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Posts Tagged ‘#lexapro’

Since I last wrote, I am happy to report that I’ve started to heal from the loss of my mom. 3 weeks from today will be 9 months since she passed away. I can say with some confidence that will be all the time I need to fully accept her death and no longer have the empty feeling I had right after it happened. It takes 9 months to grow a baby and bring a new life to fruition. Logically, 9 months should be enough time to come to terms with the death of a loved one. Of course, it’s not as cut and dried as that. I will still miss her and think of her every day. I may even still occasionally have a bad day. But now I think I can go on without feeling so alone. Everything she taught me and all the time we spent together prepared me for this eventuality. Looking back, I really expected too much of myself to be over the grief in only a month or two. That was totally unrealistic. I wouldn’t expect someone else who went through this to be over it so soon. Yet I’ve always set high standards for myself which are impossible to meet.
April 27th, I had finally succumbed to the idea that I needed an antidepressant to survive the pain. As I’ve documented in my last post, it made me a ghost of my former self. Unable to reach any depth of emotion (happy or sad) and basically numbed out. It masks feelings which creates a zombie like existence. I’m sure different people react differently to different meds. I can only speak to how they affected me. I had made my mind up that I would slowly wean myself off the Lexapro and told the doctor when I saw him on July 6th. I had read up online and just like you have to slowly up the dose when you start them, you have to slowly decrease the dose. I came up with my own game plan and informed the doctor I’d be taking 2 weeks of 15 mg (1 1/2 pills), then 2 weeks of 10 mg. I’m seeing him again on July 27th so we’ll see if I need to go down to 5 mg for a few days before quitting all together. I read about all kinds of bad reactions people got from stopping. I haven’t felt any of those. He had me start taking them a few hours before bedtime instead of in the morning which works better for me. I am excited to be off them and see if anything carries over from my time on them. 


I don’t regret trying Lexapro (generic). I think it served its purpose. I could never see being on it long term though. One thing I learned to do while taking it is relax. I was always a person on the go and never sat still for long. I mean, I can sit and watch movies or tv but during the day I would be into one thing or the other at all times. I never liked wasting time and felt I should be doing something. This tended to make me a nervous person who would worry if things didn’t get done. On Lexapro, I’ve been able to sit and do nothing. I don’t exactly like the zombie feeling but I am calmer. I’m hoping that I’ve learned how to relax and know that things will wait for me. I don’t have to stress. 


Another reason I think I’m healing from the grief is that the last month or so I’ve been able to enjoy things again. My hubby and I have been having so many great weekends. We’ve been doing our usual treasure hunting for vintage and finding a lot of cool things. A few weeks ago we went to a tack sale just over the border into WI. We saw a sign as we were driving and pulled over. It was a horse farm and the woman running it was selling bridles, saddles and any and all horse equipment. A lot of it was new. We have no need of this but didn’t know if she’d have other things for sale. She had 2 paintings I loved but neither were for sale. My husband I call “Chatty Cathy” because he can get to talking to a stranger and goes on forever. Long past when I’m ready to leave. It all depends on his mood. That day he was talking to the woman while I walked around. She said she had baby horses (3 weeks old) and he asked if we could see them. So she took us out back. She had about 21 horses and 3 were babies. We were standing by the fence and they were talking. One of the white arabian horses came up to me. I asked if I could pet him. She said yes so I spent at least 20 minutes (maybe longer) loving on a horse! Trigger was his name. He had thrown his owner off 2 years ago and she’d had shoulder surgery that had finally healed. He took a shine to me and I couldn’t get enough of him. I was waiting for hubby to stop talking & he was waiting for me to be done petting the horse. We were at a deadlock. I got such joy out of it and the experience stuck with me ever since. I would love to have horses but they are expensive and a lot of work. We’d have to have land or a place to board them. You really can’t go away on vacation with horses unless you have someone to care for them while you’re gone. Then I started looking up places to volunteer online and they’re all over an hour away.

