Posts Tagged ‘itch’

Please tell me that you have that stomach line too…

Friday, March 5th, 2010

Sometimes the fake “words” in those little prove-you’re-human-and-not-a-spam-computer text boxes amuse me.  Got “vichinga” yesterday, which sounds to me so very, very much like a pet name for female body parts that I may start using it.   Or maybe as one of those “Ha – gotcha!” kind of phrases.  Like “Yo mama’s so fat she probably needs medications to assist in managing her cholesterol!  Vichinga!”  or  “Your husband’s so lazy that there appears to be a minor buildup of recyclable products under your sink! Vichinga!”

Also nice guys do sometimes finish last.  Mostly in yo mama battles.

Day two of the Great Wellbutrin Countdown.  I am happy to report that there are no hives yet, though I have become excessively aware of everywhere on my body that is minorly itchy, at all times.  Incidentally, that line at stomach level, where you fold when you sit down with bad posture?   Very itchy.

I filled out the Anxiety and Depression inventories in my “Feeling Good Handbook” by David D. Burns today (the one with the admittedly very famous in the field man on the cover who looks very much like Mr. Rogers’s nicer, more syrupy neighbour).  The depression one is sort of like this.  They say that it can help to do that regularly, since it puts a definitive number on how you’re feeling.  I don’t know how much weight the actual number itself holds, since the test is pretty basic, but it does make it easier to make comparisons.

I haven’t kept track of all of my scores over time.  Don’t remember exactly where I was when I first started (early 30’s, maybe?).  At one point earlyish into the process, not too long after being diagnosed and pulled from work, I was a 42(anxiety) and 28(depression).  Later on after doing a lot of my self-help readings and trying yoga, etc. I was a 28 and 20.  Then 38 and 16 on the Wellbutrin the first time around (it’s known for making people a little tightly wound).  When the Effexor hit, I was too depressed to even think about answering the questions (it would have been off the charts) and on the Prozac I was too anxious to worry about it.  Today I scored a 42 and 40.  The anxiety checklist goes all the way up to 100, but the highest possible score on the depression checklist is 45.  Note that I tend to under-estimate my symptoms if I’m undecided.  Note also the difference between where I was when they officially decided this was bad enough that I could not work anymore, and where I am today.  Note that higher is BAD on this test.  Sigh.

Yo body’s so cracked that you get SADDER on antidepressants!

Vichinga.

Hives are only fun when they are on T.V. and full of bees.

Thursday, March 4th, 2010

So I am now quite officially a total oddity (which yes, we all already knew…).  My p-doc yesterday told me that he has never, ever, in his entire long career, heard of anyone having any withdrawal effects when discontinuing Luvox, unless they were taking high doses for a very long period of time and then stopped very suddenly.  I was taking the lowest dose.  I took it for a month.  I have discontinued as gradually as humanly possible.  I was shaving edges off the pills!

In addition to the crazy emotional sensitivity, and extended sobbing fits, and calming thoughts of suicide, and dizziness, and nausea, and desiccated-head-feeling, I am having the metallic twang sound again today sometimes when I blink (Which as nuts as it sounds is actually a relatively common side effect in cases of bad discontinuation syndrome.  So the internets told me when I thought for damn sure I must have been losing it).  I couldn’t make that shit up if I tried.

I am a freak of nature.  Document me.

Historically, as yesterday, any well thought-out plans (or partially thought out plans, or any plans at all, really) tend to go promptly out the window when I am actually sitting in my psychiatrist’s office.  I get the impression that his career has made him very adept at trying to keep control of a situation, and guide people where he needs them to go.  I can understand that.  In terms of severely mental ill people, I am a roll in the park with fuzzy rabbits.  Tough habit to break though, I think.

At any rate, I am not now taking a break from the medications, or waiting until I have weaned off of the Luvox fully before adding anything to the mix.  He tossed me a sample bottle of name brand Wellbutrin.  I took one today since it isn’t supposed to interact with the little Luvox pebbles I’m still working on.  Now we get to wait and see if I break out in hives.  The hope is that the whole period of time when my skin COULD NOT HANDLE ANYTHING TOUCHING ME was more of a reaction to the fillers, colouring, etc. in the generic brand pills than to the medication itself.  Worth a try.  Things did seem better on the Wellbutrin.  I can’t bring myself to get my hopes up anymore, but it would indeed be pleasant if this worked out.

Next step after this is looking into mood stabilizers instead of antidepressants.  My p-doc broached this subject by out of nowhere asking me if I ever get high.

And yes, my brain interpreted that question in probably exactly the way that you are now.

High like manic, he meant.  High like manic.

That’s the part where you think that you’re great and get an over-inflated sense of your own capabilities and feel unstoppable and smart and creative and wise and sociable, right?  No.  No I don’t think so.  …And can we go back to that part where I thought you were asking about drug use?  Because that’s going to eat me up for a while.

Pros and Cons. …Probably mostly cons.

Monday, June 22nd, 2009

So…given my current predicament of having my skin blossom into itchy red rash when anything touches it, do you think that shaving my legs would be an enormously bad idea?

‘Cause I’m weighing…

Don’t ask me how I got a patch on my left eye and the inside of my ear

Monday, June 22nd, 2009

My home practice for the meditation course this week let me alternate body scan with mindful yoga.  This was happy and welcome news, as the body scan and I have not always been getting along well.  Yoga is infinitely more pleasant, if only because I can remain conscious while I’m doing it.  The process of changing activities and sensations frequently also means that my thoughts are drifting a lot less frequently.  Anyway, a pleasant change.

