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Sat Sep 2, 2017, 12:11 AM

I'm moving over here from the Cancer group

I've been experiencing anxiety and depression. It's come and gone away twice so far. I can't explain the first time, The second time, it seemed to be caused by a blood pressure med, Amlodipine. I was able to stop it, and I started to feel good almost immediately.
Then, about three weeks later, the feelings returned.

I should mention that I've been through full treatment for breast cancer, and even though I finished full chemo a year ago, I had to continue one chemo drug, Herceptin, for a full year (which ended in August). I'm still experiencing some of chemo's side effects (hair and nails are still crappy).

I made an appointment to see my PCP for next Tuesday. I have some Xanax, and I'm using it, as little as I can, to get me through until we can figure out what else could work for me. I'm trying breathing and what little bits of exercise I can do to help me for now.

Frustrating to feel so down! I'm usually a cheerful person and even through chemo, I never got that depressed. I was planning a trip for later this month, but now I feel so unhappy it just doesn't seem like a good idea.

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Reply I'm moving over here from the Cancer group (Original post)
PennyK Sep 2017 OP
Laffy Kat Sep 2017 #1
The Wielding Truth Sep 2017 #2
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MFM008 Sep 2017 #4
irisblue Sep 2017 #5
PennyK Sep 2017 #7
sharedvalues Sep 2017 #6
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Response to PennyK (Original post)

Sat Sep 2, 2017, 12:16 AM

1. Even w/o your health history, there's so much to be anxious about right now.

I keep trying to remember that it doesn't help to fret about things I can't control, but that's easier said than practiced. Every time I go off anti-depressants, the feelings return, so it could be chemical. Keep an open mind when you see your PCP. Positive thoughts your way, PennyK.

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Response to PennyK (Original post)

Sat Sep 2, 2017, 12:52 AM

2. You've come through a lot. Bless you. You seem to have a great and strong soul. Sounds like you are

doing your best to find answers. Proud of you. The photo contests here are helpful for me. They make me realize that perspective is so important. And as it is said that "beauty is in the eye of the beholder".

Maybe some happiness is too?

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Response to PennyK (Original post)

Sat Sep 2, 2017, 12:52 AM

3. Chemo is desisgned to kill the cancer without killing you. It is a major shock for your body

and right up there with things like open heart surgery. Depression after any extreme illness or surgery is normal. That doesn't make it better, I know, except to say you've got a tremendous amount of company out there.

Do consider medication to get through it. Trying to tough out depression complicated by anxiety doesn't seem like a good thing to do.

Depression has a mind of its own and moves in and out with no rhyme or reason to it. There's a good reason for you to be depressed right now. When it finally lifts, there will be no good reason for it to do so.

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Response to PennyK (Original post)

Sat Sep 2, 2017, 02:12 AM

4. If you read about it

Depression can happen even after a virus.
You have had multiple issues just try to flow with it until your Dr visit.

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Response to PennyK (Original post)

Sat Sep 2, 2017, 03:32 AM

5. A&D seem to come&go in waves

no rhyme or reason. would splitting the Xanax and trying a smaller dosage be more your comfort level?

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Response to irisblue (Reply #5)

Sat Sep 2, 2017, 09:56 AM

7. Yes, I have .25 mg pills

One of those seems to work well. I often take .50 mg to help me fall asleep.
It works fairly well on the anxiety, but does give me a bit of depression instead.

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Response to PennyK (Original post)

Sat Sep 2, 2017, 09:08 AM

6. Doing stuff is very important

An important way to feel better is to keep yourself busy.
If you can go on the trip and get through it, that will be good medicine for you and make you less depressed.

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Response to PennyK (Original post)

Sat Sep 2, 2017, 10:02 AM

8. i may not have explained well

I completed the Herceptin in April.
I called the oncologist and talked to a nurse about my feelings. She confirmed to me that no, it's not anemia or any other deficiency, and that the PCP is who I should see. And I'm taking basic vitamins with plenty of C, and just added in calcium and extra D3. Also biotin, in the hope it might help with hair growth.
I think I might be better off cancelling my trip...just too many more things for me to worry about. I'm one of those people who feels safest close to home.
Thanks for all the support!

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Response to PennyK (Reply #8)

Mon Sep 4, 2017, 02:36 PM

9. I hesitate to ask this question

But here goes.
Could taking one 5mg oxycodone or Percocet, 2 or 3 times a week, cause my symptoms? Have I become addicted? I've had bad hip pain, which is going away thanks to seeing my chiropractor. And I admit it's been very nice to get some pain relief every few days. I'm going to cut back for now to 1/2 pill when I do take it and see if my symptoms ease up.

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Response to PennyK (Reply #9)

Mon Sep 4, 2017, 05:49 PM

10. some people do have that response. It's called paradoxical response.

the opposite effect of what the meds are supposed to do. When do you see the PCP?

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Response to irisblue (Reply #10)

Mon Sep 4, 2017, 07:39 PM

11. Tomorrow.

I'm getting by with Lorazepam. Seems to depress me the least. Hoping my Doctor can suggest something better. meanwhile, planning to cut back on the pain meds. Maybe it's not worth a few hours of feeling good if it makes me anxious all the time.
Maybe I need an anti-depressant?

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Response to PennyK (Original post)

Tue Sep 5, 2017, 03:01 PM

12. And just to make it more special

We have Hurricane Irma on its way! The stores are already out of water. We evacuated last year for Mathew, so I just ordered an air mattress from Amazon (sleeping on the gym floor at the Rec Center was not ideal). I think we have plenty of food and water, paper goods, coolers. I'm making up bags of ice to use for extra cooling, and I've started getting a "go-bag' together. We have a few days to get all ready, and hope that the worst of it misses us.

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Response to PennyK (Original post)

Wed Sep 6, 2017, 12:39 AM

13. I got an anti-depression drug

I'm not sure I'm ready to say which one, as I might get opinions that would worry me, but I started today and I want to be positive about it. I go back in two weeks and I can take any other meds with it if I continue to need additional support.
I asked the doctor and he said that taking a Percocet a few times a week would NOT have caused what I'm experiencing.

Meanwhile, we are right in the likely path of Hurricane Irma, so we're preparing for that...getting supplies together in case we need to evacuate. Plenty of water and nonperishable food and drink. We went to a shelter last year for Matthew, and the one thing we could've used then was an air mattress, so we have one arriving from Amazon tomorrow.

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Response to PennyK (Original post)

Wed Sep 6, 2017, 06:56 PM

14. depression meds can take up to 8 wks to fully kick in.

give it time💗

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Response to irisblue (Reply #14)

Thu Sep 7, 2017, 12:35 AM

15. Thanks, irisblue

i felt good this morning and channeled my anxiety in storm prep, Went to several markets and organized supplies and "go-bags". My air mattress was delivered (but the pump arrives tomorrow LOL). I'll try to keep busy at productive things as much as I can,
I did get a little crazy as the day wore on, but went with my Lorazepam and managed to be okay.

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Response to PennyK (Original post)

Wed Sep 13, 2017, 10:13 PM

16. I made it through Irma!

Our house and property came through just fine. I live on the Space Coast near Cocoa, and we thought about evacuating, got all ready, but decided to stay. Our power was down for two full days! It was such a good feeling when it came back on. I managed much better than I thought I would, both mentally and physically.

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Response to PennyK (Original post)

Fri Sep 15, 2017, 01:04 PM

17. Getting off the Wellbutrin

While moving my important papers back to where they belong, I read the info and realized that i had been experiencing anxiety attacks/mania over the last few days. I called the doctor's and they said to stop it right away. i also got a follow-up appointment for next week.
Yeah...I think I'd rather treat this as anxiety than depression if that's the choice. Or just try something else. I could not relax at all the last two nights. I credit my daughter for pushing me to call the doctor's office and telling me several times how "hyper" I seemed. And that was when everything here was back to normal and I should have been feeling happy and relaxed.

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Response to PennyK (Original post)

Sun Sep 17, 2017, 04:41 PM

18. Managing

Trying my best to keep my mood okay. I take a .25 Xanax if I need it, and so far today, not. I also stopped the steroid cream for my rash and am cutting waaaay back on Symbicort, both of which I think could add to anxiety, and neither of which is necessary now.

