Here's My Story

Saturday, August 31, 2013

I know it's been a long time. I'd love to apologize, but I cannot be stressing out right now about things that aren't terribly important. This blog has been fun, and I'll continue to post, but I can't stress about posting everything I eat every day. I'll try to focus more on posting at least some recipes on Mondays for Meatless Mondays. But I did want to let you all in on what's been going on with me. So here it goes.

I know I've mentioned the whole thing about not taking my birth control (Yaz - yes, I know) anymore. It has created more trouble for me than I could have imagined. A lot of the time, I felt like I was the only one going through something like this, like no one would be able to help me. And then there were times when all I wanted was to go to the hospital so medical professionals could save me. Google told me that MANY women getting off Yaz had these symptoms. I was glad I wasn't alone, but I don't want ANYONE to go through any of this. Here are the basics in a list because that's how I roll:

  • Major hair thinning/loss
  • Panic attacks
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Hormone imbalance
  • Lack of sex drive
  • Lethargy
That's just the basics. There are things I can barely explain. Things like wanting to crawl out of my skin, needing to go to Urgent Care because I just wasn't myself anymore, and feeling like I was going absolutely insane. For hours I'd feel like I was about to have a heart attack. For days after these episodes I'd feel like I was about to drop dead. I didn't think my body could handle the stuff I was going through. I could see myself grabbing a gun and shooting myself in the head to end it, and that scared me! I didn't want that! I never have. I don't want to die. But the depression and unease in my own body felt like more than I could take.

The symptoms would stick around for days. I'd feel physical pains in my chest, head, and stomach and think I was dying. I felt like I couldn't trust my own body to tell me if I was safe or about to die. I felt like I was stuck in my brain, and it was a scary, awful, terrifying place to be for a while. Even now, a headache makes me worried about impending death. Ugh.

I got my thyroid checked (normal) and I had an EKG done (normal). I saw three doctors in a week. Guess what they all did? Every one of them prescribed me medication or suggested a pill to take. I was prescribed Buspirone, Effexor, and Ativan. It was suggested to me that I take Lexapro as well. I was even told to just go back on the pill. No one wanted to hear about the probably hormone imbalance from getting off the pill. They heard anxiety and depression and wanted to cover that up. There are a couple different things from my past that make me wary of taking pills, so I took none of them.

When looking up the Lexapro, I found Panic Away. Listening to that man talk truly settled my feelings about the anxiety and depression. I realized I wasn't crazy and wouldn't feel like this forever, even though it felt like I certainly would be locked up in a mental institution soon or crazy in a hospital, left like a vegetable. Ugh.

Then I met with a therapist. After spilling my story, she advised me to only take the Ativan if I absolutely needed it. Luckily, I haven't yet. And the Panic Away techniques and information really helped me take power of my situation. The anxiety and panic fed the depression, and then the depression would feed the anxiety and panic. Panic logic, as I call it, allows this to continue, so once I learned to stop feeling the panic and anxiety, I was able to ease the hormonal depression by listening to my body in a better way. I'm also still seeing the therapist. She's been helping me with the leftover thoughts and feelings about death and dying.

I've also looked into adrenal fatigue. A lot of this was brought on by stress, change, and medication, but stress is always something I've been bad at dealing with. I generally avoided it, but I put myself in a situation where stress was constantly glaring at me. Two jobs, school, two blogs, a husband, many pets, a house, friends, family, a whole lifelystle change, and no time for myself really kicked me in the butt. I've since learned. And I think my adrenals are tired of being overworked. So now I'm working on myself. I'm still editing and I'm still working at the bank, but I'm taking a break with school and making time for my family, friends, and pets in a way that doesn't stress me out. I'm making time for myself as well. It feels good.

One day at a time, people. That's TRULY all we have.

Eat your fruits and veggies, kids.


Asheley (@BookwormAsheley) said...

Hang in there!

ALSO, thank you for helping me change my lifestyle and be healthier. (:

Michelle Kampmeier said...

Asheley - Thank you very much for your kind words. I'm so glad you've embraced some health! It feels good! <3

Daija Blue said...

Sorry to hear you are going through all of this. I can relate. In February, I found out I have hypothyroidism, and I am also going through menopause. All of this is from the chemo and radiation treatments. It has been so horrible. I am taking the medicine (for me, I had to). I had been eating very healthy and getting rest but had zero energy. I gained 10 pounds eating vegetables. Today, I am about 80% better. The hormones are trying to get back into balance. I am not happy with the menopause pills. I just couldn't stand the hot flashes especially at work. The thyroid pills help a lot. I have the same symptoms plus some as you, so I understand how you feel. It makes it hard when you have to continue working and living your life. It would be so nice to be able to take off enough time from your life to get fully better.

Michelle Kampmeier said...

Daija Blue - Thank you. I can't imagine going through cancer, so you're a rock star. The symptoms are hard, but we get through it, don't we? It is seriously hard when all I wanted was a break from real life to focus on recovering, but we push through. I've learned how to balance things better, so I hope you have as well. <3

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