piranha: red origami crane (Default)
the escitalopram is working, yay! all the thoughts of death are gone for now, and when i wake up i no longer feel like tackling the day will be a totally insurmountable task. i am just on 5mg, ramp-up dose; i'm hoping that memory and concentration will improve after a couple of months of taking it, and/or on a higher dosage. even if not, i am still more functional now; i've been out of the house and on 3 walks of more than an hour already; i'll be able to handle menial tasks (like my garden, which has laid fallow so far). it started to work very fast; i could feel the first improvements after just a week; no other SSRI has ever worked for me this quickly.

don't even have a lot of side effects; being more sleepy than before, and the anorgasmia is back, which i've had with every SSRI i've tried. but i'll happily trade any and all orgasms for the rest of my life for feeling something other than miserable. and the wellbutrin counteracts the sleepiness to some degree, so its manageable.

i also had the echocardiogram done, and the ultrasound tech was unusually chatty, which means i got to see the part of my heart that's damaged -- at the bottom of the right ventricle, on the septum, a very small spot. so apparently i did have a silent heart attack. i've learned that they're not even uncommon; 25% of all heart attacks are silent; which means there are no symptoms. other than that my heart seems fine.

it's been 8 months since my last tachycardia attack -- that's the longest i've gone between attacks since they started. i do have more palpitations now; very short periods where my heart feels like it's beating irregularly, but they last less than a minute.
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
finally got myself to make an appointment with the disliked GP. as usual he wasn't caught up on my case, spent most of the time in front of his computer, and then told me the same things the internist had already told me. just before he disappeared out the door i managed to tell him that my biggest problem is really not my heart, but the depression, and would he please try to add an SSRI to the wellbutrin, or i had to stop it because it was gonna end badly otherwise.

and yay, he gave me samples of cipralex (escitalopram) to try. i'm taking 5 mg for now, for the next 4 weeks. i don't want to get my hopes up, but something better work, *sigh*.

as always the most amusing thing are the possible side effects. aside from self harm and suicide risk, i might also suffer from akathisia [1], agitation, heart palpitations (for extra laughs), emotional lability (yeah, like i am not labile now), aggression, hostility, depersonalisation. i might become a real bundle of joy to be around! the doc's biggest concern seemed to be the possible weight gain; *rolls eyes". i rather have a happy life as a really fat person who dies early of heart problems than an unhappy life as a somewhat less fat person who commits suicide, ya know. he is so fucking clueless -- and it's not like he actually even checks my weight; he's not weighed me again after the first time, and he doesn't ask whether i had any weight loss or gain, so WTF.

escitalopram is supposedly more potent than citalopram, which i took before in the form of celexa, but which didn't do anything for me, and i don't know that the GP even remembered the celexa, so i need to do some more reading on that. as usual, it might take 4-6 weeks before i'm supposed to notice any positive change (the side effects i always get within days, but "fairness" does not enter into this, *wry grin*).

and because i don't trust the good doctor to check for interaction with other meds, i did it myself, and a good thing -- the internist is considering putting me on warfarin, and it does not play well with escitalopram. i am not much in favour of the warfarin anyway, because the dosage is so sensitive and requires constant blood tests to assess, i can't deal with even more lab and doctor stuff than i do now, and i don't actually trust the GP to do a good job for me there. the alternative as a blood thinner is dabigatran, which is brandnew, very, very expensive (3.95/75mg capsule, might have to take 2/day), and for which we don't have long-term studies yet. (blood thinners are necessary because the arrythmia can result in blood clots, which can cause a stroke).

i have an appointment for an echo cardiogram on the 11th, have a slew of blood and urine tests still to do at the lab, then i'll see the internist again to talk about blood thinner meds, and what's next.

at least i like the internist, and he's young, so not likely to retire before my next visit like the last one. maybe he'll just move to victoria, *snrk*. i am such an optimist.