My other problem is undiagnosed hip pain. My oncologist ordered an x-ray and a sonogram, and finally, a bone biopsy, and yay! not cancer, but I need some help. Been going to the chiro, and I thought it was getting better, but this weekend it flared up insanely. Daughter had me take an Epsom salts bath, and that seemed to help a LOT. I see my chiropractor tomorrow and will ask him to refer me to a rheumatologist....AND I see my PCP on Tuesday to talk about the anxiety, but I can also ask him about the hip thing, of course.

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Response to PennyK (Reply #18)

Sun Sep 17, 2017, 04:48 PM

19. thanks for updating

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Response to PennyK (Reply #18)

Fri Aug 24, 2018, 10:38 AM

158. Very funny!

(roll eyes!!!!!)

-Puzzler

(if you insist!)

(or not)

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Response to Puzzler (Reply #158)

Sat Aug 25, 2018, 04:36 PM

159. Hunh?

What's so funny? don't make me go to the Paper of Record on you!

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Response to PennyK (Original post)

Tue Sep 19, 2017, 02:50 PM

20. Trying Zoloft now

My doctor is going to do some bloodwork on me...I'll be going back to give them blood after fasting, and he's going to look at my metabolism and thyroid, sympa-and-parasympathetic nervous systems. He's also looking into aftereffects from my chemo drugs. Meanwhile he decided I should try Zoloft.
I also decided to ask him for help with my hip pain (he IS an osteopath, after all). Thinks it's definitely the joint, and that there are things we can try that are better than cortisone shots. I'm feeling hopeful.

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Response to PennyK (Original post)

Wed Sep 20, 2017, 04:58 PM

21. Well, Zoloft experiment is over!

i tried to disregard the stomach pain I got a few hours after taking it, but today it made me feel nutty and spacey...and my blood pressure jumped up about ten points. i drove to the doctor's office and told the receptionist to tell the doctor I didn't want to take it. She said I would hear back today.
I'm kinda looking forward to feeling like myself for a change, even if that self is a little bit sad.

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Response to PennyK (Reply #21)

Wed Sep 20, 2017, 06:21 PM

22. thx for updates.

It can feel like for f-ing ever finding the right SSRI.

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Response to irisblue (Reply #22)

Wed Sep 20, 2017, 07:58 PM

23. Was that the right thing to do?

Stopping it after one dose because I didn't like the way it made me feel? i haven't heard back from the doctor yet.

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Response to PennyK (Reply #23)

Wed Sep 20, 2017, 09:39 PM

24. if you feel like crap, you feel like crap.

my primary care dr put me on an SSRI, I took 2 doses & freaked out so bad with anxiety that I was shaking & weeping at work then home.
Diabetics get insulin& it can take adjustments over days & weeks to hit the right affective& effective dosages. Our brain chemistry is still a not well known thing. Humans are flippin complex creatures. I know you will be checking in with your Dr tomorrow. I would have done the same damn thing.
hugs

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Response to PennyK (Original post)

Fri Sep 22, 2017, 05:29 PM

25. Okay, I got some good advice on trying Zoloft again.

My mother told me she had used it for a while, but took half a pill daily. So I asked my doctor if I should try that (they said yes).

My brother is a retired RN, and he was the nursing supervisor at the nursing home he worked at. He suggested I take half a pill (50 mg pill), skip a day, half again, skip, and then move on to half every day. He really knows his stuff. He burned out at that job early, and we ended up paying him to help my mother care for our father when he was close to end of life.

LOL we had so many things to talk about that I forgot to ask him for advice on my "bursitis-or arthritis" problem! I'm getting by on that with Epsom salts baths and infrequent pain pills. I felt so good yesterday that I overdid it. Buying that 26 pound bag of cat litter was probably not a good idea.

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Response to PennyK (Original post)

Fri Sep 22, 2017, 06:56 PM

26. you have gone thru a lot...your body and mind are needing some rest..

..where is your trip planned for?

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Response to samnsara (Reply #26)

Fri Sep 22, 2017, 08:00 PM

27. Oh, the trip is off

It was someone else's idea; I really am not in the right mental or physical shape to enjoy going anywhere right now.
I usually go back home to New York every Spring, but missed the last two trips thanks to cancer treatment. Hopefully I'll be ready by the time Spring rolls around again.

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Response to PennyK (Original post)

Sat Sep 23, 2017, 01:05 PM

28. Well, so far, so good

I didn't get any stomach pains after taking the half, and today I don't really have that jumpy crappy feeling (yet lol).

I decided to also look into light therapy. I read that it's important to get natural light within two hours of waking, so I took my Miss Fisher book outside and read for a while...I confess that I seldom sit out on the patio, but I DO want the blinds and curtains open wide all day.

I also realized that when my hip pain hits hard it takes my mood south with it, so taking care of that becomes even more important. Even if I have to take a pain pill to ward off the worst, it's worth it (I do want to be careful with those, though).

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Response to PennyK (Reply #28)

Sat Sep 23, 2017, 03:08 PM

29. you ever google physical pain

plus depression and anxiety. Lots of correlation.

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Response to irisblue (Reply #29)

Sat Sep 23, 2017, 08:35 PM

30. I believe it

I was good, though, during chemo and all the rest of my treatment.
That's done, though, and it seems so unfair that I'm stuck with these aftereffects. I realize that any and all negative things I'm experiencing now can probably be blamed on treatment...I'd just like it to all be over, please?

My hair and nails are still awful...I'm taking biotin to help with those, but it looks like my best bet is going to be some sort of Trumpian coverup -- let it grow and cover the skimpy spaces.

Well, anyway, today was an okay day. No terrible pain and just a touch of anxiety, my Epsom salts bath, and an episode or two of Poirot this evening. Oh! I made my "secret" shrimp scampi recipe for dinner and my husband loved it (He always said he didn't like shrimp, but seems to have changed his mind)!

Thanks, irisblue, for listening. It means a lot.

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Response to PennyK (Original post)

Mon Sep 25, 2017, 04:18 PM

31. Doing okay

Last edited Tue Sep 26, 2017, 11:14 AM - Edit history (1)

i haven't had any bad pain in my hip since the incident with the cat litter...I even went for a short walk yesterday. As far as the Zoloft, I have been taking it (half) every other day, as my brother the RN advised. Tomorrow I'll begin the regimen of every day. And so far, I don't seem to develop any feelings of anxiety until around noon or so. I added it to the stack of vitamins and supplements I take right after dinner.

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Response to PennyK (Original post)

Thu Sep 28, 2017, 10:49 AM

32. Still OK!

I had one strange new thing happen: for about three minutes I had a strange cramp-like feeling (not very bad, but it was there) in my shoulders and chest, unlike anything I had ever felt before. I'm blaming it on the Zoloft. It went away and that was that, and I'll take it over most of the side effects that seem to be possible.
Feeling decent, both physically and mentally. If I need a small Xanax, I take it. But I realized that I need things to do, and then started to complain to my husband (You never take me anywhere!) before he brought my attention to the fact that I'd been having trouble walking much and didn't WANT to go anywhere.
I'm working on small household organization tasks and small sewing projects, and since I've added in a half-hour of sun first thing and Epsom salts baths every other day, I'm managing to find stuff to keep me busy enough. When my hip is better I can get back to a bit more "outside stuff."

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Response to PennyK (Reply #32)

Thu Sep 28, 2017, 11:25 AM

33. update from Penny

I am glad to hear from you. It soundslike you got a good man there. ☺

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Response to irisblue (Reply #33)

Thu Sep 28, 2017, 12:12 PM

34. He's wonderful!

I've said, many times, that I think the support team has a tougher job than then patient does. He's been there for me no matter what...taking me to all my appointments, listening to me go on and on about how I feel, knowing when I need a little laugh, and even going to the market when i wasn't up to it.

We met after my longish marriage ended. He has been alone much of his life, and it's been quite a job to "civilize" him, but he is appreciative of my efforts. And he likes my family! He and my youngish-adult daughters get along really well. My sister adores him, too.

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Response to PennyK (Original post)

Sat Sep 30, 2017, 11:58 AM

35. Still doing okay!

Doing my best to keep busy and feel like I have things to do seems to be key in keeping depression at bay. Since I need to pamper my hip/leg, that means mostly doing stuff around the house.
I finally reorganized the bedroom closet, which was a total mess after Irma...I had pulled out all sorts of stuff in case we needed to evacuate. It meant using a step stool, but I can do that now. I've done a few more organizing jobs, like creating an "emergency food" stash and finding a place to store that.
I haven't had any more strange new side effects from the half Zoloft, but I do seem to hit a sadness/anxiety wall every day in the afternoon. That's when I take a .25 Xanax and it helps a bit.
I see my doctor next Tuesday and I guess we'll see what happens next.