We’ve also been eating out a bit on the weekends. We aren’t used to eating out since last year I ate out about 4 times. We tried going out a few times earlier this year and it just felt strange. Not having mom along felt wrong. Now I know I’m healing because I can go out to lunch with my husband and say, “Mom would’ve loved this!” but not get sad. I can enjoy the whole experience. Sitting across from my hubby and sharing conversation, atmosphere and good food. It’s like we’re courting again! 😉 We found a pizza place called Paisan’s in Cicero which was just a delight. We hadn’t had pizza in 6 months and even after eating it, hubby’s blood sugar readings were normal. We also had a wonderful meal at Grand Duke’s in Summit, IL. Both of these places are on the south side of Chicago. Hubby had eaten at Grand Duke’s once before about 13 years ago and hadn’t quit bragging about it. We just so happened to be at an estate sale not far from there this past weekend and hubby suggested it again. It has the atmosphere of an old supper club in Northern WI. All dark wood inside. They specialize in Lithuanian, Polish and Bavarian food. I’m always up for trying something new. Hubby ordered us 2 Lithuanian combo platters. I have no idea what all of it was: kugelis, zeppelin, potato sausage and sausage with sauerkraut. It was mouth-watering. It was the type of food you just savor and marvel at the skill involved in making it as well as the flavor profile. It was nice to have a really memorable meal. I ended up with leftovers that I brought home and had the next day.


I’ve also been able to really enjoy our evenings again. For the longest time it was hard to watch tv without Mom. She always watched whatever we watched, sometimes falling asleep if it didn’t interest her. What we’ve been watching recently on Netflix I’ve enjoyed immensely. Netflix is the bomb! First we watched Switched At Birth and then The Fosters. Most recently The Crown. Now we’ve got to find a new series to watch. 


I hope everyone is having a good summer. I can’t believe the year is more than half over. I feel like I missed it while grieving. I guess I did. Healing just takes time and we forget that time heals all wounds. It’s not just a saying, it’s the truth.

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There are 2 topics I feel I should write about: our first RV trip with my mother-in-law along and our upcoming 25th wedding anniversary. Unfortunately, I feel unable to access my creativity. I’ve been taking an antidepressant since April 27th (the generic of Lexapro). Starting with one 10 mg pill a day and going up to 2 pills about a month ago. I can’t say I like it. It has been great for my anxiety and I don’t worry like I used to. I don’t get upset over little things. As I said before about the medicine, I’m still sad inside but it doesn’t allow it to surface. I’ve only cried maybe 3 times since I started taking it. It basically has leveled off my emotions so I am one level of emotion at all times. That doesn’t seem human to me. It calls to mind the Stepford Wives. In the movie, they replaced the wives with robots. Now they just need to administer antidepressants to them and they behave accordingly.

I know I’m not bipolar yet I’ve always felt things very deeply. I could sympathize with others more than most people. Grief over a pet felt like ripping my heart out. I always had boundless enthusiasm and when I was happy I was beyond joyful. Now instead of life being a series of peaks and valleys, even rollercoaster rides, it is steady like a flatline on an ekg. I believe all the emotions are there underneath but they can’t get out. They are being held in check, pushed down by an invisible barrier. I don’t have any of the energy the doctor said I would have. I’m able to function but concentrating isn’t any easier. I don’t feel inspired to do things or achieve things. I don’t care enough to fight or stick up for myself. I don’t dwell on unpleasant things and just try to get through each day. I have no expectations for myself or the future.

 

I normally have so much to say. Especially when I write. Surprisingly, as much as I’d like to write about the two above named subjects, I CAN’T THINK OF ANYTHING TO SAY!!! What the what?! How is that possible?

 

I’ve been trying to slowly lose weight and after a month (and being on vacation), I’m down 5 lbs. I ate lunch everyday on vacation too. I would be happy with the loss if I felt it or saw it. I don’t feel any different (even with a few lbs. I lost since Feb.) and for sure don’t look any different. I’m not letting it discourage me though. Hubby is losing slowly too and now has his diabetes where it should be. He is taking 80 ml of insulin every night and as he loses weight, the dose will be lowered. He’s seeing the doctor again July 6th.