[1] about akathisia the GP said that was involuntary body movements (and i don't think he was talking about hard-ons), but when i looked it up, it's more along the line or jitteriness/restlessness affecting the knees, and sitting is apparently difficult.
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
after reading dog style, i was hoping i could go to sleep and dream about it, which i can often do if something has really emotionally affected me.

yeah, i dreamt about it. about the emotionally wrenching parts, until i woke up in tears again. damn.

because of other people's comments on the manga, i don't think this is all due to the wellbutrin either. anyway, i've been wanting to write about how i am doing on that, but it's been too depressing. each med i try that fails takes a little more hope away.

wellbutrin is giving me a little more energy, and it is also expanding my emotional range. unfortunately largely downwards, it seems, or maybe that just affects me much more. instead of comfortably numb i am now more depressed more often; pretty much an episode a day. it doesn't necessarily last long because i fight it, but it's exhausting; it uses up the additional energy and then some, it seems. i can rarely get myself out of the house now, even when the weather is good. i have thoughts again of just wanting to die so all the damn pain and the daily battle against it is over with. i am not actively suicidal (that would take too much effort, *wry grin*), but a couple of days ago i was thinking how nice it would be if i could just go to the humane society to have myself put to sleep. that's not good. it's not even as good as comfortably numb, because it wears me down more/faster.

i was gonna ask the doctor last time to add an SSRI that might lift me a bit, but i have lost all confidence in the guy, who never seems to really listen, and i got lost in reminding him of all my data once again while he stared at the computer screen the entire time and mumbled to himself, and then i couldn't get to the request before being rushed out. which means i really should look for another doctor, but that's a big effort each time, and with each doctor whose competence leaves something to be desired, that hurdle becomes higher. i already have to see a new internist because the previous (good one) retired, and my MIBI test came back with an area of my heart not receiving any blood flow. so next is probably an angiogram. i am not looking forward to more pieces of my body failing. i don't think i have it in me anymore to age gracefully.

i love that manga to bits, but considering how this is affecting me, maybe i should stay away from reading anything emotionally sad. i already don't watch any world news at all anymore, and have asked my partners to not talk about bad world news with me. i already don't read anything that's marked as tragedy. so now i need to cut down on everything with sad parts? what's left then?

each day my world gets a little smaller.

i can't stop crying today.

ok, enough sniveling. listening to BUMP OF CHICKEN will hopefully cheer me up.
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
central obesity (check), collar bone fat pads (check)
urinary free cortisol (awaiting test)
striae (check), suppressed immunity (maybe)
hirsutism (check), hypercholesterolemia (nope), hyperglycemia (maybe), hyperhydrosis (maybe), hypertension (check)
iatrogenic (nope)
non-iatrogenic [neoplasms] (some moles, weird skin pigmentation spots, skin tags)
glucose intolerance (check)

buffalo hump (check)
depression (check)
impaired wound healing (check)
moonface with red cheeks (check)
sleep disturbances (check)
skin problems [excessive dryness, easily bruised] (check)
telangiectasia (some spider vein areas)

the new internist i saw today suggested this as a possibility. OMG. it's not like i WANT to have an adrenal or pituitary tumour (surgery -- major *ack*), but this is a whole slew of symptoms, most of which fit me.

the test for free cortisol in my urine should tell the story. i kinda want this to be it, despite my phobia for surgery. because dealing with it would quite possibly cure the depression which is so resistant to medication, and the scarily high hypertension.

aside from that my latest ECGs show abnormalities, which persist during a stress test, and which might indicate reduced blood flow to the heart. am now on the waiting list for a MIBI test (a lipophilic cation is injected intravenously, and distributes in the myocardium proportionally to the myocardial blood flow). it's a 2-day deal. radioactive isotopes, yay! waiting time is about a month.

the new internist was great; very thorough and explained everything. but my luck has it that he's retiring at the end of the year. after a decent first visit, the new GP now annoys me because he isn't very thorough and has played the weight loss card already. the wellbutrin does something, but not as much as i need it to do, but i'll give it more time. if cushing's is a bust, i'll ask him to add an SSRI to see whether a combo can do better.
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
thanks to the paramour making the initial call, i have a new doctor, who seems actually willing to take the depression seriously (as compared to the previous two).

