Results from Withdrawing from Effexor XR Antidepressant

It’s now December 18, 2010 and I’ve been weaning myself off Effexor for over a month and my milligrams are down to 30 mg.  For the first two-three weeks it wasn’t so much fun.  There’s was a pattern of its effects it been time released. 

My mornings start with a cup of coffee, checking my blood sugar, and taking my Bipolar, high blood pressure, antidepressants, including Effexor.  After about 2 hours taking Effexor I would get nauseous, along with a sudden feeling of fatigue.  Where ever I was at the time, I would have to stop and take time out and then after a while, I would try to get home.  Once home I’d hit the bed an sleep  for a few hours.  It seemed the medicine would kick in again in the evening, but this time with a spurt of energy sometimes with anxiety.  I would stay up until late – sometimes 3 or 4am. I would have to take a anxiety pill, Lorespam.  I hated it.

Each week I would take a granule out lowering the dosage.  Today, I’m at 30 mg and I think that’s where I’ll stay.  When I tried to go lower I would have memory problems, confusion, etc. In fact, I felt like my bipolar was worse.   My memory is getting worse, but I’m not sure from what.  I have parents, grandparents, Aunts, and Uncles who all had Alzheimer’s/Demenaiaa. When you have so many issues going on it’s hard to single out what disease is causing the problem.  That is so frustrating to me.

I’ll keep trying to make this antidepressant work, because it does work you just have to find the right dosage.  I think if I went off of it completely it would be a bad idea.  Maybe one day.  I’ve hard some horror stories and I don’t want to b e one of them.  So, I’ll continue counting out the tiny beads and take my dosage, but I’ll save the leftovers just in case.  I don’t have insurance and this medicine is expensive. 

Why do we need to have pills to function our lives?  I’m so tired of it!  My genetics have played a role in most of my illnesses and disease.  Something that I’ll take with me to my grave, but that won’t be soon.  I still have a lot of life in me to play with my grand children who are an important factor in my life.  I’ll keep trying to live and not lay down to die.

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Alzheimer’s & Dementia Facts

Alzheimer’s & Dementia killed and is killing my mom and dad.  I live with it everyday as their daughter and caregiver.  I’m watching my dad trying very hard to stop the disease from taking, and my mom is letting it take her over.

As many as 5.3 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s destroys brain cells, causing memory loss and problems with thinking and behavior severe enough to affect work, daily living, social life, and of course, your family.  Alzheimer’s gets worse over time, and it is fatal. Today it is the seventh-leading cause of death in the United States.

It killed my grandmother, aunt, & uncles and now it’s trying take my family.

I to have been diagnosed with early stages of dementia.  Bipolar has already taken me and now with dementia it is harder to fact.

If you would like to be part of a cause that is very important to the to those who have this disease, the family, and caregiver you can go to http://www.causes.com/causes/317813.  Take the pledge – thank you!

Being A Caregiver – Parents & Alzheimer’s

Being a caregiver for my parents is the hardest job I have every done.  It takes a lot of patience and love.  Having Bipolar & early stages of Dementia make it even harder.  Now, things are getting harder.

Mom’s memory is getting worse.  She’s 83 and it’s getting to point that I don’t know who she is.  She’s nice one moment and then happy the next.  Sometimes she acts like a little girl and sometimes she’s the devil himself.

Or, one minute she’s great and wants to go out to each, and then 5 minutes latter she doesn’t feel like it & goes to bed.  At times, I don’t know who I’m talking to.

One night while reading mom appeared at my doorway.  She looked very confused.  She said, “I thought I was in the hospital.”  I said, “No mom your home now.”  She responded, “No, I’m suppose to be in the hospital!”   She looked so confused.  I got up and walked her to her room and put her to bed.  It’s like she had no life at all. I’m pretty sure she has Bipolar with her different moods – up and down.  She can sit there and rock back and forth playing with her hands and just crying.  When I ask her what’s  the matter she tells me she doesn’t know.

