Tag Archives: doctor

A light at the end of the tunnel…

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…and it’s not the 7:42 to Reading.

Great news. I’m on the last week of the Couch to 5K program.

This week I will be running for 30 minutes without stopping. Admittedly, I’m not doing 5K yet but that will come!

Another good thing is that I’ve now started working two days a week at my favourite place and I love it.

I’m really getting back into studying my nutrition course and that’s going well.  It’s getting to the fun part where I actually have to start doing advisory type assignments – doing meal plans etc…

As for the running I will be dropping down to twice a week but running for longer hopefully further. I will crack this 5K.  I will however be supplementing all this busy-ness with a good long bike ride at the weekend. I’m at the stage now where I can’t not be active…

At least today I did break through that elusive 4km mark – even though it did involve 30 minutes of running + 10 minutes of walking.  Still, considering 8 weeks ago I was struggling to run for 1 minute without my life flashing in front of my eyes, I think I’ve done quite well!  And if I can do it, anyone can.  I mean, seriously, anyone can!

I went to the doctors today… I can now drop down to 10 mg Citalopram every other day, which is wonderful. The biggest surprise was when she asked me if I minded there being another doctor in there. It was a doctor that was just coming back from maternity leave and was finding her feet again. Lo and behold it was the very same doctor that saw me when I had my breakdown last year. So we greeted each other, I asked her about the baby and my doctor commented that obviously when we knew each other.

Only the last time the newly returned doctor saw me, I was a crumbling scrap of barely-there humanity; less than half a knock away from ending it all. My doctor complimented me on my progress, saying that the reason I have made such a good recovery is that I’ve been proactive. I’ve sought help; I’ve had counselling; I’m doing the exercise.

I’m fighting back.

So to speak.

Apparently there is a trend among some people to be quite submissive (that’s not quite the word I want) to depression and that they do seek help but they take the tablets and accept that this is their fate. They are still feeling powerless and continue to take medication because they feel there is no other way out.

Actually that kind of sounds like depression itself to me but…

There is always a choice.

It can be done!

One heck of a week!

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WARNING: for those of a sensitive disposition who choose to be offended by anything and everything, today’s post contains scenes of shameless self publicising.

It really has been an incredible week. So much has happened. On Tuesday, my first published book, “Our Little Miracle” appeared on Amazon. Here’s the link… http://www.amazon.co.uk/Our-Little-Miracle-Thérésa-Hedges-ebook/dp/B00XK1AIDK/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1431691790&sr=8-1&keywords=our+little+miracle

Ebook_Cover_HR

Right, that’s the shameless self publicity over and done with!

I celebrated with a rather large bowl of ice cream (’cause that’s how I roll) which led to the inevitable ice cream toothache. Unfortunately, the wretched toothache turned into a face-ache that lasted the entire night, right through to the morning and well into the next day. The only respite I got from it was from taking some paracetamol, which I hate doing. I would get at the most two hours relief from it: the first hour it would be dying down as the tablets kicked in, then two hours of pseudo-relief and then in the final hour it wound itself back up again as the tablets were wearing off.  This actually continued into the next day as well which meant that the most I was only getting three hours sleep. I decided to go and see the dentist.

However, in the midst of this dental drama, I went to see my doctor to see how I was getting on with coming off the Citalopram. She was very pleased with my progress and suggested that I can now go down to 10 mg each day. Hurray!! She was also extremely pleased with how I’m getting on with the running and the exercise (more about that in a minute).

There was one amusing misunderstanding when she asked me how I was getting on with the weight loss side of things and was I having any problems and I said yes, I was still having a problem with not drinking enough. She looked at me extremely perplexed. “How do you mean?” she asked me and I replied to that of the eight glasses of water a day I was supposed to drink, I was managing about four or five but at least now I was getting closer to the eight recommended. She sighed with relief “Oh!” She replied “I thought you meant alcohol! I knew that couldn’t be right, as I know you don’t drink!” But we had a little bit of a chuckle about that.

And then she weighed me. That was the bit I was actually dreading. It turns out my weight hasn’t changed over the past month which, actually, it’s a good thing as at least it’s not going up any more. The doctor said that I may not appear to be losing weight because quite simply I’m losing fat and gaining muscle because of all the aerobic exercise I’m doing. That’s a relief!

Another good bit of news I had while I was about the diabetes test I had last time. I have spent a quite anxious month waiting for the result. I got the results. I’m not diabetic! I gave a loud sigh of relief and said ‘Thank God’ (and I wasn’t blaspheming). I guess I kind of suspected that I wasn’t,  but it is a fear that hangs over the family. Thankfully I have managed to dodge that particular genetic bullet. She said “Oh dear, you were worrying about it were are you? I would have phoned you if there had been a problem.” I said I know but it was just nice to hear her say it out loud!