over the last 6 months i've mostly fallen off the wagon of healthier living. been off meds, and my blood pressure is back in the sky-high region. *sigh*. there's just no dealing with the depression without meds; "natural" remedies are a complete failure. if left to nature, i withdraw more and more until i live in a tiny, safe bubble, without hearing about anything bad (because i don't read news or people's blogs and journals, or talk to anyone but my partners). it's not so bad in that bubble, honestly. it beats fighting each and every day. it's quiet, and i get a lot of knitting done. but i have partners who want me to be more life-like, so here's me crawling out again.

i am on wellbutrin XL now, and on coversyl+ instead of micardis+. without the metoprolol, the blood pressure isn't going down a whole lot though, so when i see the doc again next friday we'll have to talk about that (metoprolol and wellbutrin are contraindicated).

i'm not getting my hopes up about the wellbutrin, but it is a different anti-depressant than the previous ones that failed me, so maybe... so far i am not noticing anything much other than a feeling that my entire body is wibbling, and my heart beats out of turn occasionally -- the latter predates the wellbutrin though. palpitations, agitation and tremor are known, common side effects. heck, it beats the constant nausea i used to get from paxil during ramp-up. maybe. the wibbling could become annoying. we'll see.

my sleep schedule is eccentric, and the good doc was (rightly) concerned with that. i don't know that i will want to take medication for that though. tomorrow (later today) is a fibre show in duncan; i hope i can manage to drag myself down there.


Jul. 14th, 2008 23:59
piranha: red origami crane (Default)

lots of people grow them in their "estate" gardens here. they always look totally alien and out of place in our ecosystems, but the blooms are beautiful.

started taking 30mg celexa today. also finished testing whether i could taper off the metoprolol to 50mg a day and then go 2 days entirely without, so the next time i schedule a stress test stopping the met won't lay me flat. that seemed to work, so i can call and get going with that.

bought meds for 6 months at a different pharmacy, which was considerably cheaper.
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
i sorta fell of the "being good" wagon while the *poing* was here. not totally, i was hanging on by my fingertips -- we walked just about every day, and it was really cool that zie came with me despite me being too damn slow -- but we also ate out almost every day. so my blood glucose levels were steadily above 6.0mmol. but still under 7.0, so i am not lambasting myself too much for it.

my blood pressure also went up again during this time (140/80 ballpark in the mornings), and i returned to taking a second metoprolol before going to sleep. it's been going down again now, and i am hoping i can drop that second one again. i need to tighten up the "diet" a bit more; i've gotten sloppy. need to figure out some nicely balanced recipes of stuff i like that comes in low on the glycemic index.

ticker is doing good, only one set of weird palpitations (couple seconds) in the last two weeks. the walking is doing me much good; it lifts me up to be outside, and i am slowly developing better stamina.

state of mental health remain so-la-la; good enough to get some stuff done, get my butt outside to walk nearly every day, not good enough for government work. i continue to put off talking with dr P about this. i did not up the celexa dosage myself because ... oh, let's not go there. *sigh*, do let's go there: the pharmacy guy was really busy and gave me only enough pills for a month instead of 3 months, and when i noticed, he was all apologetic, but i was tired and didn't want to wait another 30 min for him to redo it all, and went home instead. not thinking about how that's how it's in their damn computer now, and so monthly it stays until i get a new prescription. this is like the Nth time this pharmacy has made an error with my prescriptions and they're always real sorry, but i am just tired of it. there's a brand new one across the street, and i will just take my next prescription there. possibly i'll even bring it up with dr P again, since now all the other stuff is broadly under control and maybe he can find it in his heart to LISTEN TO ME about it.

must remain careful about getting too involved in depressing discussions.

the paramour is headbanging and subvocalizing to pandora while programming. too cute. :)
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
pretty good overall. 3 weeks ago i noticed that my morning diastolic blood pressure was consistently below / in the low 120s, instead of around 140 and i was wondering whether i might be able to dispense with half the metoprolol. so for the last 2 weeks i've only taken the met and micardis in the morning. so far, so good; my overall blood pressure looks fine now, averages to 122/72, which is lower than dr P was shooting for, and with fewer meds.

