Tuesday, January 05, 2010

final opinion

just got a call from my doctor. a few things: first a few of you had mentioned getting my thyroid/hormone levels tested. the labwork i got back wasn't in layman terms - just a chart of acronyms, the normal ranges, and mine. those that weren't easy to decipher but were within normal limits i pretty much just skipped investigating. so basically i wasn't sure if hormones and thyroid function had been tested but my doctor confirmed they were and were normal. second, he suggested me getting on a daily SSRI, which i politely declined. once a year or so he suggests (also politely) that i would benefit from something in addition to my ativan. i appreciate this but will probably always continue to decline. i took a huge spectrum of meds from 2001-2004 and either they weren't successful in lessening my anxiety levels or they did but had side effects that negated the pros. the final opinion from him was that he felt my anxiety was producing these symptoms (the hair loss, the period of depression i went through, confusion, disorientation, etc) and i can't say im surprised when it's all laid out like that. he does not feel the hypoglycemia is related and he suggested changing my diet (which i already have - high protein, low carb, sugar, & caffeine). regarding the symptoms he wants me to cut my ativan in half and take it more often. i always skimp on taking ativan, probably to my detriment. i wait until the last, excruciating moment before i break to "allow" myself to take some, instead of being more liberal with it. so for now i think ill do what he suggested and see how it goes. if the symptoms don't go away with this method ill go get a second opinion.

funny graphs and charts
see more Funny Graphs


Mandy said...

hi jennie,just learned recently that when those lab results say your thyroid (or whatever) is within normal range, docs for the most part leave it at that. but I heard a naturopath(?) say that if you levels are borderline they could still certainly be causing some symptoms. anyway, just found it interesting so thought I'd share.... Mandy (total stranger who reads your blog) :)

Mandy said...

OH also curious as to why you decline SSRI's - is it the side effects? I am a fellow anxiety sufferer, a daily SSRI helped me tremendously but I eventually stopped due to side effects. It's such a trade-off. Trying other things now like excercise in natural light every day etc but its hard in a cold climate. Anyway,enough from me.... :)

Michelle said...

while i got a diagnosis of migraine/vertigo as my balance was off in my ears i still think anxiety exacerbated so much of it-even causing my left leg/arm numbness/weakness...so weird...
i will say 2004 to 2010 plenty has changed and likely improved in ssri's so that's a consideration. i was told not to take ativan to much, your body can become dependent on it... though i know the frustration of taking a med, waiting for your body to adjust then feeling side effects that suck then having to wean off... its just awful....i will continue praying for you!

Jessi said...

Sorry that you still don't really have an answer.

I hope that the changes in your diet and the suggestions from your doctor help.

That chart is hilarious. So true!

nathalie said...

hi jenny!
i have been reading your blog for quite some time- i really do love your sence of empathy and moral. i wish more people had that. you are such a wonderful example to your children. :)
i am a student in medicine and i feel i have to warn you a little about benzodiaz├ępines such as Ativan. these types of tranquilizants are very easy to get dependent on and the tolerance is high(meaning that if you take them often you will have to raise the dose in order to feel any affect.) i have seen too many patients become highly dependent on benzodiaz├ępines and it VERY hard to stop taking once you have developed an addictin. so please- be very careful jenny!

sorry for my english- i am from europe :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Jenny,
In the last 6 months I've experienced many of the same symptoms as you- hair loss, depression, disorientation, lack of motivation. Mine is all from stress. Prayer, talking to my Christian women friends, eating healthier, light exercise, and sewing/knitting have gotten me out of the funk. My hair isn't falling out now and i'm excited to start each day. And I've been taking a low dose SSRI (50mg zoloft) for 2 and a half years. It has helped me tremendously. I scoffed at it in the beginning, and I had fears that the zoloft would change my personality and make me feel like I wasn't "me". But it didn't. It was a relief and I'm so glad I allowed myself to take it. My children benefited from it too- their mommy wasn't grouchy and lazy and paranoid anymore. It took lots of prayer and help from friends to get up the courage to take it in the beginning. I thought- Isn't God supposed to be the ultimate anti-depressant? If I just have more faith and trust in Him won't he fix me? But the truth is this- if you have a chemical imbalance (which I did) there is no amount of wishing and hoping and stubbornly willing yourself to get better that will work. The zoloft gave me 2 side effects: low libido and though I haven't had any weight GAIN per se, it has made it more difficult to lose the 5-10 baby pounds on my belly. But for me its a sacrifice I'm willing to make when I see how my condition effects my kids and hubby.
I guess another point to consider is the effects these drugs will have on a baby in utero. Its not an issue for me because i'm not planning on having any more.
Okay, thats my story and I'm sticking to it. I will pray for you that God will give you some answers and comfort you while you're trying to figure all this out.
Jenny Hoffman
PS I love seeing all the pics of your family. Those kids are scrumptious.

