling a little better recently, though, so hopefully I’m that much closer to getting back on my feet again.
P.S. — I really appreciate all the support ya’ll have been giving me. It means a lot, and it really does help. So thank you.
I also want you to know I’m here for any of you who are struggling and don’t have anyone to turn to. Talk to me, if you need to. I’m here to listen and help in any way I can. You are all wonderful and worthy of feeling good and being healthy.