On to the dentist. I have a lovely dentist. I haven’t had to have anything done for three whole years but this visit was different. Luckily I phoned for an appointment and got one at less than two hours later. I was so relieved and I got there and found that the problem had been a wisdom tooth.

I didn’t even know I had any wisdom teeth! Not because of my general lack of wisdom, but simply because I have a very small mouth (contrary to popular opinion). I was just very glad to have this raging pain dealt with once and for all. As much as I hate injections, I was actually really, really looking forward to this particular one. And as soon as they gave me the injection I said to the doctor the dentist actually I’m good now thank you very much!

Luckily he knows my sense of humour as well as I know his and the drilling started. Part of the problem with the wisdom tooth is that, because of the lack of space, it hadn’t come out fully so was still half in my jaw which explains why I had this excruciating pain in my jaw because I suppose the problem went right up into my jaw. I now have a temporary filling containing lovely, lovely clove oil.

I’m going back after the weekend to get the permanent one put in. Now this may seem quite irrelevant to a general rant about antidepressants but bear with me. I did look into this and I’m not saying at all that’s medication causes bad teeth. Obviously not! No! But previously I had been using an amazing home-made toothpaste which all the time I had been using it had been completely foxing my dentist. He kept complaining jovially that my teeth are too good and what the heck was I doing that he had nothing to do!

It is an amazing toothpaste. Here is the recipe for it

http://shazzie.com/blog/how-to-make-toothpaste/

it’s made by the lovely Shazzie Love. Seriously, you have to try this – it’s great stuff and cheaper than you’d think.

Of course, during the depression, if I wasn’t that fond of leaving the house I certainly wasn’t going to have the motivation to make my own toothpaste. And that I think is possibly where the problem started. I’ve done a little bit of research, and it seems that Citalopram and other SSRI medications can cause dryness of the mouth (I now finally know the meaning of the American phrase cotton mouth or cotton wool mouth) Couple that with my lack of drinking (water!), and you have less saliva to wash away all those nasty little bacteria which lead to dental cavities. As I’ve said the tablets themselves do not not not cause dental cavities. But the combination of the lessened amount of saliva plus the er, slide in personal hygiene which I’m sure a few people have experienced will lead to problems with your gnashers.

And so now, I’m back on that particular case. I will just say to anybody on medication for depression please please please drink water, chew gum, use this toothpaste, anything to look after your teeth. I realise now this could have been avoided. if you’re in this situation, please avoid it if you can.
Anyway, one light note about all this is that obviously the dentist had to ask me if I was on any medication. I told him that I was on Citalopram. He had obviously heard of it and seemed very surprised. “You’re the last person I would be expecting to be on antidepressants!” he said.

And don’t forget the embarrassingly hilarious after-effects of the injection… It’s as close as a non-drinker ever gets to drunk dialling!

One such message I sent to the hubby was (sic)

“It’s raining and I’ve got av pretty pink hooid!”

And it sort of continued in that vein.  Luckily I never sent the final message, which was to tell him that I was home and was about to start preparing for the dinner we were having with friends that evening. Or, as I put it…

“Im home an I’m going to sstart cutting thinggs up. like a pirate. ah-ah-arrr” 

And then, of course, there is today. The final day of week five of Couch to 5K. Today is the day I had to do a serious run.

And I did it!

20 minutes running without stopping. Just like Laura the lady on the App says by week five you’re building on a lot of work so everything has led up to this points – being able to run that little bit longer. I was so pleased, no, scratch that, overjoyed that I think my eyes started sweating too.

So there you go, that’s my week. The week in which I did I became a published writer, became a more accomplished runner, and which I got the motivation to start making my own toothpaste again.

Have a great weekend everybody!

I know I will!

What, no chocolate?!

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4th March

A week ago I went to see the doctor to see whether I could cut down the medication. I was told that, given my disruptive sleeping patterns and my ongoing tendency to have panic attacks that it would be best to stay on my current level of medication. A bit gutted at that. And then… I made a joke that when I get anxious, my hubby helps to calm me down, but if I get too anxious he just stands well back and throws chocolate at me. The doctor asks if I ate a lot of chocolate… I, er, said that, I er, ate it every now and again. I was then told to avoid chocolate.

Who says that?!

