Tuesday, October 20, 2009

since the down spell

I got through the down time I was having a few weeks ago. Seeing my husband that weekend and getting my meds sorted out helped a lot. Still having some ups and downs - cried over a dropped baked potato last night (was my dinner and didn't have another one to bake). Been under a lot of stress as I've mentioned before.

An update on the Siamese kitty I was concerned about - she showed up the other night, as she likes to do when my kitty is by the back door, and had a flea collar on. I feel so much better that someone is looking after her.

I've become foster mom to two 6mo old kittens from our neighborhood. They've been hanging out in my neighbor's yard and came to my yard to eat food I'd left out for the Siamese. They are both unneutered girls from the same litter. The only ways you can tell that, though, the similarity in their faces and that they are both gray. Luna is the 8 pound dominant female (below). Ruby is a petite 5 pounds and has no tail (manx-ish; top). My husband wants to keep Luna so I need to find a home for Ruby. All of the shelters in our area are not accepting any more cats. They are completely full and have even more cats in foster care. So sad! 

It's going to be hard for me to split the girls up but we already have a lovely older kitty (8yo) Aubrie and she is completely overwhelmed by the terrible twosome. Sigh.

I've taken the girls to the vet for check ups and they are both healthy, thankfully. I think Luna will be going into heat soon so I need to get her fixed. Ruby seems to be underdeveloped socially so I'm working with her to hopefully bring her up to speed. They are both litter trained, which is nice. Oddly, or coincidentally, or unfortunately(?), there is a very friendly male cat in the neighborhood who lives across the street from the street's mailbox and has a striking resemblance to my kitties. He likes to follow me home and get lots of scratches (he drools though - blech). His meow is also high-pitched and soft like Ruby's. My guess is he got someone else's cat pregnant. The girls are not feral but they are WILD around the house like the crazy kittens they are. They are a lot to handle and it seems someone was not interested in doing so. Now that they've been treated for fleas and have regular food, water, and shelter, they seem quite happy.

I am most concerned for Aubrie, who is regularly terrorized by one or the other of the kittens. Ruby likes to block Aubrie's way through any door or hallway, and Luna loves to bat at Aubrie's tail when she is eating (I figure Luna is used to Ruby's lack of tail!). I've kept Aubrie in my room at night so we have some peace. I am also experimenting with keeping the kittens in a room together so Aubrie can freely roam the house again (good plan so far). I'm just waiting for Luna to open the door though - the doors are handles not knobs, and Luna jumps up and pulls down on the handle to open the door. We'll see when I get back home! Yikes!

It's been an interesting journey with cats lately. I've wanted to be a foster mom, just didn't expect it to be for kitties! Well, they do keep me distracted from the loneliness at home without my husband. A project of sorts.

Not much to report re: EDS. My fingers hurt from the change in weather and my neck hurts when I wake up. I got a new nightguard for my teeth/jaw. I'm still adjusting but I think it will help save my jaw from further deterioration (not good on one side). I guess the thing that bothers me most is my mood and a lot of that has to do with my current circumstances.

I am really looking forward to meeting Niki and Nicole in Seattle. I think there is a lot of potential for friendships that might make the transition away from CA a bit easier. Just a few more weeks (~6?)!

Thanks for all your warm thoughts and I want you to know they've helped. Hugs to my 'interesting people'!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


So, I managed to get my PCP to send in an order for 4 days of meds since my psych was out of the office. Did you know that Cymbalta is $7/day?!!! I don't know how people without insurance manage. The order from NextRx was in my mailbox when I got home that Friday night so I was covered no matter what, thank goodness!

I had also picked up my husband that evening for a surprise visit that weekend. I have to say that being with my husband really helped my depression and anxiety. It had been 2 weeks without seeing him.

It was my step-daughter's birthday the following week so we spent Sunday with her up at college. We had a nice lunch and took a lovely walk. She is such a love.

My pain meds make such a difference in my state of mind and cognitive clarity.

So, the stress of work and living apart, not taking my pain meds regularly, and other pressures seem to be contributing to my anxiety. I'm trying to take a bit more control over several issues and it seems to be working.

Just wanted to give you an update. Thanks for the warm thoughts. I hope to get back to some of you regarding your comments - it's taken me a while to get on track from my funk.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Anxious and depressed

I've always struggled with severe anxiety and depression but have managed with meds and other coping mechanisms. I've been going through a tough time for the last few of weeks with a resurgence of "could care less" and wanting to hide under the covers and sleep all day.

Every year for the last 5+, I get a medication-resistant depression/anxiety spell that lasts from August - November. It is not SAD, as I don't have this messiness in the middle of winter. I started meds last year to work on treating this specific type of depression and it has helped dramatically until now (the end of September).

There are several factors that have changed in my life recently (last few months) that could easily contribute to my feelings.
1) my husband is living in another state for a job
2) I'm on a new med (switched from effexor to cymbalta)
3) I can't stand meat - I'm completely grossed out by it
4) I'm more sensitive (empathic) since switching meds (this issue went away with effexor)
5) two of my husband's immediate family members died during the summer and now my grandfather is dying

I am irritable, exhausted, unfocused, am not eating right (though I take my vitamins), don't sleep well (worse than usual), want to cry, don't want to do anything I don't have to (including waiting as long as possible to do laundry, food shopping, cleaning the house, and other essentials), and don't want to reach out to anyone. I've also been having horrible dreams this week.

The authors of a recently published letter (PDF is on the EDNF.org web site) in response to an article on depression symptoms, states that virtually every symptom described in the article is also present in EDS. Yes, there is a higher prevalence of depression and anxiety in people with chronic pain, as well as those with family members diagnosed with depression. I'm 90% sure I've inherited my EDS from both sides of my family, and those with the stronger EDS symptoms are the ones with worse depression (or vice versa - chicken and egg hypothesis).While the published letter gave me so much hope because the psychiatry field is hopefully going to recognize EDS some day, it doesn't help me in this moment.

I am super anxious about my medication. I sent my prescription to a mail-in service (NextRx) and have been given notice that the meds are in the mail. However, I am now officially out of meds as of today and it's Friday. I am freaking out about the possibility of going through the whole weekend without meds, if they are not in today's mail! I just called my Psych MD and found out she is not in the office on Fridays and will not be able to call in a script for only 4 days of meds until Monday. Those who take any long-term drugs like this know we can't just stop taking them. A co-worker suggested I call back and ask for the physician on call who might be able to help. The receptionist I originally got was basically treating me like "so what?" I don't think she's ever been on medication or else she would not have responded to me with such attitude.

I got an idea just now. I think I'll call my regular MD to see if she can call in meds for me! Ah, that would ease my mind. She knows I am not crazy and am not a drug-seeker.

Hopefully this depression will end soon. I haven't seen my husband in two weeks but he surprised me yesterday by telling me he is coming home tonight!

I am not a good diary keeper, but blogging seems to be helpful. It is a bit strange that I can put things out there to complete strangers. Thank you for listening.

May you have a bright and lovely day.