Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The Devil's In The Details.....

After midnight I spent an hour or so laying my head on the bathtub edge, my feet under me in an angle, wrapped in a blanket, with the air on, in the dark,with the door shut, next to my toilet. I had a severe migraine, again. When I sit up I am in danger of redecorating my furniture with the items I last ate and when I lie down my nausea is gone but my head feels like hot pokers are being shoved into my eye sockets. My migraines are debilitating and I try not to cry because crying only makes the pain worse. So I lay there in the quiet, dark, cold room and will my pain medication to wash over my body and relieve me of this hell.

I have been not medicated for almost two years now. I am not a doctor and I do not suggest going off your medications without the help of your doctor. Medications can be life saving in my case when I started taking this one it actually, I believe, saved me from myself. I had been on several other medications for my OCD since the age of fourteen. After I experienced my postpartum OCD  I was told by my psychiatrist that he wanted to put me on an anti-psychotic medication which I was appalled at and told him I would rather try something else I had heard had great reviews. I wanted to try Celexa. I had no bad side effects to report,in fact I thought this drug was amazing. For me it literally got me over the postpartum OCD and greatly helped with my regular OCD. Gone were the days of severe anxiety. Gone were the times of sitting and crying curled up in a ball from my intrusive thoughts. I felt, for the first time in my life, stable. This must be what normal people feel like, was all that ran through my mind.

I realized that celexa took away the details. It numbed me to them, which is what helped my OCD. You see, for me the devil is in the details. I am distracted by textures, smells, dirt I see that no one else notices. It made me numb towards them. No longer did I try to clean grout with a toothbrush and bleach for hours. I simply ceased to care. I ceased to feel a lot of things. It wasn't unpleasant that finally I was able to be more functional.

That being said ten years later I was having an issue with my insurance. I knew that I was going to loose it and have to fight for it so I started to wean myself off my medication. I don't suggest that other people do this without a doctors permission. I was off of them for six months when my insurance was approved and then I started slowly back on them. After taking 5 mg a day for a week my husband saw a post from the UK that my medicine had killed people due to a rare arrhythmia.  People would be walking have no idea something was wrong and just drop dead. No warnings that they were aware of. I promptly took my medication and flushed it down the toilet. I did this because the UK paper said any dose over 20mgs was dangerous. After much research I found the the American dosage over 40mgs was dangerous. I was on, are you ready for this, 80mgs. I had been on 80mgs for ten years.

Now, some of this is my fault. I was given 80 mgs by my psychiatrist and after about two years I stopped going to him and went to my regular doctor and she would prescribe the dosage since I had a script. My folly was not realizing that a general practitioner may not know when the dosage rules for mental medications change. So I had no idea I was possibly poisoning myself. I had an EKG done and I do not have an arrhythmia.

However, after two years of not being medicated I am back to the older OCD me. I occasionally have panic attacks and I suffer anxiety. I have mood swings because I can become more easily aggravated. I have through therapy done rather well maintaining my OCD. It's not perfect, but what is? I am as functional as I can be right now and I happy with my progress. If I thought otherwise I would seek attention immediately.

The details are back and I believe that although they can bother me, I am happy to be able to "feel" my emotions. Although, I do miss the "stable" feeling that I was getting used to.  I do have some major issues since I have stopped the celexa and I believe that taking the medication may have altered something in my brain. I am not a doctor so I can not be positive but the only thing that has changed drastically in my life, is stopping my meds.

 I do not remember withdraw symptoms. I think I sweated a lot. No pains or aches. No being sick to my stomach. I really do not remember any adverse reactions. However, even after two years I have migraines. Earth shattering migraines that make me unable to function. Before I stopped celexa I have never had a migraine. Ever.

I spend much more time on my bathroom floor pleading for mercy. I now, have migraines once every three to six months. I have no idea what triggers them, just that they happen randomly and when they do I will suffer like I have never suffered before. I have no advance warning. I have no reason why. The migraines usually last twenty four hours and then mysteriously fade away. It is a living hell when they arrive and continues to be a living hell until they leave.

My other issue is that I cry. Not when I am sad or stressed. I have some inappropriate emotional response to things that make me cry. Not tear up, mind you, cry like a baby. Commercials, something nice said to me, a kind gesture can all make me cry. My husband now will watch me when we are watching a movie and see if I am going to wipe tears away. It chokes me up when talking and I find it highly embarrassing. I have always been a sensitive person but this is ridiculous, even for me. It is not a wanted emotion and it makes no commons sense what I am crying about. I once cried about a commercial that was a little boy reading a book. It wasn't sad. There was no sob story background. It was a commercial about reading and I had a waterfall coming out of my eyes and my voice cracked as I tried to talk.  It happens quite often and so I avoid sad facebook stories, sad movies, stories, or try to limit anything overly emotional  looking to when I am alone. That way I feel less embarrassed. This also started when I stopped taking celexa and had never happened before.

I am grateful that I took celexa when I needed it most. I really think it saved my life at that time, but in turn it could have killed me. I am grateful that I am no longer on it and that I still can maintain a semi-normal life. All I can offer is to please research your medications and keep track of what is being said about the safe doses. I do not know if the crying and migraines will every go away. It has been two years and they are still present in my life. I guess I will have to wait and see. The devil is in the details and I am afraid that I didn't pay enough attention to the details and may now always suffer for it. I can live with the migraines and the crying, but it could have been much worse. It could have been the arrhythmia and I might not have lived at all.

I'm not warning against taking celexa, in my case it was the only medication that ever truly worked for me. I am not saying you should take it either. I am saying that you need to be aware of all medications and their side effects. That you need to keep up with your doctor and make sure they know the current information. Research and educate and never stop updating yourself. Stay safe.

Neurotic Nelly

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