Monday, August 9, 2010

the windows are fogged up.

it's raining today. i hear you all crying out 'so what?!?'. it does indeed rain just about every day this time of year here in the FLA. but it's early - we usually get afternoon storms. so this means it will probably rain just about all day. and the windows in the house are all foggy, so i know it's super nasty humid outside.

thankfully, i generally don't go outside (unless i'm going to the mailbox or the pool). but i do feel bad for taylor. he's sitting outside on the table, staring at me - but not yowling - in his stripey fur coat.

fyi, i did just go let him in. he started yowling. dick.

so it's a bit early on a monday for blogging, but i'm terrifically nervous and decided to document my new adventure for posterity (or to help others through a similar situation). you may remember that i went to my new psychiatrist for the first time on friday. firstly, you do not in fact get the crazy person's hour of 50 minutes with a psychiatrist - it's only 15 minutes. huh. all of my antipsychotic medication prior to this time has been prescribed either in the hospital or by my gp when i lived in new york. new psych went through the medical history, asked about meds i'd taken in the past, and has decided to try me on pristiq. he gave me a three week supply, and said 'see you in three weeks'.

well, we were planning on celebrating awesome husband's birthday over the weekend, and alcohol + antipsychotics = ridiculousness, so i decided to wait until today to start the medications. we did have a wonderful birthday weekend, and depending on how i feel, we may go out again tomorrow for his actual birthday.

but the purpose of this post is my new medication. i took my trial packets home on friday and got right online to research pristiq. and then got a bit crazier than usual. i mean, it has all the 'normal' possible side effects as most anti-psychotics: nausea, diarrhea, constipation, a higher risk of suicide attempts, weight gain, weight loss, increased or decreased appetite, sweats, headaches, and others. i know, it's like 'why bother?' but most of us never get all of the side effects - you might get one or two, and they usually go away after a week or 10 days.

some side effects are more serious than others - like swelling and itching, new ticks or twitches, other neurological bits and pieces. those are grounds to call your doctor right away or go to a hospital. they differ for each med, usually, so it's important to know about the 'bad' side effects.

but after reading about pristiq on friday, i'm actually more than a bit scared. people talk about feeling like dying for 2-5 days after starting it - like they literally cannot get out of bed, cannot eat or keep anything down, cannot turn the lights on. some people talk about profuse sweating, horrible headaches and body aches, and rapid weight gain (50+ pounds in 6 months). some say they slept all day after taking it, so must take it at night - and just as many said they couldn't sleep at all, and have to take it first thing in the morning. and then getting off the medication... that's another ridiculous story. people say it's like coming off alcohol or even heroin - you get horrific withdrawal symptoms for up to three weeks after cutting back and stopping. people are being prescribed downers and sleeping pills to deal with the withdrawals from this medication.

so i prepared - just in case. if i gain more than 5 pounds in the first three weeks, i won't take it. i've prepared awesome husband for the possibility that he may be making dinner for a few days. and i keep reminding myself that i almost never have the strange side effects like these - i am ass backwards when it comes to health shit like this.

i was surprised how important it is to take pristiq at the same time every day. like, that's important with birth control pills, and they recommend it for most medications because it's easier to remember to take the pills when you do it the same time every day. but many users talk about how they start experiencing withdrawal symptoms if they're a couple of hours late with their dose! are these people just THINKING that? or is this drug really that addictive? is it going to be like when i was using illicit drugs, wondering when i'm going to get my next hit of pristiq every day? that just doesn't seem appropriate.

but then, there are the other people who reviewed the drug online and say it was basically a miracle. their friends and family remark on how present and alive they seem. they are able to get out of bed and go to work, take care of themselves and their families. they aren't experiencing those obsessive thoughts, or bouts of rage, or highs and lows.

so here's to hoping.

i hope you'll all come with me on this new adventure, and forgive me the 'serious' blogs because i promise you'll still get 'fun' blogs. i mean, just because i'm batshit crazy, doesn't mean that fun things don't happen. like just saturday, we had a ridiculous time at the melting pot for awesome husband's birthday. i'm really hoping i feel 100% tomorrow for his actual day of birth, so we can go do something else awesome, befitting the birthday of an awesome husband :D


  1. Hey, I'm hoping with you. I know a handful of people who take Pristiq. Most of them have fibromyalgia and depression apparently tends to go hand in hand with it. Some of them do seem to think they experience withdrawal symptoms if they don't take them at the same time, but being fortunate enough to not have to deal with fibro personally, I wonder sometimes if some of their issues aren't more in the head than in the body.

    Also when you read the comments and testimonies from people about the drug you have to consider the source. Sort of like the customer reviews on the devices and accessories you used to sell. People who just get what they are looking for don't tend to comment. It is always either those who love it or who have had awful, terrible, horrible experiences who are eager to share their horror stories with the world. Just something to consider in the interest of fairness.

    Crossing everything that this is good and helpful for you. If not, there are other anti-depressants to try. Don't give up you're taking steps in the right direction.

  2. I too was prescribed Pristiq for depression. I'm off of it now, but the withdrawal side effects are no joke. I hated (and still do) my doctor for prescribing the drug to me. I've been off of it for like a month after tapering and every now and then get brain zaps. Now they are nothing like they were at first. I would get them all the time. I also had no energy and would have slept all day if I didn't have a child. It was horrible. Pristiq didn't work for me and that is why I got off. Good luck...I hope it works for you. :)

  3. @lainee- so far i've not been doing too bad. TMI alert - i am pretty constipated, but am trying to find a way to take care of that. my doctor told me he's NEVER HEARD of pristiq making anyone sleepy... o_O from what i read online, it's a fairly common side effect, so now i'm a bit nervous about my doctor.

    can i ask you about these 'brain zaps'? i've heard them mentioned, but i'm not sure what they are. i sometimes get a bit of a sharp headachey pain in part of my brain, and it goes away a few seconds later - is that it?