i credit all the walking and exercycling i've done for much of this, though i've also made changes to my diet. i am _not_ dieting, i am trying to change my eating habits towards lowering my blood sugar, and retaining less water -- but i am not actually on a prescribed diet, nor do i want to be since that doesn't work for me. i've basically cut salt and sugar from things i prepare myself, though i am still eating them if they're in frozen foods, or when we eat out. i am also eating a lot fewer carbs, but i've cut only the foods that rank really high on the glycemic index. i'm slowly cutting down on artificial sweeteners as well, because i don't just want to replace sugars with artificial crap where in 10 years they're gonna find out it's bad for us after all; i want to develop less of a sweet tooth, and then switch back to using natural sweeteners if the blood glucose plays along. this has worked well with salt; i have a salt substitute, but i already use very little of it.

i don't want any change to be too onerous because then i will fall off the wagon.

the celexa doesn't make me sick anymore (well, i take it just before i go to bed, so i don't actually know -- but what i don't know doesn't hurt me in this case :). it's not doing anything to improve my concentration/memory, but it's done good in that it's helped me get over the horrible hump where i didn't even want to go outside. overall the many-pronged approach is providing enough oomph -- celexa, taking daily photos, walking everywhere even if i've been there before (now with the new GPS toy) so i can map trails and count kms walked, and riding the exercycle when the weather is too bad to walk, or i am worn out from the day before.

i weigh myself occasionally, just as a datapoint. lost 17 lbs since i started exercising (do not congratulate me -- this is not a goal of mine, and i don't care that both docs said i should lose some weight; i want to be healthier, not thinner).

the blood glucose thing still has me grumbling, but overall the values are alright; hovering around 6 mmol, and i am not stressing over it. we'll see what my next HBA1c says.

my ticker has felt very normal, just a few palpitations occasionally, nothing that lasts for more than a couple beats. i am very happy about that, i've hated most that i was always listening to my heart and that it seemed to do so many weird things; that was very disconcerting.

dr W (the internist) has referred me to an ophthalmologist to have my eyes checked thoroughly. appointment on may 22 @ 14:45.
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
you know, if 3 consecutive blood glucose measurements, within mere minutes, give me 6.7, 4.9, and 5.9, i feel moved to terminate expending $18.75 a vial ($0.75 per strip), with extreme prejudice. this is way beyond an acceptable margin of error. i want my money back. at that price i expect RELIABLE technology.

(and yes, i am careful about storing the vials at the right temperature, keeping them closed, using them within the 3 months i'm supposed to after opening, and no, they've not reached their expiration date either. when i started the vial, the control solution gave an acceptable result.)
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
the celexa appears to be doing something useful now. i don't feel that i can concentrate much better or that my memory problems have improved, but i definitely have more energy and mental "oomph", evidenced by the fact that i've been out and about much more often than at the same time last year. spring always brings an improvement, but it's not fully spring here, and yet i've been feeling mild wanderlust. we've been to stocking creek, the colliery dam reservoir, walked the morden colliery trail all the way to the confluence with umm creek, and i've walked to the mailbox a few times, and generally ambled around the neighbourhood in search of interesting photo objects. i've also started cleaning my room (a major project), and bundling things to recycle/give away.

since dr P is nonresponsive when i mention that the celexa not doing enough (i've brought it up several times and he just nods and says nothing, which drives me batty; i think my general impression of being a sane and functioning person even when i am barely hanging on by my fingernails is working against me here), i will raise my dosage to 30 mg a day next week.
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
that means the time period during which people out in public are meaner to each other than at any other time a year is almost over.

it's a cause for celebration! maybe i should decorate for it...

i'll call it scroogemas.

i sorta would like some occasion for which to decorate a little -- i like candles and the tiny lights, the smell of evergreens, and a little sparkle. but it's not my religion, the secular outgrowth of it is overhyped and overcommercialized, obligatory gift giving sucks, the muzak grates on me, so no, Do Not Want.