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Response to PennyK (Original post)

Sat Sep 30, 2017, 12:30 PM

36. does the wall hit you @ the same time?

can you relate to any thing in particular?.

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Response to irisblue (Reply #36)

Sat Sep 30, 2017, 02:39 PM

37. I think...

...it has to do with having something to do.
That's why I'm trying to work on that...having things to do, I mean. I have my sewing, but I try to save that for evenings. And that's why I need to be careful and get my hip/leg in better shape, so that I can get out and around more. It does seem to be improving and that in and of itself helps with mood. My sister may come and visit in October, which would be great.

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Response to PennyK (Original post)

Tue Oct 3, 2017, 12:03 PM

38. Results of a test

Vascular, sympathetic and parasympathetic systems: all completely normal. In fact, my vascular system is in great shape. Doc feels that it's completely understandable that I'm a bit depressed after all I've been through, and he wants me to increase my Zoloft dosage by 50%, in two more weeks...but nothing's out of balance as far as he can see. I'll go back two weeks later. Oh, and he confirmed that I probably have bursitis. So, pretty normal.
Now I just need some sunshine. It's a gray, windy day here, but at least it's not hot. Floriduh.

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Response to PennyK (Original post)

Fri Oct 6, 2017, 05:24 PM

39. Today was a good day

Today was the first sunny day in nearly a week, and I went shopping. Over the bridge to Merritt Island, a trip I haven't taken alone in almost two years. I went to a fabric store, Michael's Crafts, and even stopped in the mall for a bit. After that I ran into Aldi for a few things, and by the time I got home, my hip was a bit sore.
It felt great to get out (and not have to worry about my husband being bored while I looked at stuff lol).
I started doing a bit of art this week -- I bought a beautifully designed paper doll of a very glamorous TV character, and I began making additional clothes for her, using colored pencils. Fun!

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Response to PennyK (Original post)

Fri Oct 6, 2017, 05:27 PM

40. 😀😀😀😀😀

😊😊😊😊😀🎉

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Response to PennyK (Original post)

Sat Oct 7, 2017, 10:22 AM

41. ...................



All the best to you! Welcome here

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Response to PennyK (Original post)

Tue Oct 10, 2017, 12:06 PM

42. Anxiety is back

It seems to go away when i get involved in something new, and then sneak back. Very frustrating, that jumpy, shaky feeling in my insides.

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Response to PennyK (Original post)

Fri Oct 13, 2017, 03:16 PM

43. It might be the Percocet

I take one 5 mg every other day. And lately I have been upping it to 1 and a half. I'm cutting back, starting tonight. It seems to give me so much relief...but not enough to make up for feeling tense and jittery the rest of the time. This may not be my problem, but I've got to try whatever I can think of.
I have company coming tomorrow, my sister-best friend, and boy! Do I need someone to talk to. We haven't had time together in two years. Wish she could stay longer than five days, but she's got a very sick doggie and doesn't want to leave him (although in very good hands) for long.
Otherwise, I'm supposed to up my Zoloft in a few days, and maybe that will help.

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Response to PennyK (Reply #43)

Fri Oct 13, 2017, 03:43 PM

44. .


Nice to hear that you have some happy plans ahead.

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Response to PennyK (Original post)

Tue Oct 17, 2017, 05:11 PM

45. Muddling through

I still feel anxious every day, but I just try to keep in mind that that could last for about six weeks, until the Zoloft reaches the right levels. I'm still allowed to take anti-anxiety meds, so I do that when I need to, and just try to find things that distract me. My sister is visiting and we're having a very nice time!

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Response to PennyK (Original post)

Thu Oct 19, 2017, 12:16 PM

46. I'm beginning to feel better

I felt cheerful for most of the day yesterday; it was so nice. It wore off as the day went on...but now I know that the Zoloft is going to help me. That's a wonderful thing.
Of course, I was shopping with my sister and we were silly and laughing most of the day. She leaves tomorrow, and it remains to be seen whether I can maintain a good outlook.

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Response to PennyK (Reply #46)

Thu Oct 19, 2017, 07:42 PM

47. enjoy the time with your sister

👍

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Response to PennyK (Original post)

Sat Oct 21, 2017, 07:49 PM

48. Well. Not really there yet.

I had three pretty good days...felt upbeat and positive. Then, today, I've had to struggle through the day. A little jittery and a little sad. Hoping tomorrow will be one of those better days.

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Response to PennyK (Original post)

Wed Oct 25, 2017, 10:21 AM

49. Still waiting to feel better

Those few days last week, where I felt better, were like a tease. I feel like my mind is going too fast, and I even wake up with that feeling. Don't know if I need a bigger dose or if the feelings are side effects. I see the doctor early next week, and I'm guessing he'll move my Zoloft up to 50 mg daily.
I'm now using Klonopin to get me through the day...I have .5 mg tablets, and I find that about 1/3 of a tablet makes me just feel calmer, able to engage, and doesn't make me tired. I can take that amount every couple of hours (although I did doze off around 11 PM during a movie). So I took just about one full pill for the day. The Klono does a much better job than the other meds I've tried, so for now I'll go with that.

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Response to PennyK (Reply #49)

Wed Oct 25, 2017, 10:31 AM

50. Thanks for updating....you do understand this is a process

Just a page or 8 in your book of life?

I have to remind myself that, often.

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Response to irisblue (Reply #50)

Wed Oct 25, 2017, 02:38 PM

51. Yes, thanks, irisblue

Hard to focus on the big picture at times, though.
I CAN feel happy about my hip bursitis really tamping down! Between chiro, anti-inflammatory supplements, and Epsom salts bath, it hardly hurts unless I walk far or lift something heavy. And I will be having a biopsy on a little teeny lump in my breast pretty soon. I'd hate to go through cancer treatment again, so I hope it's nothing or something so tiny they can just remove it. Hell, I'd be fine with a second mastectomy if necessary...but no more chemo pleeze!

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Response to PennyK (Original post)

Tue Oct 31, 2017, 01:50 PM

52. As expected

Today I've been upped to 50 mg of Zoloft. He said i shouldn't get a recurrence of side effects, now that my system is used to the drug. Hopefully, that will be enough to get me past the late-afternoon slide back into sadness I've been getting. He also scheduled a thyroid test, which is normal but a bit low.

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Response to PennyK (Reply #52)

Sat Nov 4, 2017, 05:09 PM

53. hope it works well, hang in there!

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Response to PennyK (Original post)

Wed Nov 8, 2017, 01:58 PM

54. Not quite there yet...

...whatever "there' is. i wake up feeling okay but as the day creeps on, my stomach gets jumpy. Not quite butterflies, but that seems to be where my anxiety comes from.
i have a surgery on Friday; it's a breast biopsy for which I need to be sedated. They've found a teeny tiny something there and don't want to take any chances.

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Response to PennyK (Reply #54)

Wed Nov 8, 2017, 02:35 PM

55. Hey

((Hugs))

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Response to PennyK (Original post)

Sat Nov 11, 2017, 11:57 PM

56. Those Zoloft side effects are no fun

I have been feeling so unhappy; it's like a pit in my stomach. I went back and checked the calendar, and realized it hasn't been that long since my dosage increase, which made me realize it's still side-effects.
I think I can do this, with the help of my trusty benzos (I take 1/4 of a .5 Klono once or twice during the day and then .5 Xanax at bedtime).
I've been immersing myself in period mystery novels and some of them are so complicated that I actually forget to worry about myself at times -yay-.
Oh, and my surgery went smoothly; just have to wait for the biopsy, but my surgeon feels pretty confident it was a random fat blob left over from my breast reduction. with everything my appetite has been terrible, but I'm getting plenty of liquids and soup at least.

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Response to PennyK (Reply #56)

Sun Nov 12, 2017, 01:18 PM

57. Fiction can be so good for distractions.

I have been reading a lot of fan fiction the last year on my phone.
When do you think the dr will get with you?

