As you know, I’ve been playing Pharmacy for the last several weeks, waiting for an anxiety medication that will actually help, not hinder my existing problem. The last medication I was on caused me to have insomnia and made my heart race like a rabbit. After 5 days, I’d had enough.
Realizing that this problem was NOT going away on it’s own, I went to see my doctor and was given something else to try. Less hopeful, yet not willing to give up, I agreed.
As he wrote the script he said, “This is a pretty clean drug, and by that I mean there are very few side effects. However, it will take up to a full month to see if any progress is being made. What it does is prevent further anxiety, instead of just masking the anxiety you already have.” Well then, bring it on.
Even though I was agreeing to my sixth round of trying different medications, I decided to be realistic about the whole thing: expect the worst, hope for the best.
It has been a little over a month now, and I am sleeping better. No racing heart, no dizziness, feeling woozy, or anything else that tends to go with drugs like these. By the tiniest amount, I am turning a corner, here. Even though my anxiety is still a bit persistent on wanting to be my forever BFF, I am having periods of a more focused, calm Me. It’s been a long time since I’ve felt that way. But unfortunately, there is always a worm hiding within a bushel of seemingly perfect apples.
Since beginning this medication I’ve gained 7 pounds. Un-Lucky Number Seven. In less than five weeks.
I’ve thought about this quite a bit while watching the scale numbers escalate. There is one very real reason why I might be gaining. When I was in the throes of anxiety I had a lot of nervous energy. I had a difficult time keeping still, and constant movement can burn quite a bit of calories. Now that I am more calm, now that I can actually sit still for longer periods of time, I’m not burning off all of that energy.
My eating habits have changed as well, but I don’t know if I can blame this on the medication or not. It might just be the result of an emotional reaction to the changes that are taking place within me. Who knows. These meds are working, but they’re not working, and my options are getting slim. What do you do with a possibility of being faced with the decision of having to choose between your mental health or your physical health?
I started comparing my dilemma to other drugs that people take for medical problems. Steroids such as prednisone are prescription drugs used for a number of things, from severe allergies to immune deficiencies. A tech at my vet’s office is sometimes prescribed steroids for an old knee injury. She has boundless energy and can function on very little sleep. In other words, she’s in a permanent manic state. She loves being on them. “I get so many things done!” she says. Many people have the opposite effect. A former in-law of mine had no choice but to be prescribed an equivalent medication because she suffered a serious physical condition that responded to no other treatment. Within a year, she’d gained over 75 pounds. She felt better, but physically, her body never recovered.
I’m so grateful for the periods of serenity I’m feeling that believe it or not, I am NOT in panic mode – yet. However, the fact that I’m writing about this shows it is weighing on my mind. I feel like I need to prepare myself for the possibility of having to make a choice, should things continue on this path. Do I bail, or stick it out? I’m not crazy about the very real possibility of this gaining trend continuing, and if there’s one fear that long-term maintainers have, it’s the fear of out-of-control weight gain.
So, let’s recap: Anxiety brings medication. Medication brings change in appetite. Change in appetite breeds worry and anxiety.
…round and round we go.