Saturday, February 28, 2015

Anxiety Adventures #13: Meds Meds Meds

It's been a while since I wrote anything, so here's an update. I'm slowly tapering off Venlafaxine. Two days ago, I forgot to take my pill before I left the house. I live about 40 minutes from Salt Lake City, and I was heading there when I realized I'd forgotten. Suppressing panic, I told myself I could make it there and back before I felt the repurcussions. I was right, but shortly after returning home I felt overwhelmingly tired and dizzy. Unbelievably, it took me two more hours to realize I still needed to take my dang pill. The rest of the day was spent laying on the couch, trying to calm my brain. I couldn't concentrate, had trouble focusing (mentally and physically) and was so dizzy I couldn't really do anything. It's outrageously frustrating to lose an entire day because of missing one little pill!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

2014: The Year in Review

This is mostly for my personal use in the future, because I can barely remember what happened last week without checking my calendar, and one day I might wonder, "What year did I actually, in fact, lose my mind?" and I can skim through my blogs and hopefully find it. The date, not my mind. That's long gone.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Anxiety Adventures #12: Back to Square One?

It's been almost a year since I started taking 17.5 mg of Venlafaxine (Effexor) for my anxiety, and at first it was great-- it seemed to really help a lot. Then it didn't anymore. About 6 months in, I talked to my doc and she suggested increasing the dosage to 37.5 mg, so I went with that. 6 more months have passed and guess what? Yep. Tolerance, so it's not working anymore. 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Adult Tonsillectomy: My Day by Day Recovery Journal

Some of these entries were, admittedly, written while I was on pain meds, so if I sound less lucid or articulate than normal, that's why. :)

5 Things That Are More Fun than a Tonsillectomy

I've lived about half of my life, and I've had a bunch of unpleasant experiences. These are things I would rather do again before I would ever have another tonsillectomy. (Thank goodness you can only go through it once!)
  1. That time in high school when I kicked a vending machine (that stole my money!) and my big toe nail turned black, died, and fell off. It was very painful and took months to heal. I learned my lesson about kicking things in anger while wearing sandals...
  2. Food poisoning. While extremely unpleasant, at least it only lasts about a day.
  3. Root Canal- I've only done this once, and it was awful. I couldn't let them put the wedge thing in my teeth to help me hold my mouth open because it gags me, so I had to just hold my jaw stretched open for the full hour and a half. Fun times. Still better than my tonsillectomy.
  4. Wisdom Teeth Extraction. I like to do things the hard way, so I also waited to have my wisdom teeth out until I was an adult. I was about 30 when I finally got them out, primarily because one of them was growing sideways into a molar and had caused a huge, gaping hole to form in the molar. (Hence #3...) Following the extraction of all 4 teeth, my face swelled up and was all bruised looking and I couldn't eat or talk for a week, and then not normally for another two. After everything else had healed, I had a TON of pain where one of my stitches poked into my cheek and made canker sores. When even that was finally healed, I had a funny numb feeling in the lower front jaw area on one side. Still today it isn't normal in that area. It isn't numb, but it isn't 100% normal, either. 
  5. Childbirth. Times 4. I've had 4 babies, three of whom I had some pain meds with, but one (my biggest baby, who got stuck a little on his way out) I decided to try "natural" childbirth and had no drugs with. It was agony. But even that was better than a tonsillectomy. Plus, I got to take home a sweet baby afterwards, so... bonus!
I'm on about day 21 after my surgery, and I'm still having some discomfort in my throat. My uvula is still swollen and I keep feeling like I need to spit out phlegm (TMI, I know), but spitting doesn't help. I can only assume this is scar tissue or the last, lingering scabs coming off. It's been an awful, horrible, terrible journey. One I'm glad I will never have to take again.

In a few weeks, hopefully I will begin to feel some positive effects from having had the surgery-- including sleeping better and hopefully my body will start feeling less fatigued all the flipping time and I can get back to living life like I was meant to.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

10 Tips For Surviving Adult Tonsillectomy

I recently chronicled my experience having my tonsils out at age 41. Here's a handy guide for the rest of you. If you are an adult planning your own or your child's tonsillectomy/adenoidectomy, these are the best tips I found and used:

Friday, June 6, 2014

The Bad Good News

I've been neglecting my blogs for a month. It's been a month full of emotional roller coaster stuff and busy end-of-school stuff. But I'm still here. :)

Yesterday, I finally dragged myself to an ENT (I was SO anxious beforehand, I don't know why I'm such a chicken!!) and I was surprised by how well it went. 

First of all, I told him that I had been diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue 8 or 9 years ago (though I suspect I've had it since my third son was born in 1999... so it's his fault, right?) and that I had this Strep Titer thing showing up in my blood back then and when I recently went back for more tests, it is still there and the numbers don't go down, even if I take antibiotics, etc. but that I haven't had strep in years, etc. I was afraid he would tell me I'm nuts and that he couldn't help me with that.

Instead, he said exactly what I've been thinking: that if my immune system is constantly chasing some strep thing around, that could cause CFS.

He also asked me if I wake up a lot at night, which I do, and he said that since my tonsils are chronically enlarged, that they will cause me not to get enough air at night-- not quite like Sleep Apnea, because I am able to breathe normally, but my brain won't let me sleep as deeply as I should because of the airway obstruction. Wow. Makes sense that I'm always exhausted!

So he said since I have two valid and pressing reasons to do it, I should just go for it and get my tonsils out. 

I've felt prompted to go do this for a long time now and I've been so afraid that I just couldn't bring myself to do it. Now I'm really regretting that. Now I have to have it done at my age (I'm 41, which is very old for this kind of procedure... but I like to do things the hard way- I had my wisdom teeth out when I was about 31) and I've heard the painful recovery lasts 10-14 days and will make me wish I was dead. 

I don't like pain.

I'm not going to enjoy this. I will probably turn from Sleepy into Grumpy...

However, I've found some good tips online about using ice packs or heating pads to help with swelling and ear pain, staying on schedule with pain meds, even setting an alarm during the night so the pain doesn't have a chance to overwhelm me, making sure to drink something at least every 15 minutes (even at night?), etc.

I've also read horror stories. I won't lie to you-- I'm terrified.

I will probably go into hibernation for a month after the procedure (on July 2). If you miss me, bring me a smoothie or a milkshake... oooh, or a wild cherry shaved ice... I could live with a Slurpee or popsicles, too. Hey, on the upside, I might lose weight during this process. 

So wish me luck and I'll let you know how it goes.