the winter solstice would be an appropriate date, but actually, i am not ready to be done with winter. it'll be another 6 weeks before i really have enough of it and start to yearn for spring. i'd even like some real snow right about now, because i like how everything looks when thickly covered, because i love how the snow mutes sound, except for the crunch of my boots, because xmas lights make houses in the snow at night look magical -- but we never get any snow over xmas. i am not really complaining about it, mind. just that it would be awesome, for a couple of days.

overall, things are alright. the ticker is behaving itself, the blood pressure is now in a range that satisfies the doctor, the glucose levels are low enough so i don't need diabetes meds, and i have a referral to an internist to talk about the "slightly abnormal but not urgent" reading of the ECG, so things are moving on that front. the celexa is still making me nauseated, but never as badly as the paxil did. it's also interfering with gayboy's hobby, but oh well. it's still too early to have any effect on my mood so i need to just put up with it for now. usually by the time i notice an effect from an SSRI the GI upset goes away (the sexual dysfunction stays); we'll see whether the celexa behaves as the others.

we tend to shop for groceries right before the great rush sets in and then hermit for the duration, eating our way slowly through the stash. it's nice and warm in here, i brought in enough firewood to last the night. i have loads of anime to watch and a backlog of BL releases to read; yum. i am pondering whether i should bake cookies even if it blows the blood glucose sky high, and i just might do that.

maybe i'll call it carbmas.

i hope everyone who's celebrating something is having a wonderful time. be good to each other; it's more important than anything else.
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
i sound like an old person, what with talking just about my health and the effects of medication on my body. i should really get back to talking about mansex to provide the other pole of the age range provided within my mind, *snicker*.

started the celexa yesterday. mild GI upset last night, and this morning a bit too. also got a sore throat and a bit of a runny rose, which could be side effects, but could also mean that my multiple exposures to other people who're sick (doctor's office, pharmacy) has caught me something. i'm torn which etiology i'd prefer, *snrk*.

the blood glucose testing proceeds as it started, the numbers remain generally better than the lab test that set this all in motion, and it's still fun to see how eating what affects my blood sugar. exercise is turning out to have a strong effect if i do it right after eating -- but then it's hardest for me to get my ass in gear; i just want to sit and quietly digest instead of walking for 45 min with my heart gallopping at 120 beats a minute (that's how long the middle loop around our neighbourhood takes me). allegedly a combined program of aerobic and anaerobic exercise is best for lowering glucose levels, so i have to decide whether i want to embark on something like that. but no way am i going to a gym; that is just not going to happen, so i'll have to work out a way to do it at home. i think i also want to look into a continuous heart rate meter (the one i have is part of the blood pressure metering process and i need to sit still for that, which is inconvenient when exercising out in the great outdoors).

as before, lowered carb intake makes me less sluggish. yay. but tracking all this stuff takes up all that energy, so at this point it's pretty much not a win. i'm glad i have the atkins experiment to compare, because i know from it that the energy will continue to increase and i will have extra.

i am looking at software for the mac to help with the tracking, which can also graph various things, because i think my doctor would be helped by looking at charts rather than just numbers, and at precalculated averages (since he appeared not too good at doing the calculating himself). i should call the lifescan people because inside my sooper-dooper meter i found a coupon for a free datacable and software. what shall we bet the software only works in windows?

amusing anecdotal evidence time: for a while now i've made fun of the japanese old wives' remedy of licking a wound to make it better, which is incredibly prevalent in BL because it provides for a handy way of "indirect kissing" (since you don't do it to yourself, no, your paramour to be will endeavour to do it to you, and you will be much embarrassed by it, and the erotic tension will be thicker than blood. also, licking trickling blood, which seems to tap the same vein as nosferoticism for some -- not me, *guh*.). well, i've been licking my own wounds since i am pricking a finger 3 times day, and darn it if the ones i lick for a while don't hurt less and heal a little quicker than the ones i leave alone.
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
whoa. so i've been looking at blood glucose meters. looks like there are many, with more or fewer fancy features (and prices). and i've found copious rebates of the type advertised with "buy 100 test strips and get the meter free". which immediately made me suspicious about where the profit lies, and indeed, it lies in the strips, not the meters.

