The beast is back

Had an awful night. Adrenaline just wouldn’t quit. Couldn’t get my body out of fight or flight. Muscles were tight, was wide awake and heart racing. Finally fell asleep at 3:30 am and woke up at 7:30. Was still anxious. Calmed down after I had something to eat but then I felt so weak from the adrenaline crash I truly thought I was going to faint. I may have looked ok from the outside, but inside, I was fighting a battle. I could hardly move.  I drank some orange juice to help restore my blood sugars and help my body calibrate back to equilibrium. It was tough and I was alone with the kids. J finally came home to help me and I went upstairs to bed. He spent the next two hours trying to get C to cooperate to go to daycare and even though I was so out of it, it was cute hearing him try his best to cater to her demands. “No I don’t like those pants!” “I want a different hat!” “Leave me alone!” That little C definitely knows what she wants.

E’s rash was a bit better today. We took her to the doctor and she confirmed it looks viral. I renewed my prescription for Effexor and with some Ativan on the side in case I get a repeat of last night. The doctor tried to give me a new medication, Trintellix, but I quickly googled it and it looked like it was more for depression than anxiety plus I don’t like the fact that it’s a brand new med on the market. 

I haven’t started the Effexor yet. I’m feeling ok at the moment. Not completely back to normal but better than last night. I should know better and take it but there’s always that part of me that believes I can beat this on my own if I give it just a few more days. I did that postpartum and things got really bad so I finally had to give in and take the meds. Of course they helped and I’m so glad I went on them but I wish I could just be ok on my own, eating healthy food and doing yoga. I don’t know what it is. I’m not against medication but I try to stay away from it. An issue to explore with my new psychologist I guess. That’s right! I also got me a requisition from the doctor to see a psychologist, for the first time ever because I finally have coverage from work. I’m so excited but then J reminded me it’s only for $500 annually so my dreams of having a psychologist to talk to weekly were dashed pretty quick. I might get 3 sessions out of it. Probably only two. If I was seeing a psychologist regularly, I might have been able to avert this relapse because he/she/we would have been able to spot the red flags and come up with a plan together to nip the anxiety in the bud before the levee burst and the adrenaline flooded my body. 

I keep trying to stop the leak with sandbags of downward dogs and roasted beets, vitamin B and magnesium, but it might be too late. I may need to call in the army, aka meds, unless I had more time, money and motivation. That’s what you need to recover from mental illness –  Time to do things like cook healthy meals and exercise and see a therapist, money to do things like cook healthy meals and exercise and see a therapist, and motivation, well, you get it. 

My dream is to one day have a mental health rehab facility covered by our healthcare system which allows acute sufferers to retreat to for a week, weeks or months at a time where you get healthy meals, and attend yoga and meditation classes, group and individual therapy. It would look nothing like a hospital and everything like a spa – nice and relaxing. If Hayden Pannettiere can go to mental health rehab and emerge a “better mom” for it, then we should have one for us common folk too.

In the meantime, what us folks with mental health could use is home care, child care, a case manager and coach to help us get to the doctor, help with looking after us at home if we need it, provide therapy at home, and get us to our appointments. We need our families to be educated on what we’re going through so they don’t hesitate to provide support, and we need labour laws that stipulate a person can’t be fired or discriminated against for having to deal with a mental illness and be allowed time off to recuperate in times of relapse.

Funny that my relapse happens to coincide closely with “Blue Monday”, the third Monday of January which is supposed to be the most depressing day of the year. I don’t suffer from depression so maybe it’s more fitting to call it “Manic Monday” for us anxiety sufferers.

Ok, that’s it. I’m starting to feel it again. The adrenaline. I’m taking my medication. There’s no more denying it. The beast is back. Time to put it where it belongs. Back to sleep.

In the News:

1. IT MAKES GOOD FINANCIAL SENSE FOR ONTARIO TO INVEST IN CHILDREN’S MENTAL HEALTH – ONTARIO BUDGET 2017

Kimberly Moran of Children’s Mental Health Ontario (CMHO) made a presentation to the Minister of Finance to explain why and how Ontario should invest in children’s mental health in the upcoming 2017 budget:

“Ensure that no child or youth waits more than 30 days for treatment;

Expand specialized treatment centres for kids with the most severe mental health issues; and

Retain highly skilled staff to care for our most vulnerable children.” 

Read the full submission on their website on January 20th.

2. Massachusetts postpartum depression program a model for a national plan

Massachusetts has created “a network of obstetric, pediatric, family medicine, and psychiatric providers along with a group of dedicated counselors to be resources for women, their families, and health care providers” that seems to be working.

3. Blue Monday: Let’s Talk About Depression

First person account of their mental health journey: “Blue Monday is just one day of the year but for some people this is their everyday life. Let’s offer a listening ear or a helping hand to those in need all year round. Let’s get talking!”

4. Prime Minister announces plan to transform mental health system 

Theresa May’s plan is a baby step in the right direction but she needs to focus on medical care as much as the community. Both are important and both need adequate funding. Young Minds agrees.

Got a story to share? Email Patricia at tomasi.patricia@gmail.com

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