I've been superstitiously avoiding my blog, but it's time to get a grip. The last few times I posted about feeling better, I immediately felt worse, and while that might happen again, I miss writing it, and several readers have been so kind as to say they miss reading it, so there it is.
What's happened since I last posted is a lot of ups and downs in terms of how I've been feeling. Finally in September I had a full-blown panic attack over absolutely nothing, and that sent me back to my doctors willing to try the SSRI I'd pooh-poohed earlier in the summer. And wow, let me just say again how very glad I am to be living now rather than, say, in the mid-nineteenth century. Zoloft is much, much better than a few weeks in the country for an attack of the nerves. So I was on it for a couple of months, and now I'm weaning off it (with doctor's supervision) because I want to get pregnant and my GP and I agree that there was something of a perfect storm this summer that created this anxiety, and I'm unlikely to need medication forever -- so this seems a good time to try getting off it. And just the notion that I can go back to it later if I want to is a great comfort.
It's still shocking to me how many purely physical symptoms could be chalked up to the anxiety. When I went on the Zoloft, I was experiencing spikes of anxiety (often unrelated to any events or trains of thought -- just out of the blue), but also periods of extreme nausea and dizziness. I expected the Zoloft to take care of the anxiety and allow me to analyse the other symptoms without freaking out over them. Instead, they all went away. Though, to be fair, my GP discovered I had a B-12 deficiency and I started taking B-12 at the same time, so it's not altogether clear which issues were solved by the SSRI and which by the vitamin.
Anyway, even on the Zoloft -- and I was on what could be considered a half dose, just 25 mg -- I still had occasional spikes of anxiety, which I was able to treat effectively with Valium. And as time went on, I was able to wait longer and longer before taking the Valium to see if the anxiety went away, since I knew from experience that I'd be able to zap it if I needed to. And what I found was that mostly I could breathe through it, do a few yoga poses, or distract myself, and it would go away rather than building. Which makes me feel more confident about coming off the Zoloft and getting pregnant, when I won't have the safety net of the Valium. And can I just say how cruel and awful it is that there's nothing perfectly safe to take for anxiety during pregnancy? What kind of nasty trick is that?
So. Back to parenting, I hope, and not so much about my health in this here blog. And thanks again to all of you who reached out while I was feeling wretched or told me that you missed the blog -- you're peaches, every one of you.