There are a few things I choose not to talk about on this here ole blog -
Even though I talk about the birds and the bees all the time -
I don't talk about:
I'd actually rather go to the dentist and have my head drilled than to have a political discussion.
My dentist is awesome and there's nitrous oxide there.
What's not to love?
But I do talk about a lot of things.
Life is so full - so many things go on around this ole place, there is no way to share it all.
So many 'bloggable' moments go by uncaptured.
Such is life.
I wanted to tell you what's going on with me - because those of you that know me for real - or here - know that I share my life pretty openly. I think I was just born an open book.
My hope is always to help someone.
I've been in hell this week.
Hell, my friends.
A year ago, my doctor prescribed Effexor for me - 37.5mg. It's the smallest dose they make. I was pre-menopausal, hot flashing, and having some serious PMS. My periods were extra painful, and when I went the Dr. - I told her - it's one or the other - the emotional stuff, or the pain stuff. I could only deal with one - preferably none.
So - I started taking the Effexor. I noticed an immediate benefit, and really felt good.
A year later - I want off the stuff. I'm not entirely sure why - other than to say, I just don't want to take prescription drugs. I don't like the idea of putting chemicals in my body everyday.
I've been tapering off, cutting my dose down, and sisters -
I can't even describe what I've been going through this week - but I'm a hot mess. Today was the worst.
I've been crying on and off - my vision is off - I feel like my head is going to explode, my ears are under pressure, I can't stand the slightest noise, I've been cross with Glenco, and my brain feels like electric shocks are going through it. I also can't sleep to save my soul.
After diligent Googling, I've found this is quite normal, and that Effexor is considered one of the hardest medications to come off of.
I broke down and took a full dose today - because I just needed my life back right now. I need to work in the yard, and clean the coops and cook, and well...just LIVE. I will have to stop taking this when I have the time to get through it - perhaps this winter when there isn't any outside work, and I can make a big pot of soup, curl up and just get through it.
I just wanted you guys to know what was going on - and why I haven't been able to get a DeClutter email back out to you - or return emails in a timely fashion.
Please be warned about this drug.
I wish I had been.
I thank my lucky stars I never started any of this stuff...my bible for menopause was The Wisdom of Menopause by Dr. Christine Northrup...it saved my life (at least my sanity) many times.ReplyDelete
Oh girlie girl..I never took anything, though maybe my kids and hubs would have wished I did. I have to say the website 34 Menopause Symptoms.com would always comfort me and I could say to the Hubs.."Oh, heres another one today"...Geez. It would just validate what I was feeling that week and know that, lets just ride the Menopause roller coaster, even though it made me sad too. I had moments of saying " I want that monthly thing back and all its hormonal loveliness" Not fun, but it is life. I personally feel sad that you are taking that stuff, but if you feel it helps, then I hope in the end it will be ok,, though I hate to tell you that I have been into this four years already, the hot flashes still exsist and my coworker loves to tell me this can go on for ten years. OMG! Stop! Well, if I lived nearby, I would be a pesty thing, bugging you for a ride in that cute bug, setting up camp in the squirrel for a night, maybe even ask you if I could have a turn stuffing that little bird in my bra, and of course refuse to assist you in any honey retreval, though I would be begging you for some of that serum. You look marvelous. Hang in there girl, this day shall pass and you have our hearts with you and your not alone. I hate to tell you, you have a distance yet to go. Post away though if it helps. P. S. Glenco...BE STRONG.ReplyDelete
Oh Jayme.....we could do some serious meno-talk over coffee! I'm going thru it now, although I'm not taking any meds..... It just sucks to be honest! I just had an ultrasound Friday because my pain is getting so uncomfortable.......looking at possible surgery now......not sure how I feel about that, I just want the pain to stop! Hang in there girl!ReplyDelete
I feel your pain!!! Went through it a few years ago(I'm older than you). I used Estroven OTC drug because I refused to take anything prescription. It helped though it took 3 weeks to get into my system and I took it for 5 yrs! My thermastat is still broke most of the time, I'm hot in the middle of the night, but no night sweats and I'm taking nothing!! I thank God everyday for what I went through so I can help or listen to someone else, as it wasn't always pretty or lovely or loving or kind! Hugging you even though your hot(LOL), EarleneReplyDelete
This happens with so many people, with so many meds. The meds do their job, the person feels better, they go off their meds.ReplyDelete
Be very grateful you live in a time when meds are available and you do not have to suffer.