the test strips are hideously expensive, just about $1 per each at local pharmacies. doesn't sound so much? multiply that by 4-12 times, depending on how often you test your blood per day (how much control you need; type 1's usually more than type 2's). that adds up quickly to $120-360 a month, $1460-4380 a year. *gah*.

those strips cannot take that much to manufacture, and furthermore the scale is huge here, because so many people have diabetes. dear pharmaceutical industry: you suck.

so i am not going for the spiffiest meter, but for the meter that takes the cheapest test strips. unfortunately that might mean shopping at w*lmart.
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
i have a new primary care physician whom i've seen twice now, and who is retrieving the information for me that was collected at the hospital, which otherwise has been difficult to get ahold of. he also ordered a slew of blood tests and an EKG, and put me on additional medication (micardis). my systolic blood pressure was extremely high at the hospital (over 200), and is now in the 140s (diastolic was ok all along), and the micardis is supposed to get it lower yet.

the thyroid test, as i expected, was negative; my thyroid is fine. almost everything is fine -- except for my (fasting) blood sugar, which is too high. so even though i don't have symptoms (ok, i have fatigue but that could be anything), we're gonna see whether i have diabetes; i'm going to check my blood sugar several times a day for the next two weeks.

which requires a glucose meter. oh joy, a gadget! i'm doing the usual online research; if you're using one and want to tell me all about its cool features and possible drawbacks, i'd appreciate it. i take it from my first casual glance that the manufacturers make their money from the test strips.

he made the usual noises i am used to from doctors about exercise and weight loss, though he wasn't pushy about it, so i think i'll be able to shut him up about the weight loss (he has a good point about more physical activity, i am much more sedentary this year than ever before -- i basically am doing a good imitation of a giant barnacle). he also prescribed celexa for the depression, which he seemed overall not very interested in. he also seemed not very interested in my blood pressure log last time, but i brought the update today anyway, and he was happy about it, and said to please continue (and add the blood sugar results). i think he and i will have to get used to each other's calm presentation to gauge better what's important to us. it's true that the blood pressure and tachycardia episodes are more immediately urgent, so i am ok with the focus at this time.

i haven't started taking the celexa yet because one new med at a time is enough, but since i am not getting any apparent side effects from the micardis at all after a week, i might start it tomorrow.

the original reaction to the metoprolol was apparently mostly ramp-up; i am no longer as tired nor as down as i was. still more down than before it, but i can just as easily blame that on having the ticker problems at all, which really has upset me more than most things upset me these days. that too is getting better though; i am no longer experiencing miniature panics every time my heart seems to beat weirdly for a moment, and i've stopped listening to it all the time. also, no more arguments with gayboy.

i am way way behind on doing a lot of things. i hope the celexa doesn't cause the same onset problems for me as the paxil; i could do without 2 weeks of gastric upset.
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
day 14 on metoprolol.

depressing day. just kept spiralling down, down, down. finally stopped it by looking at fonts (i get a hard-on for good typography), but it feels ... teetery. maybe connected: after going to bed last night while reading i suddenly felt really weird about the ticker; as if there were something wrong with it. my pulse was strong, and there was no fluttering, yet it didn't feel entirely regular (but taking one's own pulse is prone to echoing, so that was probably it). i could feel panic rising from the pit of my stomache, but i calmed myself down, read some yoshinaga fumi smut, and then fell asleep and slept well. everything seemed ok when i woke this morning.

