Friday, November 20, 2009

It's a Girl Thing

the chocolate orgy ended in love
Originally uploaded by Darwin Bell

I'm sharing this because I'm sure I'm not alone in doing things like this. I had to run out to the 24 hour drug store tonight (thankfully close by) because I ran out of "supplies". Normally I am prepared and have a stock of "supplies" on hand, but this month I ran out. I had a crazy day and wasn't able to get out to get some before work, so I had to go out after I came home (yeah, I could have stopped on the way home, but that would have required me to remember that I needed them before I got home). Anyway, since the store was fairly quiet (with the exception of the canned Christmas music), I spent some time browsing around for a few minutes. I came out with extra purchases, but not what I might have expected. Even after looking at Christmas gifts, I came out with 1 package of pads, 1 chocolate bar, 1 pack of cough candies and a fluffy woman's magazine. Thankfully the guy at the counter didn't bat an eye. When I left the store, I suddenly realized the combination of supplies and chocolate made a good PMS kit. Note to self, next month, buy chocolate and "supplies" before they are needed--although chocolate is OK at any time of the month!

The good news for me is that although I've adjusted my meds, the PMS was not out of control. I had a bit of a rough time at work one night, but once I was able to stop and remember it was just PMS, it was a bit easier to get back to where I needed to be. Almost 2 weeks now since I changed the dosage and I'm feeling pretty good :)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Reduced Meds, Day 5

Maple Twins
Originally uploaded by jpctalbot

So, I've got 5 days under my belt at the lower dosage of my antidepressant and I don't feel much different--which is, I guess, a good thing. The important thing is I feel in control. I'm not having any wicked mood swings and I feel pretty good. Since this medication is time-released, I'm not sure how long it will take for my body to feel the difference. I do know that people who have tried to go off of this medication find it very difficult to do. I've read countless stories of people having withdrawls from a medication which advertises itself as not being habit forming. Not that it matters as I am not intending to go off my medication, merely to reduce it a bit. It's funny, because I'm on a fairly low dosage of the medication anyway, but it does make a huge difference. I know that without antidepressants, I was a miserable, mood-swinging, unhappy person. Now I'm fairly level-mooded and I'm generally happy. I'm not dancing around singing in the rain or anything like that, but life looks pretty darn good now, know what I mean? Sure, I have down days, but the lows that I experience now are no where near the lows I once had.

So, 5 days down. Wonder what the next week will bring....

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Hand Sanitizer Overload!!

I don't know about you, but I'm getting really tired of all this talk about hand washing and sanitizing. My workplace has gone so far as to have "Handwashing Steps" and "Hand Sanitizing Steps" display on our display boards throughout the day. Seriously. Steps in washing hands. And I'm not talking "Step 1, put soap on hands", but detailed instructions on how to actually rub the soap on your hands. Really? Seriously, I'm pretty sure that as a thirty-something woman, I know how to wash my hands by now. And the hand sanitizer? Give me a break. That stuff is nasty with a capital N. Thanks so much for delivering a small, company branded bottle of it and a Health Ontario brouchure to my desk this week. And thanks too for the detailed instructions on how to apply it (just in case I was not competent enough to figure it out by myself or follow the instructions on the bottle--remind me again why you hired me??).

Not only am I being totally patronized at work about how to keep my hands clean, but we've moved to a brand new office facility which has hands-free flushing toilets, soap dispensers, taps and hand dryers (I'm sure if they could have figured out how to do hands-free ass wiping, we'd have that too). So with all this technology to get our hands clean, why do they feel the need to have a hand sanitizer dispenser (also hands free) right inside the bathroom door? Am I supposed to sanitize on the way in or the way out? If I've just finished washing my hands (following their elaborate instructions), why would I need the sanitizer? And how the heck do you open the door after you've sanitized your hands? The door opens in, so it's not like you can just push your body against it. So what exactly was the purpose of this "convieniently placed" hand sanitizer?

My daughter's school sent home forms a couple weeks ago saying that they were offering special bottles of hand sanitizer that the kids could purchase that were able to be clipped to their belt loops. Please, let's give our children an alcohol based sanitizer for them to use without supervision. Because no child ever puts their fingers in their mouths or overdoes it with applying things like hand lotion. I learned when my oldest first started school that the hand sanitizers were not a good idea. She would go into the bathroom upon returning home from school to wash her hands. Instead of using soap and water, she decided she'd use the hand sanitizer instead. Let me tell you, we went through that bottle of hand sanitizer in no time flat. She'd come out of that bathroom just reeking of rubbing alcohol. Knowing that she'd be going from cleaning her hands to eating a sandwich, I decided to get rid of the sanitizer. I didn't want her ingesting it along with her lunch. Needless to say, we declined purchasing the sanitizer from the school. I think there are better ways to reduce the spread of germs in the classroom than sanitizing and sterilizing everything and everyone.

And that, my friends is the end of my hand sanitizing rant for today. Don't worry, I'm sure we'll return to this topic again soon!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Reduced Antidepressant--Am I Crazy?

Day 4: My Breakfast for almost 5 years
Originally uploaded by choking sun

OK, before anyone freaks out thinking that I'm going to be unstable without my antidepressants, let me assure you that I have talked to my doctor about doing this. We came to the conlusion last year that because it was so close to the holidays, it would be wise to wait to reduce the Effexor XR. So that was the plan. Then my grandfather got sick in January and passed away in February and I decided I wasn't ready to make any changes.

Why now? Well, I've been on this medication for about 6 1/2 years. That's a long time (especially when I was told by my original doctor that I'd only need it 6 months--ha!). Anyway, I've been on a lower dose before and I felt pretty good at that level. The only reason I changed it up was that I was going through the post partum thing again and needed the extra boost. Now my youngest is 3 and I'm ready to make a change.

Don't get me wrong. I know I need to take this medication, but at this level, it's hard to feel. It levels out my emotions so there's no big dips, but there's also no ups. Everything feels kind of flat. And I'm ready to feel again. So, following my doctor's suggestions, I've reduced my dosage by 1/3. We'll see how it goes and if I can't cope, I'll readjust.

Today is day 2. Yesterday was probably not the best day for me to have started. It was fine in the morning, but then DH was late with the car for me to get to work. He had gotten a flat tire and had to replace the whole thing. I had to take a different route to work (on the toll highway), and then the traffic was nuts and it just wasn't good. But know what? Even though I was stressed, it wasn't that bad. I had a mild caffeine craving, but survived without it.

So I'm feeling pretty good. I guess I'll just take it a day at a time and see how it goes.

And in answer to my title, nope, I'm not crazy and neither is anyone else who has depression. Depression is something that I have, not something that I am.