Mom has mentioned that she wished the lord would take her. She’s tired of living – she just sits in her chair all day long.  She can’t stand to cook, because her knees hurt, and the arthritis in her hip is becoming unbearable.  At times, with my Bipolar, I have a hard time dealing with it.  I have early stages of Dementia and the two together doesn’t mesh. Sometimes the anxiety is so strong I feel like I’m trying to crawl out of my skin.

My dad as Vascular Dementia/Alzheimer’s, but he’s not as bad.  He keeps himself busy all the time.  He also has Sundowner Disease.  I mean he can be really down.  Both parents posture has changed – they hunch over and walk very slow.

I live with them and take care of them the best I can, but it’s getting harder.  I just pray whatever happens God will be there for all of us.  I constantly ask for directions and I know when the time comes he will be there.

Living in the Life of Alzheimer’s/Dementia/Bipolar

Everyday seems like a test.  Each morning I wake not knowing what to expect.  Is my mom my mother or is she someone I don’t know?  Is dad who he is or someone I don’t know?  Am I me or someone I don’t know?  That’s how it is everyday on the wake of a new sunrise – who am I.  The problem is no one knows.

Yesterday, Dad and I went to the store and bought some flowers and other items.  The one thing we did get was a hanging basket for mom to put in front of her kitchen window.  That way she can look out and see it.  When we got home she was so happy about it.

Later that afternoon dad went to hang it up and asked me what height he should hang it.  I said, “Well, I think Mom should answer that question.”  I went and got mom and told her dad was hanging her basket.  She got up smiling and went to tell dad that she wanted it a little higher.  I didn’t hear the answer, but mom came through the door slamming it and looked, well pissed.  I asked, “What’s the matter?”  She replied that Dad said, It’s fine.  Your daughter said it was fine.” Then she pushed me aside and went to her room.  Of course, I went to find out what was the matter. She said, “He said no matter it’s okay.  He only cares about you!”

I was so shocked!  Upset that my mom accused dad pf favoring me.  She was jealous of  our relationship.  I felt like I was in a soap opera.  I said, “Mom, I can’t believe you just said that.  Why are you mad at me?”  “I’m not mad at  you,” she told me. “Then what?”, I said  She looked at me with this really scrunched up face and start to cry.  I could tell it was a fake cry.  She started rambling don’t you come in here and tell me that I said this and that!  I was like I’m not going to listen to this.  You’re not you. And she wasn’t.

I went to my room hoping that the next morning she wouldn’t remember.

It came true.  She didn’t remember.  In fact, she was happy go lucky.  But that only lasted for about 3 hours. I cooked breakfast for the both of them and was hoping we would have a nice day.  Instead, mom slept in bed all day.  Dad watched TV, and I stayed in my room writing and adding new items to my eBay store.

I Didn’t Plan For Today

Last Monday around 2pm, my dad called me into his room to ask me to take him to the hospital. I thought maybe I was imagining this since I get delusional at times.

My mom and I took dad to the hospital and was in the emergency room until 1:30am when we were told he would be staying the night. That was Monday. It’s Saturday and he’s still there. They found a clot in the top of his foot and had to do surgery. The procedure was to slice a hole in the vein on top of his foot and drain it. The quest was to figure out what caused the clot – his heart or the stroke he previously had? After the surgery we were told it was probably his heart. We were also told he’s Alzheimer’s/Dementia had gotten worse and to be prepared. Also, they were going to put him back on Coumadin, a blood thinner. This makes him hallucinate.

I started having anxiety with the fear that the same thing that happen last time, about 6 months ago, was going to happen again. I just don’t know how I’m going to handle it with everything that is going on in my life including my car wreck.

Dad was in the nursing home after a fatal accident and he hallucinated about his mom being alive. He depended on me for everything. My mom suffers as well from Bipolar/Dementia.

Just today, I dropped my mom off at the hospital to see dad. I returned and dad said that she had left to go looking for me downstairs. I went downstairs and couldn’t find her anywhere. I starting freaking and thinking the worse. I called my brother and he told me if I can’t find her to call security. I decided to go back up to the room just in case she returned. Mom was not there. Dad started getting upset and getting out of bed. I went to the nurses desk and said my mom was missing. “Oh, the nurse said, she went downstairs to eat lunch.” Gee, I was so relieved! I went to tell dad and he was tearing all the machine’s off of him and a nurse was trying to get him to calm day. He did calm down when I told him where mom was.