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Response to irisblue (Reply #57)

Sun Nov 12, 2017, 04:49 PM

58. Appointment is the 21st.

I'm sure by the end of next week I'll be obsessing over those results, but right now I'm just trying to feel somewhat 'normal.' Frustrating. I've been needing naps, and just trying to get through the day. Blah.
Thanks for listening, irisblue...it helps a lot.

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Response to PennyK (Reply #58)

Sun Nov 12, 2017, 05:23 PM

59. It is on the drizzly/light snow edge here.

Afghan, hot sweet tea and a cat. The scent of dinner in the crock pot.
Do something sweet for your self Penny.

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Response to irisblue (Reply #59)

Mon Nov 13, 2017, 09:15 PM

60. That sounds nice! I do have the cat and the afghan

I'm just not bouncing back from my surgery very well. I had to come to terms with the fact that I am in a very bad rut with my oxycodone. I officially started cutting back last night and I will do my best to cut it out completely within a week or two (I wasn't taking much, but I have been using it for over a year). I think I said it before: it's not worth two hours of feeling nice if you feel like #*%# the rest of the time. I'm using small amounts of Klono to get through, as little as possible, and napping when I feel like it.

And this way, I'll be better able to determine if the Zoloft is actually helping or hurting.

Otherwise, we just started Midsomer Murders (seems like a hoot) and I actually read a book by the man who wrote that show (Anthony Horowitz). It's 'Magpie Murders,' and it's a murder mystery within a murder mystery. Super fun.

What do you cook in your crockpot? I made roast chicken with tons of veggies tonight and I'll use the leftover for fettuccine Alfredo tomorrow.

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Response to PennyK (Reply #60)

Tue Nov 14, 2017, 02:10 PM

61. I was making beef stew

Very simple, I used budget bytes rosemary garlic stew recipe. I have 3 cats, Majik, the old boy does not let me pick him up, buuuutt every so often he will sit on my lap on the couch. He is not a cuddler unlike his mother, Angel Mojo. Shaw, one of the ~1yr old cats will sit on the couch end & watch. Her sister Dixie, is a lap loving girl.

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Response to irisblue (Reply #61)

Tue Nov 14, 2017, 02:15 PM

62. Oh I am trying to freeze several healthy meals.

I can swing between not eating or ordering pizza/fast food. Costly and while pizza is a gift from Italy to the world....3 days out of a week isn't a healthy choice, or cheap.

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Response to irisblue (Reply #62)

Tue Nov 14, 2017, 02:57 PM

63. My appetite wasn't good for those few days

It was one of those times where I had to make myself eat. I think I'm better now.
I do try to make a somewhat healthy meal every night, with the many limitations Hubby puts on me (picky, picky). Sometimes I make separate meals for us when I crave something he doesn't like.
I agree with you about pizza, though, and we found a really good local place that makes everything fresh. Going to have to get something more than pizza there one of these days.
As an ex-NYer, I could alternate Italian and Chinese happily for the rest of my life (with hot pastrami and bagel-and-lox once in a while)!

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Response to irisblue (Reply #61)

Wed Nov 15, 2017, 01:36 PM

64. I'm actually craving beef stew

That's one of the things my husband dislikes, but I might just get to it in a few days and brew some up (I'll fix him some fried flounder that night). Carrots, potatoes, onion, celery, served with big egg noodles, of course. We have Thanksgiving coming up and since this year, my kids are celebrating elsewhere, I'll be making the meal to suit HIM, which means your standard mashed potatoes, green-bean casserole, stuffing, and i think I found a pumpkin dessert I might just like (there's chocolate involved).

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Response to PennyK (Original post)

Fri Nov 17, 2017, 11:54 AM

65. Still feeling kinda tense

I'm doing okay with the cutback on pain pills. Maybe going a little slower than I had hoped, but I'm going in the right direction, at least.

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Response to PennyK (Original post)

Sat Nov 18, 2017, 02:04 PM

66. The stuff has quite a hold. Impressive.

I have given myself these options: 1/2 pain pill tonight or zero. The withdrawal is really unpleasant...I can't stop obsessing over it. No real physical discomfort, except for stomach butterflies (mild). I'm pretty sure I can do this with the help of my small amounts of Klono or Xanax, and it seems stupid to prolong it.
All I really have to do today is go to the market and throw some sort of dinner together for Hubby. Then, if I want to just medicate myself and sleep, so be it.
Pretty easy to see why this has become a killing epidemic. A little pill that just makes everything okay...

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Response to PennyK (Reply #66)

Sat Nov 18, 2017, 03:24 PM

67. .

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Response to irisblue (Reply #67)

Sun Nov 19, 2017, 12:26 PM

68. I managed to skip the drug last night!

I give all the credit to a great book I was reading. Yes, I took my Klonopin crumbs, but I made it. I even felt pretty good. I hoped against hope that it was going to be a straight line, but I do have a bit of the yukkies today. Going to the library to get the next book in my series, and I will immerse myself again.
Small steps toward success. And thanks again, irisblue, for listening.

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Response to PennyK (Original post)

Mon Nov 20, 2017, 01:29 PM

69. i made it another day.

This is the longest I've gone without my little helper in over a year. I feel proud -- didn't think i could do it.
I am thinking i might allow myself one Tuesday; that's the day i get the results of my biopsy.

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Response to PennyK (Original post)

Tue Nov 21, 2017, 04:41 PM

70. Biopsy results: No Cancer!

it was a little blob of fat, left over from my breast reduction a few years ago. Yay!

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Response to PennyK (Reply #70)

Tue Nov 21, 2017, 04:45 PM

71. great news! :) you must be very relieved nt

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Response to PennyK (Reply #70)

Tue Nov 21, 2017, 04:56 PM

72. Happy dance ya'll!!

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Response to PennyK (Original post)

Tue Nov 21, 2017, 05:02 PM

73. Thanks!

It was pouring rain as we left but I pretty much skipped to the car. Then we went to Aldi and bought several different kinds of chocolate.
I think I'm officially done with cancer now...and I will be calling my plastic surgeon soon to discuss reconstruction.

This certainly won't hurt with my depression/anxiety status!!!!! And that's all I've got left to deal with now.

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Response to PennyK (Original post)

Sat Nov 25, 2017, 01:11 PM

74. I think my Zoloft is finally working

The side effects of anxiety have abated a lot. Yesterday was the first day I didn't need to take anything for it. Except that I upped my caffeine intake, as a test, and I did get a tad jumpy later in the evening.
And the other problem, the pain pills, is a lot more under control. I have cut way back, haven't stopped completely, but I've gone four days without any, twice now. It was difficult, but reading some very engrossing books really helped.
I'm pretty sure both of these things are connected, and I feel pretty good about how I'm doing.

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Response to PennyK (Reply #74)

Sat Nov 25, 2017, 01:26 PM

75. 😍😀

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Response to PennyK (Original post)

Sat Nov 25, 2017, 01:52 PM

76. Self awareness is a huge positive step

Communicating with the docs is so very healthy.

Yes, a long and unwelcome struggle, but sounds like you are doing the right things to tackle it.

If one thing doesn't work -- and yet you persist!

I hate exercise, but it really does help to get out and take a short or even a long walk every day in all the weather that Nature provides. Especially around trees. There is science behind this.

Even at this remote, computerized distance I have trust that you will prevail and find your previous emotional level.

Cheering you on......

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Response to PennyK (Original post)

Mon Nov 27, 2017, 02:36 PM

77. Got an awful headache

Last edited Mon Nov 27, 2017, 09:07 PM - Edit history (1)

It started as a combination neck cramp and facial pain from my eyeglasses. Then yesterday it became a full-blown headache, with a general weak feeling. Tylenol, which is all I'm allowed, helps a bit. I ended up taking a 2-hour nap yesterday. Hoping the chiropractor will be able to help today.
Man, if it's not one thing...
Later: the chiro helped a lot. I napped, and tonight, the headache is small but I still have pain at the base of my neck. I'll see him again Thursday, and hopefully it won't revert before then.

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Response to PennyK (Original post)

Wed Nov 29, 2017, 09:38 PM

78. Headache still in progress

Finally calling the doctor tomorrow. It's weird -- sometimes it's a muscle cramp in my upper neck and back of head, then it switches to headache. All I'm allowed to take is Tylenol, and that barely helps.
This stinks, because my husband's family is visiting tomorrow! We have plans to dine at a restaurant, but they know I'm having health issues and may bow out. They're coming here first, so I did need to do some tidying. Hoping I feel a bit better in the AM and that i can get some sort of help from the doctor and my chiropractor tomorrow!

