Posts Tagged ‘withdrawal’

Whoa Nellie

Friday, June 11th, 2010

So…yes.  It is definitely the withdrawal.

I wasn’t entirely sure at first.  It’s a tough thing to decide whether a particular period of increased emotion is the result of external circumstances, or chemical changes, or just a normal passing mood.  At least, it’s tough until it runs you over like a weepy freight train and then starts gleefully juggling your remains.  At that point, it’s pretty much easy to tell.

The day before yesterday I was so physically sensitive to sensations I was getting aroused by the feel of the keyboard under my fingers.  I couldn’t keep my hands off my husband.  I spend the better part of yesterday sobbing on the floor over a mixture of reactions to an e-mail from my boss, the ignorance of my psychiatrist, the frustration of dealing with these side effects, and any number of other things.  Truly, sincerely, heart-breakingly sobbing.  My eyes were so swollen last night that I could barely see.  Today, I have been touched so deeply I’ve been brought to tears roughly every ten minutes or so.  I have cried over people hugging, people winning prizes, animals requiring rehabilitation, television commercials,… You name it, I’ve cried about it.  Because it’s… *sniff*…just so… *sniff sniff*…sweet…that… *ugly snort*…the animals …they…got help… *reaching for yet another Kleenex*

I’m like an entire pregnancy condensed into a three day period.

I think I’m going to have a party when I finally get clear of these meds.  A big old extravagant “I Can Have Normal Reactions Again” party.  You’re all invited.  And wouldn’t that be a blast?  If I was independently wealthy, I would totally fly all of you out here if you’d come and we could hold the first annual Umbrellafest.  We could drink, and talk, and do interesting things, and totally not cry over t.v. spots.

…Except for those animal ones.  Because really, the people took them in and rehabilitated them.  And they’re animals.  Dude.

Living from five feet removed

Wednesday, June 9th, 2010

I had promised myself that I would try to write today, but I woke up holy tired from a truly bizarre set of dreams involving death and show tunes (no kidding), and have been feeling a little numb all day.  I had wondered if perhaps I would notice more of a withdrawal effect in the final weeks of Luvox, when I graduated from Luvox nugget to Luvox flake.  It’s damned difficult to differentiate one tiny sliver of medication from another and accurately judge which one is probably larger.  Additionally, my pill cutter has some kind of crazy problem trying to cleanly cut something that’s not all that much larger than the width of the blade.  Go figure.  At any rate, I’m thinking that may be what today is.

I’ve been trying to push myself to spend my time in a wider range of activities lately.  Perhaps to ensure that I’m getting as much fulfillment and motivation as possible.  Perhaps due to that part of my brain that thinks it’s perfectly reasonable to expect that I might learn a language, or write a novel, or start a giraffe farm while I’m off on medical leave.

…Okay, I will admit that last statement isn’t entirely accurate.  I should specify that in the vision I should easily do all of those things.  At once.  While making lattes.

At any rate, the goal has been to branch out and see if I’m missing out on anything randomly fulfilling and/or ensure that I’m making the best and most beneficial use of my time.  Today is not a branching day, though.  Today is some kind of mutant tree with a very, very long and branchless trunk leading up to a canopy of blankets and tv.  It is a day for letting the world be sort of surreal, and watching it go by with distant curiosity.  But I’m okay with it.

What’s a decade or two between friends?

Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010

So first off, holy crap is every week an eternity in blogland.  I feel like I’ve been out of touch for YEARS (how are you?  Any kids?  Are you still working at that place doing that thing?).  On the plus side, that also means I’ve apparently known you folks for centuries.  We’ve practically weathered the dawn of time together.  I miss the dinosaurs. Don’t you?

Apologies for the lack of communication lately.  I blame a combination of factors and Nicholas Cage.  …Not because he was involved in what I’ve been doing in any way.  Just because he looks kind of shifty, and I feel better having something to pin on him.

As has become customary, subtle parts of my personality are shifting with the current medication changes.  It’s sort of an eerie experience if you haven’t been through it.  The most recent increases to my Wellbutrin came with anxiety on a level that defies all logic.  Near-hysterics-because-I-can’t-find-the-instruction-manuel-for-our-barbeque kind of defying.  The kind in which I sit there in the moment, watching it all happen from inside my head, with a puzzled wtf expression on my mental face.  I rather firmly requested that the dose go back down.