So sorry to hear what you are going through...ReplyDelete
Jayme, The drs. need to tell people about how addicting some drugs really can be. Some just whip out that old pad and write them up...not even thinking . I do not take hormones...just quit because of the cervial cancer talks years back...as old as I am , I still have hot flashes and feel disconnected at times. By that I mean I don't feel like me. I take a bloodthinner, a cholestrol meds, and a stomach med because of the other two. I hate taking meds. wish I had never ever taken the cholestrol med. I like being healthy and clear headed. I'll keep you in my prayers...don't stress...that's the worse.xoxo, SusieReplyDelete
Hugs, my friend. I wish there were more I could do.ReplyDelete
That is really helpful info. Sorry you're going thru this.ReplyDelete
I hope you feel better soon. I'm with you in that I don't take prescription drugs. I would if it was something needed to help me live but other then that I take the occasional over the counter pain meds. I am suffering from menopausal symptoms too and the hot flashes are awful.ReplyDelete
I don't have the answers except if I felt as miserable as you have . . . I would take the Effexor pronto . . . (I didn't know it was so difficult to discontinue!).ReplyDelete
Prescription Meds . . . do any of us want to take them. We each have personal reasons why, why not . . . for me, I don't choose to aid my sleep or mood but at seventy four with a body riddled with arthritis my prescription Celebrex keeps me weeding, planting, creating, walking, riding my bike, playing with the grands, enjoying life and living . . . sometimes we just gotta what we gotta do . . .
I think it was a grand idea you gave yourself some relief . . . Menopause awful is AWFUL!
I feel so bad for you just reading this and wish that I could wave a magic wand and make it all go away.ReplyDelete
It also makes me angry that today's doctors are so quick to prescribe a drug but not tell you all the side effects or the negatives of taking said drug. Maybe they don't know themselves. If that's the case they shouldn't be prescribing it to their patients. That's why Hubby is going to a Naturopathic doctor in hopes to get him off synthetic drugs. Ugh, I'm on my soapbox now. Sorry.
I do hope you feel better and can find an easy way to wean your body off the Effexor. Hugs!
Saying a prayer for you, Dear Lady.ReplyDelete
Sorry you went through this and then it turned out to be a practice run. My grandmother is 89 and since the FDA is not allowing elderly people to renew a lot of stronger meds, like Xanax or tramadol, for mood or pain, she is having to get off her mild half doses. I think it's a good thing, though difficult, and really she should have been phased off of them earlier when the real need passed, but the Dr didnt. She has been dealing with the difficulties of aging on top of overall exhaustion and what I believe are side effects from her very small doses of a couple of meds. I think the cumulative effect and long term usage have changed her health and emotional well-being. I'd much rather go thru this process in my forties than my nineties, you know? I know that diet changes can take months to be felt and for drugs, it can be much longer. Blessings to you when you set aside the time for getting off of the stuff.ReplyDelete
Wow that is scarey.ReplyDelete
Hope your feeling better.
been there - done that...it took me over two months for the withdraw to quit. but i'm happy that i stayed with it. my doctor has agreed to never ever make me take it again. good luck to youReplyDelete
I started taking Effexor almost ten years ago when I was in my early 40's. It worked miracles, and I wish I had realized I needed it when I was in my 20's. I did come off it for a while, and yes those brain shivers are dreadful. It is very hard to describe to someone who hasn't experienced it. Nowadays I only take one capsule every second day, which is effective as it is a slow release type of medication. One of my daughters started taking an anti-anxiety/anti-depressant meds when she was only 12 or so. It was a life-saver for the whole family as well as her at the time. So, whilst I don't like the idea of taking medication in principle, the reality is that it can give people a much better quality of life.ReplyDelete
I have been extremely lucky with menopause symptoms so far. But I recently heard an expert who said that all the alarmism re HRT is actually incorrect, and that women who are on HRT experience many long term benefits, such as better bone health. This Dr has just written a book. I will try to remember his name and the name of the book!
