Saturday, April 30, 2016

Med Updates

I know that I barely post at all these days, and when I do it tends to be ANXIETYANXIETYANXIETY and not much else. Sorry. I have truly never been hit so hard by anxiety as I have in the past year. It's really hard to describe feeling so unsafe in your own head. It has waxed and waned a bit, but since about July or so, I have pretty much been consumed by anxiety. It's not that it always so terrible, but sometimes it is and I am constantly calibrating how my brain it going to be a good day? A terrible day? Do I need to call Mama Bear? Do I need to call Dr. P? Do I need to call Dr. New Psychiatrist? Do I need to suck it up and get a grip? Do I need to pop a Klonopin?

I'm doing better lately, mostly because the meds have been a game changer. I started on Celexa back in November and things improved dramatically with a few weeks, but that also coincided with me going on winter break and my stress level dropping to approximately zero. The spring semester has definitely been better than the fall, but over the past couple months my anxiety started rising again to pretty intolerable levels again. I doubled my dose of Celexa, but was still relying pretty heavily on the Klonopin. I have the Klonopin to take "as needed," but "as needed" was pretty much daily. So, my psychiatrist (I started seeing her last fall and I ADORE HER) just switched me to Prozac. For a week, I was tapering down the Celexa, then tapering up the Prozac, and I am supposed to take Klonopin daily to keep things under control in the transition - particularly since she warned me that Prozac can be "activating" in the beginning. Anyway, I've been on the Prozac for about a week or so with no real news to report, other than a little nausea and general tummy unhappiness. I was taking 1mg Klonopin daily last week, then decided to try going without and so far so good. So, cautious fist pump.

Anyway, I have about one week left of this insane semester and then things should settle down for a bit. Much love to all, hope this BRIEF update is enough to sustain you for a little.

Your Favorite Worst Blogger

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Updates in Bullets

I don't know why it feels so hard to blog these days, but I want to write something. So, the bulleted version:

— Almost done with my first year of the PhD. They all say the first year is the hardest, just with adjusting to the program and being in classes and encountering an enormous learning curve with almost everything you are expected to do. So far that feels about right. I'm doing fine in my classes, but yikes I am snowed under with work all.the.time. Also, MEETINGS. It feels like I am constantly running to meetings, sitting in meetings, scheduling meetings, trying to decipher my notes from meetings, scratching my head on how it feels like I spend more time in meetings than actually doing work.

— Anxiety is kicking my ass. Again. It scares me because I've been on Celexa now for about 4-5 months, and actually recently doubled my dose (I'm at 40 mg). But the last couple of weeks, my anxiety has felt almost as bad as it was back in the fall before I started medication at all. How is that even possible?? I've taken Klonopin several times during the day over the past couple weeks, which I previously had almost NEVER done, and it helps a little but obviously is not a sustainable solution. Maybe I am more stressed about school than I realized.

— My summer will be nice in the sense that I'll get a break from coursework, but insane in the sense that I'll be doubling down on research, plus traveling a ton (well, a ton for me. It won't really approach Cammy-level traveling). Visiting my best friend for a long weekend next month, my parents' house for 2ish weeks in late May (Papa Bear is turning the big 6-0!!!), conference in early June, wedding in late June, another conference in August, and another wedding in September. I may also TA another class, but it should be much easier than my current gig because (A) summer classes are shorter (8-10 weeks instead of 15), and (B) the class won't have a lab, so basically my only responsibilities will be to give a couple of lectures and probably do some grading. Easy peasy.

— The presidential race is scaring me. That is all.

— I'm reading Far From the Tree by Andrew Solomon. I don't love it, especially not the way I loved his last book (The Noonday Demon). He is a beautiful writer, but the structure feels very repetitive. And, I don't know, it just isn't moving me the same way Demon did.

— My apartment is a huge mess, my garbage needs to go out, I haven't washed dishes in two days, and there are three loads of unfolded laundry waiting for me. HELP.