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Wednesday, October 7, 2009

No more Lazy Pill....Putting it all out there.

Yeah, so go figure. Those little white pills the doctor says will make you chill out and not freak out at every crumb/assignment/imperfection/loss/hurt/mess/crisis apparently makes you very lazy. Okay, maybe not you, but me. And, maybe not lazy but...well.... less efficient.
Only, you don't realize you are less efficient. Until a year and a half later when you look around and find that your perfection of a home, is not so perfect anymore. And, your obsession with keeping the castle impeccably clean -- has been taking a vacation. And, you haven't been paying much attention to all those minor details....
No wonder my list kept having boxes un-checked each day. And, no wonder it didn't bother me! Geeze Oh, Pete (thanks Karen, I've totally adopted that term) :-) what a slacker I'd become, but no more.
SUPER-MOM a/k/a FARMER*SWife is back in full swing. You've probably all noticed that lately though, huh? Cuz' I've been kick@$$ at everything around the house, homework, and blogging like -- all the time as well.
I've had lots to say. I've been laughing at a lot of things; including myself. Even out loud. I'm finding myself efficient again. Sure, the OCD is slowly coming back into the picture (as Mrs. Les refers to as my Monk issues) and my insomnia is probably short to follow....
But, I'm no longer in need of that tiny, little white pill anymore. I used to refer to it as my Happy Pill because it made everything in the world tolerable to me, including me, LOL!
I have a NEW list and I can gaurantee that I will check off EVERYTHING on it today and probably even add a few things:
Scrub and polish bathrooms
Finish remaining laundry and put away
Wash and remake Awesome, Fancy, Shnazzy new King Size Bed of Awesome sleep
Hit all the light switches and door knobs with germ killing chemicals :-D
Tweet giveaways and reviews
Tweet to win the Wal-Mart $20.00 gift card
Beg for new followers (see how I already did that? Right here in this little post? Efficient, eh?)
Hit the treadmill
Fax request to pediatrician's office for updated shot records
Clip and cut coupons for tomorrow's massive grocery trip
And, more.... [FYI, I've already done most of that and washed my SUV as well.]
I almost didn't publish this post. Almost. Wanna' know why? Because when I re-read it I thought, "Oh, my. Everyone will think I'm weak. Everyone will wonder why the doctor prescribed me a little white Happy pill." I don't want people to judge me. And, I am not weak.
I will share the seriousness of anxiety and stress issues. I'm an overachiever and you know what happens to overachievers? Sometimes they push themselves too far -- and I seriously do have some issues with OCD -- but then, don't we all? :-) We've all felt that feeling at one time or another.
That stress factor; the fight or flight. Shortness of breath. Chest tightness like a rock on your pleural cavity. And, for some (like me) the Gag Factor...
About a year and a half ago I had a full on anxiety attack. It was the second true full out one I've had in my lifetime (well, not including childhood). It was the anniversary of Jeph's death (Sweet D's son), my husband's cousin lost his wife completely unexpectedly, my now Ex-Step Mom decided after 20 years that she no longer wanted to be married to my Dad, and my Dad was on an emotional roller coaster while jumping through hoops to try and work it out. [Turns out, it was a good thing it didn't work out -- God knows what he's doing...]
It had been coming on for a few days. It started with the numbness and tingling in the finger tips. Of course, my chest had been so tight that I couldn't even sing along with a song on the radio. I felt constantly as if I couldn't breathe. I just couldn't catch a full breath.
I remember that Saturday morning, sitting on the PC (didn't have Macxine back then) trying to finish the PFC [Picture Fiction Challenge, some of y'all may remember and/or still play along]. I thought the typing on the keyboard would wake the circulation up in my hands -- and that finishing my First PFC would get my mind off of everything.
It didn't. If you click that link and read that PFC you'll realize where I was at that time and place -- somewhere deep in my mind was -- Impending Doom.... Yep. That's a big 'symptom' in recognizing this health issue.
[If you read that PFC, you might want to lighten up with one of these, PFC #2: "Tell Me a Dream"; or, PFC #3: " A Life to Love".]
Finally, knowing it wasn't going to get any better, I went out to find my husband in the garage and let him know that I wasn't feeling well. And, that if he found me lying on the ground -- to know I had been light headed. His suggestion was to eat something.
I know I had eaten breakfast, but I couldn't for the life of me recall what I had put in my tummy. On the brink of the worst, I called my Dad. He's all too familiar with anxiety attacks. Apparently, there is a chemical imbalance that runs in our family -- from my Dad's mom's side. It typically hits in your 30s. [My brother has since experienced this and has been prescribed medication to level things back out.]
Dad asked to speak with my husband and told him to take me to the E.R. Hubby still didn't quite understand. Again, he thought if I ate something I'd feel better. We loaded up, kids and all, but on the way to a place to eat I instructed him to take me to the Minor E.R.
Which was the right thing to do. The receptionist could tell immediately that I wasn't well (possibly, because my hand was shaking so bad that I couldn't even sign in? And, that I was making no sense when she tried to question me?). They took me back right then and there. They ran an EKG, the physician questioned me about what had been going on in my life, family history, etc.
I truly thought I was on the verge of a heart attack. Really. I felt THAT bad.
She diagnosed me as having a full-on anxiety attack. I kept telling her that it didn't make sense that I was having these physical symptoms. I kept explaining that I understood where it was all coming from; so why then, was this happening? Why couldn't I control it? Why couldn't I make it stop? I felt ridiculous and like a big fat hypochondriac. But, I wasn't.
It took close to 45 minutes for them to be able to get me to calm down enough. My EKG came back abnormal. My blood pressure typically runs low and was up for me, but more, my heart beat was racing at over 100 + beats per minute, in a resting position. (My typical heart beat is in the low 60s).
After all of that, my general MD put me on medication to keep the chemicals regulated.... indefinitely. Thus, the little white Happy/lazy pill.
I quit taking it once before; but, by day 7 - 10 I realized this was not the best idea. I wasn't ready. Six months later, I've found that I would forget to take my medication. And, after having forgotten for a few days -- I decided to forgo and see how things went.
And, I'm fine. I'm better than fine. I'm wonder-iffic! And, I'm productive. And, really enjoying having myself back in full; though, I might be driving the Hubby crazy because I'm back to 5th Gear/Overdrive -- LOL
They reason why I shared all of THIS part with all of you is because I want to get the word out that these symptoms are 'not all in your head' as some people [including me at one time] tend to think. Our bodies are cellular and chemically based. Every thought we have, every breath we take -- is due to a multitude of chemical reactions that occur within our bodies.
When those chemicals get out of whack, the body can't always undo the cycle by itself.
For me? I'm back! My body is working in prime mode. I feel good, I feel energized, I'm happy (Okay, I'm almost always happy -- even when I'm mad).... Should I begin feeling something awry again -- I'll contact my physician. Because, this is no issue to put off.
Listen to your body. And, don't put symptoms -- of anything -- off as "all in your head."
And, with that -- I'm off again! Anyone seen my cape? ;-)