At any rate, in the meantime being away to see friends was nice.  Every now and then I have a moment before going to see people in which I don’t feel in any way up for the potential strain of social interaction.  …And then, of course, proceed to have a fine time once I’m there.  Another one of those things that I really DON’T WANT TO DO.  And then once I do them am like BOY AM I GLAD I DID THAT.   I don’t know what’s up with that.  In line with my unintentional genius at embodying all-or-nothing thinking, when my anxiety levels are artificially inflated I seem to want to do whatever it is that I have been doing recently.  Whatever that may be.  I think I could darn socks for several weeks if that’s what my brain happened to fixate on.  …Which is interesting, since the rest of the time I pretty much crave constant variety (and since I’m not entirely clear on what darning is exactly.  I think yarn may be involved).  I think a part of me still does in those moments.  That part is confused.

On the plus side, the Luvox-withdrawal nausea, etc. has leveled out a lot recently.  I acknowledge that apparently the crush-and-dissolve method works much better for many people when trying to get very small doses, but I don’t think it was going well for me.  I’m now back to breaking up pills into tiny little pieces instead, which makes it much harder to get an accurate dose, but seems to be agreeing better with my stomach.  While on the road, we thought it might be a good idea to acquire a sensitive little electronic scale to help distinguish which irregularly sized medication nuggets are larger than others so that I can get a more consistent tapering effect.  This has worked out okay except for the fact that at least three people in Kingston Ontario now think I’m dealing drugs.  And that I’m not, so am completely unable to cash in on their potential referrals.

Aside from the unfortunate lack of drug money and excuses to wear gold teeth and/or lurk about in alleys, things are okay at the moment.  The fixation on activities thing is a little odd, but I have grand ambitions to commit myself to some kind of pattern in which I am forced to change activities every hour, no matter what.  I have the willpower to know that if I sincerely decide to do it that I can, stupid medication weirdness or not.  So I will decide to vary it up a little more soon.  Maybe tomorrow.  I’m darning today.

Have I mentioned that withdrawal sucks ass? Because it does.

Tuesday, May 18th, 2010

The last while has been…rough.  My stomach is alternately staging a rebellion and doing the Forbidden Dance.  I would give in to its demands, but I do not speak stomach, and Babel Fish is having difficulties with a translation (incidentally, when you type in ” Grrrrrark spluck gromma gromma,” it comes back with “Grrrrrark spluck gromma gromma.”  Go figure).

Anyway, if I’m incommunicado for a while, that is likely why.  We were supposed to go out of town for a few days to see friends this week too.  I will likely still make the attempt, but I’m not sure that isn’t asking for disaster.  One of my other friends is involved in Doctors Without Borders.  This means that I get to see him maybe once every two or three years, and the rest of the time he sends occasional e-mails asking if we can look up things like how to homogenize milk, or exactly how close one can get to an alligator before it will attack (seriously…I’ve Googled both of these).  He was in town Monday night and I was supposed to drive down for dinner to catch up.  Nope.  Thought I might turn green and try not to vomit instead.

I feel very helpless, and physically miserable, and completely unable to proceed with my life.  I am frustrated.  There may be some mental swearing involved.

I don’t know why some hours and days and weeks are so much worse than others.  I don’t know whether I need more frequent medication, or less frequent medication, or more food, or less food, or different food, or more fluids, or less fluids, or a prompt decapitation, as all of the above seem to just make things worse.  …Except the decapitation, which to be honest I haven’t tried yet.  But it’s next on my list.

In the meantime, I’ll write an original withdrawal haiku for the person with the best translation of “Grrrrrark spluck gromma gromma.”

Riveting

Monday, May 10th, 2010

Life continues to be challenging.  Not all that much becomes noteworthy when one is nauseous.  I could tell you this fabulous story about how I hugged a pillow.  Or maybe the highly entertaining one about sitting on the couch all weekend.  Or the harrowing tale of the Attempt To Eat Dinner.  That one is admittedly a bit of a page turner.

I actually thought that today was going to be pretty tolerable.  I’ve been trying to spread out my dosage even more throughout the day in case the daily ups and downs were partially responsible for some of the…less-than-stellar reactions my body’s been having.  This morning I woke up feeling almost normal.  And then slowly my skull began to shrink.  And it continued to shrink until the pressurized mass of my brain goo was displacing my stomach and thus moving its contents elsewhere.  Or trying to, anyway.  It is day after day of the Worst Hangover Ever.  …Except generally those come with something a little more entertaining beforehand.

So here I am again, confined to the sofa, with my pillow, trying to keep a steady supply of food going because from time to time that seems to distract my stomach momentarily, and the risk of upsetting it further is not something I want to contemplate.  And beyond that, because it’s difficult to tell when I’m actually hungry.  I feel hungry all the time.  And it rumbles.  A lot.  It is a bottomless void of rumbles and hunger and rice cakes and Kraft Dinner.  I am its slave.

