To New Diabetics and Those Interested

It’s been a long time since I’ve written something geared specifically toward the newly diagnosed, or family of the newly diagnosed (or newcomers to a diabetic family)… or those who are just curious about diabetes.

So here are some common questions and topics:

What is the difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes?  Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease and it is more rare than type 2.  It kicks in usually in childhood but sometimes it can kick in in adulthood. In type 1 diabetes the body’s own immune system decides it hates the insulin producing cells that live in the pancreas. The immune system screams, “fuck you assholes!” and murders them all in a brutal and heartless massacre. This leaves the body forever unable to make it’s own insulin and regulate the body’s blood glucose level (Insulin, cells, and glucose interaction and functions is a complex process that is all about making energy for the body to be able to properly function). The effect of not being able to make insulin and regulate blood glucose causes a body-wide turmoil. It is not as simple as just needing to avoid sugar and take shots all the time. But that is the very basics of it. Anyone can develop type 1 diabetes. There is no cure or vaccine.

Type 2 diabetes is a commonly misunderstood metabolic disorder. Most people think it is caused by a poor diet and sedentary lifestyle, this is one of the big misconceptions. Although a poor diet and sedentary lifestyle raise ones risk of developing type 2 diabetes, they are not the cause of the disorder. Absolutely Anyone can develop type 2 diabetes, no matter their lifestyle. It just happens. Type 2 diabetes is when the body is unable to properly take up and use insulin (insulin resistance) or the body is not making enough insulin to properly lower blood glucose (it is a complex process, how insulin, cells, and glucose function to make energy). Some people believe type 2 diabetes can be cured. It can not. If you have been ‘diagnosed’ as pre-diabetic this means you do not yet have diabetes… it is a kind way of saying you are at extremely high risk of developing it and you need to get your health in order. Pre-diabetes can be cured, but it is NOT diabetes. Once you actually have type 2 diabetes you can’t cure it, but you can get it under such good control that you do not have any symptoms. But if you fall off that good control, you will be sorely reminded by your body that you are still type 2 diabetic. There is no cure or vaccine for type 2 diabetes. Most people think that having type 2 diabetes just means you need to avoid sugar, get exercise, and maybe take a pill everyday. Sadly, it is not that simple, but those are the very basics.

What do carbs have to do with diabetes? Carbohydrates (carbs) are sugars. Most diabetics (type 1 and type 2) closely count how many carbohydrates they eat, and limit them per meal and day in order to best help keep blood glucose levels in the healthy range. Carbs are found in a vast majority of foods and drinks and are identified by many, many different names. Most people assume diabetics just avoid sweets, but it is more complex than that. Yes, things like candy, cookies, ice cream, etc. are packed with carbs, But so are potatoes, rice, pasta, starchy vegetables, fruits, and so much more.  Diabetics are not forbidden to eat carbs, we just need to be very careful about it.

Why do diabetics have to check their blood sugar? A ‘normal’ persons blood glucose (sugar) level does not change very much, but for a diabetic it is unstable and needs to be monitored in order to best be able to regulate it.

A type 2 diabetic’s blood sugar changes fairly often and can fluctuate a lot, especially when carbs are eaten, so it is essential that they check their blood glucose level usually about two hours after eating to make sure it has not risen too high. This gives them very important insight into how their eating habits and lifestyle are affecting their blood glucose levels, and how well their medication (if they are on meds) is working for them. Their doctor can look at the BG (blood glucose) charts to get a good picture of their patterns and adjust meds and lifestyle recommendations to better regulate BG.

For a type 1 diabetic, everything stated for type 2’s applies, but checking BG is not just a good idea, it is essential for a type 1 to keep living! A type 1’s BG fluctuates (often rapidly and  potentially to extremes) all the time, it is like balancing on a tightrope, the slightest little thing (practically anything) can and will make it go either up or down. A type 1 diabetic who is truly serious about their health and BG control will check their BG a bare minimum of four times a day…but usually much more often. And type 1 diabetics (and some type 2’s) often use a device called a Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM) that automatically checks BG every 3-5 minutes and can alarm when BG is too high or too low or headed those ways.

