Thursday, February 19, 2009

I've Got It Completely Under Control


So apparently I haven't been handling this recent terrorizing of the neighborhood (in the form of house and car break-ins) very well. As I've talked to more neighbors and the police, I've learned that our neighborhood has been hit pretty hard in the last 6 months. The police suspect it is one person, a drug addict and his girlfriend that live a block over from us. They've been arrested in the past but haven't been caught lately. The fingerprint lady told me that they are sometimes breaking in while people sleep and stealing whatever is out in the living/family rooms. I thought my sleeplessness would be over once ADT installed glass break sensors. Then the ADT guy tells me there are a million ways for thieves to break windows without setting off sensors. And if they crawl through the window without opening it, it won't set the window sensor off. The best way to protect ourselves is the motion sensor, which just isn't practical unless we want our kids setting it off every time they get up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom.

Soooo... we're no safer at night than we were before. And that isn't helping my not-sleeping. And apparently going two weeks without a good night's sleep isn't so good. I tried some of the over-the-counter sleep aides but they just left me feeling even more drowsy in the morning. I decided to go see a doctor and see if he could give me something to help the anxiety/sleeping problem.

Oh right, I'm a homeschool mom with no extended family in town... which means I had to drag my three kids with me. I simultaneously threatened (with severe consequences) and bribed them (with cookies) to be quiet and behaved in the doctor's office. When we were led to the exam room, I saw there was only one chair there. So Haven and Seamus squeezed together in the chair and Marlie sat on Haven's lap. All three kids squashed into the one chair, sitting quietly and still. I WISH I had gotten a picture. They were little angels. Must have wanted those cookies badly.

So the doc shows up. Looks at my eyes and eye lids and checks my shoulders for tightness. Then he asks me how my anxiety levels are because he thinks I look awful. (gee thanks) I'm really looking for something that will help me sleep and something to help me calm down when I need it. You know, like a glass of wine in a pill.

He won't give me anything to take "as needed". Nope, he says he wants to put me on something long term for depression/anxiety. I tell him that everyone in my extended family is on something for depression and then he gives me the whole "apple doesn't fall far from the tree" speech. He tells me I can't "will" my genetic makeup to be different than it is. Guess that means I should give up the dream that some day I'll be blond and tan.

I told him I didn't want to be on long-term meds, and I could "tough it out". He asked, if I was diabetic and he told me to take a pill every day for my diabetes, would I tell him, "no thanks, I'll tough it out?".

TOUCHE.

So he's not going to force me to do anything, but he's not going to give me anything to take "as needed". No glass of wine in pill form when I'm feeling particularly anxious. Dang it! But he did give me something to help me sleep in the short term and he wants to see me again in 10 days.

He says he won't put me on meds until I'm ready to accept that I need them. Hrrumpf.

So now I'm all depressed that the doctor says I'm depressed. I'm not long-term-medicine-girl. I'm strong-has-it-all-under-control-girl. I've got a lot to think about over the next week and half. Mostly, I'm tired and exhausted and don't want to keep feeling this way.

So there you have it... real life and real feelings today. Didn't think you'd see it here, eh? Don't worry. I'll try to not let it happen again.

And yes, the kids did get their delicious, icing-covered cookies when we got home. They earned it.

36 comments:

  1. Hey you. I admitted that I needed help about 5 years ago. It's truly not that bad, it's actually good, just ask my hubby Bill! LOL Oh, and my two kids!!!! Shoot me an email if you have any particular questions. By the way, I've been up since 3:45am on my last nerve, somethings don't change, but at least days like this are rare.

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  2. I understand how you feel about the medication and in dealing with my own anxiety I've been working through some of the same issues. For me I also kept thinking that I could push through it and I could manage it on my own. Medication scared me. The reason I've started to shift away from that is because of how my anxiety is affecting my kids. I'm not totally there yet, but am getting closer to saying let's give it a try. Good luck in your thinking & decision making process. Those break-ins would have anyone on edge and I cannot believe the police think they know who it is & they just live a block away. What a nightmare. Sending you sweet dreams.....

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  3. Julie,

    I don't understand how after one visit and also considering your current circumstance, how the doctor can diagnos you with clinical depression?

    You have a good reason for feeling the way you do right now. You're afraid for you family and the safety of your home.

    The burgular alarm people have a talent of frightning people, it keeps them in business. They all scare you then explain different ways to pay to secure your home. Luckily, we've moved to new areas that didn't have crime reports yet, so they had to work on diffent angles.
    Of course, finding out about other crime in your area is unsettling. Thank God it was your car. That burgular sounds like an opportunist. He wanted something quick and easy.