I think that was more upsetting than the tablet thing. Oh well… It’s been a week since I’ve had any (after teasing a friend for giving up chocolate for Lent – Karma!) and I don’t know what I can attribute to the lack of chocolate in my bloodstream, and what are the effects of withdrawal from the medication…

The insomnia itself is starting to wear off, and is now being replaced by the urge to sleep the clock round. For instance, last night I fell asleep before midnight, and I only woke up at 11am.  But I know that tonight I will still probably fall asleep around midnight, rather than stupid o’clock in the morning!

I’m getting lots of headaches and general aches as well, which is less fun.

That’s the thing with depression, you see – happy pills alone won’t work.  If the depression has been set of by a set of circumstances or a specific event, then perhaps fair enough. But, as in my case, where it was due to the situation I was in, then that situation has to change.  I know someone was starting to feel themself go down the depression route simply because they didn’t feel they had any control over their work.  Loss of locus of control is key to triggering an episode in someone who has a natural tendency towards depression. So they have also changed their situation and found a new job where they know they can feel in control.

For me, it had to be changing a lot of what I was doing at the time.

The key to tackling depression is three-fold: medication, exercise and therapy.  I’ve been blessed to work with a superb counsellor from church, who not only got me through the issues I was having in my daily life, but all the underlying issues that had, over the years, created that present situation. Well, if not the situation itself, then it had definitely laid the groundwork for the breakdown!

On their own, pills will just make your current horrible situation a little more bearable.  Like the prescribed equivalent of getting drunk or something. It’s just covering over what’s really going on.

The thing is, even after everything may be changed, dealt with and sorted, the medication has to continue because it’s allowing the brain to continue healing even while enabling you to still be in the real world.  It’s not like a broken leg where everything stops until it’s healed. Perhaps that’s why depressives want to hide away – perhaps it’s their way of giving their minds space to heal. Perhaps it’s an instinctive self-preservation thing. Perhaps that’s why so many basic behaviours go out the window…

Anyone else been told to stay off chocolate? Inquiring minds need to know!

Moves like Jagger

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I didn’t run the other day and do you know what? I almost missed it. Almost. In fact after less than two weeks I now have started looking forward to my every-other-day run. I mean, I am actually starting to look forward to my run. And when I really, really start looking forward to it, it’s at that point that I’ll probably start to miss it when I don’t do it.

So the next day out I went, quite gleefully although I almost didn’t make it. The air was bitterly cold. That’s a problem if you happen to be asthmatic, as I am. I don’t suffer from asthma as such, but my respiratory track can be quite the little diva at times. At one point, I’m fairly sure my left lung started singing “Do you want to build a snowman?”

But I trudged on relentlessly. Luckily (I think), I’d gone for a sugar rush breakfast of grapes and pineapple. Too much pineapple, as it turns out… My lips sort of swelled up till I looked like I was doing a Mick Jagger impersonation. Luckily, no moves like Jagger though. Let me explain… in our house the phrase “Moves like Jagger” is not a reference to the song, but a description of that knee-rubbing, thigh-clenching walk you tend to do when you make your way desperately to the toilet. You can’t unthink it…

I admit I did pick up pace while passing a pair of much fitter joggers, although I had to stop halfway to deal with muscles screaming for rest. This is what a year of medication, depression, little exercise, and no running results in!

Still using Strava app. Brilliant. Wondered why it wasn’t telling me how far I was running the other day. Turns out the volume was down too low. But probably just as well –  if I had passed the fit joggers looking like I’d just run a Marathon and then a cheery voice booms out “half a kilometre!”, it would have been very embarrassing.

So, today I went to see the doctor who commented on my ear-to-ear grin. Okay, perhaps not so much that, but definitely the fact that I seemed much happier and steadier from what she saw a couple of months ago. She asked the basic questions … How much do I drink? Nothing (Word Of Wisdom!). How much exercise was I getting? At least an hour a day: running, cycling and yoga. She then said something that startled me: “This is better than any medicine I could give you.” I wasn’t startled to hear the words, as much as I was startled to hear a doctor use them. And then I remembered, I have a very cool doctor.

And then, the best thing I’ve hard in ages – I can start decreasing my dosages. Woohoo! Watch out world, an unmedicated me will be with you in the next few months. Time for you to batten down the hatches, emigrate or whatever you feel necessary!

So, after that twin delight of news, I went home the extremely long way, and when I finally hit the river path, I thought, “Stuff it. I’ll run the rest of the way!” Possibly not the best idea with walking boots, rucksack and fleece but what the heck, I did it. In fact, I can now say I am halfway to my goal, which was to do this very distance, there and back.

Onwards and upwards!