What is hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia? Hypoglycemia is commonly called “low blood glucose” or “low blood sugar”. When there is too much insulin in the system it depletes the glucose in the body and this causes a whole lot of trouble. Too little glucose in the body means there is too little energy and the body can not function properly. This can cause fatigue, sleepiness, shakiness, confusion, ‘drunken’ behavior, sweats, unconsciousness, coma, and even death. Hypoglycemia is treated by eating something that has adequate carbohydrates in it (glucose tablets, glucose gel, fruit juice, etc.), or injecting  the sufferer with glucagon.

Hyperglycemia is commonly called “high blood glucose” or “high blood sugar”. When there is not enough insulin in the system then glucose builds up to a dangerous level and this causes a whole lot of trouble. Over time, when BG runs too high too often, widespread inflammation of all the body’s tissues causes damage and any number of illnesses and disorders can occur such as chronic dry skin, chronic yeast infections, heart disease, kidney failure, blindness, etc.. Where low BG is immediately life-threatening, high BG will kill you over time. This is why it is so important to work hard to keep BG under control. Symptoms of high BG include excessive thirst, frequent urination, itchy skin, blurry vision, irritability, chronic fatigue, and more… Really super high BG or high BG combined with another illness can lead to a really super life-threatening condition called Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA). DKA can be mistaken for a bad case of the flu but symptoms include all the symptoms of high BG and also nausea, vomiting, a ‘fermented fruit’ smell on the breath, severe dehydration, muscle cramps, uncontrollable fast, short breathing… Yeah, get to the ER quick. Extra insulin (commonly known as a ‘correction bolus’) is usually used to treat high BG. In extreme cases, especially when in DKA, a diabetic will be hooked up to an IV and given insulin drip to lower BG, and fluids to correct dehydration.

Why are there different types of insulin and what’s the difference? Basically there are two types of commonly used insulin, rapid acting and slow acting. Slow acting insulin is called basal insulin and it is used to basically cover the body’s very basic needs to just stay alive and keep BG normal if you were just lying around and not eating or moving at all. Super basic description there.

Rapid acting insulin is commonly called ‘bolus insulin’ and it is used to keep BG from totally spiking and ruining your perfect day when you eat. It is also used to correct your high blood sugar if you, for whatever reason, go high.

The above descriptions were given assuming the diabetic is using syringes or insulin pens to administer their insulin. If the diabetic is using an insulin pump, then both their basal and bolus insulin will be rapid acting insulin. This is because there are not only different types of insulin but also different types of insulin therapies. Insulin therapy is the method in which you  administer, and manner in which you use, insulin to regulate your BG.

Multiple Daily Injections (MDI) Therapy is commonly when slow acting insulin is injected once or twice a day and covers the body’s basic needs (as simply explained above) and rapid acting insulin is injected multiple times (as needed) a day to cover meals and high corrections.

Insulin Pump Therapy is when a pump is used to administer insulin needs. A basal rate is programmed into the pump and every few minutes all day long, everyday, a small amount of rapid acting insulin is pumped into the body to cover the body’s basic functioning needs. You can program different basal rates for different times of the day, as needed for tighter BG control. As needed, the diabetic can pump boluses (food coverage and high corrections).  Only rapid acting insulin is used in pumps.

What does immunocompromised mean and why are type 1 diabetics considered to be? It depends on how you look at it. In my experience, many doctors automatically consider type 1 diabetics to be immunocompromised.  But, in actuality, it really depends on the person. I, for one, do not catch viruses (colds, flu, etc.) very easily or often… but I have a huge weakness for staph infections.

Immunocompromised means the immune system is weak (or not working at all) and therefore the body cannot resist or fight off infection normally (or at all).

In my humble opinion a diabetic (type 1 or 2) is not automatically immunocompromised, but can become immunocompromised if they are not keeping their BG under control. Chronically high BG can compromise the immune system just like it destroys every other part and function of the body.

The better you control your BG, the healthier you will be. Plain and simple.

