I am doing so much better. I never thought I would get to this point. After 2+ years of being in overwhelming depression, anxiety attacks & "devil medicine", my grieving is changing into a stage that I never thought possible... Acceptance.
In my last blog post, I talked about my psychiatrist putting me on medication for my depression/anxiety. Well, I took that crazy ass medicine for about 10 weeks. Yes, it helped with my anxiety but ONLY because I was a zombie the whole time I was on it. I call it the "devil medicine" because about 3 weeks ago my BFF, Ashley, had to rush (and I mean RUSH... flashers on, passing cars on busy streets, putting me in a wheelchair once we got there RUSH) to the hospital. One of the main concerns of this medicine was going into hypertensive crisis. It is a very RARE side effect, but guess who is in the 1% of it affecting them….ME. My blood pressure was a soaring 180/131. This is past the point of the possibility of having a stroke.
I was SCARED out of my mind. I just kept telling Ashley over and over, "I'm going to die, I know I am". She would just grab my face and make me focus on her and tell me over and over "I will not let that happen, you will be fine."
I had the most extreme migraine of my life on the right side of my forehead. I had ice packs on my eyes and I couldn't stop shaking. I've had to wear a medical alert bracelet ever since I started taking the devil drug (also known as Parnate. Look it up…you'll agree with me). Basically there are about 900+ drugs that will interact with this medicine that could kill me. So if the stroke wasn't going to kill me, if they chose the wrong medicine, that could kill me too (can you tell me how he thought by me taking this crazy medicine would HELP my anxiety???!!!). Ashley KNEW this was a HUGE concern of mine and let me tell you, she did her job making sure every person that touched me KNEW what/who they were dealing with!! Dr. Hudson was my ER doc and he assured me that the medicine he would be giving me would be safe. He was right. My blood pressure continued to come down to normal over then next 20 minutes. By this time my Mom was at "the" hospital and "the" ER (by "the", I mean the same hospital/ER we last saw my Dad in). By this time it was after midnight and I told my sweet, awesome, AMAZING BFF to go home! (I forgot to mention that Jason was in Dallas for a dental event and my kids were at home with Ashley's nanny). The doctor couldn't give me any pain meds for my throbbing headache (which by this time felt much better now that my BP was down) because it would cause an interaction with the Parnate. I was released after I returned to "normal"… My mom stayed with me that night and some the next day to make sure I was ok.
I was on 40mg of Parnate. I took myself down to 20mg the following week, then to 10mg for a few days and now I've been completely OFF of the devil drug for a few weeks. I can't tell you how much better I feel being on ZERO medicine!
So, you would think I would be back to square one, right? Well, my life saver, the magic "pill" that has helped me get to where I am today is my weekly visits with my awesome psychologist (not to be confused with my psychiatrist!). I have been going to her since November 2013. She (Dr. Smith), along with 26 weeks of GriefShare and of course God, have been the key to getting me where I am today. Dr. Smith has been not only my doctor, but a friend. She makes me feel so comfortable and I can tell her ANYTHING. Yes, I know that is her job and I'm paying her, but I can't help but feel a real connection with her. I can call or text her any time, and she ALWAYS answers or calls me back immediately. We joke, laugh, cry and I feel like she KNOWS my Dad. She is not a grief counselor. She doesn't have a text book for it. Who knows, I may even be the first patient she has had that she had to deal with so much overwhelming grief. I initially went for help for my anxiety and depression. She quickly recognized that if we worked on the grief first, then the others would fall into place. She could not have been more right. For week after week after week, I would go and hash through some of the toughest, most heartbreaking, physically painful emotions a person can have. I learned my "stuck" points and I learned to recognize triggers of my anxiety. I learned that intensity and length of mourning are NOT a testimony to how much I love my Dad. This was a MAJOR stuck point for me. I can be ok, and get better and this doesn't mean that I love my Dad any less. This does not mean that I'm over it. It just means that I HAVE to move forward!!! I learned the biggest myth of mourning is that time heals all wounds. This is just simply NOT true!!! In 30 years I will still love and miss my dad as much as I do today. Yes, time helps with how much you think about it or cry about it, but time does not change the love you feel.
I'm thankful for my crazy medicine that I took because it showed me that I am strong enough to get through this without it. I am doing the hard work and it is paying off. I don't feel depressed anymore. I feel so much better. Yes, my anxiety is still there, but it's not like it has been (not being able to breathe, shaking, dizzy, sweating, heart beating out of my chest). It's more of a healthy level of anxiety. (well, until the weather forecast looks bad, then all bets are off!).
So, I guess what I'm trying to say with this lengthy post is... I am doing good :)
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