 

The oddest thing about how I feel on this antidepressant is that things that used to bother me don’t anymore. I used to feel SO BAD because I didn’t have any family or friends. Now i don’t want any. I simply don’t care about it. It doesn’t matter to me and isn’t important. I find this very strange. In some ways, I feel like my personality is missing. This medicine has changed who I am and I don’t know if it’s for the better. I don’t talk as much. I sit quietly and am content. I have completely pulled back from social media. The medicine hasn’t given me the confidence I was lacking so I could share parts of myself without feeling like no one was interested. I don’t know what will become of me. I feel like I’m slowly fading away into the ether…never to be seen or heard from again…

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Another crazy busy couple of weeks have passed. We’ve been trying to have some fun to make up for the weekends that sucked. We’ve also been trying to get the garden ready for planting and start planning a vacation. 

 
In my quest to lose weight, I’ve started skipping lunch about 4 days a week. I’m into my 4th week of it and have lost about 1 lb. a week. It started out early this month that I had a bad cold and was too sick to eat. When I didn’t keel over from not eating, I figured it was a way to eliminate calories without noticing much. It’s easier for me to not eat than only eat a tiny bit. I’m trying to shrink my stomach from the inside so I don’t need to eat so much to feel full. I was never one for skipping meals. Lunch was the highlight of my day sometimes. I don’t know if I can keep it up longterm, esp. in winter. For now, it’s a temporary solution.
 
Greg’s still seeing the doctor every 2 weeks and he has to call on the weeks he doesn’t see him and report his blood sugar readings. He’s now at 60 ml of insulin daily. His numbers are getting close to what they should be. We’re guessing he’ll end up with about a 75 ml dose. After 2 weeks on 10 mg of Lexapro, I had to tell him how I was doing. I still feel sadness but don’t cry anymore. It has totally leveled me out so that I don’t get happy either. He upped the dose to 15 mg. On a scale of 0 to 10 with 0 where I started and 10 being where I want to be, after 10 mg I was at a 3, then after 15 mg I was at a 4 or 5. He had me switch to 20 mg and i really don’t notice any difference. Some days I wonder if even a fistful would work. I no longer think this is the right thing for me. I am going to give it a try longer but it isn’t doing what I’d hoped. I kind of feel dead inside.
 
Thurs. May 18th, after his doctor’s appt., Greg went to pick up the RV from the shop. Afterwards, he took it to where we store it in Elgin and was going to vacuum it. The generator wouldn’t start. He called them right away and they tried to walk him through different things to get it to start and it wouldn’t. So they had him bring it back over and sure enough, they had cut a wire! They had changed the oil in the generator and somehow cut a wire. It never would’ve started at that rate. For $1700, you’d think they’d do better work. Greg doesn’t get mad about things like that but I would’ve been livid. Luckily, he didn’t bring me along. He got it vacuumed but we need to do some surface cleaning of countertops, nightstands, sinks, toilet, etc. which can’t be done until we have it here in front of the house.
 
Thurs. May 11th, we went up to Wisconsin to bring his mom her Ancestry DNA results. We also took her to lunch at the Machine Shed restaurant which is like a Cracker Barrel. We did this as a Mother’s Day gift. We didn’t know if she’d like her DNA results since she thought she was German, Irish and Native American. It turns out she’s 37% Great Britain and the rest is Eastern European and Scandinavian. She was absolutely thrilled! I jokingly told her she was related to the Queen of England and she believed me. I had to tell her no, but I’d be calling her that anyway. We also broached the subject of having her come along on our first RV trip this year. We’re going to Green Bay, WI and that’s where one of her other sons lives. I didn’t know if she’d want to just ride up there and back with us and stay with Brian and his wife. Or if she’d want to stay in the RV. There’s plenty of room but she’s just not used to it. 
 
On Sat. night, we finally decided when we’d be taking our trip. Leaving next week Thurs. I basically let Greg decide. I wanted to go away for our 25th wedding anniversary but he has an important work thing he’s in charge of on June 26th and he wants to be at work for the 2 weeks ahead of time to get things ready. He’s got a doctor’s appt. on Thurs. June 1st and it’s not until 11:15 am which means we’d get a late start. If he’s not worried about it, why should I be?! He called his mom that night and asked if she was free to go that week. She said yes and would call Brian and see if she could stay there. She got back to Greg on Monday and said it would work out. 
 