 

 

Do you have any other questions? Ask in the comments. 🙂

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This Month

A lot has changed over this past month. Mostly good things. 20170721_074149

First, and most importantly, my depression is pretty much gone. I finally pinned down what was making it flare so bad the past few years and figured out how best to deal with it (get it under control). It’s a complicated story full of many linked triggers and contributors. So many I didn’t even list all of them here.

It had been a number of different things that compounded to cause and ultimately make worse the depression and anxiety. It all began with the unrelentingly horrific pain of my diseased heart. A couple of years of constant, debilitating, pain that doctors could not properly diagnose and treat will certainly cause a depression. Then the realization that I had a heart condition and the sudden and frightening massive heart surgery that changed my life forever just fed the depression. Then the year long struggle with my eyes; eye surgeries, loss of driver license (independence), and dealing with a forever “droopy” eyelid fed the depression even more.

I know a lot of people who are reading this and thinking, “it’s all in how you look at it, I know it’s difficult, but just think happy and the depression will fade”.  NO! That’s not how this works, that’s not how any of this works!

I’m not done with the story…

All of the body’s systems are related.  ALL of them. That’s how the human body works; different systems do different things, but they all work together to make a living, functioning being. A person with type 1 diabetes has a chronic hormonal auto-immune disease. Anything that involves hormones, even one specific hormone (insulin) affects the entire body, even the chemicals that regulate emotion and psychological balance.

It’s not a matter of “thinking happy thoughts”, it’s all about chemical and hormonal balance; it’s physical.

Yes, I could have, and did, “look on the bright side”, but that did nothing to change how I felt because I had no control over my chemical and hormonal functions, and since my body was ill, neither did it.

Anyway, moving on to the other causes of this dark time in my life. Not long after the heart surgery and eye surgeries (4 in one year), we moved into a new home. It was a nice home in a quiet neighborhood with nice neighbors. Also, it just so happened to be surrounded by large trees and buildings that made it a very dark home. Even when all the shades were open, the house was dark. There was very little natural sunlight. Since I was home all the time (no job and no ability to drive and already depressed and developing agoraphobia) I got virtually no sunlight exposure. Both darkness and lack of sunlight exposure caused a depletion of vitamin D which feeds depression as well as promoting other illnesses.

So I fell even deeper into depression over those two years.

Also during this time I was gaining weight even though I was trying to lose, and was diagnosed with the vitamin D deficiency, as well as other illnesses that are chronic. This all fed the depression.

Finally, we moved. The home we moved into is very sunny due to many windows and not much to block the sunlight from coming in.  With the new exposure to sunlight (and taking Vitamin D supplements) my body was able to lift out of the depression a little bit.

But over the next few months I struggled with a sudden and debilitating case of thyroiditis that eventually left me with hypothyroidism.  A very prominent symptom, and you might say side effect, of hypothyroidism is depression because the thyroid controls hormone levels.

My endocrinologist prescribed Levothyroxine, a synthetic thyroid replacement hormone, and over the past several months has been keeping an eye on my thyroid levels and adjusting the medication to get me at the perfect levels.

Well, during most of the time that the above story takes place, I, of course, had been trying to fight the depression and anxiety. I struggled to figure out just what was causing it and why it was so bad. I could be naive and assume it was just because I was going through emotionally tough times, but I’m not ignorant and I understand that depression is so much more complex than just how you feel. I knew there was an underlying physical issue going on.

I went to therapy to help with the emotional/psychological part of the issue, which helped a bit. I went on medication to ease the chemical imbalances, which helped a bit. But the depression and high anxiety persisted.

And I am the type of person who insists on finding the root cause and “curing” the illness, not just treating the symptoms. But, as someone who has more than one incurable disease, I understand that not all illnesses are curable.  But, I fight on to gain control!

With my health becoming more stable, my depression and anxiety naturally lessened. Especially with getting the thyroid issue under control. Just this past month, with the raise in Levo dose, I feel so much better!

I stopped my depression medication which was it’s own ordeal, but feel even better without it than I ever felt on it!

