Monday, March 24, 2014

Welcome to life after Pristiq...with the help of Essential Oils

We will start back in 1999...I had a growing, adorable one year old boy, who came into this world 3 months earlier than expected and in a way that literally almost killed me (long story short, I ended up with H.E.L.L.P. syndrome).  My hubby told me the minute I woke up from that experience that we would not be having any more children ourselves because the doctor gave us a high percentage that it would happen again.  It scared him way more than it scared me, although I was scared out of my wits once I woke up from it all...after all...he faced losing two of us, I only faced losing one.  So, enter the Depo-Provera birth control shot.  See...I was horrible at remembering my birth control pills (for exhibit A, meet my oldest...J).  ;-)

So my doc at the time and I decided the shot would be the easiest thing for me, once a month, one dose.   

T (my  hubby) began calling the Depo my "Happy Shot".  It really did improve my mood, and it was really good at it's main job, keeping us from going through another life-threatening birth to both myself and baby.  Keep in mind that also having gone through H.E.L.L.P had some lasting effects as vision has never been the same, my hair changed a bit, so my internal chemistry also changed a bit apparently, this didn't all start with Depo but my doc and I agree it contributed. 

Around 2006, my new OBGYN in Lufkin sat and talked with me about this shot.  I had been on it now for almost 7 years, she was concerned with the side effects after being on it so long.  I didn't know that I was having any, but I had been nervous about it for a few years as well. Without going into a lot of detail, there are things it "stops" that I know can be ok, but just didn't seem natural to me after awhile.  She was concerned that there wasn't a lot of research out there at the time on the effects of being on the shot longer than 6 years.  So, together we decided that I would have a tubal ligation and stop the Depo shot.

Here's where the fun see, as my main doctor explained, when I stopped the Depo shot, I would either stay mellow through menopause age or I would tank.  I tanked.  My seratonin levels were low, I was not a very nice person to be around all the time.  I had major anxiety every summer before J started back up in school (before we homeschooled), I cried in movies...EVERY movie...even the Chipmunks...seriously, I was irritable with T and J especially.  I had good days, don't get me wrong, but not much. 

So my doc prescribed Pristiq.  Pristiq is a wonderful medicine.  It evened me out, so to speak and I had no bad side effects from being on the medicine, it worked right away.  I was more calm around home and I stopped crying in movies, even my anxiety slowed down.  It's been a good few years.

But see...that "stopped crying" thing bothered me on and off.  As a friend explained to me, it's like you know you should be sad about some things but you just can't.  I was ok with that, but not great with it.  Before I go any further, let me be perfectly clear...I have NO issues with people (or myself) using prescription medications for anxiety, depression, etc...none at all.  They are a blessing to many of us.  I actually assumed I would end up staying on Pristiq through menopause at least.  Even though the doctor didn't plan on my being on it longer than a couple of years, I ended up on it for almost 6.  Again, not a bad thing, please don't read this as "you should never take these meds".  NO, if you need them and a doctor agrees, take them!  They can help in many ways and I don't think it goes against anything God would advise, I believe that with all my heart.  In fact, after meeting SP and knowing my history, my main doc has since told me I might need Prozac when I hit menopause. I laughed...he was serious!

However, over the last six months, I've been feeling God leading me to take a leap of faith, to stop taking Pristiq.  I felt Him saying "look, you are trusting me by using oils and vitamins on your son for therapy, trust me to help you with your 'issues' also."  Basically...put your money and your faith where your mouth is.

I've been a believer praising Jesus for as long as I can remember.  God has blessed me immensely through life and He has brought me through so many situations (usually ones I created that could have been my ruin) good and bad.  I've also been praising essential oils (Young Living oils mainly but also doTerra which his horse teacher uses) as far as J has been concerned since we started last fall.  The changes in his stretching, his reach, his fear levels, are so very easy to see, I mean actually see with your eyes!  

I knew without a doubt this time that God wanted me to try this for myself, not just use them as cold/sickness intervention.  I have several friends/family members who have kicked their meds with the aid of essential oils and supplements.  On the whole "emotional" side I have several friends who cry easily (even in movies like Chipmunks) and it's so natural for them, they've never taken meds to stop this natural feminine gift...why is that one thing I was worried about?  I was leary to say the least...I've tried stopping Pristiq before, side effects when you stop taking any SSRI med, especially cold turkey, are A.W.F.U.L. terrible. daily routine halting. horrible. 

Let me add, T and J have been very nervous about this, T said he would sell a kidney to keep me on Pristiq (that's something I forgot to tell you...another reason I wanted costs us $75 a month WITH insurance...without it's $225 a month and there is NO generic and not one in sight because the company knows they have a good thing going).  But I asked them both to give me a month and I would get back on if we all agreed it was needed.  They were to be honest.  They remember what it was like when I stopped 2 years ago because our insurance stopped covering Pristiq unless you received special permission.  They didn't want "mean mom" to return.  ever.

But my "plan of attack" was much different this time around.  I had God leading me, I did my research and I gathered a small group of friends to pray with me daily, sometimes several times a day....and I knew it was cold-turkey or nothing.  So a month ago today...I cold-turkeyed Pristiq.  (to be continued...)
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