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Response to PennyK (Original post)

Fri Dec 1, 2017, 01:12 PM

79. Apparently it's a tension headache

I went to urgent care yesterday and got a Toradol shot, and scrips for low-dose Prednisone and Robaxin (an older muscle relaxer). The meds are giving me a little bit of relief, but I definitely feel funny from them. Tummy flutters.
I also saw my chiropractor yesterday; I'm going again today and getting My First Massage.
At least I'm able to sleep at night; not permitting myself any naps to make sure that happens. I'll beg to see my doctor early next week...either I'll get more of the Prednisone or he'll have a better suggestion.
I also have been doing some stretches specifically for the problem.

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Response to PennyK (Reply #79)

Fri Dec 1, 2017, 03:44 PM

80. Did the chiro suggest a particular pillow/neck support?

When I have a neck based pain, I use a rolled up towel for support.

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Response to irisblue (Reply #80)

Fri Dec 1, 2017, 06:17 PM

81. Well, I'm careful about that

I use a fairly flat down pillow, and I also use a pillow between my knees.
Can I just say WOW! The massage was great -- I had no idea. I got sucked right into a multi-deal. The masseuse was a young woman and really powerful. She said the knot in my back was about the biggest she's seen. We didn't get it all the way out, though.
When it was over I walked right past my husband in the waiting room LOL.
Her recommendation was for me to get a Theracane, which I just ordered from Everythingzon. You can use it on the kinks in your back, and the ratings for it are all tributes.

I'm not over the headache yet, but I'm hoping I will be able to cut back on the meds (yuk Prednisone) for tomorrow. And I'll keep up my stretches. Hopefully I'll feel like eating something tonight -- I have wonton soup and some yogurts (appetite has been bad). And I'll have an Epsom salts bath tonight...I really got pummelled!

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Response to PennyK (Reply #81)

Fri Dec 1, 2017, 06:29 PM

82. After I've had a deep tissue 💆 massage,

He's told me to drink extra water, helps to flush the lactic acids.

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Response to irisblue (Reply #82)

Fri Dec 1, 2017, 06:45 PM

83. Yep!

I got the same advice...chugging as I type!

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Response to irisblue (Reply #80)

Sat Dec 2, 2017, 08:44 PM

84. Thanks, I also added this great idea

Well.
A headache for a week.
I was told my PCP is all booked up for Monday, but I am going to do my best to be seen...or prescribed for if I can't be seen until Tuesday. And I'll see my chiro again that day. I have just enough Prednisone to get me through Monday.
I want to thank you again, irisblue, for listening. I realized that my mother used to grow irises and how beautiful they are.
I've gotten through a lot, and I know there WILL be a way to get through this.
Poor Hubby is having to suffer with frozen/quickie meals...he hates fast food...I've really spoiled him. Meanwhile, I have no appetite whatsoever.

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Response to PennyK (Original post)

Sun Dec 3, 2017, 02:44 PM

85. Crossing my fingers...

Last edited Sun Dec 3, 2017, 06:40 PM - Edit history (1)

It's easing up. May have just been the intense shower i took earlier. If I have to, I'll do that again. I'm also trying to cut back on the meds they gave me, because they made my stomach crazy. I need to eat or I'll get too weak to function. Still want to see my doctor tomorrow; I need to come clean about my use of pain meds (this could all be because of that, I think).

Oh! The masseuse recommended that I get a Theracane. I looked it up and it has great reviews. Arriving Tuesday. And my sister told me she uses Fiorinal for bad headaches; I am going to ask for Fioricet, the Tylenol version.

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Response to PennyK (Original post)

Mon Dec 4, 2017, 12:57 AM

86. I asked around on FB and got more advice

Breathe into a paper bag for 30 seconds. Another vote for Fioricet. Heated rice bag. I'm SO hoping I make it through the night and wake up tomorrow without a recurrence.

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Response to PennyK (Original post)

Mon Dec 4, 2017, 12:58 PM

87. yay me!

I slept through the night. Pain has eased up to about a 4 on the chart. I got a DR appointment for tomorrow and I'm seeing my chiro again today. I felt well enough to have some chicken soup and even watched a TV show. Doing all the things to help, from breathing into a paper bag to stretching to hot showers to icy Hot and Tylenol.

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Response to PennyK (Reply #87)

Mon Dec 4, 2017, 03:30 PM

88. Paper bag?

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Response to irisblue (Reply #88)

Mon Dec 4, 2017, 05:47 PM

89. It was a suggestion

Get a small paper bag. Place the opening over your mouth and nose. Breath into the bag with the bag opening and deflating in 30-second intervals. Rest for a few seconds in between and
repeat. You are actually breathing carbon dioxide inside the bag, which causes your blood vessels to open up which should relieve your tension headache.
I believe this is also suggested for anxiety. I tried it and it didn't hurt...

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Response to PennyK (Reply #89)

Tue Dec 5, 2017, 11:54 AM

90. I finally see my PCP today

I think I have to come clean about my use of pain meds...I'm never going to get "better" if I'm not honest about this.
I hope he can help me. I wasn't using a ton, but obviously it was more than I should have.
And something to make the remnants of this damned headache go away!

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Response to PennyK (Original post)

Tue Dec 5, 2017, 05:14 PM

91. Went to the doctor

He was super-supportive. I got a scrip for Fioricet and he gave me some samples of Amrix muscle relaxer. headache is down around 10%, liveable, but I look forward to having a clear head.
I've felt so cruddy I can barely rail against Trump!

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Response to PennyK (Reply #91)

Tue Dec 5, 2017, 05:19 PM

92. 😀

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Response to irisblue (Reply #92)

Tue Dec 5, 2017, 06:03 PM

93. Fiorcet works well for me.

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Response to irisblue (Reply #93)

Tue Dec 5, 2017, 09:25 PM

94. I finally got my prescription filled

Walgreens was busy today! Looking forward to feeling 'normal' again...I know my guy is pretty tired of it all being about me. I also have some muscle relaxers that my doc gave me samples of (that will apparently ease me into sleep tonight)...and I got this cool device, the Theracane, today. I can use it to press into the sore occipital area, and wow!
Apparently this med should do the trick!

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Response to PennyK (Original post)

Wed Dec 6, 2017, 11:13 AM

95. I'm feeling so much better!

The meds didn't do very much...I know the Fioricet is supposed to be taken at the onset of a headache...but all I have left now is the neck tightness. Hot shower should help a lot. I do seem to be a lot less anxious.
I finally feel close to human again! Looking forward to resuming my usual activities: market, cooking a nice dinner, sewing while Chris Hayes and Rachel have at it, and then an episode of Midsomer Murders.
Now to get crackin' on my Chanukah gift list!

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Response to PennyK (Original post)

Thu Dec 7, 2017, 02:02 PM

96. Getting another massage and chiro today

I finally feel like Life is worth living again. Yesterday, I shopped, cooked a good dinner, and enjoyed it. After dinner, I sewed a bit, watched Rachel, and then got to the dirty part: an episode of "Midsomer Murders" with Hubby. I even whipped up a batch of my lemon sherbet and enjoyed that too. All followed by an uniterrupted night's sleep.
My neck is still sore but I can deal with that.

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Response to PennyK (Reply #96)

Thu Dec 7, 2017, 02:04 PM

97. 😀😸😀😸😸😀👋

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Response to irisblue (Reply #97)

Thu Dec 7, 2017, 06:27 PM

98. I'm floating on a cloud

Just had my chiro and second massage. He got rid of the remaining stiffness in my neck and she erased almost every knot in my back. Next up: pizza, Epsom salts bath, and Midsomer Murders. Can't believe how good I feel!!!!

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Response to PennyK (Original post)

Sun Dec 10, 2017, 01:29 AM

99. Next problem

Last edited Tue Dec 12, 2017, 12:30 PM - Edit history (2)

Blurred vision, just for distance, has come on over the last month. I see that it's a reported side effect of many antidepressants. I did ask my doctor about it, but he said he'd never had a patient with that issue, and that I should have my eyes examined. Like I don't every year! I've been wearing glasses since I was a kid.