Lis Garrett said...

I don't think anyone would ever think you are weak. On the contrary, you make the rest of us look like Lazy Susans!

I'm glad you are feeling better, though, and back to your SuperMom status. :-)

Farmer*swife said...

Thanks, Lis. I've been so thrilled with my returned energy, drive and all of that (not to mention I've lost 5 lbs of that ring around the waist line), but I didn't want to seem superficial to others...

Anxiety, in whatever form, is a very serious thing. Though, I was making fun of myself at first -- I knew I had to be sure share the importance.

I had to think on it awhile before I hit "publish."

Lis Garrett said...

I totally understand. I've been on the fringe of needing a little white pill myself for years, but I always manage to "snap out of it" after a few weeks. Even the minor depressive episodes I tend to have are nothing to balk at. I come from a family with a tendency for mental illness of one sort or another, and I definitely know it's nothing to take lightly.

WPMomOf2 (jen) said...

I know what you feel, all so well! I suffer with panic attacks and am also a perfectionist!

Cyndi said...

Thanks for this post. I understand the fear of appearing weak. I've felt that way my whole life and wore a cape for most of it too. Xanax became my friend after a year long bout with debilitating insomnia, unexplained crying jags and a knot in my stomach for no apparent reason. I've given up my cape for good and the happy pills are sometimes still necessary but not every day. Anxiety is very real and is nothing to be ashamed of.

Kelly Dawn said...

I have been on the little white happy pill for a couple years now because I like you have a need to be supermom - I love it - I love the feeling being a supermom gives me - I feel like I am everything that I always needed growing up - probably not why you feel the need to be supermom but that is an entry all in

My family can tell when I am not taking my medication because i just fall.....thats the only way to describe it - I just fall....

You? are awesome! Keep believing that - mine started with Chris dying and just escalated after that with the 6 other funeral we went ot....

Again...I love you! You are awesome!

Love you!!!


Krishna said...

Making me feel bad. seriously, i need 1 day, no kids to clean the house top to bottom but lately just have been putting it off. I guess the early days of a SAHM and me keeping the house spotless are gone and i've found many more fun things to do. Can I have a pill--maybe i'll bet back in the swing of things!

kcinnova said...

I'm glad it has worked for you, both in regulating and now in being able to be off your meds.
When I finally realized that I needed to get help and get the Rx for antidepressants, I felt like I was almost alone -- I had ONE friend who had confessed to being on Prozac. So I made a decision to be upfront with other women (minus my own mother, who is a label-queen and would use it as a weapon). I have since discovered that MANY women are on some type of medication for various hormonal/chemical issues. And that, as you have discovered, is exactly the case: it's about chemical imbalances and hormonal shifts! Sometimes those shifts and imbalances can be righted over time; I have not yet been that lucky, so I keep taking my meds. My husband and kids can tell if I have forgotten my meds, sometimes even before *I* notice the difference! Yes, it is that obvious. It was 7 or 8 years ago that I wised-up and made the decision to not live in emotional pain, and while I'd like to not be a pill-popper, my happy pills are necessary for the smooth running of the household AND my mind.

So please don't feel guilty or less-than perfect! Really, none of us are perfect (save The One) and sometimes we need that "extra help." I'm glad you wrote this post. :)

BTW, Even at your so-called laziness, you leave most of us in the dust! :)