  • i am not as tired anymore as i was at first. still tired some, but no more staring for hours at the screen losing time.
  • i am still sleeping a lot, but not quite as much as before. i have also started reading regularly again before falling asleep, and often for a while after i wake up.
  • the mood log shows that i am generally ok, if not particularly up, and except for brief down spikes today was an exception in duration of depressed feelings.
  • i am getting more done. housework mostly, some research, commenting in people's LJs, and i even posted thoughtful stuff to usenet. i've walked several days this week.
  • still not sleeping in my room. well, it makes the cats happy.
  • sex drive is way, way down from its surprising up before all this heart trouble hit. gayboy is sluggish and doesn't even fantasize when i try to encourage him. but i'm not back to pre-revival lows either; something is still stirring. i am not paying much attention to it though, just taking notes.
  • no memory problems or other side effects (except for the fatigue).

i forgot to take the morning pill once -- i reminded myself to get something to eat and while eating got absorbed in research. when i surfaced from that it was already past 13:30 and too late to take that dose. no effects from missing it.

the internist from the hospital hasn't called yet. and i still haven't gotten the results from the thyroid test. if nobody calls by the end of this week i'll call them on monday.

i haven't written the thank-you letter to the good doc dupreez yet either; reminder to do so.

i also need to call the new PCP-to-be and set up an appointment.

it is pretty pathetic when it feels like my biggest accomplishment all week that i convinced the paramour a mood log is a fine thing for zirself, and zie went and wrote a little java app for it.
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
why am i posting so much today? no idea.

today is day 8 on metoprolol.
  • i am still inordinately tired, but it seems to be letting up a little.
  • i am sleeping a lot. i guess that comes with being tired. but it could also be that enforcing a schedule really fucks with my ability to sleep well. i am enforcing a schedule because with new medication i first follow the rules as much as possible, before deciding to play with how much i can let things slide. well, i am supposed to take the metoprolol twice a day, 10-12 hours apart, around the same time. this is very hard for me to do, and i doubt i can keep it up, but so far i haven't slipped by more than an hour either way.
  • i still feel a bit more depressed, but it hasn't gotten worse, and this could simply be after-effect of the tachycardia episode. i am keeping a more detailed mood log than before, and i had one day where i was a little in the dumps (complete with thinking it wouldn't be bad at all to die -- but well short of trying to make plans, just in case that were to induce anyone to worry). but the next day was better, and i am generally as ok as i've been for a long time now (that's sort of damning with faint praise, but well, it is what it is).
  • i am still not sleeping in my room. i am rolling my eyes at that a little, but eh, i'll get around to it eventually, why push.
  • gayboy isn't getting to have any much fun, though today i let him out a little, but yeah, not eager to push anything either on that front.
  • side effects: my memory seems unaffected (the paramour's keeps getting worse though :). the pre-nausea and pre-dizziness i had have disappeared. my feet and hands are no colder than they usually are this time a year. so basically, just the fatigue at this point. yay.

the fatigue is a whopper though, i do hope it gets better. i am completely unproductive because i am always tired; i'm sitting behind my computer staring at the screen for i don't know how long sometimes without even actively reading anything (nevermind researching or writing), and time just passes, and look, it's evening already. i am trying to kick-start the engine -- walking just to the mailbox for the last two days, hoping to keep that up again. should order more books to give myself a reason to walk there. :)
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
in general the aftermath of this tachycardia episode has been milder than the first time. apparently having my heart stopped twice is less of a stressor for my body than beating a mile a minute for several hours. which makes sense -- i wonder how the hell people deal with it who have tachycardia for 24 or 48 hours; *gah*. i've also achieved sleep instead of lying awake forever hoping i won't wake up with the same thing again; that was only an issue the first night.

anyhow, i've been doing pretty well, and for the most part managed to not constantly listen to my own heartbeat. but late yesterday i started feeling physiologically restless, and i began to feel my heart was thumping faster and louder than before. not irregular though. still, after a couple of hours of that i was starting to lose my powers of meditative calm. went to bed with some grapes from the vine and a gay pirate novel (raised by wolves by w.a. hoffman). that worked for a while, and i finally fell asleep after consuming about a third of the book.

this morning i woke up all fine, and, as i am often prone to doing upon waking, had a realization. yesterday, some time before the thumping started, i had suddenly felt a hankering for lady grey tea, and so i had a mug of that instead of my standard decaf coffee or rooibos tea (i go through long phases of drinking and eating the same things).