    Remember God is your protector. He watches over you in your sleep. He won't fail you.

    Research the signs and symptoms of your proposed diagnosis and monitor them. Follow up with the doctor for another assessment, but only after you get yourself some rest and a peace of mind.

    Take care...

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  4. Oh Julie... I am praying that you get a GOOD NIGHT'S SLEEP...because without that, you won't be able to think clearly and really process what the doctor is talking about. I agree with the previous post, it is strange that he diagnosed you so quick... I will be praying that you and Marshall will be able to have good conversation and prayer time about this. Hugs from afar!

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  5. *laughing* I adore the picture you chose for this post. Maybe we need to start a Medicated Mamma's Gun Club. Via internet gaming. (Even if you decide not to medicate I'd still let you in.) ;)

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  6. Julie considering the primary reason for your anxt is not going to be controlled by the meds I hope you can hold out and not take them until you can work out the security system and regain your comfort level. I am by no means a health care professional but the amount of drugs being prescribed today is pretty scary. I would've probably told him yes to the diabetic question... it to can be controlled without the pill (adult-onset of course, which is the same as what we have here, adult -onset anxiety). This is not at all a judgment call on the decision to use this available aids but having just come thru an extremely heartwrenching sleepless-night situation that kept me up for almost a year.... when my doctor offered me drugs, I changed doctors. Honestly. And drank some tea. Sounds simple. It wasn't, but I really needed those nights to conquer it. And I'm talking night sweats and all!

    JMHO, of course you have to do what works for you and your fam but I just wanted to chime in!

    Robbin

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  7. I agree with the doc. Zoloft is a good thing! Seriously, though, it increases the serotonin in your brain. It's not something to be ashamed of. And it doesn't mean you can't handle your life. You can't! That's why God created Zoloft! ;-) -BA

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  8. oh julie, that sucks. i know what you mean..i went to the doctor and he said pretty much the same thing..i left feeling depressed that he said i was depressed! for me, super supplementing with vitamin D has helped..alot. Hang in there. i'll be praying for you this week.
    oh and I can so relate..I had all three in the little doctor's office, tellingthem, ,'don't listen, this isn't about you'..yah right!
    praying for ya. darci

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  9. I would have anxiety if there were break-ins around me. Medication can do good things-I am sure you'll figure it out what is best for you.
    That pic. of the cat is halarious!!You need your cat to do that if they try to break in your place!!!

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  10. Julie, so sorry to hear about your visit to the Dr yesterday. I will pray that you have peace about what to do, but hope you don't feel like taking the meds is any form of weakness! You are a strong woman and I don't see that changing with a pill. :)

    I thought of you yesterday when I saw the Friends episode where Rachel gets your cat- you make it look much more appealing than she did.

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  11. Julie, thanks for sharing your heart.

    I dont know the real you so please take what I say with a grain of salt.

    How well does that doctor know you? Sounds like with what you have going on that anyone would feel the same way.

    I would be leery of starting meds based on a one time meeting with a doc for lack of sleep. I would be leery of meds at all.

    They are needed...some people need them. But they are way overly used.

    When I get a spirit of depression or fear, and you better believe that satan is DOING this in your life, I pray it off. Sounds simple but it takes time. Way better for you than meds.

    BUT if you need them, no shame in taking them.

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  12. That's a tough one, Julie. A decision only you can make. On depression, I've always struggled on and off with it, but never with as many life pressures as you (I'm sure this will change when I have kids). What you are going through sounds incredibly hard and anxiety producing. Lack of sleep to top it off would make me have a pretty hazy brain in general.

    And as far as meds or no meds, who says you can't try something just for a season and then see how it goes (whether meds or no meds)?

    I wish you lots of rest, peace and wisdom for this. It doesn't sound like there is a "wrong" choice.

    You know what is best for you.

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  13. Hugs Julie. You have a lot of outside forces making you anxious. You have been a crime victim twice recently. I would be a mess. Like someone above said, you know what is best for you.

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  14. Praying that a clear decision and path is shown to you. You need to do what's right for YOU and your family.

    Thanks for being so transparent to us all - it's great to see that we can't be strong all the time (as women) and sometimes we need help in some form or another.

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  15. Yikes - sounds like the Doc's prescription, at this point, is just piling on more stress & anxiety.

    I've got no bias one way or the other (medicate or not), but at the very least I'd say it's not a decision you need to make in a sleep deprived state. You've got time to think & consider & pray. And, of course, the current situation ought not to dictate a long-term medication program, but rather an examination of how you respond to life in general over a long [past] period of time.

