Thursday, September 8, 2011

All Your Life, You've Never Seen A Woman Taken By The Wind

Yesterday was complete and utter hell.

I've mentioned before that my doctor had put me on medication to help me deal with my anxiety disorder. I've been on them since May and, with a few side effects I could manage, they seemed to help me feel more balanced. Less anxiety; more reasons to get outta bed in the morning.

When I started the pills, my doctor was sure to tell me, "Don't ever suddenly stop taking them."

Well, I didn't plan to.

A few weeks back, I called my doctor's office to make an appointment to renew my prescription. She told me that I didn't need an appointment, I just had to get my pharmacist to fax the doctor and get it renewed.

Shazam. Simple. So I did.

But when I later called my pharmacist to make sure I could come get my pills, they said my doctor hadn't responded. Strange.

Then came the long weekend. No doctor around. Still no answer, and therefore no prescription.

I had run out of pills. Completely.

It started with dizzy spells. They became more frequent but I figured if that was the only withdrawal symptom I had, I would be ok.

Next came the headaches. I've been prone to headaches and migraines all my life, so I naively assumed it would be gone by morning. I was wrong.

The next day, my headache had worsened. So had the dizziness. Added to it were non-stop puking, chills, sweats, and a feeling that my brain was disconnected from the rest of my body. I had a difficult time speaking, and my thoughts were completely out of control. I hurt, badly.

Luckily my friend was there to help me out, and he got down to the problem between my pharmacy and my doctor. It was a fax machine issue - thanks, technology. You messed me up, largely.

The pharmacist knew the severity of Cymbalta withdrawal, and helped me out. Thankfully, I was able to feel a lot better by last night. I never want to go through that again.

I don't have the words to fully explain what it felt like, because there aren't any. It's a medication that deals with the brain, and so the brain is badly affected when the medication suddenly stops.

Learn as much as you can about every medication you take. And if you need to get off of it, prepare to slowly wean yourself from it safely. Suicide is a big issue with people who are suddenly without these types of medication. I didn't know that before.

Consider this a long-ass Public Service Announcement, children.

But I promise, my next post will be a happier one. I'll be up north this weekend, attending the long-awaited wedding of Shaun and Patrick. And yes... I'll have my medication, and therefore won't throw up all over the wedding party.



Gage1 said...

I was given three different types of anti-anxiety/depression meds a few years ago...and ended up not taking any of them long-term because of the various side effects and my fear of this sort of thing!

Kris said...

That's why I never took them until recently. Now that I have a better idea of what I'm getting into, that won't happen again.

blepharisma said...

Yikes! That sounds awful. I hope you're doing better now.

... and I thought my stage fright medication sounded scary

Friend said...

Great post, Kris. Honest and strong enough to show your vulnerability.

Kris said...

bleph - are there withdrawal issues with that one??

friend - Why thank you, sir. Nice thing to say!

Alyson said...

Wow! Thank you for being so honest, a post like this is rare these days. I'm so glad to hear things are getting back to normal and look forward to your next, happier post.

xo dollface

Kris said...

Thanks, chick. You're the best!

Anonymous said...

I once took a medication like that for depression and decided one day I wanted to get off them. My symptoms after that dumb idea were similar to yours but I didn't go back on the medication and wean myself off as you mentioned. I felt like hell for weeks and could not function.I'm glad you wrote this so people know better.

Kris said...

Thanks anon. Sorry to hear you had such a bad time after. A few days was awful for me, I can't imagine weeks like that.

andrewii said...

I hope you're feeling better now ;)

Kris said...

Thanks Andrew, I am!

mister belding said...

Dude that is scary. Glad you're good now.

Kris said...

Ha! Mr. Belding. Love it.

5:10 poet said...

That is a scary story. Best to ween of the criptions next time or risk a Winehouse. Not that you had a choice. Your Dr. fucked up and left your life in the hands of beeps squeals and eeawwws. Dr. should have left you a back up walk-in clinic option, if need be, and unfortunately need beed.

I would prescribe your anxiety activities to leak off your excess energy, like drawing/painting, arts n crafts, sports, working out, whatever, you get my picture. But I am anti-establishment when the establishment isn't particularly hospitable, as is, in my opinion, the case with prescription meds.

Well you are better now, that is all that matters. I prescribe you a good day maam. Good day!

5:10 poet

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