Kathy from Tas
I am a doctor's wife, so know a little about this. The trick (especially after being on the drug for a year) is to wean off VERY slowly. You cannot quit cold turkey. You must call your doctor and discuss this! You really have to go much slower than you might imagine. Can you half the pill? I would try that for a month. Then, leave away one day's dose for another month. After that, two days dose and so on. SLOW and STEADY is the answer! Trust me, I know about this. Don't be in a hurry. It won't help you at all. Hope this helps. Bonnie
My 88 year old mother started taking Zoloft about a month ago. After dealing with her difficult (depressed) personality for the last 20 years, my daughters and I are ecstatic to have her back, even though she is in the last stages of her life, she is pleasant, and nice to be around.ReplyDelete
I told my girls, if ever I am depressed, lay those meds on me. I will take them. Absolutely.
I was on that for 4 years and its is difficult to get off. It stated not helping me so the dr switched me to another and still no relief. I was sluggish and moody and so much more. They did blood work that showed nothing but when they did a scan of my thyroid, there it was, a lump. Surgery showed I had Hashimoto's which was suppose to show up in the blood work but did not.. that left the dr's scratching their heads. Since the surgery, and after they got my thyroid meds under control and I was weened off the Effexor, I am okay now, no mood swings but still having those hot flashes. I am 58 with a partial hysterectomy, I have my ovaries.ReplyDelete
I say this to see if you have had your thyroid checked, not only blood work but a scan. Thyroid is a sensitive gland and can make act all wacky.
I do hope you will be feeling better soon and the you are correct, wait till the winter when your schedule will not be so demanding and you can take time to taper off SLOWLY! Some dr's will prescribe Xanax or some other calming meds till you do taper off. That is how I was able to get off the Effexor by taking Xanax. I have been antidepressants and Xanax free for 10 years now. I just take hormones and thyroid meds.
Will be keeping you in prayer, I have some inkling of what you are going through.
You are such a dear woman!ReplyDelete
Jayme...get off the Effexor and ask your Dr for" Pristiq " same med as Effexor reformulated to have less side effects...If you can not afford the medicine also know there are forms from Big Pharma company's that you fill out and can get medications for free...If you would like more info or have questions Please don't hesitate to email me...ReplyDelete
Also the HONEY is awesome !! but you know that!!
Sorry to hear you are having a rough time of it, Jayme. I hear ya! About 18 months ago I couldn't take much more of the mood swings, hot flashes and sleepless nights. I didn't want to take prescription drugs. So I did research and started myself on Black Cohosh Root and Evening Primrose Oil. It took about a week to get the dose right for me. I take 1640mg of the BCR and 3600mg of the EPO every morning and have not had hot flash or sleepless night since and my emotions are much more in check. I buy them thru Drugstore.com (no brand loyalty-buy the cheapest) and go thru Ebates to get a percentage of my money back. I don't know if this would help you or not but I know you have to get your sanity back somehow. Bless your heart! I hope you can get it sorted out and get back to feeling better soon!ReplyDelete
I am thoroughly disgusted with how little information you get when a Dr. puts you on a drug. They are so flippant about it. I'm sorry you've had this experience, hoping you find a resolution you can live with comfortably. I tried going off birth control pills just so that I wasn't on a med. I take them for ovarian cyst control. I was f-ing miserable without the pill... so I went back on. My Dr. says it does reduce menopausal symptoms, and I am finding that to be true. I'm on a low dose now.ReplyDelete
I've been taking antidepressants for nearly twenty years and I have no plans to stop. I never want to go back to the anger and depression I experienced. Sometimes it's worth it to take meds if you want a good quality of life.
Geez, I could have written this. I was prescribed Effexor for my severe menopause symptoms a couple of years ago. It seemed to work for about six months, then they returned. I checked with my doctor before discontinuing the drug and she looked up her medical resources and found nothing about withdrawal issues, so I just stopped. Uh-oh.ReplyDelete
The head-spinning, disorienting, nausea-inducing time I went through is not something I caretto repeat. If I moved my head, it was like my brain was a nano-second behind....there was this lag, felt like my brain was rattling around in my skull. Awful. Unfortunately, it lasted about 8 weeks. :/ I made sure to,let my doctor know what I was going through, just so she could warn other patients, or prescribe a tapered dosage or something. I didn't have the option of tapering; I was taking one capsule a day and you can't really cut those in half.
It's all very well for folks to say "well, you should just put up with it" -but for some of us, menopause is complete and utter hell. We're not all the same...