    I'll pray God gives you perfect peace and wisdom in a path to take.

    And hey .... maybe all you need is a roadtrip down South to a pretty beach with another family you've only "met" on the internet... ;-)

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  16. Yep! I know that feeling like when someone comes up to me looks me in the eyes and says, "Are you okay??" and I say to myself, "What's wrong with my face that people would rather concernedly ask if I am okay???" I just have droopy eyes.

    On a serious note, (((hugs))). I can't imagine how violated and anxious I would feel if that happened to me. My doc told me that just losing sleep a few nights in a row can make our chemistry all wack and make us not feel ourselves. I pray you have heavy eyelids and sweet relaxing dreams tonight.

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  17. Wow Jules!
    I had similar problems in 2001 with a similar result, same person kept rifling through my car, my garage, my briefcase (yep, some of this was my fault) and the 'love of my life' (the third one LOL!) and I had just broken up and 9-11-01 had just happened. I was a wreck AND I lived alone.

    Okay, I'm here to tell you there are other ways to handle this besides medication. Someone mentioned Vit D, but also CALCIUM and "B-complex". People used to drink warm milk at bedtime for a reason in the 'old' days. I do it in tablet form. Calcium morning and night, but B-complex ONLY in the morning and on a full stomach.

    You'll be less groggy than from meds. With 3 energetic children and homeschooling, that's a plus. Oh and additionally, meds fix one thing and hurt other systems. Just read the cautionary labels. There's a rise in Healthcare for people on kidney dialysis due to prescribed meds.

    God created all this great natural stuff and doctors push us toward man made synthetics.

    Just sayin...

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  18. I have to agree with a lot of the other commenters in saying that I think your gut to wait on long term meds was on the mark. There are lots of options to look into: exercise, vitamins, diet, etc that are healthy alternatives to medication that might be the thing that work for you. My own opinion is that medication has its time and place, but it should be a last resort, not a first stab.

    I also agree with another comment that security companies try to scare you so you'll buy more. It is an underhanded, crappy tactic and it works. Most criminals (like 99.9%) are complete idiots, not cat burglars that know all of the tricks about outwitting security systems. Just having the ADT sign in the front lawn, not to mention all of your animals, will be big deterrents to would-be intruders.

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  19. Julie, I'm so sorry you're having to deal with SO many things! Especially while the lack of sleep has made it hard to even be able to be on top of the smallest things, let alone these big ones.

    I'm commenting b/c we have a lot in common here. I'm not homeschooling, but up until last year, I had both kids home with me (now just one since my oldest started Kindergarten) and we have no family here. I had severe Post-Partum Depression and have bouts of seasonal depression that get a bit worse every year(yep, it runs in my family too).

    I've taken Zoloft with GREAT results during 4 times in my life for about 6 months at a time and gradually weaned off with my doctor's supervision (you have to be careful when getting off of certain anti-dep./anxiety ones). That might not apply to you b/c I've taken them mainly for ppd and we weaned b/c theoretically my hormones got back to normal...ha....I'm seriously considering getting another scrip, but we'll see.

    I'm looking more into things like B vitamins, exercise, etc. and all that trepidation free stuff to help regulate my hormones, but I think the meds were pretty useful in the short term and that there's NO shame in taking them longterm. But again, get a medical opinion about whether or not a "get me over the hump" med might work for your particular scenario.

    You're getting a lot of varied responses here but the one thing I hope you take from this message is that you're loved and supported whatever decision you make. It's YOUR decision and I trust that you'll make an informed one, but please don't let guilt or shame factor in, keedokie? I did that and it only made it worse :-( LOVE you girl!

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  20. You're getting a lot of good advice here, as I just saw in these comments. I have night-time anxiety, based on *nothing* (no break-ins or anything) except the fear of not getting sleep. Weird, I know. A sleep therapist I saw a few times told me that I "catastrophize" having a bad night.
    I've been in a good stretch of sleep for the last couple of months (where's some wood to knock on...?) thanks to, I think, this amino acid I've been taking every night called "L-Theanine." You can get it at Whole Foods or any health food store. I couple that with a "simply sleep" (tylenol pm, minus the tylenol), and things have been okay. L-theanine is for anxiety, and it seems to work pretty good for me. Anyway, just another suggestion.

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  21. Here's my 2 cents. Whether you care or not.

    I medicate. Because the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. I've been on welbutrin for a year. Recently I cut my dose in half. We'll see what the doc says about that when I go in next month....

