Monday, January 23, 2006

 

Not In My Backyard...

So, a side story to all of this depression talk is how it affects those around you…and how each individual responds to it. As previously stated, broaching the topic with my parents didn’t go so well. Only just after all time low points – those times when you are actually exhausted enough to rationally talk about how you are feeling – would I talk to my parents. And usually, I’d just say I’d had a hard time, but I was doing much better. Thanks for asking. As they were thousands of miles away, this wasn’t too hard to pull off.

But what about my friends and “family” closer to home? Ruby was (and is) awesome. I could (and can) call at any time – day or night. But Ah-sweep-ay? He was a different story. The very first time I got really sad, he was awesome. He found me crying in his room (can’t remember the trigger), but he just curled up behind me and held me until I calmed down. It was just what I needed. And it was the last best thing he ever did. After that, he told me that depression was just a sign of “mental weakness”. Yeah. He told me I reminded him of his mother (Yeah, again!) and she was weak. So I began to hide from him and avoid him when the blues struck. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, the loneliest place to be is crying yourself to sleep while someone is sleeping soundly beside you. Or sobbing silently in the shower when someone in the next room has no idea. If you’ve been there, you know. If you don’t, TRUST ME. It’s less lonely being alone.

During this time, we had talked of moving in together. We’d been dating for over a year, and we spent every night together. I found a really cool apartment and called him about it. He stalled and stalled and the apartment got rented to another couple. At dinner one night, I broached the topic calmly. I asked if we were ever going to find a place we agreed on. He very calmly stated, “I’m not sure if we can live together if you’re NUTS. I mean, I can’t come home and find you crying in the bathroom all the time.” Thank god for the support of loved ones.

So, back to the drugs. I started Effexor. And it worked well. Ah-sweep-ay and I had our ups and downs. W e broke up, got back together, and I was on my way back to orthopedic training. Things were going well.

Unfortunately, the side effects I’d mentioned before with effexor were there once again. If I missed a dose, even by a few hours, I got light-headed and nauseated (that feeling you get if you take a multivitamin on an empty stomach). If I missed the dose for more than a few hours, I had these feelings like shocks were shooting behind my eyes, in my brain, and in my hands. I couldn’t risk having these kind of side effects if I was going to be on call for 30+ hours at a time. So I decided to taper myself off of the Effexor.

I had jettisoned the cardigan-wearing, passive aggressive, bad facial hair, comfortable lace-up shoe wearing therapist, so I went to the PDR and got the tapering recommendations for effexor. I had been on the max dose – 300 mg daily. I cut myself down to 225mg for a week – OK. Then I tapered myself down to 150 mg daily. Still OK. At about this time, Ruby got married on the East Coast. Good times, and more on that later. I went down to 75 mg daily and started to feel punky. But I was in the wedding and we had a ball. I just couldn’t party like everyone else did, and I fatigued really easily. Ah-sweep-ay complained and went out with everyone else until the wee hours of the morning.

When we got back to San Diego, I decided I was ready for the final taper. I stopped all together. About 24 hours later, all hell broke loose. I was shaking. The electrical shocks were back. I was vomiting and had diarrhea. It was like a hyperdynamic all body response. I was scared to go to sleep. Ah-sweep-ay went out of town. Ruby stayed on the phone with me until all hours. It was a sensation I can only compare (theoretically) to not eating for days, drinking espresso after espresso, and running myself into walls. All the while feeling like I was going crazy. Why didn’t this happen last time? Maybe because I went almost directly onto another antidepressant. Suffice it to say, it sucked ass.

So as not to leave you hanging, I’ll let you know that everything worked out o.k. And I started residency. And, surprisingly, I was happy….

Comments:
I am really starting to *not* like Ah-sweep-ay.

What's with these dudes who think a woman has to be all June-Cleaver perfect like on t.v. or something?

Oy vei Stampy!
 
Oh, Hanni. You have no idea. If, and when, I get around to telling the whole story, you'll be ready to mock him more than Mariah. By the way, did you get the card yet?
Stampy
 
Yes, I must concur...Ah-sweep-ay --not so ah-compassionate-ay...especially since I know who he is and what he does for a living..I expected more. Depression is horrible. I suffer from it as well..and it is hard for others to really comprehend the feelings you are having but all you ask of your partner is that they at least TRY to understand it. Hang in there...
 
Depression is a sign of “mental weakness”?!?!…I hate when I hear that being said! On the contrary, I think people who survive depression are pretty damn strong. I would like to see “Ah-sweep-ay” experience the all consuming misery of depression in all its glorious forms and power…he would probably be one of the first ones to be holed up in the bathroom, in the corner, curled up in the fetal position, calling for his “mentally weak” mother.

At least you went onto a happy residency and everything worked out OK…I am glad for you.
 
you are one touch chick
that is all
 
Ute- I'm assuming that is one "tough" chick. I'm ok with the touching, but tough sounds so much cooler.

Brand-eye - hey, Hooker! How's tricks? Good to know you're still reading. I've got Ruby and west Coast Tammy in Seattle this weekend. Let's just say the intellectual and cultural level has taken quite a hit (as has the liquor reserve). I'll be home in 2 weeks. Skynnard tells me you might need a San Diego vacation. Please come visit. But no Red Bull and vodka - mmm kay?
 
chonically poor typer and even a worse proof reader...posted the glow in the dark pez cup for you!
 
Yes Stampy darling I *did* receive your card and I *loved* the article so much.

I'm going to buy a little desk frame thing for it today, so I can have it on display at work.
 
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