I think at the end of all of this I am going to be such a titan that the depression itself will be nothing more than a speck of despondent dandruff that I brush away as an afterthought.  Either that, or I’ll be so completely drained that tiny flakes of sadness dandruff will pin me to the floor while I half-heartedly flail my arms and legs like an inverted sea turtle.  A pitious sea turtle.  With a pillow.

And speaking of animals that live near or in the water (does the smoothness of that segue not overwhelm you?), did you hear that a bunch of Albertan beavers got together and built something grander than the Hoover Dam?  It’s visible from space, they say.  Overachievers.

Probably not as bitter as I sound. …Or maybe more bitter. I’m not great with stuff like that yet.

Friday, May 7th, 2010

Holy fuck.  I feel like I’m going to vomit, my left eye won’t stop tearing up and dribbling down the side of my face, and as the cherry on top of a long and nauseating sundae, I am crying over Swiss Chalet delivery.  I’m not sure why I’m crying over Swiss Chalet delivery.  I don’t know whether I want some, or if I would rather just cook like we normally do.  I have no idea what it is about Swiss Chalet delivery that I am apparently finding so sad.

I’m currently using an eyedropper to remove tiny quantities to lower my dosage of the Luvox as gradually as I am able.  I have the feeling this withdrawal process is going to be a long, long road.

And fuck the Beatles song, a long and winding road is NOT what I’m looking for right now.

Things on my mind

Wednesday, May 5th, 2010

1)      We were returning from a friend’s house this weekend and in the car realized that an ant from there (they had just noticed the beginnings of an invasion force) had stowed away in our bag.  We live around two hours away.  So it occurred to me, what would have happened to that ant if it had made it home?  What happens to an ant in isolation?  Would it feed itself?  Where would it live?  Would it attempt to build a new ant hill all by itself?  Would it just be lost without its peers?  I don’t know.

2)      I think I have some kind of crazy Mutant Virus.  I’ve been feeling generally unwell, and my glands have been swollen for at least a month now.  And I have confirmed this week that in the times I’m feeling especially ill/shaky/feverish, I do actually have a bit of a fever.  But it only happens sometimes, for an hour or two.  And the rest of the time my temperature goes back to totally normal.  What the heck is that??

3)      I had to help out my University-age sister this weekend, as she’s run out of credit and hasn’t yet found a summer job.  …Not because she’s irresponsible, just because student jobs are a little scarce, and she wasn’t able to find part-time work during the school year this year, so her cash situation is absurdly tight.  Our situation is not good either, but at least we still have some credit left.  My mother has mentioned that maybe someday my step-father will be willing to sell the house they’re in and move back to Canada.  It’s very close to the water, and worth a pile of cash as a result.  If they bought a pretty nice house here, all of our financial troubles would just vanish.  Just like that.  Poof.  Theirs, my sisters, and mine.  I can’t even imagine.  Damn, it would be amazing to be able to get on with our lives looking towards the future instead of paying off the past.  I sort of think it would be better in the long run anyway, since eventually one of them is bound to have some kind of medical problem, and taking advantage of the health care their taxes have been paying for would probably be a good idea.  I’m not sure there’s actually any chance of it happening, though.  I am trying not to get my hopes up.

4)      I have determined that if I am able to continue at my current rate, it will take about a month before I’m free of the Luvox.  A nice, long month of feeling sort of crappy, if this week is any indication.  Just right on that line of crappiness where it is very crappy, but not yet so crappy as to be too crappy to continue.  Good times.

5)      When we moved in there were some…puppy-related stains…on the living room carpet.  After several cleansing attempts, I ended up dousing them solidly with enzyme-loaded pet stain and smell remover.  Very effective. …Except that the resulting moisture left them smelling kind of musty instead.  Noticeable again now that the windows are open and there’s a breeze blowing across them from time to time.  So a couple of days ago, I doused them with anti-mould spray as well.  …Except the dampness of the anti-mould spray seems to be generating more mould.  How is that even possible?  It’s like soap getting dirty.

6)      I haven’t been feeling especially internet-inclined of late, and I feel a little guilty for not being more up-to-date on everyone’s happenings.  Also, I’m craving toast.

7)      The cat pictured in yesterday’s guitar case has decided that I have been at the computer too long now, and is attempting to remove me by force.

8 )      “…I don’t wanna miss a single thing you do…tonight.”