I've decided to try and get off the Zoloft (with medical supervision). I'd rather see and be sad than have this problem. I already had terrible vision (nearsighted, farsighted, astigmatism) and I cannot handle it getting worse.

Edited to say: Changed my mind. It might be a temporary side effect of the Zoloft. I'll move up my annual eye exam to January and determine if it's cataracts or glaucoma or something else first. The Zoloft is doing its job...I feel optimistic and calm, and I can wait. If it IS the Zoloft, the vision will go away when I quit it. I just won't drive at night for now (hardly ever do anyhow).

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Response to PennyK (Original post)

Tue Dec 12, 2017, 02:04 PM

100. Another yay me

I have successfully gotten myself un-addicted to pain meds. And thinking back, I had about ten days of extreme anxiety, then the tension headache happened...just when I thought I was good.

I knew I had to do something before it started to get out of hand. I am the addictive type; case in point, I switched to e-cigs three years ago. Still using them and I think quitting that would be even harder.

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Response to PennyK (Reply #100)

Tue Dec 12, 2017, 02:07 PM

101. that is outstanding!

it does feel great to beat an addiction, although you always have to stay one step ahead....when I first "quit" smoking, I chewed nicotine gum for years, but eventually ditched that because you're missing the cost savings

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Response to PennyK (Reply #100)

Tue Dec 12, 2017, 02:29 PM

102. I hadn't noticed this thread at the outset

I'm not a regular in this group, but I saw it hit a milestone 100 replies and poked my nose in to look around.

This thread ought to be bookmarked as an example for others who experience anxiety or depression and feel like there's no way out. I admire your perseverance and am glad you are feeling so much better, PennyK! There is no singular route to going from down in the dumps to back on top, but the tried and true methods always involve time (an unknown quantity of it) and a willingness to forge on.

I wish you well, and very happy holidays!



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Response to True Dough (Reply #102)

Wed Dec 13, 2017, 02:43 PM

103. Thank you!

Of course, most of the posts are my own lol.
Yes, it feels as though the combination of Zoloft and getting past my pain-med problem have done it for me. I have had many troublesome side effects since chemo, but it finally feels like I'm back to myself. Feeling positive and having things to do that I enjoy. Appreciating the people in my life who love me. Being grateful that I have this place to hash it all out!

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Response to PennyK (Reply #103)

Wed Dec 13, 2017, 03:04 PM

104. .😀


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Response to PennyK (Original post)

Fri Dec 15, 2017, 11:23 AM

105. Cheerful

Last edited Fri Dec 15, 2017, 01:50 PM - Edit history (1)

As each day arrives I realize that I DO feel happy. I'm still on 50 mg of Zoloft, which seems to be the lowest dose normally recommended for adults, and it's definitely doing the job. I'm even looking forward to a neighborhood party I have to attend this weekend, and I'm not good at parties at all!
This also could be a result of getting myself off the pain meds and not having that craving anymore...I don't care. I will take it! As they say, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. I see my doctor for my official annual checkup in two weeks and I can confirm with him that this is how I'm supposed to be feeling. But all seems to be well. I just need to monitor that I don't tiptoe into mildly manic behavior (which happened when I tried Wellbutrin first).

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Response to PennyK (Original post)

Wed Dec 20, 2017, 01:47 PM

106. Today is my 67th birthday

And I'm doing pretty well, all considering!

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Response to PennyK (Reply #106)

Wed Dec 20, 2017, 02:25 PM

107. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

🎆🎊🎉🎇🎂
Best Wishes friend#!!!

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Response to irisblue (Reply #107)

Wed Dec 20, 2017, 04:47 PM

108. Thanks, irisblue!

And I'm feeling pretty good today! Had my own digestive-system issues this week, but I've recovered in time to celebrate with all things CHOCOLATE tonight. And my present from my guy is my own hi-def smart TV, "only 32", for my sewing room.
I never realized before last night that Rachel wears so much makeup lol.

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Response to PennyK (Original post)

Sat Dec 23, 2017, 01:53 PM

109. Wha' happened?

All of a sudden I'm feeling anxious again, today is the second day. I also have an unhappy digestive system (I'll just say that the White Cloud people will have a merry Xmas).
I'm due to see my doctor on Thursday, and maybe we'll discuss my Zoloft...I doubt that I need more, because I feel quite happy, but this anxiety is kind of messing everything up. Maybe less? (I'm only on 50 mg.)

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Response to PennyK (Reply #109)

Sat Dec 23, 2017, 02:22 PM

110. I haven't followed your thread faithfully, sorry, are you on any anti-anxiety meds ?

Zoloft works well for depression but not as well for anxiety. If your anxiety continues, you might want to talk to your doc about a non-addictive anti-anxiety agent like Gabapentin (originally an anti-convulsant but also used for anxiety). He/she might also want to increase your Zoloft to help you with the anxiety.

If you get anything for anxiety, be sure to read up on it. If he/she gives you Xanax (or any other benzodiazepine), just know that it works extremely well. If you get a benzo, you will want to follow the directions 100% and NOT increase your dosage yourself. Also, of course, stay in very close contact with your doc. Benzos are great for short-term usages, but IMHO (and I think most docs and psychiatrists agree with me) not for longer term usage.

Of course, there's always non-medication routes to decreasing anxiety such as meditation, herbal teas, exercise, correcting any irrational thoughts, and probably something I forgot.

Best wishes and keep on hanging in there. You have a ton of silent and "typed" support in here

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Response to steve2470 (Reply #110)

Sat Dec 23, 2017, 06:04 PM

111. Hi. steve

Last edited Sat Dec 23, 2017, 07:17 PM - Edit history (1)

I'm just on the Zoloft, and once I got past the initial period I felt great. It did make both my depression and anxiety go away, and I felt like I normally do. I do have Xanax and one or two other types of benzos, which I sometimes use for help falling asleep, or if the anxiety gets to be too much...never on a regular basis.
This current anxiety isn't about anything real. It's just a physical discomfort. At least, that's how it seems. I did just two weeks ago have my first tension headache, and again, it didn't seem to be caused by "bad" thoughts. I now have Fioricet in case that recurs, but I'm definitely saving that for when i really need it.
'Tis a puzzlement. Thanks for your thoughts!

Edited to add: I took Tylenol and had a nap. Feeling a bit better now. I also got a couple of books from the library that are very distracting; that has been my go-to activity when I need an escape.

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Response to PennyK (Original post)

Sun Dec 24, 2017, 01:14 PM

112. Doing better today!

I can see there is a fine line between feeling cheerful and feeling anxious...today, I seem to be on the cheerful side of that line. So far today, I'm doing the laundry, changed the sheets, had my time out in the sun, and did my stretches. To come: trip to the markets, spaghetti and meatballs dinner for The Guy (I'm sticking with easy to digest food), an Epsom salts bath, and then I'm making CRUMPETS as a special treat that he requested (because they sound so British, I guess)...to be eaten with butter and jam while watching Midsomer Murders on Netflix.
I'm fairly sure my digestion and the anxiety are connected, so maybe all I needed to do was just avoid coffee and keep to chicken soup.

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Response to PennyK (Original post)

Tue Dec 26, 2017, 12:14 PM

113. I figured it out.

I stupidly thought I could take a pain med once every four or five days. I was wrong. I've gotten rid of them. Stupid.

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Response to PennyK (Original post)

Thu Dec 28, 2017, 11:48 AM

114. Feeling better

The anxiety has eased up. I can drink half-caf coffee now, and I even had a leftover birthday brownie last night. And feel good about life again.

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Response to PennyK (Original post)

Thu Dec 28, 2017, 01:09 PM

115. Thanks for the update Penny

Stomach issues + coffee + anxiety, gotta think on that.

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Response to irisblue (Reply #115)

Fri Dec 29, 2017, 12:25 PM

116. Feeling better.

I learned an important lesson about addiction. And I feel quite happy that I was able to stop myself before it became a serious problem.

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Response to PennyK (Original post)

Sun Dec 31, 2017, 12:22 PM

117. Best wishes to all for 2018!

I've had a lot of challenges this year, but I'm ending it in a much better place than where I was when it began. I hope that everyone will do better in 2018. and damn it, VOTE!
Happy New Year!

