Wednesday, 27 July 2016

What's up, doc?

So, I have successfully come off 75mg sertraline,  and am still on my nightly dose of 15mg mirtazapine. That was ok. Lots of physical symptoms, but i could manage.

I'm struggling now. It's a week since I came off sertraline and started on venlafaxine.

The SSRI effects of sertraline have left my system, meanwhile the effects of venlafaxine on my neurotransmitters are yet to take effect. This is the age old '3-4 weeks to take effect' rule (cumulative effect) but also because I'm taking one small dose of immediate release venlafaxine each day.

This one small dose peaks a couple of hours after taking and then ebbs away (venlafaxine has a famously short half-life as the body breaks it down), leaving me feeling VERY depressed in the evenings. In a week, I can start taking 2 doses a day.

My GP has to slowly titrate (add) the new antidepressant because mixing different types can result in serotonin syndrome, which is very dangerous. I am, therefore doing as I am told, to the exact letter.

I am not dissociating or struggling like in was last time I tried to switch from sertraline to mirtazapine, nor am I understanding why some people see suicide as an option. I'm 'just depressed'.

As a bonus, i haven't really noticed any side effects as-yet.

So I'm eating well,
avoiding alcohol,
getting early nights,
doing extra yoga in the evenings at home
And running every third day (so I don't injure my ankle again).
I feel bad, but I will be ok again.

Just feels like one step forward and two steps back *dances*.

Thursday, 21 July 2016

I don't like babies

I have a confession, it isn't a secret, but it's a bit of a taboo...I don't like babies.

I could change a terry nappy at 9 years old, I made formula bottles, bathed multiple toddlers and fed little mouths when in was a child myself.

In short, I did more caring for preschoolers than many adults, before I'd reached puberty. I had done my bit and babies held no mystery for me.

Babies just look at you, and then they poo, cry, flail and the only feedback is a clean bottom and less crying. Yes, you get small glimmers of a budding personality, lile smiles, laughter, words, clapping. But crikey, they're BORING, one way conversation and endless games.

Give me a toddler over a baby any day (I'd rather have a guinea pig to be fair). They are great company, can be bargained with (never with m&ms) and are just FUN (miles more fun if they aren't your own, trust me).

I didn't get broody for our first baby, me and MrB just decided to give this baby thing a go. I was broody for a short while when E was about 6 months old.

I haven't been broody since, except for a guinea pig, a PAIR of guinea pigs to be precise. I love them.

Sunday, 10 July 2016

I am the self proclaimed queen of potty training boys!

So, I've finally reached the level of blogging about potty training. Be prepared for a rip roaring read!

So at the age of 3 and 3 months, I think we *may* have found the way to help him to harness his daytime needs. Yay!

My potty training must haves

A potty - even a pound shop one - decorate it with stickers if it helps!

Crocs - we have ones from Poundland, just in case shoes are weed on!

Small pedal bin liners with sanitary towels - you can use them to line a potty when out and about. Makes getting out that bit easier

I advise waiting until your child is ready. Ignore the '2 year old rule' of the 80s, think more along the lines of 3 years. Cut yourself some slack!

I had 2 children in nappies...for the record, it was easy! You only have to remember your own toileting needs.

I have 2 boys, and I only ever have 2 days off with them at a stretch because of my working days. It's perfect for everything, except for 'potty training' advice in books, which usually suggests you have a week off with your little cherub and let them crap all over your carpet or garden.

So, my eldest, was potty ready at 33 months. He refused his nappy very suddenly, needed very occasional reminders and had 2 daytime accidents. Within 2 weeks he refused his bedtime nappy and the only thing we had to do was to stop a large bedtime drink of milk.

He was really easy!!

Now, Noah, has been aware of his bladder control for a while. So I pushed him, maybe a little earlier than I needed to. He tried, didn't like it and then refused to go near to a potty for months.

I've always had them coming to the loo with me, I've normalised toilets, discussing diarrhoea and 'leakies'. Making no big deal of anything, but letting them know what to do.

I was worried that Noah was afraid of the potty/ toilet, so I did what any self-respecting, smartphone-wielding parent would do...I googled! Each time either boy sat on the little blue plastic throne, I gave them a tiny piece of chocolate even with nappy and trousers on. Within a couple of hours, the fear had evaporated and Noah had discovered that it fitted his head. The blue really brought out the colour of his eyes!

A week later, after a few spells of leaving his nappy off, in was pottering in the kitchen and got shouts of 'done a wee' and with another hour 'done a poo!'. Ewan has been really helpful and supportive of his little brother today. He makes me very proud. They both do.

Update: no accidents at home, half a day of accidents at nursery (2nd day of training)and he has been dry day and night since.

Friday, 8 July 2016

Auntie D's Fun

This is a post about my current medication change. I'm scared because of what happened last time I changed:
I dissociated and had my darkest ever thoughts. I also screamed randomly at MrB during a run of the mill argument.

So, I've been on sertraline and mirtazapine for 18 months. I ended up on the combination when I cross tapered back to sertraline off mirtazapine. Then I found I felt so well that I dd a lot of research and discovered that I could get a doctor to agree on it.

Mirtazipine has given me amazing sleep. So I'm not prepared to give that up, son set about researching other antidepressants that work well in combo with it. There is a good amount of decent evidence for a combination of Venlafaxine and Mirtazipine. In some circles, it is called 'california rocket fuel'.

So, I went to my GP and asked. She said that she would discuss it with a psychiatrist who had access to my history and decide whether she could do it with his advice. And 3 weeks later, I was told that I could reduce my sertraline in my own time and then they'd prescribe venlafaxine.

I must be clear, I have persistent depression. It has shown time after time that it is resistant to treatment - I have had a lot of therapy, I've tried 3 different anti depressants previously. I have had 2 decent years since i was 17. I'm 34. I'm tired of beng depressed.

I'm also tired of never ticking the boxes for access to more heavy duty therapies, longer lasting courses and teams. I am terrified of pain, so I'm never a danger to myself. Sadly, that removes the option of DBT.

So, I've started to reduce my sertraline, I have tremors, vertigo, headaches and I'm so so tired. It's like having a really bad cold (minus the snot).

Wish me luck, and worst case scenario, I can go back on the meds I was on originally and hope that anxiety targeted CBT will help.

Saturday, 2 July 2016

Why I Don't Want to Win the Lottery

My mum and stepdad won the lottery in 2004.

4.3 million pounds.

It changed the life of my impoverished family. Before I left to go to uni, there were 8 of us living in a small 3 bedroomed house. One bathroom, one toilet, 2 adults and 6 children.

8 people, living off one fairly low salary (my stepdad was skilled, and he worked hard, I cannot fault that side of him).

So, yeah, me and my 5 younger brothers and sisters endured a very sparse childhood. So winning the lottery, for me was all about improving their lives. Their parents, their mum and dad could have made a huge difference to the youngest four, who were 14, 13, 12 and 6 years of age.

Instead, the parents spoiled the girls, and me and my eldest brother to some extent. Sure, they moved house, had en suite bathrooms and a room *each*, but the lack of emotional intelligence as well as mental health issues meant that it physically hurt me to see how badly treated they children were, especially my youngest two brothers.

My step dad gave up work, my mum didn't continue to work either. I cannot describe what I think of that situation, but suffice to say that I need to work, because my brain is self destructive when not kept occupied.

Winning the lottery may buy a huge house with a swimming pool, a Lamborghini and a gardener, but it cannot heal the wounds and legacy of terrible parenting. And, when the markets go bad, you could end up without any money...imagine.

I will never wish to win the lottery.