Keep Calm – It’s only the side effects!
So, I am one week into the anti-depressants and it has been an ‘interesting’ time. Firstly, let me assure you that I have not been terrorised by drug induced ‘weird dreams’. Freddy Krueger has stayed away and for this I am most grateful. Having said that, there are a few other symptoms which I put down to my new medication.
Firstly, my appetite has gone! I don’t feel unwell or nauseous but I certainly don’t feel hungry. OK, so I managed to eat a whole pile of Ferrero Rocher one day but that’s about it! My trousers feel a little loose but who cares?! I’m a ‘woman of a certain age’ and the opportunity to shed a few pounds will always be welcome! I have also had some skull splitting headaches and a tendency to clench my teeth even whilst awake.
Oh yes and there was a rather nasty incident on Tuesday afternoon. Now I had to think carefully about mentioning this, but I did say I would be honest so here it is. At approximately 3.30pm, whilst sitting quietly on my sofa, I was hit by sudden and uncontrollable diarrhoea. There was no warning; just an exchange of horrified looks between me and Hubby (he was also on a day off work) followed by a mad dash to the loo where I wept and wailed with mortification.
Other than that time I ate a dodgy prawn in China, I have NEVER suffered from such an incident and I can only assume that this was a side effect of the medication. There has been no repeat of this sorry event so I am hopeful that it was a ‘one off’. Hubby though the whole thing was quite funny and assured me that it was ‘nothing to worry about’. I had to disagree though – shitting oneself on the sofa, on a Tuesday afternoon, is ALWAYS something to worry about.
Anyway, let’s not dwell on this unpleasant topic. Let’s talk about whether the medication is doing any good! For the last week I have been pointedly asking myself how I feel but the answer is ‘I AM STILL ANXIOUS’.
I’ve only been taking the anti-depressants for a few days so I must not be impatient. I must not be disheartened by the nail-biting I have endured over East – West relations or my panic at the dementia which continues to steal my precious Dad. This is normal. It is OK to worry about such things.
It would, however, be nice if I could stop staring bleakly at Hubby every time he has an itch because I am worried he might have terminal cancer; or if I could stop myself drifting into visions in which I am old, lonely and abused by care home staff. It would be great if I did not feel the need to call my Sister just to check that my nephews have not been skittled off the pavement by a drunk driver on the way to the school.
Yes – it would be very nice to rid myself of such thoughts, but therein lies my latest worry. What if this medication doesn’t work? What if these black thoughts simply go on and on until my dying day. It is an unbearable prospect and so, my decision to try anti-depressants, has also brought a determination to try other techniques too – a bit like a back-up plan in case the medication does not work.
First up is my new ‘sugar free’ lifestyle! There is plenty of good reason to give up the sweet stuff but I am struck, in particular, by the suggestion that cutting out sugar can stabilise one’s mood, increase energy levels and improve sleep. Of course I don’t believe everything I read but I am fortunate in being able to draw from my own experience of cutting out sugar. I followed a similar programme about 15 years ago and I genuinely felt great at both a physical and emotional level. I have no idea if this can be replicated now I am older – but I am willing to give it a try!
I have told Hubby that he needs to join me on this health kick and he has grudgingly agreed. He is a happy soul but, like me, he is a sugar addict and I fear that our eating habits have put us both on a one way path to heart failure and Type 2 Diabetes. We are feeling smug about the potential health benefits but there is an even greater reason for us to go ‘sugar free’ as a couple. Frankly, our relationship would never survive if he can have Tiramisu but I can’t.
So, in a final act of denial, I ransack the cupboards and devour as much sugary stuff as I can. When I am sated I throw the rest in the bin and take a deep breath. The purge starts now.
Next Week – “You Are What You Eat!”