Both hubby and I are nervous about having her along. Maybe for different reasons. I think it’ll be nice to have company in there but don’t know how she’ll react to it. I’ll probably be making some food to take along but we’ll also do some cooking inside like usual. We’ll have to drive up to Pewaukee, WI in the RV on Thurs. aft. and pick his mom up and then go to Green Bay. There’s not really anywhere to park the RV so she’ll have to be ready when we get there. We’ve got a ton of things planned to do when we get up there—whether or not she comes along. I wish I could say I’m excited but I’m not. I don’t look forward to anything anymore. I don’t know how it can be so hard to be happy.

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So much has happened in just a few weeks. Hubby had been so sick, suffering with a sinus infection last time I posted. That would have been bad enough but after taking an entire week’s worth of pills, we find out he’s allergic to penicillin. Just in time to ruin another weekend, they came on as he was driving home on Thurs. April 27th. By the time he’d had dinner, he was fully broke out from head to toe with hives. We tried a Benadryl and a Zyrtec which did nothing. Luckily, we both had a doctor’s appt. the following morning. The first thing the doctor said when he came into the room and saw Greg was, “Somebody got some sun!” His entire head was bright red. The doctor seemed unfazed by the severity and prescribed low dose steroids (starting out with 6 pills a day, decreasing each day until day 6 is 1 pill), 2 Benadryl every 6 hours round the clock and Calamine lotion. Greg was miserable for the entire week. we were both worried that his throats might close up! As long as it took to get into his system is how long it took to pass the penicillin out of his system. He works alone on Sunday and by Monday it was finally starting to abate a little bit. This was my first time seeing the doctor as a patient and he prescribed me Lexapro without even listening to my heart or lungs or looking in my ears or throat. I thought that was weird. I told him how I’ve felt down for months and didn’t know if it’s because my mom died, if it’s due to starting menopause or if I’m depressed. He said try 10 mg of Lexapro for 2 weeks and then he’d up the dose if needed.
The first day I took it, it made me nauseous for a few hours and then passed. After a few days I felt better but that Sat. April 29th when I started it, I came down with a cold. So it’s hard to tell how I really feel. It’s still lingering on. He had a bunch of blood tests done on me since it’s been over 4 years since I had blood drawn. He has this Patient Fusion thing where you can look online to see your results. My cholesterol is 229 which is a bit high but to me, nothing to worry about. Normal is under 200 but he wants it under 180. When we went back to the doctor Thurs. May 4th, he told me to get some Red Yeast Rice Extract Pills at Sam’s Club and take a 600 mg. pill twice a day and it will naturally lower it. We stopped in to Sam’s Club and they were out! So I got it at CVS when we picked up one of hubby’s prescriptions. I started taking it Sun. May 7th and it made a mess of my stomach. He said it would do that but it goes away over time. Today is already better. 


So many people are on antidepressants and I never wanted to be one of them. I’m against taking a lot of pills. I like to think the body heals itself. However, after all these years, I’ve decided to try and see if I can feel better mentally and physically. This is my first time taking any and I didn’t want to have the stigma of it rub off on me. Yet I’d rather be honest and share that I’m trying it than hide it. I can tell already I sleep a lot better at night. I’m still sleepy during the day but I’m hoping to get some energy eventually. So far there isn’t a significant change.


The doctor has been increasing hubby’s dose of insulin by 10 ml a week. He’s now up to 40 ml a day. His numbers are coming down but the whole week he was on steroids, they were high. The doctor said that would happen. This week we are getting a reprieve from going in to his office and only have to call the doctor on Thurs. and report his blood sugar readings and I have to say if I need my dose upped. We might use the day Thurs. after calling to take the Ancestry DNA results up to his mother in WI. We got them a few weeks ago when he was so sick and there was no way we could go anywhere, let alone to another state. 