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Response to PennyK (Original post)

Mon Jan 8, 2018, 02:40 PM

118. This whole addiction thing is more insidious than I thought.

You have to actually quit using whatever you're addicted to.
Who knew (sarcasm)?
I thought I'd be okay taking my pain pill once a week...but I still got cravings and anxiety when the week was almost up. I didn't give in, though. I will have surgery later this year for which I'll need those meds, and I'll need them to work as they should.

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Response to PennyK (Original post)

Mon Jan 8, 2018, 04:30 PM

119. Today has been challenging. RotoRooter putting new sewer line down in the backyard

And now I cannot get the key out of the car ignation.

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Response to irisblue (Reply #119)

Mon Jan 8, 2018, 05:23 PM

120. New sewer line?

That's a good thing -- once it's completed.
You reminded me of a time where i had trouble getting my key out of the ignition, too. The reason was that the car was still ON. I actually left it running and bought my groceries. Then I came out and realized what I had done.

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Response to PennyK (Reply #120)

Mon Jan 8, 2018, 05:42 PM

121. Cast iron pipe laid down 60+ yrs ago.

Sugar maples were cheap & effective landscaping then. They send their roots for water. Eventually they won.

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Response to PennyK (Original post)

Wed Jan 10, 2018, 12:42 PM

122. I'm going to increase my Zoloft

My doctor agreed when I told him I had been needing Klono to tamp down the anxiety. I'm only going to increase it by 1/2 of a 25 mg tablet. Also, he wants me to do a sleep study to see if I'm getting enough oxygen at night...he said that could affect mood, too.

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Response to PennyK (Original post)

Thu Jan 25, 2018, 12:27 PM

123. A small step in the right direction

I've now gone two full weeks without pain meds. There were quite a few days with anxiety, but just yesterday I was able to refrain. I'm feeling a little happier and more able to cope with things, too.

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Response to PennyK (Reply #123)

Thu Jan 25, 2018, 12:47 PM

124. Good on you!👍👼

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Response to irisblue (Reply #124)

Thu Jan 25, 2018, 05:24 PM

125. Thanks

I'm going to be having reconstruction surgery this year, and I'll need those meds to do their job!

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Response to PennyK (Original post)

Thu Jan 25, 2018, 05:27 PM

126. I am not a physician but I do recommend you lay off the Xanax if you can.

It came become a whole new problem, trust me.

Ativan is far better as in less addictive and less repercussions when you stop.
Just noticed this is an old thread, so ignore me if I am irrelevant as to my thoughts.

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Response to Eliot Rosewater (Reply #126)

Fri Jan 26, 2018, 01:16 AM

127. No, appreciated your comment

I do have Ativan, but I honestly could use some guidance. What would the equivalent be to .5 mg Xanax? I use it to help me get to sleep. Thanks!

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Response to PennyK (Reply #127)

Fri Jan 26, 2018, 12:29 PM

128. 1 mg of ativan should be plenty, problem is Xanax has a very strong 2nd life, and

makes it hard to stop taking it.

Here is how you know if you have an issue, dont take any xanax or ativan or any pain pills or nothing mood altering, alcohol etc , pot, for 3 days and see if you experience withdrawal.

Assuming your doctor says OK, and if you dont then you could stop taking the Xanax and use the ativan at that point.


But I am NOT a physician, I dont know what your other circumstances are, and if you did stop everything for a few days and experience withdrawal be prepared to be able to identify the symptoms and know what to do.

If you experience depression to clinical levels then ignore what I am saying completely other than get advice from your dr as in would I be better off with no Xanax but using ativan only.

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Response to Eliot Rosewater (Reply #128)

Fri Jan 26, 2018, 03:33 PM

129. Thanks again

Dr. has already told me that he'd prefer me to use Ativan as a sleep aid. I used to take diphenhydramine (the OTC sleep aid), but once it started to give me muscle cramps, i had to look elsewhere.

I'll try it tonight.

Oh, and I take Zoloft for anxiety.

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Response to PennyK (Reply #129)

Mon Jan 29, 2018, 04:30 PM

130. hope things are going well for you overall!

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Response to steve2470 (Reply #130)

Sat Feb 17, 2018, 08:19 PM

131. Hey Steve

I am, and I hope you are as well.
I have brand-new glasses; my distance vision got worse.
I've gotten past two weeks of no pain meds...still get anxiety, so keeping busy is key.
Daughter #1 has been visiting and although we bicker sometimes, it's been great to spend time with her. She leaves in a few days, and then Daughter #2 is coming with her partner Ryan. Me like!

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Response to PennyK (Original post)

Sun Mar 4, 2018, 12:40 PM

132. The Xanax may have been giving me probs. I switched.

I am trying out melatonin for help falling asleep, and I've been helping it along, the first few nights, with .5 Ativan (Lorazepam). Falling asleep just fine, and less anxiety in the AM (which could also be from adjusting to my new Zoloft dosage, which is now .62).

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Response to PennyK (Original post)

Sun Mar 4, 2018, 01:14 PM

133. Thanks for the update Penny. Wishing you the best.

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Response to PennyK (Original post)

Sat Apr 28, 2018, 12:06 PM

134. One night with Ambien was enough for me!

Last edited Sat Apr 28, 2018, 01:13 PM - Edit history (1)

PCP told me I shouldn't be using either Xanax or Lorazepam for sleep, since I sometimes take Klonopin (VERY rarely), and promoted the Ambien as something that works well for him. I made sure to be well aware of the crazy things that can occur with it, and warned my husband to keep half an ear out for anything odd.
Well, I went to sleep at 1 AM...but woke up at 4. It took me a long time to fall back asleep and I eventually got up at 7:30, which is very early for me.
I'm going back to the Lorazepam.

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Response to PennyK (Reply #134)

Mon Apr 30, 2018, 02:21 PM

135. Nights with broken sleep

Suck so much

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Response to PennyK (Original post)

Mon May 21, 2018, 09:21 PM

136. Regretting my plan to travel

I figured it was time to resume my annual trip back to NYC to visit with family, after missing two years because of cancer treatment. Well, I've worked myself into such an anxious state that my digestion is completely messed up and I gave myself a tension headache. I'll be seeing the doctor tomorrow about the digestive issue (hey, it COULD be a bug), and I'm trying my best to calm down.

I have nothing to be freaked out about -- I'll be with my favorite people (my sister, daughter, mother), but my world has been quite curtailed since my health issues started. I did consider cancelling today, but I've felt a bit better today and I'll continue to plan for my trip.

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Response to PennyK (Reply #136)

Wed May 23, 2018, 10:10 AM

137. Making it, but with help from meds

The doctor prescribed Lomotil, which I also took during chemo. It works for the digestive problems, but also anxiety (because it has a little bit of opiate). I was supposed to take two to start and it really helped, plus I felt much calmer. Good thing I only got 15 of them!
When I woke up today I was super-anxious again, and my symptoms were not all gone, so I took one. Hopefully I'll get through this without any more new symptoms.
Nueva York manana!

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Response to PennyK (Reply #136)

Thu May 31, 2018, 10:39 PM

141. Apparently I have been really sick

I'm back home, and my digestion was way off for the entire visit to New York, and it's been over three weeks. I don't want to go into details, but it reached the point where I was in danger of becoming malnourished. Three days ago, I decided to start eating real food rather than just fat-free yogurt and bananas...and guess what? I didn't get worse. So I took it a little easy but ate normal food, and enjoyed my last two days.
I have a doctor's appointment for Tuesday. My brother, who's an RN, urged me to request some tests, because I may have a parasite or some sort of infection.
My sister told me I seemed very anxious. Yeah, Sis.

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Response to PennyK (Original post)

Wed May 23, 2018, 10:44 AM

138. Hey Penny 👋

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Response to irisblue (Reply #138)

Thu May 24, 2018, 09:58 AM

139. Hey yourself, irisblue

I sinned yesterday, meaning I had some coffee. Paying for it now, but I should get through, thanks to Magic Lomotil. I even decided my post-chemo hair was good enough for the airport and flight.I still have bare spots and need to use Toppix colored powder, but I'll be much more comfortable this way and packed my hairpiece in my suitcase.
If I have to skip the culinary delights of NYC this time around,so be it...there's always next time!

I hope you're doing better at night.

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Response to PennyK (Original post)

Sun May 27, 2018, 11:11 AM

140. It isn't really improving

Last edited Tue Jun 5, 2018, 08:39 AM - Edit history (1)

I feel fine otherwise. I guess I'll be going back to the doctor when I get home.