I started taking St. John’s Wart which is claimed to “promote a positive mood” even though there are plenty of scientific studies that do not show that it does anything at all to state of mood. It may just be a placebo effect, but I do feel a tad bit better.

I’ve also been working on being more physically active which we all know helps the body to balance those feel good chemicals a little bit.

All in all, I have come completely out of my depressive, anxious illness and feel emotionally and psychologically better than I have in a long time.

 

On another topic, this month I was diagnosed with yet another incurable illness. I am not going to tell you what it is because I still have not completely wrapped my mind around all of it… I need time to ‘deal’ before I talk openly about it. According to my doctor, I’ve probably had it since childhood (we traced symptoms all the way back to around 7 years old) but most people who have it never show any symptoms… but because I am immune-compromised (Type 1 diabetics are considered to be) this is probably why I have had disease specific symptoms over the past few years. There is no cure, but as with all my incurable illnesses, it can be controlled.

So I began to take immune health promoting supplements (Vitamin C, Cod Liver Oil, Vitamin B complex, a multivitamin, Vitamin D) as well as getting more exercise, which we all know promotes immune health, and continue to try to eat healthy and keep my blood sugar under control.

It seems to be helping. If anything, I feel better all around!

 

So, in conclusion, I feel great! I hope to continue to keep my depression and anxiety at the minimum and keep up with the increased exercise which really helps with all my current issues.

Just Dance

What is your workout routine? I change mine up quite often, mostly because I get bored really, really easy. I’ve done aerobics, Pilates, yoga, walking, weightlifting, skating, belly dancing, and a mixture of a ton of different things all at once. I’ve used all kinds of tools such as video tapes, DVDs, trainers in person, gyms, home gym, online video’s, Xbox Fitness, and my own made up routines.

Recently my hubby brought home a new game for the Nintendo Switch called Just Dance 2017. Just dance has been around for a long time now, I’ve watched friends and family play it on occasion, but I never thought to play it myself because, quite frankly, I have two left feet… no coordination at all.

just

 

Well, since hubby brought it home and we now own it… I decided it’s OK to look like a fool in the privacy of my own home.

I tried it out.

I love it.

Now I am addicted and I play it everyday for as long as my body can handle it. I don’t play it like I’ve seen so many others play, only moving their arms because the sensors only read the handheld joysticks movement. No, I put my all into it, I actually try to dance correctly. I do this because for me it’s all about the physical exercise. I’m trying to get fit and healthy while having a ton of fun playing a game!

That’s what it’s all about, right?

I go for as long as I can, until my arms ache and the neuropathy in my legs is screaming at the top of it’s lungs (Ouch, pain). I go until my heart has been beating hard and fast for awhile and I’m so very tired now.

That’s only like 6 songs for me (maybe even less if I’ve chosen really high activity dances) because I’m so very out of shape.

But it is so much fun and keeps me moving with hardly even realizing I’m working out… because I’m having so much fun!

The basic point of the game is to learn and keep up with every step of the song in order to earn points for accuracy. There are tons of songs, most of them popular songs from known artists… not made up songs exclusive to the game.

See the links below for a look at what the game looks like, and for just a few awesome songs you can dance to on Just Dance 2017 (Unlimited Content).

Copacabana

Single Ladies

All About That Bass

Cotton Eye Joe

Being a Realist

*This is my opinion alone. You are welcome to your own view and approach to life.*

*As I was writing this I realized that it would take a volume of books to explain and really breakdown and define and truly study states of mind and outlooks on life, etc.. So I must point out that this, obviously, is just the skin and bones of my personal stance.*

There are pessimists, optimists, and realists. There are people all in between as well, but for simplicity’s sake, I’ll just stick to the three. I am a realist although I haven’t always thought of myself that way. I was already (just barely) an adult when I learned of this definition and way of thinking. Although I had always thought this way, I now had a word to put to it.

