Saturday, July 19, 2014

Following up

After a week of radio silence, I thought I should write something.

It's been a very dramatic week. I'll try to keep this short.

Last Saturday I went for a run with my normal running buddy, who has a PhD in nursing (this is important). During the course of our run we were discussing my medication changes and I was telling her about how awful I'd been feeling--during the course of our run I fell once, was having difficulty talking, had to walk for a quarter-mile, and was sweating waaay more than I normally do. Obviously things weren't right, but I just chalked it up to medication adjustments.

I will be forever grateful for this dear  friend who put two and two together and realized I was suffering from seratonin syndrome, which I had never heard of until she called me later--it certainly is not something my doctor warned me about. When I looked up the link, I realized that I had every single symptom. I had spent part of the afternoon before her call lying in my bathroom screaming at the top of my lungs into my bathmat in an effort not to scare my children while we waited for Neil to rush home from work (my girls texted him to come home; I was delusional enough to believe that we didn't need him here and that it was more important for him to work). Those last few minutes before he got home were some of the absolute worst of my entire life. I felt like my head was going to explode with pain and rage and fear--I remember very distinctly thinking that if I could just cut something, like my hair or my skin or something to show how awful I felt inside, that things would be somehow better. I did retain enough rationality to realize that this was pretty scary to be thinking about and so I dumped the entire contents of all of my bathroom cabinets and drawers into my lap and was frantically sorting those and screaming nonstop when Neil walked in.

So, long story short, I am no longer taking any sort of antidepressants while I wait for all of this toxic cocktail to make its way out of my system. I am over most of the physical symptoms by now (my two least favorites: screaming nightmares every night & such intense muscle ridigity that I was in constant pain), although the vertigo and nausea seem to show no inclination to move on. I'm doing much better emotionally and I think today I'm probably at about 75% of normal. Neil took three days off from work to be here with me & the children, and we're trying to treat it like a "staycation" so that it is more enjoyable and less terrifying for our family. Our children do know what's going on; both Neil & I've talked with them quite a bit about all of this. My primary concern has been for them to come through this as unscathed as possible. I want them to remember this illness as a blip in their childhoods rather than something defining. And my mental confusion has definitely given us a few things to laugh about, since I've really been struggling verbally--a few days ago I described a ranch as a "rodeo house" and a bakery as a "cupcake farm."

We've been spending a lot of time outside the last few days. As always, it's much easier for me to be happy when I'm in the woods or exerting myself physically (I've thought repeatedly of Aerin sweating the surka out of her system in The Hero and the Crown). Noise is still making me incredibly nauseated & headachy so being outside helps a lot with reducing the noise level! And it is so wonderful to have Neil here so that I can be with the family when I'm up to it and retreat when I'm not. My endurance is getting better every day and things are definitely not as overwhelming when I'm not the only responsible adult around.

So. The last couple of weeks have been pretty rotten. But in another way, they have been wonderful--my friends have been amazing and I have had some really good talks with my sisters. I've felt very loved as I've been trudging my way through this mire. What a way to welcome in my 31st birthday next week!


Bryce Moore said...

Glad you seem to be through the worst of it, and praying and hoping things continue to improve.

Neil said...

I liked it when Luke dropped his salami sandwich in the dirt and you and you said, "It's OK, that's just desert pepper."

Melanie said...

So many scary moments- I'm so glad the worst is behind you. And bless Megan! Please keep the updates coming.

Kayli said...

I feel for you guys so much! I just keep thinking- oh my gosh, this is so so tough! I hope things get turned right very soon! My prayers are with you, Rachael!

Tia said...

Wow, that sounds so scary! I appreciate you being so candid about your struggles, and I hope things are going better very soon.

Andrea said...

I'm so sorry, Rachael. I didn't realize you were dealing with this. (My reaction to dealing with life is cutting out FB because I feel I simply don't have time. Consequently, I haven't been as aware of what you've been dealing with.) I hope things start to turn around soon. You are a beautiful person inside and out!

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