Monday, August 4, 2008

Relapse

Won't you look down upon me, Jesus
You've got to help me make a stand
You've just got to see me through another day
My bodys aching and my time is at hand
And I wont make it any other way

-James Taylor "Fire and Rain"

It is hard to even think about, much less, post about the events of the past week- staring down at my nightmare in type form- frightened to death that it will come to life again just because I am putting the words onto the page. I had a serotonin "overdose" (from a mix of my normal SSRI anti-depressant and the amino-acid 5HTP- a "natural" supplement prescribed to me by my well-meaning acupuncturist)on Sunday the 28th, sending me back to the Emergency Room for the sixth time since April. Though I was discharged six hours later, after it was determined that I would not proceed into a coma or other less-than-conscious state (typical of serotonin syndrome), the side effects were horrendous and mimicked what I had suffered through three months earlier, while withdrawing from a popular but mistakenly prescribed anti-depressant. For seventy-two hours I battled hard against something called akathesia, where I could not lay down or sit for more than a few minutes without thinking I was going to jump right out of my skin. So I walked...and walked...and walked...for miles and miles. Then I sobbed...and screamed...and thought I was dying. I tried to have acupuncture but I couldn't sit still. I tried to meditate but I couldn't sit still. I begged Tom to help- but he couldn't. So he and my neighbor, Donna, just kept me going- kept me alive. Tom sat in her livingroom, as I paced from one end of the house to the other, begging them both to promise me it would end ("what if this never goes away? please tell me it's going to go away...I can't live like this...I just want it all to be over". ) At one point, Donna just shook me and told me I had to stay alive and we were going to get through- that I just needed to hang on another day. I didn't think I would make it through another minute- but I did. And it was awful and horrible and frightening and worse than anything I've ever had to endure in my whole life.

Now I am sitting here, a week later, and I feel mostly normal, though the trauma of these recent events sits just under my skin- where I can feel it rising every so often and it scares me that life could be this hard and nothing but living through it will make it any better.

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Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
Forty-three year-old, mother and staunch advocate of four young children, passionate warrior of truth and self, finding the soul in each day, sharing my struggles and triumphs as I live them. Mostly I do this for me, so my thoughts don't race as much at night as they used to. But I also give this to those of you who need to know, in any or every way, that you are not alone.

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