::dusting off the cobwebs::
I knew I had been way from the blog awhile but it was not until I logged in today did I realize just how long it has been. It was another reminder of the dark place I woke up in this weekend.
I have not hidden my struggle as I tried to make the adjustment in beginning the disability process. It was definitely a challenge to figure out a new sense of normal for this next phase of my life. The new diagnosis of peripheral neuropathy brought along with it a new treatment. With Cymbalta, I did experience a big decrease in my neuropathy symptoms but it also had some unexpected side effects. Whenever I have seen the TV advertisements about anti-depressants actually increasing depression and anxiety versus treating it, I never understood how it could be possible. Its like taking an anti-nausea medicine making you nauseous. It doesn’t make sense, does it?
I didn’t realize just how far I had slipped until this past weekend. Beyond living with the physical pain and fatigue of my illnesses, I felt like I had just become a shell of the person I used to be. It was almost like I was watching life from a distance. As each day passed my world was becoming smaller and smaller as depression and anxiety continued to take more of a hold on my life. I knew something was off but I couldn’t figure out why I felt the way I did.
On Saturday during an honest, deep, and heartfelt conversation with my husband, it was like something inside me clicked. For the first time in weeks, I feel like I was able to connect the dots. I was finally able to fully hear and understand my husband’s concerns that he had been sharing but I had previously been unable to take in.
It was a hard realization. I had such a flood of emotions. I felt so sad and angry about what I had “allowed” my life to become. I felt like a failure as a wife and a mother. I felt weak and insecure. But I think the most important thing was that I felt something.
I am currently working on weaning off the Cymbalta and finding another treatment for the neuropathy. The withdrawal side effects can be nasty but I already feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I spent the morning elbow deep in paperwork and making phone calls to my doctors’ offices and while it is overwhelming (and exhausting), I feel like I am moving forward and feeling positive again. I am looking forward to being more active and writing again. I am reading to take back the reigns in my life. My daughter deserves it. My husband deserves it. I deserve it.
My word of caution in writing this post is to take the possible side effects of medications seriously. All of them. I think its so easy to write off some of the potential side effects because they are considered rare or unlikely. It is important to know as much as possible about the medicines and treatments you take and be in tune with your own body. I have found myself questioning why I did not pick up on the problem sooner. When you have chronic illness, especially if you have multiple illnesses, it can be so easy to attribute symptoms to a previously diagnosed problem versus them alerting you to a new problem or imbalance. It took someone on the outside per se to help me notice that something else might be going on. Not only is it important for you to be aware of your mediations and their side effects but also your family and support circle.
I want to say thank you to each and every one of you for the support that you have given me over the years (can you believe that A New Kind of Normal has now been around for over 6 years?!?). It is because of your support, love, and encouragement that I am able to share my story and hopefully help others who may be traveling a similar journey. You are amazing.