November 3, 2017

My doctor appointment went well.  Because I have been off the Celexa for almost a month, and my headaches have been getting worse, my doctor thinks the antidepressant had been covering up my headaches in the past and they are now surfacing.  She now isn’t sure if I am having migraines.  Some of the symptoms mimic a migraine while others are different.  The description of Cluster headaches fits my symptoms as well.  For this reason I will be having a brain scan .  I was put on a blood pressure medication which is supposed to help with Cluster headaches.  Today was the first day on it.  The whole day was filled with head pain, but by evening the headaches eased up.   I am still experiencing sensitive hearing and sensitive to light, ringing in the ears and distorted eyesight with the headaches, mental confusion, and anxiety.

The shortness of breath and difficulty taking a breath resulted in a chest x-ray which showed I have a nodule on my lung.  Quite common I guess, and probably benign.  The doctor will be giving me a CT scan occasionally to keep a watch on it.

 

I am not sleeping well, but am getting some rest during the day.  Although I am having these health issues I am thankful that I am getting answers finally.  Doctor Jensen listens to me and takes what I have to say seriously unlike my doctors in the past who treated me like a hysterical mental patient.  I receive a follow-up appointment with he on November 16th.

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October 23, 2017

I am starting to find answers to some of the symptoms which have been bothering me.   I am beginning to taper off the Prednisone and it is a good thing.  I was in Emergency last night with severe chorea movements my blood pressure was 200 something ver 100 something, and the worst headache I have ever experienced in my life.  I screamed it was so painful, and it takes a lot to get me to that point.  It turns out I have been having headaches from the Prednisone.  The Migraine headache triggered Chorea Movements, which also caused my neck muscles to contract violently causing tension headache on top of the Migraine. I was given three different shots to stop the Migraine and sent home.  The shots helped, but did not completely take the headache away.  I was given a Benadryl shot to calm the Chorea movements as well.

 

Today, I slept part of the morning and had to lay down again in the afternoon when I felt the migraine try to surface again.  I see silver sparkles during the migraine/ perhaps before.    I didn’t do very much today, just took care of myself and did stress-free enjoyable things like my Familysearch work.  I am planning a make up group which is just for fun, not to sell anything thing time.  I think I will enjoy it better and even learn something in the process.  I have been practicing mindfulness, imagery, and thought stopping to deal with Intruding thoughts.

 

I see my doctor again on 2 September for a follow-up to see what kind of Migraines I may be having and a more permanent solution.  I would like to try a natural product for the Migraines, but haven’t found anything yet.  I am still waiting for the CT scan of my sinuses and the Ultra Sound of my heart, and a pulmonary testing of my lungs to rule out Costocontritis.

 

Isn’t are bodies wonderful!  So complex and interconnected , one system to another in an orderly manner.   Hip replacement surgery is in  seven weeks!!!!    I lost three pounds this week, even on Prednisone which I think is great!

October 2, 2017

Because of the length of time I have been having withdrawals with so many symptoms I did more research into anti depressants.  Celexa is a short acting anti depressant that causes withdrawals only after missing one dose.  I saw my doctor on Friday and I have started Prozac  which is a long-acting anti depressant.  It takes one month before withdrawals can occur.  It will therefore be easier to come off the Prozac than the Celexa.  She has me on 10mg. Prozac with the 10 mg. Celexa for a week, then Prozac 10mg. and 5 mg. Celexa until I am stable, then begin to taper off the Prozac as slowly as needed.

One symptom which has started happening which I thought was withdrawals turns out not to be.  I looked back in my diaries of December 2006 ( since my memory is toast), and discovered I was diagnosed with Temoral Arteritis ( Inflammation of the blood vessels of the brain from the heart leading to the eyes).  If left untreated a person can go blind.

I informed my doctor and she examined me and put me on Prednisone 50mg. for three weeks before tapering off of that.  It is suspected that the withdrawals have caused the Temporal arteritis to recur.  My headache in the temple region has gone after three days of treatment.  It becomes painful for a short time if I accidentally touch my temple region.

I am also tapering off the Hydromorphone .  It was cut in half last week.  I was due to have hip replacement surgery on 23 October 2017, but because I am now on Prednisone ( which compromises your immune system), my surgery was postponed until 7 December, 2017.   That’s ok with me.  I want to feel better before surgery than I do now.

I see my doctor tomorrow morning to discuss the other symptoms I am still having:

Head:  Cold/Hot burning sensations, dizziness, tension headaches

Eyes:  Sore burning, watery, blurred vision, sensitive to light, dry

Ears:  Ringing, burning, sensitive to sound, pain around outside of ear on bone.

Emotional/Mental:  Mood swings, irritability/anger, cognitive difficulties,

Anxiety, Insomnia, Chorea Movements, back pain, muscle pain, sinus pain, memory problems, hot and cold sweats.