Last weekend, we had our first semi-normal weekend in over a month. We got to go to 2 estate sales on Friday and then popped in to Oakton St. Antique Mall nearby to check out their sale. We parked next to a car that was just filled with garbage! The passenger side and entire backseat was stuffed to the ceiling with trash! I couldn’t believe it was that bad. I’ve seen cars used as dumpsters before but usually there’s room to see through the back window. It’s so unsafe not to be able to use your rearview mirror at all! I took a bunch of pictures and will use them for this post. I told hubby when we went inside to try to guess whose car it was. It was really impossible to tell! I assumed it was a man’s car but it could’ve been a woman’s. Little things like that amuse me. It’s sad and gross and curious all rolled into one. I guess it makes me feel like my life is less of a mess. For the record, the inside of my car is very clean. 🙂


On Sat. May 6th, we went to the Library Book Sale in our town. I was pretty excited. They only have it twice a year. We missed it last time because that was the day that Mom had a stroke and went into the hospital. (Yesterday was 6 months since she died.) We got there a minute or two before opening and there were like 35 people ahead of us. They had the vintage books in a back room and going in there, it was all picked over. I only found 2 older books and after looking through everything in the place, I left with only 9 books. I was kind of bummed but we hit a few estate sales and found some really great books at those. We also ate good food and walked the dogs together every day even though we were worn out.


Skipping back a bit, on April 24th we went to the AT&T store near the mall in Niles, IL. I knew for months we had to go switch our cellphone and U-verse account from Mom’s name to Greg’s. Mom had worked for the phone company for over 35 years and got a discount. Since she lived with us, we put the phone in her name. When she died, they said to wait at least 3 months but less than 6 to switch them over. I had mentioned it to Greg often but you know how there’s never a good time for things like that. Our AT&T store usually has a couple hour wait to be helped, standing room only, wall to wall. But because we went at 6 pm on a Monday night, it was the emptiest I’d ever seen it! We were helped immediately by a nice girl named Oliwia but it still took 2 1/2 hours! First we decided to cancel our landline. No one ever calls us but telemarketers. So that took awhile. Then we had to cancel our cellphone from her name to ours. They no longer have “minutes” or charge for texts. We were able to bring our cellphone bill down about $50. Then we had to cancel our U-verse and go without Internet for 3 days! That made no sense to me. But they couldn’t just do a name switch on the computer. They had to send out a technician on Thurs. April 27th. Then we had to bundle our Directv with our U-verse. For some reason the bill was no cheaper for bundling. We’ll have to call Directv and find out why. Directv offers new customers great deals but if you’re loyal and stick with them, they keep raising your rates. Go figure.


Greg was at work when the AT&T tech came. The guy was very “ meticulous” and “precise”. Everything had to be “just so” and “by the rules”. When he called to say he was on the way, I told him we have 3 dogs and they are great with people. He didn’t say anything. Then when he came to the door, I opened it and he just stood there. Amber was barking and all 3 were trying to get close to him. I told him to come in but he just stood there. He said I had to “put them away”. The room we put them away in is the Sunroom which is the room the computer is in and he needed to work in. It’s the only room downstairs that has a door on it. I finally ended up putting all 3 on leashes and then taking them up to our bedroom and closing them in. They hated it and carried on the whole time. For 1 1/2 hours!! If they were allowed to be out and about, they would go up to him, see him and then ignore him. They would go about their business and not give him a second thought. Standing at the threshold to the house is the worst thing someone can do. Once you get past the doorway, they’re fine. We’ve had so many repairmen coming in, meter readers, etc. Just this year, 2 Directv guys, last fall several Nicor Gas guys, etc. Plus we’ve had the hot water heater installed, etc. and never had to put the dogs away. I literally screamed at the guy, “I’ll put them away SINCE YOU’RE AFRAID OF DOGS!” It pissed me off that this is their house and they can’t be out. Even the vet says they’re “people dogs”. Anyway, the tech replaced the modem and I just got back from mailing the old one in. They told me to take it to the UPS store and they’d box it up, make the label and it would all be free of charge. They’re unable to give us any faster internet due to how far we are from the main switching box in Uptown. The first new modem he brought in wouldn’t work and he had to go get another out of his truck. I’m happy to say our internet is working better than it had for years.


The RV is in the repair shop now getting new stairs, new batteries and fixing the hot water heater. We’ve been too busy to even have time to think about our first vacation of the year. The weather hasn’t been very cooperative either. It’s supposed to be almost 70 degrees this time of year but instead it’s been getting into the 30’s at night and low 50’s during the day. This year is one for the record books in every way. Not good but it has to get better as it goes along… right?!

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