Monday, August 4, 2014

Post-Medication: One Month Update

Since I subjected you all to my hemming and hawing about this for so long, I figured I should keep you informed. I've now been off my medication (Celexa, which I was on for 2 years) for one month. Like I mentioned a couple weeks ago, my emotions still feel raw and powerful and intense. They aren't always positive at the moment, but I don't honestly think it's anything much much worse than some of the deep depressions I experienced at times even while on the medication. Late last week I had one or two rough day; lots of tears, hopelessness, total despair. I called my mother twice on Thursday and didn't do much more than cry into the phone. BUT I have to say, it felt much more connected to external factors than a chemical shift in my brain. I don't know how I know that, but it feels accurate. Like, it was less totally irrational ruminating and more I am realistically frightened and upset about what is happening to me.

What is Happening to Me is: More health issues, unfortunately. The nerve pain seemed to have eased off after the uptick May-early July. I had a solid pain-free week, and then it seemed to spike again late last week. However, the past few months I've been experiencing this spike around mid-cycle (is that when you ovulate? I meant to investigate this) pretty consistently, which seems to indicate it's hormonal and therefore temporary.

On top of that, it looks like those tummy issues I mentioned a few weeks ago might be more problematic than I realized. When I went to the campus health center, they sent me straight to a GI specialist at University Med School Hospital. Now it looks like I'm going back into the hospital this week for more testing.

My weight: I was definitely started to worry that the Celexa was causing weight gain, and I do think that was a valid fear. The steady weight gain I've been experiencing for the past 2-ish years coincides exactly with when I started taking it. It also coincides with when I finally hit rock bottom in terms of the pelvic pain and decided I would do ANYTHING that might help - including eating more and gaining weight. The week I started taking Celexa was the same week I basically gave up any hope of maintaining a low weight/crappy eating habits and being remotely healthy or okay, and committed to recovery. So it's hard to tell if/how much the medication affected the rate/quantity of weight gain, but I will say that weight gain was faster and much easier this time around than ever before, and that I have not ever eaten what "should" have been a "weight-gain" amount of calories in these past two years; a.k.a. according to all the calorie counter calculators and all the dieticians I've seen, I should not have gained as much as quickly as I did on the amount of calories I've been eating. It's possible I'm just getting old and don't have the teenage metabolism I did last time I went through refeeding, or it's possible that in Recovery: Part III my metabolism has simply had enough, or it's possible that the medication was helping things along. I don't know. I probably never will. Since coming off the medication, my weight dropped 2-3 lbs pretty quickly in the first week or so, and then went back up the next week, and I haven't weighed myself since. So, stay tuned on that one.

Regarding my mood, I'm still feeling fragile but I have not had any type of breakdown or nosedive into major depression/anxiety. Are my depression and anxiety up a little bit? Yes, I think so. But not so much that I regret coming off the medication just yet and not so much that I feel a need to go back on. So again, I guess my overall message is: stay tuned.

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