I know I promised you guys a second post on estrogen dominance, which I will definitely be doing, however, I felt the need to write about something else instead today. I will write part 2 of estrogen dominance by next week – just in the midst of studying for an exam to write on Friday, and then heading up north to a friend’s cottage for a much needed girls weekend 🙂
So it’s been a pretty rough go for the last 3 to 4 weeks. I stopped taking my antidepressant cold turkey, and replaced it with nothing else, then stopped taking my muscle relaxant for sleeping and replaced it with something natural. Well, that has been a struggle and a half. As soon as I stopped taking the Cipralex, I really noticed my attention, motivation, and memory start to dwindle FAST but thought this was just part of the withdrawal side effects (and it is) but it didn’t start to improve ever, just kept going downhill. I also noticed that I would get overwhelmed and anxious quite easily (I almost broke down in tears in the middle of Loblaws when I was looking for some ingredient for the soup I wanted to make, and never found it), and my depression has been mild but manageable. Well, obviously the concentration, memory and motivation are HUGE when it comes to going to school. I wasn’t able to concentrate on studying for exams, while I wrote the exam I got all confused and couldn’t remember anything, I had no motivation to study, it was just awful. Again, I thought this would go away, however, it didn’t. Now it makes sense why I had such a horrible time concentrating in university when I wasn’t on the meds yet – it was brain related!!! Wish I could go back in time knowing what I know now! I probably would have had the drive to continue my education further with the ability to concentrate, focus, and have a bit of memory. Oh well – c’est la vie!
I had a dream 3 nights ago where someone said to me “go back on your medication!” – I’m sure it was my grandma sending me that message! So, after not sleeping for 3 nights, and waking up extremely upset, in excruciating pain, fatigue, etc. I went back on my Cipralex yesterday. My focus, concentration, memory, motivation, etc has returned just like that (thank god because I have that exam Friday!) and last night I took the muscle relaxant (flexeril) to sleep and was comatose for a good 10 hours. Both of these meds have worked for me over the years, and I am planning to stay on them until I’m done school. Once I’m done school I will be able to attempt to get off of them slowly because:
A. I’ll have the time to devote to healing myself naturally
B. will be working and have the money to do so because spending $1000’s a year on treatment is frustrating and painful, and more so when you are not working and bringing in extra money
C. have the energy to devote to treatment and doctor’s appointments
D. have the ability to let my body adjust to new treatments
After school yesterday I went over to visit with my mom since I hadn’t seen her in a couple of weeks, and then my brother, sister in law and nephew came over for dinner, so we had a good visit. After they all left, my mom and I chatted for close to 3 hours about her current working situation, and my health issues. We went into great detail about the struggles I’ve been facing lately, she listened closely as usual, understood where I was coming from, and really got what I was saying. Since my mom has been there through every single step in this roller coaster ride, she really understands what I’m talking about when we do discuss my health situation. We both decided that it was best if I stop seeing the naturopath and spending money on her time, treatments, testing, etc. and don’t try any other new treatments until I am done school in August. In the meantime, since I’m learning so much about the body at school, I will apply the knowledge I do know myself, and start healing myself on my own. I feel a huge sense of relief after venting to her and listening to her amazing advice – don’t know what I would do without her. I don’t thank her nearly enough, but she deserves to know she is an angel in my life, and always has been.
My mom has always been an expert at:
- Giving unconditional love
- Trying to see things from my point of view
- Being patient
- Having one on one time with me
- Always making her kids a priority
- Being my parent and then my friend
- Having a sense of humour
- Being able to survive harsh conditions. All kinds of harsh conditions. Case in point, yesterday’s discussion.
- Not freaking out about doing things perfectly or according to what everyone else says
- Thinking first before saying anything to her kids
- Always letting her kids know when they do a good job
There is no single treatment protocol for fibromyalgia – someone like myself has a body that has gone completely out of whack and it could take YEARS to feel better, and even after feeling better, a stressful event could set the body off again to go into flare / stress mode and all of the symptoms could return. One of my teacher’s says, if you’re sick with fibromyalgia, you have to look at how long you’ve been feeling the symptoms, and divide that by 3, and that’s APPROXIMATELY how long it will take to begin feeling better (maybe not healed though). So, my symptoms began around 8 years old, and I’m 32 in March, so it could take up to 8 years to feel better. That includes MULTIPLE expensive appointments with several natural practitioners (we’re talking $100 or more an hour, and most insurance only covers about $500 a year), several tests that are not covered by OHIP that each cost anywhere from $200-700 each (off the top of my head right now I need 4 of these tests to really understand what’s going on in my body), multiple types of expensive, natural treatment, like supplements, IV therapy, expensive organic foods, water filters, toxin free household products, and a lot of time and energy as well. I was telling a classmate the other day that I spend over $5000 out of pocket on medical expenses every year – imagine how many good vacation I could have gone on with that amount of money. Frustrates the CRAP out of me. However, as my wise friend said today, instead of stressing about how much time and money and energy I’ve spent on treatments that somewhat helped but not really, I need to look at it as bringing me to where I am today, and knowing what I know now. She’s absolutely right, however, still frustrates me!!!
She also mentioned that I can’t feel bad for being on pharmaceutical medication, even though I don’t believe in them. I need them right now, and that’s just the way it is. I may never get my levels back to normal, and may need them for a long period of time, or I may be able to get off of them eventually – nobody knows, but we’ll see.
There is hope with this illness, and I truly believe there is a bigger reason to my suffering – I have dreams of finding the right protocol to heal fibromyalgia for myself, and then helping others with that treatment. I’m not suffering for no good reason, and I need to keep that in mind on a daily basis. Slowly but surely I am moving in the direction of my true calling in life.
So, going forward, I will be trying to heal myself slowly but surely, with everything I’m learning in class. I have many special people to lean on, and I will be okay. Like I mentioned before, it’s never a dull moment living with a chronic illness (or several), you never know what you’re going to get from day to day, but you have to be strong and learn to hang on. Gotta have inner strength to continue fighting!
I am off to study for my exam on cortisol, which I should already know a lot about since my adrenals are shot and I don’t really produce any cortisol anymore!
Happy Wednesday everyone.