Tuesday, February 03, 2009

A brighter shade of life

As of today, I am medication-free. After my OB appointment I got the results of my blood work to check on my thyroid, which was just fine. The plan was to wean off of Lexapro and start Wellbutrin the next week. I dropped my dose in half for that week and was supposed to start the new medication on Wednesday. I hesitated. There were other side effects that scared me a little (like how the risk of having a seizure increased when you drink). So, while some side effects decreased (the "personal" ones) others increased. I am just really tired of sacrificing the things in life that are fun for all of this, especially when I don't think I need it. I like to have a glass of wine (or two) after a hard day or for fun on the weekend. I like having a margarita with dinner while out with my friends. I also like having things back to normal in the bedroom. I decided to play it by ear and see what happened without being medicated.

The first few days were kind of bad. I was irritable, impatient and a little hostile (well, more like a lot hostile). At first I thought, Umm, yeah. Maybe I do need to go back on. Friday was the kicker as it was THE DAY FROM HELL, both kids screaming and crying ALL DAY LONG. It took everything I had not to go running out of the house and straight into the insane asylum. Bill was out with friends playing poker that night, so I was alone and crying in my wine after I felt like I had just been sucker punched by motherhood. Thankfully I have great friends who once read my "Please put me out of my misery" status updates on Facebook, sent emails & comments of support.

And then the clouds parted and the sun shone brightly again.

The next day was Logan's birthday and a totally different day. We had fun, despite the drama coming from the in-laws. Aunt Ju-Ju had another typical flip out over Logan's birthday and us continuing the time out until there is a resolve. Bill ignored Grandma L all weekend and as far as I know, still has not talked to her. But, regardless, we still had a fun day. The next day I really started to notice the difference. I felt Life again.

I am an emotional person, no doubt. I feel intense emotion, get choked up and teary over little things or am moved by life experiences. I am also an extremist, often a complaint from Bill that there is no middle ground or in between with me - it's one way or the other. This isn't PPD, it's who I am. I didn't realize that those feelings had been dulled until I was medication-free. It was like I felt real again, fully experiencing both the highs and lows of our days. I felt like my old self again; my imperfect, impatient, often frustrated, passionate, emotional, self. And this was not bad. At all. Well, to me anyway.

In addition to feeling strong emotion again, I've noticed how my brain has been effected. After reading up on other's experiences with Lexapro, many have had "brain zaps", or lack of function. For me, the whole left side of my brain seems to be dead and more like I need to zap it back to life with an AED. It's the strangest feeling ever to notice that your brain is pretty much broken. I don't even want to say how long it took me to calculate 17.5 lbs + 17.5 lbs to know how much I was lifting in the gym. It was THAT bad. I would try to problem solve and literally feel the lack of neuron connection, like the brain power had been flowing along and then all of a sudden stops at a kink in the line. I am feeling like the biggest moron ever with this major malfunction and I hope it comes back quickly - without me having to do some stupid puzzles or join the mathletes or something like that.

It was another life lesson for me that I am who am I and I need to continually work on being a more patient person - really, this is my life long struggle and I don't think medication will help that, quite possibly the opposite. While December was an extraordinarily horrible month that kicked me on my keister and medication was probably a good answer at the time, I have high hopes that I will be able to endure the hardships of the upcoming months with the in-laws, because really, I'm not taking it anymore. I'm pretty sure everyone is clear on that.

So now? I'm living my life the way I want to live it.


C said...

Good for you!

Dawn B said...

Yay! Sounds like it's so far so good. That's wonderful. I can't even begin to imagine how liberating it must be to let go of the medicine.
Oh, and I am the WORST blogger buddy ever. I completely got sidetracked and never wished Logan a Happy 3rd Birthday. :( HAPPY 3RD BIRTHDAY BIG GUY!! - from the Maryland peeps

Anonymous said...

YEAH!!!! xoxo, GFF

Joanna said...

So good to hear.