Optimism: hopefulness and confidence about the future or the successful outcome of something. – Merriam-Webster dictionary

Pessimism: a tendency to see the worst aspect of things or believe that the worst will happen; a lack of hope or confidence in the future. – Merriam-Webster dictionary

Realism:  the attitude or practice of accepting a situation as it is and being prepared to deal with it accordingly. – Merriam-Webster dictionary

Most people only think along the lines of optimism and pessimism. It’s so much easier to just have two all black and all white options, right? But life doesn’t, nor has it ever, been that way. Life is so much more complex.

Growing up I lived in a typical family and was surrounded by typical teachers, friends, doctors, etc.. The lesson and advice was to “always look on the bright side”.

But I never could quite get that; it’s just not a realistic way to live. Especially when you live with chronic illness.

It is not bad to think about the bad side, to know that bad things can and do happen. The healthy thing to do is to understand that life can go any way it darn well pleases. Yes, we can steer it toward the outcome we want, but it is not guaranteed to end up there. Being just as aware and expectant of the good as well as the bad outcomes will save you a lot of pain, especially if things don’t go the way you’d hoped and planned.

How many times I’ve witnessed (or been) the optimist so very crushed and heartbroken because the thing they hoped, worked for, and expected to happen went the other direction. If only they had been a realist they wouldn’t have been quite so hurt by it.

OK, OK, I am exaggerating there a bit. I have no quiff with optimists; optimism is a good thing (in moderation), certainly better than pessimism. I just prefer realism because, well, it’s more truthful, it’s the realistic way to be.

Many, not all, optimists are afraid of reality. They hide from even considering the bad things that are just as likely to happen as the good.

All I’m saying here is one should never dwell on one side more than the other, no matter what side it is. Realism is not pessimism, nor is it optimism, because it is realizing that both good and bad can and do happen, and not dwelling on one or the other more. Being prepared for both is a good thing, obviously.

I am not implying that optimists and pessimists won’t and don’t stay aware of the other, but they do dwell too much on one and do their damnedest to avoid and ignore the other.

Just doesn’t sound reasonable to me. It’s like setting yourself up for heartache (optimism) or living in constant heartache (pessimism).

Many realists actually call themselves optimists. “Hope for the best but plan for the worst” is not optimism, it is realism.

I have had people imply to me that they think I can be quite pessimistic. No, I am realistic. Just because one does not fear thinking about and talking about their negative thoughts and feelings and experiences doesn’t make them a pessimist. If the people who think this of me actually spent the time to get to know me, they’d realize I am quite happy and well balanced in my good/bad thoughts/feelings and outlook on life. I am not (no one is) perfect, but I strive to be balanced.

Sometimes good things happen, just as often bad things happen. This is life, why not be prepared for, and accept, both?

I’m just a realistic individual who accepts things as they are.

What do you consider yourself to be of the three, or others even?

 

Touching Base

Once or twice a year I have to stop and look at myself. Not in a mirror so much as looking over my daily life, habits, routines, thoughts, emotions, etc.. We tend to get caught up in things, get too close and not realize that we aren’t going about things in the easier, less stressful, or correct way.

What the heck am I talking about?!

  1. Diet – Diet is a word easily misunderstood. Your diet isn’t a short-term thing you do just to lose a few pounds or have a good A1c “this time”. Your diet is the way you eat all the time. My current diet is shit. It’s terrible and I know it and I keep telling myself to go back to the way I know works for me, LCHF. But my current living arrangements make it difficult.

A. The other people who live in my home constantly buy high carb foods free to the entire household. Since I’m home all the time (for many reasons) and the bad foods are here, I can not and do not resist them. I ask the other people to not bring these things into the home (or to keep them out of my sight at least), but, really, I can’t expect others to live the way I need to. Wait! I can! They are type 2 diabetics! They should be eating just like me (a type 1)! We should be working together to be healthy. But, alas, life doesn’t always go as it should.

B. I know it is my own responsibility to eat the way I need to. And I do try, but in this part of life I suck at being strong. I eat carbs when I’m stressed, and in this living arrangement I am very stressed all the time. I eat carbs out of bad emotions, anger, frustration, sadness, etc.. The other people in the house do the same thing, so currently the refrigerator and pantry are packed with ice cream, pudding, pasta, etc.; it’s bad. This makes for a difficult time resisting.