My body is still producing lasting angry red patches whenever I use my muscles or something contacts my skin.  Like,…oh,…underwear.  Or other parts of my skin.  Those kinds of crazy things.  I am undeniable quite itchy, and have resigned myself to the fact that I will likely need to revisit the doctor.  Does it say something for my desperation that I was giving serious consideration to whether I could cope with the itch forever if it meant keeping my Wellbutrin?

I am a determined little thing sometimes.  As noted above, most days I chose to do the yoga rather than the stationary body scan.  The yoga where I use my body a lot, and, you know, contact things.

I am itchy…but flexible.

Admittedly probably more fun if contact didn’t give me hives

Saturday, June 20th, 2009

Today is the day of much itching.  I’ve progressed from a few spots here and there to little red dots all over my body and big swollen red splotches in selected areas that make me want to take off my current layer of skin in the hopes that pure muscle tissue won’t itch so much.  I haven’t scratched them, either.  Mosquito bites have taught me better than that.  I’ve left them alone, giving them the chance to go in peace (Well, okay, I may have scratched at one…a little…lightly…until my whole shin swelled up.  But other than that, no touching).  No deal.  Worse that stuff like making contact with the couch, or my breakfast, or, you know, clothing, seems to set off new splotches.  Argh.  I am mindful.  Really.  Filled with sensation.

I’m covered head to toe in calamine lotion now.  I don’t think I’ve ever actually experienced calamine lotion before.  I was one of the lucky people who escaped childhood without getting full blown chicken pox or anything.   I think I must have had one spot sometime, as I apparently have my immunity, but no noticeable itch.  For any others of you who have escaped the pleasure, it’s sort of more liquid than I had expected, and more…pink.  Also dries to a nice pasty film.  Seems to be taking the edge off, though.  Not sure how I’ll manage to clean it out of the ridges in my ears, but that’s one of the lucky places that’s currently bright flaming red, so I’m willing to figure it out.  Or live the rest of my life with pastel pink ears.  That would be a surprisingly fair trade right now, I think.

Anyway, I’m going to try not to touch anything now, or to let anything touch me.  Standing naked could be fun,…right?

In which I use a naughty word

Friday, June 19th, 2009

Yesterday I had no spots at all.  Was joyous.  Today I woke up covered.  No help yet from the allergy stuff.  In the need for sympathy for my plight, I feel the need to pass on that there is now a big itchy red splotch on my elbow, between my eyes, and in the CRACK OF MY ASS.

That one will be fun to scratch in public.

Come on, red dye #12!

Wednesday, June 17th, 2009

Had the dubious pleasure of watching large red spots form on my skin while in my doctor’s waiting room.  A series of raised white bumps on my right knee as well.  Kind of interesting, if they weren’t so damn itchy.

I’m on allergy medication now, and have lowered my dose of the Wellbutrin again.  Fingers crossed that it was just a reaction to the dyes in the generic kind they gave me.

(The correct answer is c)

Wednesday, June 17th, 2009

Ah, Wellbutrin.  Why must you taunt me.

Things seem to be progressing fairly well with the medication (aside from the fact that every now and then my neck decides it would be fun to see if it can get the top and bottom to touch, and every now and then my muscles want to move without my permission).  I don’t feel “normal,” but there does seem to be progress in the right direction, which is great.

…Except for the itching.  I just went up slightly in dosage (from 100 to 150).  My previous dose was extremely low, but my doctor knows that I’m prone to side effects.  The new dose is also very low, but within a couple days of starting it, I began to itch.  Didn’t pay too much attention to it at first.  The next day it was significantly worse, but I’ve been packing and cleaning a lot lately, so I sort of figured maybe it was from cleaners, or dust, or…very tiny insect packs?  Today I am undoubtedly itchy.  The kind of itchy that really requires capital letters.  I am ITCHY.  Too itchy to attribute to something mundane.  It varies a bit in intensity and location, which is part of why I thought at first that I might be imagining things.  First the palms of my hands and soles of my feet are driving me crazy.  Then it’s the side of my finger.  Then my back.  Then just at the hairline at the back of my neck.  Then the line where my legs join my torso (which I don’t really want to be scratching in public).

After determining that, no, I am not in fact crazy, I went to the internet.  As it turns out, lots of people have recounted exactly what I’m experiencing.  Intense itching, beginning in the palms of the hands and soles of the feet, then moving randomly around other areas, particularly in joints (like where the legs join the body).  Good news, I am not imagining things.  Bad news, many of those people mentioned waking up the next day covered from head to toe in huge red welts, or with their eyes swollen shut.  And having to discontinue the meds.

I am going to the doctor today.  Maybe it’s just something in the dye from the new pills.  Maybe it will become manageable over time.

I think that should be the real depression test.  Suppose that a pill you were taking caused you near-unbearable side effects, but made you feel slightly better.  Would you

  • a)  Stop taking the pills immediately and start a class action lawsuit.
  • b)  Stop taking the pills immediately.
  • c)  Gauge how life-threatening the side effects are likely to be, because  you’re worried that if you report them to your doctor they might take the pills away.

Darned risk of fatal allergic reaction.