now, i gave up caffeine quite a while ago, and hadn't had any at all in about a year. lady grey tea has caffeine. so that was it. i recognize the symptoms really clearly as caffeine-induced from prior experience. i guess i didn't twig to it right away because i had been a massive caffeine consumer for decades, and when i gave it up, i could easily drink several cups of strong coffee or tea right before bed without it having any noticeable effect.
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
it's been more than 2 months since i stopped taking the SSRI, and things are going better than expected.  it really seems like it did no longer do anything much for me, and i now think i won't start taking it again.

i am not noticeably more irritable anymore, not in that way that i was for a short while, where the paramour just walking in when i was working on something would set my teeth slightly on edge.  i feel i am still more easily angered, but who can tell, what with idiots starting wars.  in any case, the anger is limited to things that i feel it's appropriate to feel anger about, while the irritability was unacceptable.  i am still closer to the edge of tears than i want to be, but not as badly as earlier, and this degree is manageable at this point.  i'll have to continue to stay away from sad movies because they drag me down too much, and i'll have to be careful to how much world news i expose myself.

for a while i had no energy, but i can now feel bits of it coming back.  this is exciting.  every time i went off the paxil before i felt an immediate slump in energy, and that got me pretty much right back on it because the level on the paxil was already so low that it made me feel totally useless.  i am glad i pushed through that this time; i was wondering whether maybe it was just a withdrawal effect that would pass.  it's still way low, below where i need it to be if i want to feel like a productive person, but i am going to try to pull it up with careful management (start doing something useful as soon as i feel a wave of it come on, which tends to propel me into doing at least one other useful thing even when it immediately goes down).  also, my level of physical activity is higher now -- nothing spectacular (as if!), but except for the dog days of heat in its mid-thirties, i've been pretty much out every day in some form; sometimes just gardening, but when the high tide was convenient i've been swimming, we've been on a number of short hikes, rode the bikes a few times, and if all else failed, there have been mailbox walks.

the tinnitus has mostly disappeared, though i still have occasional episodes where it returns for a couple of hours.

since this is manageable, i'll stay off meds entirely for a while longer to see how far i can push being functional.  and then i'll have a new baseline against which to compare other anti-depressants.

the rest of my health is ok -- the damn bug was mostly over after a week, but gifted me with post-nasal drip which is just now wearing off.  the piece of glass that had embedded itself in my foot came out slowly after i put bunion cushions around the site that protected it from constant pressure and rubbing, and i've been able to walk without pain for a couple of weeks now.

overall -- not bad, not bad at all.
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
usually going off the paxil is accompanied by a couple of weeks of nausea (same when going back on). this time, no nausea at all -- yay! but instead i have a constant buzzing in my ears.

i always thought tinnitus was more of a ringing. but when reading up on this it turns out that buzzing is just one of the many ways in which tinnitus can manifest itself.

now i am wondering whether it'll go away when i restart the paxil, or whether its onset just randomly coincided with me going off. previous to this i did always have a reaction in my ears to forgetting the paxil for a few days; a clearly noticeable buzz when i turned my head fast (much stronger than what i have now). so it was pretty obvious that there's a connection between paxil and some form of effect on things aural. [livejournal.com profile] jodawi linked to a list of drugs that are known to cause tinnitus, and paxil is among the top offenders. but how come it happens only when i get off the paxil?

it does vary in strength during the day. when i pay attention to the buzzing it seems to get worse. at times i completely forget about it, and then, when i wonder whether it actually went away, i can feel it get stronger.

ex-mjollnir (new name yet to be determined, for now the entry in the hosts file is "smite" :) makes rather more noise than the buzz inside my head. still, i don't like it.

other than that, i'm doing ok off the paxil, and even the buzz isn't too bad. my irritability has subsided somewhat. i am a bit closer to the edge of tears, but not horrifically sad. my energy levels are low, but man, they've been low on the paxil as well. i have a bit harder time to push myself though; i am getting less done (and being that i don't get a whole lot done anyway, this is not good). i am more tired, but that could simply be because the paramour is back home, and interaction simply tires me a lot more easily now than it used to.


piranha: red origami crane (Default)
renaissance poisson

July 2015

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