C. We eat out too often. And I’m not the type to want a salad when there are fries and burgers available, and at a much lower price. We just need to stop with the fast food. I love to cook, and when I cook/prepare it is healthy and delicious. So why do we eat out so much?!

D. I don’t just eat bad, I also skip meals a lot. If it’s just me at home and I have no one else to cook/prepare for, I’m apt to just not eat at all. I often go almost an entire day without eating at all. This is just as bad as eating the wrong things.

2. Activity – I enjoy staying active; I love to clean my house, I enjoy spending a day on the town running errands or just running around from shop to shop for fun. But for some reason I’ve never been able to stick to a workout routine, not even the ones I really enjoyed. I suppose it’s because a workout really works you, pushes you to your limits and even hurts! So even though I enjoy it and it’s lasting benefits, it can be difficult to want to keep doing it.

And despite hard and continuous work, I still can’t lose not even one pound! I have many theories as to what is keeping the weight on (hypothyroidism, insulin resistance, age, muscle building, diet), but it all comes down to the fact that if you don’t see results you just don’t want to keep trying. I’m not dumb, I know how diet and exercise work, I know how to lose weight, I just can’t! And it is frustrating!

3. Medical stuff – Hohum, I’ve been burnt out for a long time. I stopped going to all my doctors, even my endocrinologist. I check my BG only when I feel high or low. Terrible, I know. I have so many medical issues I just can’t deal all the time. It gets so overwhelming, depressing, frustrating! There’s never a break; it’s not like these diseases are just going to say “OK, I’ll go away for a while so you can take a breather.”. Hell no! Even when I decide to conveniently forget that I’m chronically ill with a million issues, they’re still there nagging at me, demanding my attention, scratching at my nerves.

How else can I make you understand what it is like?

But, the past couple of days I’ve been on top of my BG checking. And I’m thinking of scheduling a couple doctor appointments. And I’m trying hard to eat right. I know I need to get back on track, I’m trying.

4. Mental/Emotional Stuff – I quit taking Cymbalta. It was helping at first, but the past 6 to 8 months I started having issues with it. I wasn’t feeling anything, both my physical and emotional feelings were greatly dulled. I felt like an alien in my own body. Disturbing to say the least. So I quit it. I feel so much better all around now, even though my natural feelings are difficult to deal with sometimes, I am so very happy to be myself again.

As I mentioned earlier, I live in some difficult arrangements at the moment. Not only is the house a hellhole, but one specific person we live with is almost my complete opposite and leaves me in a constant state of frustration, disgust, discomfort, and anxiety. I NEED cleanliness, sanitation, and organization in my home in order to be comfortable and happy. This other person is dirty, has no idea what sanitation is, has zero concept of organization, and is profoundly lazy and uncaring about any of these things.

So, not only do I have to live with this person, but I also have to do a ton more cleaning of dirtiness I and my hubby didn’t even create because fighting, arguing, begging, reasoning,  have all proven to be useless on this person.

I live in a home where I am unable to be comfortable, happy, or even sane!

*Deep Breath*

 

In the end, I obviously have a lot to work on, but what’s new? This is all just a constant in my life and I will continue on. The only thing that has changed is that I have learned from it all and will use this new knowledge to make myself a better, healthier person.

I will keep trying.

Withdrawals

*This is a blog post of my own personal experiences. I am not a doctor or professional in any way.*

Against recommendations, I decided to stop taking my depression medication, cold turkey. I decided to stop taking it for a number of reasons. I didn’t feel I needed it anymore. I am tired of being on so many medications, so I decided to stop taking (one-by-one) the ones I don’t absolutely need to stay alive. Also, I am tired of seeing so many doctors so often, so I decided to stop seeing the ones I don’t absolutely need to see to stay alive. And lastly, I hated the way it made me feel; artificial, numb, separate from myself…and had very poor sleep quality.

The cold turkey part is the part that was against recommendations. I decided to do it this way because I stopped seeing my psychiatrist and she was the one who had to put in my prescriptions for this particular medication.

It is recommended to ween off of this medication and not just stop taking it. Either way you are guaranteed withdrawals of some sort.