    Having said that, take a long hard look. Be honest. Did your anxiety start with the break in? The sleeplessness? Really? Then what you need is a lot of sleep, and to remember that God is in control. Amen. If, though, you honestly cannot pinpoint a time when it started and have to admit that you were slowly creeping along to this point, then please consider what the doctor said.

    Oh, and ask him if he gets a kick back from the drug company for prescribing- because they do, you know.

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  22. bless your heart. My Hubby has tried to get me to go in (wow, how's that for an opener?), but I told him I don't want any long-term meds --I don't trust them-- the side affects are scary and truthfully, I would just like something to take the edge of the stress--when I need it. If you can get a second opinion, you should go for it, you know, see if you look awful to two doctors. I'm 100% with Wendy.

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  23. Better living through chemistry, girl...

    Get the pills.

    (I am such a pusher!)

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  24. Julie, you have gotten lots of opinions here. I would most definitely get a second doctor's opinion. What does Marshall think? I personally don't care for the "apple doesn't fall far from the tree" statement. You are your own person.

    I'll be praying for you, your family & your decision.

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  25. You know what I think, but I still had to comment.
    You're pic is cracking me up, I've got to show it to the Husband, he will appreciate it!!
    @LeighMm, I'm what in your club!

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  26. Oh you poor ting. I understand. I left the Drs office a yearago with prescriptfor rozac and weight loss pill(double whammy for the ego!) I hated the ide efefcts of prozac and am now winging it(um tughing it out reall isn't it lol) www.melaleuca.com they have RestEZ for sleep(herbal) and also something fr "mood" I have been using their products for 7 years and LOVE them. I can gt you the PC(preferred customer ) price and ship things toyour address if you just want o try it without becoming a PC. I sleep better with the rest EZ but don't feel groggy the next day.

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  27. I just glanced at the other comments because I just wanted to speak my heart I guess. I know it's hard to go on meds. I did, and I fought it at first but my doc had known me for 10 years and I decided to go for it. I'm on Effexor-- I know there are a ton of meds out there. I had no side effects and my doc did it gradually. I know not all doctors are like that, so I can't tell you what's best. I can say that looking back on my life I think I needed a long time before that. IF you think it's just the situation you are in now-- and NOT something you feel all the time--then I say wait it out:)

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  28. Awe girl! I'm sorry you're having a rough time. Maybe you could see another doctor. I just have a hard time with the fact the doctor wouldn't give you something to take as needed. I was on something years ago for anxiety that was as needed.

    Hope things calm down for you. :)

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  29. Oh, Julie =-( I'm sorry you've been so anxious and scared! It's not a fun way to live, I know. I'm praying that you are able to sleep deeply and refreshingly, and that everything looks clearer in the morning .. hang in there, hon!

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  30. Julie, I know you don't want to take the meds because then you may think you are following in the same footsteps as your family but I have been there. My mom's side of the family all but my mother have depression problems. For a long time I didn't want the medication but when I decided to take it I felt like a new woman. You of course don't want anything to dope you up during the day but meds like Prozac and Zoloft just take the edge off. I am telling you to go for it for your own health and well being. They are non addicting drugs and you can stop them if you don't like them. At least give it a try. You deserve to feel better! :)
    Ambien or lunesta is really good for sleep and you don't wake up feeling like a zombie!

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  31. And, by the way, my initial reaction was JUST LIKE YOURS.

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  32. Sorry to hear you've been having a rough time and not getting any sleep. I'll keep you in my prayers.

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  33. Wow, I'm so impressed. I had a doctor's appointment today and would only have one child with me and refused to take him :) Nicely done!

    And I'm with you on the no long term meds stuff. I just hope I can avoid any need for any meds for as long as possible!

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  34. Hey Julie, The depression thing runs in my family, too. Before my doctor prescribed me something, she sent me to therapy, just to be sure. After several months she diagnosed it as clinical (or biological) depression and prescribed a low dose of something. It was the best thing that ever happened to me. Sometimes we just need a little help. Good luck, and I hope you get some rest.

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  35. UGH. Have you been able to get any sleep? Feeling better?

    I'd be all anxious, too... and clearly, that ADT man missed day they went over what NOT to say to customers!

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  36. Oh dear... :(

    Sorry to read about this situation...when I read your other post first, I thought this one was just going to be about people in your neighborhood deciding that you can no longer keep a purple house! Turns out, it's much worse than I thought!

    Hey, here in the Philippines, people have ten-ft gates all around their houses! Why don't you think that over, eh?

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