…and I barely got to enjoy any of it. I drove home from my doctor’s office on Friday afternoon in the gorgeous sun. And then I sequestered myself in my office to write that paper. At 9:45, I decided that it didn’t really need to be proofread (checking the spelling was going to have to do), and uploaded it. I can’t remember the last time that I wanted until the very last minute to finish an assignment. I never do that. At least, not this time around in school. I totally did that in my undergrad, but I’m 12 years older now, and really can’t pull all-nighters. (For your information, I spent the hours from 6-9 on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday nights working on the paper, and 6-9 on Wednesday night in class, and 5-10 on Friday night, making that at least 14 hours spent on this silly paper, not including any time I might have spent during the workday organizing my thoughts. Ridiculous.)
When got home from his kickboxing class on Saturday morning, we tackled yard work. It was gorgeous weather to do this in. Truly lovely. Cool, but not cold. We took the lazy route and put the bagger on the lawn mower and mulched up all the leaves (instead of raking them). Even with the leaves chopped up, we had 10 bags. I think about 75% of the leaves have fallen, so we’re mostly done. We also met our new next-door neighbor, and learned that our property line might not be where we thought it was, and that he’s totally cool with us chopping down the ugly pine tree. I really should take a picture of it before they come and do that.
We went out for a late lunch / early dinner. I wanted to go to PF Chang’s, but trying to eat there at a normal time on a weekend is crazy – wait times of more than an hour. So we went at 2. No waiting (still crowded, but we were seated immediately). We had ice cream around 8 pm to tide us over.
After lunch/dinner, we stopped at Walgreens to pick up the prescriptions my doctor had sent over, and then to Home Depot. Bonus: my new prescription was free! Seriously. Two month supply cost: $0. Lovely.
Back at home, went to work on some more shelving for his office, and I was going to do homework. But first I decided to take the new drug my doctor gave me. This is where things started to fall apart. Let me back up a bit. I had my annual doctor’s appointment on Friday afternoon, to renew my prescriptions and make sure I don’t have cervical cancer (OK, maybe they’re trying to learn other things while they’re down there, but that’s the only thing I’ve ever learned from that particular part of the visit). I had included a couple of things I had questions about in my pre-visit questionnaire. One was about the risk breast cancer and early detection , and my doctor told me that the relations I have who had it are insignificant, as far as risk factors go. Don’t need to do anything until I’m 40. That was nice. I probably could have found this out by Googling, but I guess I never thought of doing it and didn’t want to freak myself out.
The other thing I wanted to talk to my doctor about was re-evaluating my Wellbutrin. I tried to do this last year, and she basically switched me from the twice a day to the once a day version, thinking that would help, and told me to try some lifestyle changes (she didn’t say what those changes might be, though – I assumed diet and exercise). I don’t think I pressed my case very well. This year I was more prepared. I also had more… evidence, to support me. It’s not just that I’m tired every single morning, regardless of how much sleep I get. It’s also that I don’t seem to care as much about things that I should care about. Like getting to work on time. Or what we watch on TV (I love TV). Or finishing projects. All things considered, compared to my pre-medication state, I’m waaaaay better. But I’m not as good as I was, say, 2 or 3 years ago. I know it can be better, but couldn’t get there on my own. I don’t have trouble sleeping, no anxiety, no thoughts of offing myself, just a general blah-ness. (A very different blah-ness than pre-medication, which was more of a flatline of everything in life. This was more like, if emotions were charted like waves, the crests weren’t as high as they used to be, but there were still waves. Does that make sense?)
Because the Wellbutrin has worked so well for me, she didn’t want to take me off of it. It works very well with the symptoms I have. The first year I was on anti-depressants, I took Prozac, and that was not good. It worked, but the side-effects were terrible. Also, the first week I was on it, the side-effects were crazy. It was the week before my sister’s wedding (over seven years ago!), I was on a mission trip in Chicago with several youth groups, and generally not a good time to be waking up at 4 am wide awake. Got a lot of Bible reading done. But I didn’t have any side-effects switching to Wellbutrin, and haven’t experienced any side-effects. Lovely. We decided to add a drug to the mix: Celexa. Now, Celexa is in the Prozac family, but supposedly works very well with Wellbutrin (they work on different aspects), and the Wellbutrin counter-acts traditional side-effects of Celexa (and Prozac). Celexa is supposed to be good for anxiety, too, but that is not really a problem for me.
She said she’d start me on a small dose, but after doing some research on the internet, I see there are basically only 2 different doses, the 20 mg and 40 mg (I’m on the 20). I read up on side-effects and notified since this would obviously affect him.
So, as I was saying, I took my first dose of Celexa around 4 on Saturday. I had a nice long chat with on the phone, then helped with some table saw work, and then went downstairs to do some homework. (It was dark by this point, so no more enjoying of fall weather.)
About 2 1/2 hours after taking the Celexa, I started to feel nauseous, and had a headache coming on. I remembered reading something about not taking aspirin or ibuprofen, so did some Googling to see if it was safe to do so. One Advil and one spoonful of my favorite nausea-fighting OTC, and I set out to do homework. While those symptoms subsided, I started to feel drowsy and also a bit jittery (the kind of jittery I feel after taking Benadryl, like you can feel the blood coursing through your veins just a bit faster than usual). Those lasted through Sunday night (at least – the jury is still out on today’s symptoms). Also, my concentration was shot. It took me forever to do my readings. I made it about halfway through before calling it quits.
Sunday was fun too. I had a burst of energy in the morning and cleaned out two closets upstairs that had been disorganized for far too long. I did some cleaning in my office, too. I found I don’t notice the jittery feeling as much if I’m moving constantly. But that’s not sustainable. Homework, again, took way too long, as I couldn’t concentrate. Read one paragraph at least 4 times before giving up on it. It didn’t help that what I was reading was a lot of theoretical/philosophical stuff on how people think and learn – a little too lofty for my preferences when I’m in a normal state of mind. I took a nap but remained tired for the rest of the evening. I did absolutely nothing other than paint my toenails, heat up dinner (homemade lasagna that I’d frozen a few weeks ago), and play Words with Friends. Needless to say, I didn’t enjoy the weather at all, except when passing by the windows while cleaning.
Today is day 3, and I seem to be much better. Still feeling a bit jittery, and my concentration isn’t fabulous, but I’m awake and alert, which is good since I’m at work. I’m giving it 2 weeks for the side effects to go away, and 2 months for it to work.
This probably wasn’t the best time to start a new drug, with all the reading, paper-writing, and research I need to do in the next two weeks. Oh well. Was there going to be a good time? Probably not.
I’m hopeful that this will be the kick in the pants I need. Celexa isn’t necessarily be a long-term drug, as it can’t be taken when pregnant (unlike Wellbutrin), and apparently going off Celexa is no fun. But you know, in a year or two my life could be very different from what it is now (at least job-wise), and who knows how those changes will affect me and my energy levels. Best to just deal with the here and now.
That was a very long post about not very much, but I felt the need to share, and be open and honest. There is still so much stigma attached to depression, which is silly because it’s a biological thing, a chemical imbalance in the brain – it’s not like I did anything to cause that. It just is. I know it can make some people uncomfortable, but why should it be any different than talking about asthma or allergies? Just doing my part to help normalize it. I’m always willing to answer questions and discuss more, should there be any concerns or thoughts you have.
I’m feeling good today. I woke up early, though I think that can safely be attributed to the time change. I’ve got tutoring later this afternoon, and then hopefully will be able to concentrate enough to write a halfway decent reflection paper on those readings I spaced out on. 🙂