Boy, I was scared! I thought, “Is this what I’m looking forward to when Dad comes home?” What’s happens when Dad comes home and leaves without letting us know? How is he going to react to me. Mean or depend on me?

You have to live from day to day. Don’t take life for granted. I tried to tell my son to always make sure he tells his love ones including me that he loves them. Even with my bipolar something changes with me all the time like my memory. I get confused and delusional like during my accident. I lose items all the time like clothes, jewelry, purse, and keys. I organize my room all the time so I can find things. My room gets messed in one day and I have to organize again and again.

Keep coming back.

What is it – Bipolar or Dementia? Confused!

I have a dilemma – Is it Bipolar or Dementia?  Both run in the family.  Just recently and over night I have become a caregiver for both my mom who has dementia and bipolar and dad, who was okay.  Mom has been getting worse and my dad just a month ago had a bad fall and suddenly my life changed in a split second.  My dad was walking across the parking lot then – BAM!  He fell flat on his face with the results of looking like Rocky.   He was sent to the hospital then home and then back again – he became delusional. I took him back to the hospital where he got worse and worse resulting in an onset of Alzheimer’s /dementia.  I had to feed him, bathe him, change his diapers and pray a lot.  Why did this happen?  Everything fell apart.  What do we do?  My brother and I stressed and quickly got together all papers – living will, will, finances, etc. Things we were not prepared for.  After a few weeks we had to put him in a nursing home for rehabilitation.  He had forgotten how to work, his speech was bad, and had no idea what had happen.  He didn’t even know who mom was.

After a week in the nursing home he had a stroke and was again sent to the hospital.  There, he thought he had gone on a helicopter ride with a lot of people and taken to this big building where the ceiling dropped and black dust was dropped on them.  I told him that sounded more like aliens.  He said, Well, maybe so.”

He was returned to the nursing home and is still there.  He may come home in a week.  I’m not ready.

Since all this has happen Mom has gotten worse. Crying all the time and her mania and dementia have gotten worse.  She’s even drinking more. I’m afraid for her and I have a fear that some day it will hit me if it hasn’t already.  Being an alcoholic myself makes this difficulty for me.

I’ve had to hold myself together.  It is very hard to sit and listen to my dad because he is so angry and blames people for taking his money.  It was decided that I move in – there was no other way.  Mom can’t drive, walk or make her own decisions and when dad comes home he will be disabled.  They can not stay alone together.  That could mean disaster.

As mentioned in another Blog, I have taken myself off medication for bipolar and hormones and trying to treat myself with healthy food and exercise.  It seems to be working but I slip sometimes.  The hot flashes the mania and depression.  Also, my unemployment benefits have been exhausted and will not receive any funds.  So now I’m working about 28 hours or less making 6.55 an hour.  The hours may be shortened depending on the situation at home.  I will be the cook, maid, nurse, and housekeeper.  Do I have the strength to do all this?  I find no help from other members of the family.  They have disappeared.

With all that’s going on with my parents, I don’t have time to take care of me. So I’m struggling.  I have to be strong for both of my parents.  If I fall – all will fall.

A New Revelation – An Awakening – I Feel Positive! – I Feel New!

As you know from my last post I’ve been taken off my research medicine for bipolar and alcohol craving meds last Friday.  Since then I do feel a lot better.  So it seems that I was having bad trips from that med.  Soon I will give you the name – just don’t have it now.  They gave me a few of the pills to wean me off the drug so I wouldn’t have any withdrawals.  Well folks, I haven’t taken the pills – I haven’t had any withdrawals that I know of.  In fact, I have been feeling much better.  I have continued with the Lithium, but hope to wean myself of those, maybe.  I’m taking one day at a time.

I’ve had a clear head and feel more positive.  I’m more alert and happy.  Even my boss asked me why I was in such a good mood and this was at 6:30am.  Yes, I get up at 4:30am to be at work at 6:00am.  I love my job and I guess that makes a big different.

