ADD/ADHD / Kate's Experiences

The Unexpected Hiatus

This squirrel is taking a short break from her blogging pursuits for a more important pursuit: getting her health back under control.

My psychiatrist told me today that, given all the stuff happening in my life, I need to take medical leave. Now, because I don’t have a job in the traditional 9-5 sense, there’s no way for me to formally apply for medical leave or anything like that. But I can enforce a sort of medical leave for myself.

Therefore, I am taking a break from all my pursuits for at least two weeks. I will probably have a status update about the State of the Blog (and State of the Squirrel Empire) on or around July 1, 2017. I might need to take more time, but I’m going to start with two weeks and see how I feel.

What happened?

June has been a veritable clusterfuck. Everything that I was juggling medically got less manageable. It also felt, realistically or otherwise, that all the good in my life diminished somewhat.

I was supposed to get my wisdom teeth out, spend a week or two recovering, start a mood stabilizer which I wasn’t supposed to have an effect from for weeks, and then resume my grand plan to cover the world in printables with squirrels on them.

Instead, I got two wisdom teeth out, an experience so traumatic I spent the next week on Xanax to combat actual night terrors, then I had to find a new oral surgeon to do the other side. Then my psychiatrist did indeed put me on a mood stabilizer, Lamictal, which actually destabilized me so quickly I didn’t know which way was up. It rendered my antidepressants and stimulant medication seemingly worthless and left me incredibly apathetic and yet prone to anger, which is totally unlike me.

I actually considered whether or not I needed to be admitted to the hospital in psychiatric crisis, which was incredibly terrifying in its own right. (This is why I am a huge proponent of understanding your own emotions and being able to apply that knowledge, but that is for another post when I get back.)

Oh, and the akathisia. It doesn’t help feeling like you are actually going crazy when you also feel like there’s bugs crawling around inside your muscles. I lost a lot of sleep last week to that and I still feel it a bit in my ankles and feet.

Now that my psychiatrist has taken me off that, I’m still having issues with my medication, but it’s a lot better. I am also now battling serious fatigue, a remnant effect of the mood stabilizer, which is being exacerbated by other medication changes. It was so bad I went in for bloodwork and was told I probably had Lyme from the severity of the fatigue. (All the bloodwork was normal.)

I have essential tremors, also known as intention tremors or cerebellar tremors. It’s a largely harmless yet frustrating and depressing neurological disorder. My hands tremble constantly and sometimes when I walk my hips and knees do as well, which increases my risk of losing stability and falling. The main treatment for it involves beta blockers, which are technically cardiovascular medications that slow down the heart. (With my anxiety, I have been known to push upwards of 140-160 bpm.) I have been on one, with mixed success, since March, but my neurologist found that a different one might be better and put me on a comprehensive treatment plan.

However, this different one is causing severe, crippling depression and insomnia. So I am wired and tired. I got prescribed a sleep aid to help, and I’m so exhausted.

I was also informed that one of my antidepressants, Prozac, is a serious contributor to my cerebellar tremors, and my neurologist would like me off of that ASAP. So now I have a long road of antidepressant cross-tapering and then titration ahead of me. I am so sick of med changes and problems with my brain. Seriously.

This is the road ahead. I’m happy to have you all on this journey, but understand I might not be around regularly. You can follow what’s happening on my Twitter and Instagram if you’re curious. Look for my status update around July 1.

Thanks for being patient with me. I really do appreciate it. Be productive while I’m gone, and I’ll be ready to jump back in when I get back.


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