Updated 6/5: I still have the same symptom and I'm finally seeing the doc today.
So will it be some sort of infection or something more serious? Inquiring me wants to know.

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Response to PennyK (Original post)

Wed Jun 6, 2018, 03:19 PM

142. The samples are in

They're going to do many tests to see what's up. Could be microscopic colitis, could be some sort of infection. It turns out that taking Zoloft can encourage the colitis, and I had just upped my dosage when this first occurred.
I'm going to have eyelid surgery (ptosis) and I have to postpone it until I get this digestive dilemma resolved.

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Response to PennyK (Original post)

Fri Jun 8, 2018, 08:16 PM

143. So how's this?

I got a call from my doctor, saying they have my test results and can see me next Thursday.
NEXT THURSDAY???
So, I guess I'm not dying.

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Response to PennyK (Reply #143)

Fri Jun 8, 2018, 11:40 PM

144. I'd say that was probably good news :) nt

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Response to steve2470 (Reply #144)

Tue Jun 12, 2018, 03:41 PM

145. Most likely outcome:

That the tests showed nothing, and that this was caused by the increase in Zoloft. I suspect the doctor will have me taper back to the amount I was on, 62.5 mg rather than 75, or maybe just go to 50. And hopefully that's a small enough decrease that I won't have any crazy withdrawal.

I've had improvement without any changes, so I'm not as worried about the problem.

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Response to PennyK (Original post)

Thu Jun 14, 2018, 11:05 AM

146. All tests negative (for digestive issue)

Last edited Thu Jun 14, 2018, 02:51 PM - Edit history (1)

The tests DID show nothing.
So now I get to have a colonoscopy. Joy.

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Response to PennyK (Original post)

Mon Jun 18, 2018, 07:51 PM

147. Maybe not!

Last edited Thu Jun 21, 2018, 05:47 PM - Edit history (2)

It seems quite possible that increasing my Zoloft dosage caused the colitis-like situation. I reduced back to the previous dosage, and I thought I was improving, but it was the Lomotil. The day I didn't take one, my symptoms came back. Oh well.
So I've decided to go for the colonoscopy. It actually won't be much worse than what I've been going through over the past month, anyway.

Yeah...I won't have the procedure until July 16th. Limbo. At least the new doctor was nice.

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Response to PennyK (Original post)

Mon Jun 25, 2018, 01:00 PM

148. Meanwhile, I'm finally cutting out the Xanax!

I decided enough time had passed, and went back to the diphenhydramine (Sominex) sleepy pills. At the same time, I started cutting back on the Xanax. So last night I took 1/2 a .25 of the X along with the Sominex. Took a bit longer to fall asleep but I did.
The reason I had stopped taking them was that they gave me some of it with my chemo treatments, and over a minimal amount, it gives me arm and leg cramps. But it's not happening now.
MUCH better than all the Xanax (or other meds) I was taking to fall asleep.

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Response to PennyK (Reply #148)

Mon Jun 25, 2018, 02:27 PM

149. Thanks for the update

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Response to PennyK (Reply #148)

Tue Jun 26, 2018, 05:36 PM

150. that's good news about the Xanax :) nt

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Response to PennyK (Original post)

Sat Jul 14, 2018, 01:38 PM

151. Colonoscopy on Monday

...so of course I'm agitated. I've got clear hard candies, popsicles, Jello, lemonade, etc.
I'm trying to just think about the day AFTER, when I have a fun delivery coming -- a really cute new wig in a medium-length wavy style, one shade lighter than my natural dark mud brown. Yes, I'm self-medicating with hair.
I'm also looking forward to the day I can eat pizza again; but who knows what they're going to decide is wrong with me.

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Response to PennyK (Original post)

Tue Jul 17, 2018, 10:12 AM

152. Best colonoscopy ever

Suprep does taste foul, but acts more gently on your system.And instead of air, they now use CO2 for the procedure, so I didn't have annoying gas to get rid of afterward.
Results should be in in about a week. Meanwhile, FOOD.

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Response to PennyK (Original post)

Sat Jul 28, 2018, 12:50 PM

153. So far so good...?

All the results I've gotten so far show nothing wrong with my digestive system. Not even celiac. The remaining options are lactose intolerance and SIBO (small intestine bacterial overgrowth). Apparently the test for SIBO isn't even performed around here, so if everything else is negative, they'll treat me for that, which involves a specific antibiotic. Ironic, considering an antibiotic I took a year ago may have caused it in the first place.
And I'm still treating myself with new hair...but found out I need to stay away from red. Orange hair doesn't suit me.

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Response to PennyK (Original post)

Wed Aug 1, 2018, 11:22 AM

154. I seem to be all better, digestively speaking

I went to a low-carb diet. Problem eradicated.
Oh, I am doing ptosis (eyelid) surgery next week. My lids droop down and partially hamper my eyesight. Covered by Medicare!

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Response to PennyK (Original post)

Fri Aug 10, 2018, 01:53 PM

155. This has nothing to do with my mental health

Last edited Fri Aug 10, 2018, 05:35 PM - Edit history (1)

I had ptosis surgery (blepharoplasty) this morning. I look like I was dug up from my grave! It's not painful, but somewhat annoying.
I have to ice for 20 minutes every hour (for 24 hours) and my husband is a strict taskmaster. Vision is blurry, so I'm listening to a Sedaris audiobook and tonight I think I'll be able to watch a show on the BIG teevee.
Bad timing in that my new wig arrives today and it's going to be pretty difficult to judge how it looks with red swollen eyes. It's my first venture into a slightly lighter color than my usual dark brown.

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Response to PennyK (Original post)

Wed Aug 15, 2018, 11:24 AM

156. Healing up nicely

Well, it appears I've found a temporary solution to my emotional issues. Just get surgery! All my attention has been on the area that's healing and I've barely had time to be depressed. It's just a pleasure to not have to ice every hour. I also watched about a squillion wig review videos in hopes of finding a perfect style for me. Plus reading period murder mysteries and watching more of them on the teevee.

Until I see my doctor tomorrow at least, I have movement restrictions, so I'm somewhat limited in what I can do (no bending). I look forward to sleeping anywhere but on my back.

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Response to PennyK (Original post)

Sun Aug 19, 2018, 03:30 PM

157. Vision is a little blurry

...which is normal for this, but it's frustrating. Doctor gave me permission to resume all activities. However, I woke up the next morning with more swelling and bruising. So I returned to sleeping with my head elevated. I just seem to be reacting more slowly than the average patient (thanks again, chemo).
Today's the last day for antiseptic ointment. Healing proceeds, and I can wear eye makeup in another week. Yay! I feel almost naked without eyeliner.

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Response to PennyK (Original post)

Mon Sep 17, 2018, 04:05 PM

160. I am feeling cheerful?!?

I've been on a probiotic now for about seven weeks. My digestion is back to normal, and the weird thing is that I feel happy! Little aches and pains are just that - little, and I admit I'm surprised. Could a bacterial imbalance really have caused my depression? A quick review on the 'net says yes. But who knows? I'll take it!

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Response to PennyK (Original post)

Tue Oct 16, 2018, 08:39 PM

161. Another trip home to NYC

...but this time I'm feeling fine!
I haven't even worked myself into an agitated condition over the travel prep. Of course I'm a little anxious, but otherwise I feel good. Looking forward to getting out and about, shopping with my sister, and dining on all kinds of goodies...and seeing Mom. Wait 'til she sees me in my new funky short wig (still semi-hairless thanks to chemo)!
Oh yes -- we're going to see STEELY DAN at the Beacon!

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Response to PennyK (Reply #161)

Sat Oct 20, 2018, 09:15 PM

162. Updates when you get back please.

Nice to have a trip.

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Response to irisblue (Reply #162)

Thu Oct 25, 2018, 09:33 AM

163. I had a nice little trip

My hip bursitis acted up big-time, probably because i walked more than I do at home, and that limited the amount I could get around, but otherwise, I had a good time! We ate some fabulous meals, did a bit of shopping, and saw Steely Dan, which couldn't have been better (you can get pretty good seats when you have an 'in' with the management, heh heh), and I spent lots of time with my daughters, my sister, my brother, and my mother.
I enjoyed my time very much and kept my anxiety under control, and now it's nice to be home in my safe space.

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