Treatments:  Hot or cold packs on my head and neck; Deep breathing relaxation, acupressure self-administered.  http://www.acupressure.org   has some good exercises I have tried which releases the tension in my neck and around my ear.  Distraction using computer games, preparing records for family search indexers; prayer;  and hugs from hubby. 🙂

Over one month after taper

It has been over one month since my last taper and I’m NOT feeling any relief!  Some days it is even worse than week two of the taper.  Tonight is especially wicked.  The cold burning sensation on my skin covering my entire body is almost unbearable.  Chorea movements are still bad as is insomnia, anxiety, mood swings, pseudo emotions.  I felt like my husband was deliberately being mean to me by saying things to hurt me when it wasn’t really true.  I was brought to tears several times today thinking he hated me.  I have been fixing meals for the first time in a number of years and am VERY sensitive to any remarks contrary to my method of cooking or other choices.  It has not been a pleasant experience.  These feelings come in waves throughout the day.  I can feel them coming sometimes.  My thinking becomes very warped, muddled, confused etc.

 

I miss being me!

Another couple of bad days. :(

It has been very difficult today coping with the variety of withdrawal symptoms, especially when they hit all at once.  Today, has been one of the worst I’ve had in a long while.   The smoke in the area is already affecting my sinuses and eyes.  The withdrawals affect them as well, making them sore, watery, sensitive to light.  On top of that I had the intense burning sensation ( Parathesia) on every part of my body and inside my mouth, anxiety surges, very sensitive to sound, ringing  in the ears, muscle and joint pain, many episodes of involuntary muscle movements ( Chorea type Dyskensia).  If that wasn’t enough my emotions went haywire.. anger, depression, crying spell, confusion, memory problems.   I was at the end of my rope trying to think of what I could do for myself to lessen the suffering I was going through and said a prayer.  It wasn’t too long after that Doral asked me what it would do if I put  a cold compact on my head.  At first I poo pooed the suggestion thinking it would cause a larger headache, but then remembered putting cold compress on my eyes in the past which helped take pain away.  I therefore put a cold gel pack over my eyes and almost immediately the Parathesia abated and the pain in my sinuses and eyes lessened.   I am so thankful to Heavenly Father for answering my prayer.

Now, for the good news… I received the phone call for my hip replacement pre surgical screening for my right hip.  I have been looking forward to having my total mobility back, so this is a welcome appointment.  I don’t know yet when my surgery will be.  I had my left hip replaced in January of this year and haven’t fully recovered from that surgery.  It takes a long time for the muscles to recover; up to one year.   I found from last surgery, that the withdrawals abated with all the pain medications.

 

Severe Withdrawal

September 1, 2017

It is the middle of the night and I am awake because I am experiencing once again severe withdrawals.  It is going on three weeks since I tapered down to 10 mg. Celexa.  I was hoping the withdrawals would ease off by now, but such is not the case for me.  I am having severe paresthesia ( burning sensations all over my body), severe anxiety, severe Chorea movements, ringing in the ears, dizziness, hot sweats, muscle weakness and pain, insomnia, flu-like sensations, difficulty breathing, mood swings.

I recently purchased new dentures, but I cannot wear them without my gums hurting and in fact my whole mouth has been feeling very sensitive and burning sensations have started happening in my mouth and tongue.  I have rinsed my mouth out, used anesthetic liquid, and kept my mouth moist to no avail.

I have also been experiencing swollen legs and feet which I attribute to the withdrawals.  I now take Naproxen for pain which does help.

I am keeping busy with my family history work and right now we are visiting with my mother and brother and sisters which has been a good thing.

About the mood swings… the mood I hate the most is when I feel angry followed by the feeling I am going to cry….. back to angry/irritable.  I have had some low moods, but they do not last long.  Thankfully, I am mostly in a happy mood until the bad withdrawals hit.

One Pill Left

Today, another taper leaves me with only one 10mg. pill left.  I used to take four of those little white devils.  I had a difficult time last week before this taper and I was considering stopping the tapers for awhile, but since I was taking 1 1/2 pills, and we are visiting family in Lethbridge the end of the month, taking only one pill seemed like a reasonable thing to do, then I will hold off tapering for awhile, until I stabalize a bit better.  I hope I made the right decision.

The worst symptoms I have to endure/ work through are anxiety, burning sensations throughout my body, but especially in my head.  Horrible headaches, difficulty breathing, Chorea movements, insomnia, sweating/chills, cognitive/memory problems, weight loss difficulty due to the stress of all these symptoms.

So, how do I cope.  I have recently become a service missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints, working in the Records Collection Department  for Family Search.  Doing this work has given me a purpose that has enriched my life more than I ever imagined possible.  I work at home on my computer at my own hours which gives me the freedom to travel and bring my computer with me and still carry on with the work.  When I know I am providing the records for people to find their ancestors , this is special to me.  Even though I may not feel well as I am doing the work, the symptoms are the last thing on my mind and don’t seem as daunting.  I am well suited for this type of work as well making it fun to do!  I even purchased a larger second screen for me to work on!

My goal is to be off the Celexa well before Christmas.