Last night something happen.  First, on my way home I started thinking about having a glass of wine and a cigarette.  Let me tell you there was a committee going off in my head really bad.  Go, don’t go, go, don’t go, etc.  I want a cig or drink, and I don’t.  I was confused on what I wanted.  I’ve been doing it so long that the habit’s just there, and that’s what I’m beginning to figure out.  I don’t get these ideas until around the same time every day. 

I ended up going and spending money on wine and cigarettes.  Yes, money – money I don’t have.  Go figure.  I got home and did some work on my eBay to get some packages out and I took some pictures to post.  The good thing is I know my work comes first.  It’s my second salary, which isn’t much right now.  Come on folks go buy something from my shop!  I’ve got great things for Christmas gifts. Sorry, I just had to vent for a minute.

It got to be 6pm, which is the happy hour.  Just like a zombie I did the ritual – get my blanket to cover of my couch so I don’t get it smoky.  Yes, you heard right.  Then I pop the top, pour wine into the glass, and get the napkin to sit under my glass on the end table.  Get the dirty ashtray and put a piece of paper under it so I want burn the couch.  Light the cigarette, take a sip.  Usually this goes on until either my wine is gone or the cigarettes – they go hand in hand.

After one glass a wine and 3 cigarettes I realized I wasn’t enjoying them – so why was I doing it.  Stinking up my house, adding calories and the cig’s didn’t even taste good – neither did the wine.  Hum…

Other reason I felt this way – Guilt.

I had an awakening or revelation or whatever you call but it’s all I’ve been thinking about.

Sunday, I went to watch the Cowboy game with my parents whom I love dearly.  First, I was feeling guilty because I needed to borrow some money.  My unemployment benefits ran out.  I was even feeling guilty about my drinking.  Then something happen that I did not expect.  Dad brought me a book – threw the book – saying you might can sell this on eBay.  It was “Alcohol Anonymous – Abuse” book.  I said where did you get that?  He replied, “You had it when you were in the rehab place.”  I fell 6 deep under.  My dad is the most important person in the world to me, and realized that I was disrespecting him for all the great things he’s done for me.  Even when I’m drinking I didn’t think my parents new. But, at that moment I just realize he knew what I was doing.  We’re blind to the people around us – you think your be sneaky and no one knows your drinking!  Honey, they know.  It’s in your actions, your speech, your lapse of memory, weight gain, changed habits, etc.  They know.

Monday morning when I woke up I thought about the book and my dad.  I said that’s it – this is the moment that I am changing my ways.  I felt so good Monday.  I work in a health club, which I love.  I worked out most of the day, and my boss said I could take some self-defense classes for FREE.  This just pumped me up.  I was full of ideas and energy all day.

Tuesday, the same thing, except when the committee sounded off.  It’s seems like it’s always Tuesday after the weekend when it happens.  It wasn’t what I wanted to do and it tasted pretty bad.  So I poured out the wine, empty the ashtray and went to bed to watch TV and read.  I felt so much better.  Actually, I felt that I reached a milestone.  One big step for mankind!

The evening ended and I got a surprise webcam call from my son.  With him was my grandson and daughter in-law.  You see they live in North Carolina – I miss them so much.  I was hoping to go and see them for Christmas, but no money.  My grandson was the cutest.  I wanted to hold him so bad. 

I’m so afraid that I’m going to miss him growing up like I did my son.  I have been rejected all my life of the good things.  Being alone.  I’ve been feeling that it was my punishment and HE (my higher power) felt it wasn’t time for me.  I believe HE got me this job to get me healthy, I believe he led me to this stage of having my own business since it’s been my dream for a long time. I believe that HE put everything in my path to get to where I am now.  I believe that HE has some great things for me if I just follow my heart and intuition (Divine Intuition). 

I think it started with the book Dad gave me and the last drink.

I hope it is a new beginning.  I know it’s not going to be easy battling both the Bipolar and the addictions.  But I will keep reach for the better good and get rid of the bad that is standing in my way.  Pray – prayers do work. I know.