Like Cookie Monster, but with less alphabet and more yowling

Monday, April 19th, 2010

I’m not much in the mode of writing today.  I just got the news that despite the many hoops I’ve been jumping through, my supplemental insurance from work still says they will not cover the $700 claim that I’ve been trying to get processed.  You see, they lost the doctor’s referral (or I ate it on the way to the mailbox, because I have a photocopy of the thing in with everything else, and it damn well should have been in the envelope then), and then when I sent them another my coverage had already expired so they no longer want to honour it, and the many phone calls back and forth don’t seem to have changed that.  And the hoops were not high enough.  And only some of them were on fire.  I’m trying to go through my work representative now instead.  Fingers are crossed, but I still feel a bit like crap run over.

It’s so annoying how the world doesn’t grind to a screeching halt and slowly crawl along with you when you’re off on medical leave.  How inconsiderate.  A week or two goes by in a heartbeat for me right now, and depending on the week or two it just isn’t time for me to have received their rejection letter, gone to the doctor to get a replacement form, and had the new form in to them to meet their (not in any way communicated to me, by the way) guidelines.  This rankles on all of my usually-hyper-responsible nerves, but it is true.   I couldn’t do it.  I am trying on one level to learn that it’s okay to recognize and accept that.  But on other levels, I’m getting kicked with $700 fines.   I was asleep.  I didn’t want to be.  I didn’t mean to be.  But I was.  And now it sucks.

I also have my suspicions that today is a “missed dose” day in the ongoing blind trial to get me off the Luvox.  Some days I get a dose and some days I don’t, and I’m not supposed to know which is which.  And not knowing is supposed to mean that my body won’t react at all when it’s gone because I’m taking a small enough dose that no normal human being should respond to the loss of it.  …Except that so far, my body has reacted overwhelmingly and dramatically every time.  That’s why we’ve been repeating the process again over the last week and a half.  Because it couldn’t possibly be more than coincidence, right?  I couldn’t possibly be THAT sensitive (clearly these doctors have not known me long enough).  I won’t know for sure which days I was going through withdrawal until Wednesday, but there have been some days in this stretch during which for a 24 hour period I turned into a raging-psycho-sadness-monster, and my husband was afraid to ask me to pass the salt lest I bite of his head and cry into the resulting crater.  I’m betting those were the ones.

Psycho Raging Sadness captured as art

Ah well.  At the very least, the doctors will have no choice but to believe it.  Yes.  I am a freak.  I already told you that.  Can you help me with my withdrawals now??

Should have stuck to just getting tissue paper and the occasional pair of junk drawer scissors.

Monday, April 5th, 2010

I feel like posting, but am not especially inspired today.  I seem to be missing those initial bursts of energy lately.  My moments of “flow” have ebbed into a sort-of-okay and sometimes not-so-great haze instead.  Which, at best, leaves me writing a lot of sort-of-okay and sometimes not-so-great posts about sort-of-okay and sometimes not-so-great topics.  And more now, to be honest, because I committed to myself that I would try to keep writing, then because I feel especially excited to say anything in particular.

The Luvox trial that was not in any way supposed to support the fact that I am having legitimate withdrawal symptoms supported that I am having legitimate withdrawal symptoms.  So we’re doing it again this week in case it was random chance.  And I was just starting to come to terms with them maybe being correct that I couldn’t be having withdrawal signs again – getting over the what-do-you-mean-my-body’s-not-crazy indignant denial and moving on to you-mean-I-don’t-have-to-go-through-that-again-then acceptance and pleasure.  Nope.  Still in limbo.  How low can you go?

I will say that I had an overall lovely long weekend.  The hubby and I scheduled in a bunch of pleasant activities together.  If we try to choose one on the spot, inevitable I just end up feeling this insurmountable irrational pressure to choose the BEST ACTIVITY EVER.  …And then eventually just end up going with whatever he wants to do.  I need those happy things to keep my spirit alive, though, so the plan-in-advance strategy is working out okay.  Anyway, we sat outside, and read, and talked, and walked, and played games, and went out for breakfast, and laughed together, and even (gasp) had a lot of sex, and just generally hung out and enjoyed each other’s company.  And I felt more alive at the end of yesterday than I have in a very, very long time.  We need to make a point of having more weekends like that.

Granted, even during Happy Fuzzy Bonding Weekend, there were still a couple of temporary disasters.  I think we’re both so run down by everything now that we can’t help but be a little on edge or overly sensitive to any negative sign.  We came through it, though, and although there were a few unpleasant hours in there here and there, it didn’t take over the experience as a whole.  And that’s a good thing.  I am holding onto hope that things will start to get better for us now.

Maybe there will be a Happy Hairless Bondage Weekend on the horizon.  You never know. Also, that statement may or may not make any sense at all.

I think I need to find a way to change my own weekly routine, though.  I can feel the newfound energy starting to fade.  Stupid dollar store mental batteries.