Anyway, these days I find my symptoms are generally not so bad. Just as well, because none of those herbal remedies are worth a pinch of chook poo.
I hope your problems resolve quickly. Take comfort in the knowledge that it will pass.
Love your heart...what an ordeal. Sounds like waiting for a better time to get off the meds is a good idea. I understand your desire to not have any medication in your body (a rarity these days) but I wouldn't feel bad or guilty about taking medicine though if you truly need it. :)ReplyDelete
I feel so bad when I hear of women who go through 'the change' and it causes some drastic symptoms that require medications. I too despise putting chemicals in my system, however; I did take something prescribed by my doctor in my mid-fifties that helped with the cotton brain I had. I only took it for a year. Other than that I have had no PMS, pain, hot flashes or any of the most common symptoms of menopause. Now 60 and feeling great! AND the best part is no more monthly crap to deal with!! Woohoo!ReplyDelete
Hopefully, for you it will all end soon.
I am so sorry. You have so much determination. I think if you set yourself up with the appropriate timing, you will conquer that bastard drug.ReplyDelete
Oh, Jayme, I'm so sorry. Withdrawal is the worst. I've been on Effexor for 14 years since my dad died, our grand daughter was born needing immediate openheart surgery and my Lupus flared. All in the same summer. Between two critically ill Grandkids, an addicted grandson, a mom with Alzheimer's, a husband with lung cancer, I'm sticking with it. I hate using chemicals, I fight the Lupus with natural products, try meditation, massage therapy, and imaging, but the stress of life demands more. I know you work so hard for a healthy body and the thought of chemicals is against everything you choose in your life. And here is the big BUT, menopause is a bitch. Deal with her as you have to. Sending positive vibes, Lady.ReplyDelete
Jayme, we have all been there many times our lives. We are prescribed medication and even when we are told or read of the possible side effects we are in such a desperate need of relief from our immediate pain or struggle that the warnings seem like a possible but not probable and yet a distant trade off. It is not your fault. I love what Hedy King said, "menopause is a bitch." Jayhawk Fan is right... "You are a dear woman". Deb is also right...sometimes the meds are the lessor of 2 evils. Kek is right also.." we're not all the same."ReplyDelete
What a wonderful following you have. I love a lot of things these women shared. Take the support you need and forget the rest.
I am so sorry you hurt. You do whatever you need to do for you and your family. You will get past this. It seems like it will last forever but it doesn't. You will get where you want and need to be. Sending you understanding and supportive thoughts. Thanks for sharing your life with us.
I never could take Effexor - it gave me the symptoms you're experiencing as withdrawal symptoms. I was hostile, all the time. I am quite happy with a combination of a medium dose of Zoloft and a medium-low dose of Wellbutrin for mood stabilization. It wouldn't work for everyone, but it works for my combination of depression, SAD, and anxiety.ReplyDelete
I, too, struggle with ingesting chemicals and strive in all other areas of my life to be chemical free. However, with me, as with many, depression is a chronic condition, like high blood pressure or diabetes, and I will need to be on medication for it for the rest of my life. Feeling the way I do when I'm not taking any anti-deps is not an option for me.
I totally understand your conflict about taking the meds, and your desire to stop taking them - I've been there. I would encourage you to really see how you feel after you've successfully weaned off of Effexor and, if the depression does come creeping back, consider trying another medication. It may be a chemical, but it replaces a chemical your brain may not manufacture enough of. The Effexor is an NSRI, and I can't take any of that class. If you do decide at some point to try another medication, consider trying an SSRI. It's the "N" that makes me hostile and "flat."
Best of luck with your journey, and I hope the withdrawal symptoms ease up soon.
PS... if you decide to try meds again, I recommend trying to find a psychiatrist who specializes in pharmacology. That's what I finally did, and I wish I'd done it ten years sooner. Most family doctors just don't have the experience with depression and other conditions to expertly prescribe meds and often don't know side effects or contra-indications. A psychiatrist will be able to make a more educated guess at what will and won't work on you based on your reactions to other things, and you might have an easier time finding the correct med and dose for you.ReplyDelete
I'm NOT trying to push pills, I just want to make sure you know there is no shame in taking anti-deps and that if you do decide you want to try them again, you CAN have a better experience than your current one.
Maybe try DoTerra therapeutic grade essential oils.ReplyDelete