Stopping Cymbalta is guaranteed to cause withdrawal symptoms. Depending on how high a dose and for how long you’ve been on it, these withdrawals can be a multitude or few, they can be severe or mild, and they can last two weeks or much longer.

I am only listing here the ones I experienced. I was on 60mg per day at the time I stopped the medication. I experienced several withdrawals that fluctuated in severity and lasted nearly a month.

I fib a bit when I say I stopped cold turkey. At first I went from taking the pill every day to taking it every other day…but then it seemed to not make sense this way so I just stopped taking it at all.

My withdrawal symptoms were as follows:

Short temper/easily frustrated/aggressive personality: This was the first change I noticed. I perpetually felt like I was PMSing super bad. Everything got on my nerves, I was snapping at everything and everyone. I would be doing nothing and suddenly just feel angry out of the blue and want to scream at the top of my lungs just to relieve the frustration!

Brain Zaps: This was probably the most annoying symptom of all. It is not painful. It feels as if a jolt of electricity is shooting through your brain. It is not painful, but it is annoying as all get out! At it’s worst I was getting “zapped” every few minutes all day long!

Suicidal thoughts:  I was not suicidal! But I did think too much about death and dying. And I did have such low emotional points that I thought the world would be a better place without me. I would say I was one step away from becoming suicidal.

Dizziness: I had a few little bouts of dizziness. Annoying.

Nausea: I did have nausea on and off, but it never got so bad that I threw up.

Headache: I had a few headaches, but they were so mild I could just ignore them.

Nightmares: I wouldn’t call them nightmares, but they were disturbing. I am used to having these types of dreams, I have them all the time anyway. But the dreams I had while withdrawing seemed to be extra anxiety inducing. My body was physically reacting to the dreams. This is something that doesn’t usually happen when I have these kinds of dreams.

Confusion: Mild. I would be doing something and get confused for no reason and have to concentrate extra hard to get back on track.

Fatigue: I had chronic fatigue while taking Cymbalta (which is one reason I decided to quit it) but the fatigue was even worse while withdrawing.

Insomnia: I had bouts of insomnia while taking Cymbalta (which is another reason I decided to quit it) but I had even more while withdrawing.

Anxiety: I have anxiety anyway, but while withdrawing it was way worse. I would have physical symptoms for no reason at all. And when I did have reason to be anxious, the symptoms were so very exaggerated!

Blurry Vision: Depending on where you look, this may or may not be a listed withdrawal symptom. I had it. My vision was markedly more blurry while withdrawing.

There are other possible withdrawal symptoms, but these were the ones I experienced.

I am completely withdrawn from Cymbalta now and I have not felt (or slept) this good in probably three years!

If you have trouble with depression to the point that you need medication, then I suggest you take it. More often than not the benefits outweigh the risks. But always be aware of the risks of coming off of a drug…sometimes doctors neglect to warn their patients of this “risk”. Mine did let me know about the withdrawals, and asked me to be sure and work with her if and when I decided to come off this medication.

It was my own personal choice to do it the way I did. That’s me, always choosing the more punishing path…

 

 

I Dream in Symbolism

…And very, very vividly. There are many a morning when I wake up thinking my dream had actually happened. Or I’ll be remembering something and have to stop and think, “Wait, did that really happen or did I just dream it?” It can really make a person think they’re going crazy! LOL

Well, here is a quick rundown of a recent dream. This one really shows the powerful symbolism of my subconscious.

I woke up and my entire body had broken up into pieces. It appeared that every joint had come apart and I just fell to bits all over the floor. I was looking at all the pieces of my disarticulated body from my spirit form, I guess. I was panicking and crying, not knowing how this happened or how to fix it. Then my hubby comes into the room and asks what is the matter. I, at this moment, am holding pieces of my body, trying to puzzle it back together. “I can’t fix myself.” I cry. “I don’t know what to do!” I scream. Hubby looks down at me and says, “Don’t worry, we’ll fix this.” His words do not make me feel any better. I simply feel hopeless.

 

Then I woke up.