jenny mae. said...

mandy - bcs i can't even really read this report very well, i dont even know what levels they are at exactly! im sure a little googling could help me sort out the acronyms. regarding the SSRIs, yes it's bcs of the side effects ive encountered - sleep problems, grinding my teeth, weight gain, etc. oh and about working out (which i dont do very often) my husband and i got a bike trainer for christmas so we can bike indoors now. good alternative!


michelle - right now i only take ativan 1-3 times per month. he is by no means advocating daily use or anything like that. just splitting it in half and maybe taking it 3-6 times as needed. same risks of addiction (which are still really low at that frequency) most of my bad feelings about SSRIs came from taking paxil for a number of years. weaning off of that was HELL. i felt like i was receiving electric shocks every so often!

jessi - so far they have, but of course we're right at the beginning of seeing if this diet/med regiment is going to be "the answer"

natalie - wow! what a great compliment! about the ativan, how often and at what dose do you feel is unwise to take? right now i am on a .5 mg dose and i take it 1-3 times per month.

jenny - i took paxil and zoloft during the above mentioned period of time. both were helpful but had some side effects i didnt like (sleep disruptions, weight gain, etc) and coming off of paxil was awful, just awful. to be honest i dont feel any SSRI i've ever taken has made THAT much of an impact. during 2001-2004 was some of the worst anxiety i've ever had and that was when i was on a daily medication! eventually i came to feel that ativan is the only thing that works for me. i dont take it every day of course but in the moment it works exponentially more than something taken daily. plus if i took an SSRI i'd still take the ativan when i had a panic attack and it would resolve then. so why take something else anyways? i abstain from any medication while im pregnant or when TTC. whoah no way.

Anonymous said...

Well, everybody's chemistry and situation is different. With a large spectrum of drugs and a large spectrum of people that take them, there's bound to be no simple answer. There's so much mystery to our brain chemistry. Last night on PBS was "This Emotional Life" and the episode was all about depression. Very interesting! I learned all about the hippocampus (sp?)! Well, life's a peach, but there's a hard pit in the middle. Sincerely praying for ya.
JEnny H.

Soul Shelter said...

Have you ever thought about a chiropractor? It may sound weird, as you have nothing wrong with your back, but I assure you they help more than just back problems!

My chiropractor Dr. Narrell is also a Maximized Living wellness doctor who can help people without the use of pharmaceuticals. People with everything from diabetes to depression to heart problems to strokes to common head colds are helped by him as he helps their bodies heal themselves. I've seen people able to get off their medications completely after seeing Dr. Narrell over time. (Dr. Narrell never tells people to get off their drugs. If someone has prescriptions already, they continue to take them until their pharmaceutical doctor says they're no longer needed.)

Maybe you could find one in your area (preferably a chiropractor who is also a certified Maximized Living doctor as they use more of the all natural products). They're scattered around everywhere in the US.

And this is coming from someone who had bad experiences with chiropractors and never liked them. Until I found Dr. Narrell by accident. He alone is our family doctor/pediatrician.

It was just a suggestion. I know you're not a fan of the pharmaceutical stuff like vaccs and such so I figured I'd mention it. Sorry this is such a long post. I hope things work out soon!

jenny mae. said...

my dad is a chiropractor and i get almost weekly adjustments to my full spine :)

Soul Shelter said...

Haha, oh my gosh! I was preaching to the choir, lol! My apologies.

That's way cool to have a chiropractor in the family. =) Well, I hope things look up for you and level themselves out soon! <3