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Saturday, March 08, 2008

The time has come

A few weeks ago I went into my therapist and started to cry because the sun was out and winter seemed over. I told her that I was scared because spring/summer is a horrid time for me. As I was describing my anxiety, she said that every year I miss out on 6 months of my life. And that made her sad. I thanked her for listening and taking me seriously. She said that she wanted me to do a diagnostic test to see where I was at with my chemical/medical treatment.

The assessment was quite a few pages where I had to rate each statement listed. And then Chris had to rate the same test so we could see my perception vs. an outside perception. It was actually kind of fun.

When I got the results I was relieved. She said that I was still struggling with my serotonin levels. Then came the clincher, she also said that I scored very high in the diagnostic for attention deficit disorder.

How I responded to this was interesting. I was glad for a diagnosis to why I've still been feeling so crappy since Ivy was born even though I'm on antidepressants. But when she said that she wanted to add in another medicine, I felt ashamed.

Shame and guilt are not things that I feel very often. You guys know how honest, straight forward and open book about most everything I am. I like to share. The good and all the bad. I like to tell people about my meds and how they have helped me so much, etc. I don't want to portray a "me" that isn't true.

For some reason, being on 2 different meds really freaked me out. Like being on one was normal but being on 2 was psycho. And I would never feel this way about another person, but I was ashamed that I needed so much help. I still think that my reaction is so out of character. I even started feeling ashamed because of the ADD. Like I was stupid or had a learning disability or something. Why would I think that? So weird. I think that's why I really haven't told all of you guys about this. That it would color your perception of me in a bad way.

Well, guess what. The med combo is AMAZING! I can't EVER remember feeling this good and calm and functional. That extra med has been a godsend. Chris noticed a change almost right away. When I was adjusting to them I couldn't really tell, but boy can I tell a difference. I'm more calm, more patient, go with the flow. I'm actually finishing projects and attempting new things. The energy is my biggest change. I used to have to nap everyday just to get. through. the. day. And I would still be tired all of the time. Like I couldn't ever sleep enough.

I remember thinking, "OK, I have to do the kitchen floor today." and that was almost all I could do. It was that much of a struggle to live my life. Now, I just think about it for a little bit, then do it. No biggie. Before I'd have to think through every step before I could bring myself to even try. ie, first I have to sweep. then i have to move the chairs into the utility room or the living room. And it would seriously take me all day to do one "big" thing. Now it is like all of the steps come to me at once. I don't trip over each one. I can work at all my jobs. I have napped maybe twice. and those weren't even because i HAD to. I'm getting so much done. And I'm such a nicer person to myself and others.

My therapist described it to me that when I was on the one med, I was dealing with my serotonin. Adding in the other dealt with my dopamine, which was found to be lacking. And let me tell you, some of these side effects are great.

I'm learning to trust these results. I'm scared that they will stop working and I'll just slip back out of my life. It will take time. And I still really don't like spring and summer. But this year I'm not hiding in my bedroom waiting for it to go away. I'm going outside, thinking, yuck. But that's it. And then I go about my day.

Whew. I'm glad that I felt ready to share. It's been too long.


Katya said...

My darling K, I feel your pain. But you know, I take two medications regularly, and another one PRN, and it makes all the difference. There is no reason to feel ashamed for being on more than one medication, as you are obviously learning.

It's scary to think that someday they might not be as effective, but there are so many to try if that happens. And I was talking to a woman today who has been on the same meds for 17 years. So you never know.

I'm so glad you are feeling better. I'm sad you don't like summer, because I love it, but I'm sure you have your reasons.

Carrie said...

I am sending you *huge, huge hugs*.
I am so happy that you are feeling so good. I've felt that overwhelmed feeling before, and it's not fun at all.
I've always admired people that will go for the help they need and get it. I didn't go for my PPD and it's probably THE biggest regret in my entire life. It wasn't like not taking the medicine made me not have a problem. I was still Carrie with the problem, just too stubborn to admit it. It was my worst enemy. :(
All that to say, I'm so proud of you for always striving to become a better person, and love that you are so open about it, even though the road on the journey is not always smooth. We love you!


KrayonKel said...

Rock on, chica! So does this mean you LIKE spring and summer now. Cause I have to tell you, I am getting sooooo freakin' excited to feel the sun and the breeze and blue skies! It really is quite wonderful! :)

Wishing I could spend the day with you, Kelly

Melissa said...

Miss K---nothing would ever change how much I adore you. Nothing. In fact, I think I like you even more for being so raw and real. I'm so thrilled for this breakthrough---it sounds amazing. What a gift to have such an intuitive therapist.

I've started taking my anti-depressant only 2 weeks per month. Isn't that weird? My doc and I discovered through trial and error that I just need it the 2 weeks before my period, and I can't tell you how cool it is to know that and actually have it work well for me.

Much love to you! And PTL for the good side-effects....

Catherine said...

Karianne, I'm so proud of you for sharing, sweetie. I love you. You have been so much of a support to me this past year it's unbelievable to me. I am so excited for you that this new med has taken off for you that I could just cry for you (happy tears, not depressed tears, hah)... I love you honey... and I am in praying for you that it all continues for you, honey. You are you amazing and I am so proud of you!!!
love always,
PS: I need to call you and talk to you a little more in depth about that new medication that is added.. I can all too well relate to your 1 task a day function thing, it's unreal. I can't believe how parallel our lives have been. xoxoxoxo

Anonymous said...

You know, you get one shot at this life. I say: Good for you. Do what you have to do to LIVE it.

Katiefucious said...

I never understood chemical imbalance until a friend of mine in high school had a...I think it was a zinc imbalance or something like that. She told me about it once, and that when she started taking the medication that her doctor prescribed, she felt like a completely different person, like the person she was meant to be.

Karianne, you are such a wonderful person, regardless of what meds a doctor prescribes. No amount of chemical imbalance can change the person you are.

Thinking of you.