You can skip to the end if you want, because that contains the summary of my far-too-many-words. However, I have learned a lot and wanted to share
Every time my Primary Torturer hands me a prescription–which is usually her answer for all that ails me–or she recommends I see a real torturer disguised as a physical therapist—I ask her about what she’s giving me, and I remind her that I’m going to go home and Google it, which I do. Many prescriptions I don’t fill, which she knows.
So…why didn’t I Google the hand full of prescriptions given to me by my pill pusher?
Dr. Saved-My-Life, aka the pill pusher, is a little sketch to me now. Why did I blindly follow his instructions?
Because I was D E S P E R A T E.
He was the one with the degree. He was the fourth pill pusher in my lifetime that I interviewed. He seemed to know what he was talking about, and definitely took the time to listen to me.
I only had two choices. I chose to do whatever it took to manage my depression and anxiety. I have been the most compliant patient, other than following homework assigned by my therapist.
Three of the medications I take have been a staple of my diet for years. Life continued to be a struggle to maintain some sort of sanity. There had to be something better than what my Primary Torturer was giving me, whose expertise was not in the field of psychiatry.
One of the add-on pills from my new pill pusher was a mood stabilizer. However, I continued to have anxiety which interfered with my daily life. I also continued to struggle with depression, which was also interfering with my life.
My pill pusher added another old standard medication which worked wonders for my anxiety. It’s a drug older than the new medications forced upon us, creating little guinea pigs for the pharmaceutical companies to cash in. The older medications have little value, but are just as effective. In my case, the older medication was the answer to the snowball of anxiety I had created.
The benzodiazepine, Xanax, has been my friend under all stressful situations. I never took it when my kids were little, and I can’t take it if I plan to drive, or handle heavy machinery–like the car. :) I began using Xanax to check out, so to speak. Life isn’t always easy, but I had a pill for that. I also recognized that it wasn’t normal.
Anxiety has plagued me most of my life, maybe all of it. I’ve done things to escape it, that I won’t even share on here. (see, I can keep a bit to myself)
All is good, I didn’t want to tweak anything because I could slowly feel myself come to life. I want off Xanax–which has continued to be prescribed for my dances with panic and to aid with sleep. In my opinion, Xanax is bad <echo> <echo> <echo>. (My apologies to the grammar-spelling-punctuation-police-persons for using the less than and greater than characters for emphasis–it’s most likely incorrect, but it’s all I had).
I’m tapering off Xanax, but it is an extremely slow process because the withdrawal can be rather horrid–so I’ve read. To replace the Xanax and help me sleep, my pill pusher prescribed yet another pill–one that has been around for a long time. He started me on a low dose, but I started myself on an even lower dose to see if I really needed the larger dose.
I didn’t Google the medication.
Since being on this latest medication I have had many mishaps far and above what are normal for me. My husband recognized that I was a little more lost than usual and tried to encourage me to go back to the doctor or quit taking the last medication prescribed, but I refused because I wanted to return to life. Sleep is pretty important to how the brain functions—but I think we all know that. This medication gave me the much needed sleep, but it also robbed me of any lucidness.
My brain stuffing was nothing but mush, but I was finally looking forward and was beginning to see something, even if it was full of confusion and gaffes. At least I was beginning to feel less anxious and depressed. I believed I could deal with side effects if I had to. The other choice I had, is not one I want to face again. Ever.
I Googled the medication.
I knew to stay away from grapefruits, or grapefruit juice, but I was very shocked that the new medication had major drug interactions with three of the other medications I was taking.
I did something against all my common sense, and what I preach about. We must be our own advocate. We must know what is being given to us and why. We must know of ALL the side effects and drug interactions. I know that there is information that I should have read which is attached to every prescription filled, but when was the last time you read the enclosed literature?
I tapered off the medication with the help of Dr. Sketch, and I am slowly feeling a bit more cognizant. I have been off the medication for three days now.
The internet can be full of misinformation, but it can be your friend if using reputable sites. I never read the forums, just the facts.
Advocate for yourself.
Oh, and read that literature that comes with your medications.