Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Anxiety Part II

Yesterday was the first day in 2 weeks that I actually felt like myself.  I was so grateful to be able to drop my kids off at daycare, go to work, pick my kids up, make dinner, actually eat dinner and play as a family until bedtime.

It's amazing the little things that are taken for granted when we feel fine.

The mornings are still my hardest time of the day.  I wake up with a terrible jittery, anxious feeling and getting the kids fed and off to daycare is a struggle.  There is a lot of inner dialogue that goes something like this, "everything is fine, you can do this, take a deep breath, etc."

Things I'm doing to help with my anxiety:
-  Taking Zoloft 25mg daily and Ativan .5mg as needed
-  I haven't had any coffee or alcohol in 2 weeks
-  I go to spinning 2-3 times a week and I take a lot of walks, being outside helps a lot
-  I listen to guided meditation before bed and it usually puts me to sleep
-  If I start to feel overwhelmed around the kids, I remove myself and go somewhere quiet
-  I've been writing in a journal before bed
-  I use my essential oils all the time
-  Acupuncture and chiropractic
-  Therapy
-  I am meeting a nutritionist tomorrow that was recommended by my functional medicine doctor

I don't know how today will go but for now I am thankful that yesterday was a good day.


Thursday, September 24, 2015

Anxiety.

I've always been an anxious person.  I can remember having anxiety attacks as early as middle school- although at the time I didn't know what they were.  As I got older I had them less frequently but they did happen from time to time during stressful situations like when my mom was sick or any time I've traveled.

Through all of those years I had never been on a daily medication or antidepressant for anxiety.  I had a prescription for Ativan to use as needed.  And I only took it when I was having a panic attack. 

I didn't have much anxiety after the initial hormone craziness when Emily was born.  I managed to stay pretty calm but I did have issues if I didn't sleep well.

Then I had Gavin and shit hit the fan so to speak.  I had PPD from his birth and surgery.  I was put on three different medications- 1 for sleep, 1 for anxiety and 1 for depression.  I had a horrific month of trying to get my body used to being on these drugs and I spent most of my days in bed, away from my kids feeling like a totally different person.

After about 6 months I was weaned off of the sleep medication and that went well.  Then I started using less of my anti-anxiety medication and everything was good.  I stayed on my antidepressant for over a year and then felt like I didn't need it anymore.  I talked to my doctor and we started the weaning process.  I've been off the antidepressant since March and I feel fine....most of the time.

My biggest issue- and this has been an issue since having kids- is PMS.  I'm talking the worst PMS I have ever had.  It starts after I ovulate and continues until I get my period and then poof I'm back to normal.

During this two week period I don't recognize myself.  I have zero patience, I am irritable, angry, just the biggest bitch- and I can't control it.  I yell at Steve & the kids for the smallest things.  I don't sleep well and I get anxious very easily, especially at night. 

Ten days ago I had a panic attack when I woke up on Sunday.  It was during PMS time and I didn't sleep well so I didn't think much of it.  I got myself through it with a phone call to my sister, a phone call to my aunt, a walk and a nap with the kids.  After the nap I felt pretty much back to normal.  Then it happened again the next day and every day since then.  It is awful & so debilitating.  I can't do anything.  I can't go to work and I can't take care of my kids.  Mornings are by far my worst time and by afternoon I can usually start being around the kids and doing things around the house.

Last Sunday it was so bad that I called the doctor that originally prescribed my antidepressant and I had his answering service page him.  He called me in a prescription for a different anti-depressant and I've been taking it since.  But the antidepressant isn't a "quick fix" at all.  It makes me tired, nauseous, irritable and I have a dull headache all day every day.

I met with a functional medicine doctor this week and I am hoping that she can find the root cause of my anxiety and PMS issues because I have a strong feeling that they are related.  After spending two hours with me asking questions and doing an exam, she feels there could be a number of hormone/dietary/supplement deficiencies that could be contributing to my problems.  She has ordered a lot of tests and she's checking for a multitude of things.  I've also started therapy and I've been to acupuncture a couple of times.

I just have such a huge feeling of guilt that this is happening.  I feel guilty that my kids schedule has changed and they can't stay home with me on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I feel guilty that my husband is taking on the extra stress of everything I do on top of his own work and school. I feel guilty that we are spending extra money on doctors and tests.  There is just so much guilt.

I've gone back and forth about posting this but I've decided I need to get it out and get it off my chest.    And maybe one of you out there has been through the same thing and has a suggestion that will help me.