Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Episode 17- Zoloft

Dr. Draper and I had discussed me going on an antidepressant, but I was not in favor of adding another drug to the mix and I wanted to see how I did without it. And since things had been going a little better, I thought I could manage on my own just fine with out it.

Then things took a turns for the worse and the attacks started coming frequently and I was crying all day long. Again I began having irrational thoughts that the baby was harmed and that I was a terrible mother. There were days when I couldn't even get out of bed. Then on a Sunday afternoon I was reading in Parents magazine (I loathe that magazine, BTW) and there was an article about prenatal depression. It talked about how the placenta can actually be damaged if the mother is depressed. There were other things mentioned in teh article that scared me beyond belief, so I decided to try the Zoloft.

The doctor had given me a sample pack at a previous appointment and I had it on hand, so that evening I took my first pill. I was aware that it would take about two weeks to work so I wasn't expecting a quick fix. But I also wasn't expecting that I would experience every side effect listed on the label.

The next day was pure hell. I was dizzy, I threw up a lot, my mouth dried up, I shook like a leaf, I was more anxious than normal, and my heart rate was accelerated. I decided to give it one more day so I took another dose Monday evening. Tuesday was even wrose, if you can believe that. I could not function at all and Brandi came over to babysit me during the day while Cody was gone.

I called my mom that afternoon (she happens to be a PharmD) and asked her if what I was feeling was normal. She went down the list of drugs I was on and said that Trazodone is actually an antidepressant in itself and I was taking 100-150 mg a day, so I could actually be overdosing when combining that with the Zoloft. I decided the side effects were worse than the depression and anxiety so I decided to throw the pills away.

That evening Brandi, her little boy, Ethan, and I went to get dinner and then to see the development on our new house. It was all but done and we walked through it and sat in the empty living room and talked. We would be closing in one week and I tried to feel happy about it, but I couldn't get past how awful I was feeling at the moment. I was trying to distract myself from my misery but it wasn't working.

We drove home, but on the way there I noticed I was breathing very hard and my heart rate had accelerated even more. Brandi helped me back into our apartment and I sat down on the couch. Cody was home by this time and Brandi told him what had happened on the way home. It was like all of the ill side effects I had experienced were now ten fold. I ran to the bathroom and started throwing up again, then I laid down on the bathroom floor and had what I thought was a heart attack. My chest hurt beyond words and I could not breathe.

Cody paged my doctor and when he called back he said to get me up to the hospital for an EKG. What I was experiencing was not normal. On the way out the door I grabbed my Ativan and Trazodone and downed a few pills in the car. Brandi was so sweet to stay at our apartment with Ethan. By the time we made the twenty minute drive to the hospital, I had calmed down immensely and and I was in a state of euphoria. The EKG came back normal and they chalked it up to a massive panic attack. Who knows what had really happened though. We drove back home and I crashed very hard when I hit the pillow.


Janice said...

Oh Veronica!! My heart goes out to you. I sooo understand as I'm having some issues of my own right now with panic attacks. Different life scenario causing them, but the rapid heartbeat, the shaking, sweating, racing thoughts, oh I understand so well. I have been reading your main blog and for months have been feeling as if you are my friend even though I have never met you. Your family is so beautiful! Obviously things have worked out for you. Hopefully in time they will for me too.

R.D.L.L said...

Wow, thanks for sharing all of this with us. I like how you said that you were grateful that the Lord trusted you enough to give you these trials, I love that. That is such a great way to look at things, and is sooooo true! I am grateful you are my friend!