I've been wanting to say, "Hey guess what? The medicine situation is all worked out and I feel fantastic and life is back to normal!" for weeks now ... But I can't. In fact, maybe you can tell by my silence, I haven't been feeling well.
After finally getting into the doctor on June 3rd, they put me on Zoloft, because I was on it briefly in the past, and it seemed to work. (Their policy is to try things that have worked in the past before trying new things. Makes sense.) She said to give it two weeks for my body to transition and for me to start feeling better.
The first, I don't know ... Two days? I felt pretty dog gone good. I was opimtistic. I had way more energy than I'd had in a long time due to the citalopram. I jokingly told Matt that I might not even need naps anymore.
Then I ran into a brick wall. Anxiety more intense than I ever remember feeling, my body in a constant state of "flight or fight". Being that physically anxious, whether your brain agrees with the anxiety or not, wears you out pretty quick. I started getting headaches, ranging from fairly annoying to so severe it sent me to bed where I didn't dare move. But I just had to hang in there - after two weeks, I would be fine. I got things done where I could, and tried to forgive myself for the things I just wasn't up to.
By the time my two weeks were up, things were starting to taper off. I was slowly beginning to feel normal again. My anxiety still felt like it was triggered more easily, but it wasn't as dramatic. Having read that it could take up to six weeks for the medicine to take full effect, I figured I'd wait it out.
Then I couldn't breathe.
It wasn't an emergency situation - I wasn't even worried about it. But more often than not, I couldn't get my body to take in a full breath of air. I was tempted to wait the additional two weeks and just discuss it with my doctor then, but after three days, I broke down and told Matt what was going on, and he insisted I get an appointment.
At that appointment, my blood pressure was super high, which has never been a concern before. After running tests and discussing my symptoms (or lack thereof), they concluded that my body was having panic attacks, even though I wasn't consciously worried.
They increased my zoloft dosage and gave me a prescription for xanax to help my body relax.
That's where I am today. I have to wait another two weeks to see how my body does with the increased dosage, and then we'll decide whether to keep me there or try something else.
The xanax helps, but it doesn't take away everything (I specifically wanted a low dose). I was warned that in this two week period, my body may experience the same crappy side effects from increasing the dose as it did when I started it.
I'll be honest - this all sucks, and I hate it very much. I don't feel like I have much, if any, control over how I feel on a given day. I can usually get the bare minimum done, but it requires great effort, and when your body is extremely crazy anxious, things like going out in public are excessively difficult. I haven't wanted to do much, because existing is draining enough.
But I'm hanging in there. I don't know whether the increased Zoloft is going to be enough. I'm not looking forward to trying something else if it isn't, but at this point, I know I might as well stick it out until we find a good solution.
I know it will get better - it just doesn't feel like it.