March 30th, 2013

Sea dragon

On the other side

Thank God. It's only been six days. I actually slept all the way through the night for the first time since Sunday night, and did not wake up with my heart racing and a panic attack creeping on the edges. I had an appetite for breakfast. I actually had food for lunch. I did not stay in bed hiding, hoping for my heart to calm down; I did not have to go back to bed because I was feeling freaked out.

We spent most of yesterday afternoon sorting socks. I started picking up in the afternoon and felt well enough to go out for dinner; it all felt kind of overwhelming (as the crowds on a Friday night in the popular Indian restaurants in Tooting are not to be underestimated) but I tried to keep chilled and not let it get to me. We ordered mild food in keeping with my questionable stomach; I really only ate half an appetizer, half a naan, and three tablespoons of butter chicken, but I was really pleased with myself to be eating something solid and having an appetite. (And I weighed myself when I got home. I've lost two pounds in five days. Not good.)

When we got home we watched Groundhog Day, which felt a bit like how I've been experiencing life lately: wake up, the same fucking shit happens, and you wonder what you're going to do to break the pattern. All I managed to do was keep myself fed and occasionally remember to shower. I sat there really, really empathizing with Bill Murray, and the feeling of panic. But I couldn't believe I was going to have this happen to me long enough for me to learn how to play piano. I wanted to break the pattern immediately, so the next day I woke up and I was okay.

It was Jason, actually, who figured out what had gone wrong, in addition to the sertraline; I have another anti-anxiety medication I've been taking daily since December in an effort to control the urticaria, and I just completely stopped taking it when I started the sertraline (because, you know, why would I need two anxiety medications?). Apparently you're supposed to TAPER OFF over something like three weeks. So when I went to see the doctor on Thursday evening I mentioned this to her and she said, "I think that would explain your reaction, because I've never seen anything like this before. So let's experiment and go back up to the dose you've been taking for the last four months and see if that levels it out. And then NEXT week we'll look at setting up a reduction plan after we get you levelled out" I didn't that night, but I did Friday, and look: I woke up and there was Andi McDowell and the town of Punxatawney was covered in snow, and I wanted tea and bacon and oatmeal for breakfast. And then the credits rolled. And now I feel pretty damned confident I'll be back to work as planned, maybe even a day early since I don't really have anything to do on Tuesday.

Really, I am just SO FUCKING RELIEVED. I could cry but I've done enough of that so I'm just going to be quietly happy and hug Jason again that I made it through this. I've still got the urticaria (in fact it's been having a bit of a party the last few days, but no wonder since I've been spending at least half of the day wondering when I was going to get fired and if I was going to wind up being sectioned) but it all seems so much more "I can live with this" than it did, oh, let's see, Sunday.