beware the wrath of Effexor!

i’ve tried a couple of different drugs for my ppd since being diagnosed a year ago. i’m still trying to find one that works well. they all seem to work on some of my…er…issues, but not all.

Luvox was great for my depression, but did nothing for my anxiety attacks. Celexa worked wonders on my anxiety, but did nothing for my depression and made my fatigue worse (i didn’t even think that was possible!).

i’m currently on Effexor. i was told that this drug can take longer to work than others, so we gave it a while. i’ve been on it for 7 months now, and i’m just not thinking it’s the drug for me. first of all, it took a couple of months to do anything. Secondly, it’s worked on my depression as well as my anxiety, but has fallen short for me. it’s take a bit of the edge off….but that’s it. even after my dose was increased, it doesn’t seem to do as much as the others.

and lastly…and this is the big one….it was simply too easy for me to fall back into my depression-induced malaise after the move to the new house. my anxiety has creeped back. not as bad as before the meds, but bad enough to be a big, red, flashing warning light that something is amiss. my fatigue is almost unbearable. i can hardly wake up and i nap whenever i get the chance (even in the car for the 5 minute trip to the grocery store). as for my passions, which are blogging and cardmaking….well…they’ve gone out the window, as is clearly evident by my few-and-far-between posts over the past couple of months.  i’ve also lost touched with so many friends…i’ve become a hermit again.

so there you have it. i rest my case. it’s time for a new drug.

but here’s the rub. events in the last couple of days have made me scared to get off the Effexor. allow me to explain…

the other night i didn’t sleep much. my asthma was so bad that i kept waking up in spectacular fits of choking. so i was up reading most of the night while trying to quell my attacks. (atleast if i was awake, i could catch the attacks before they grew to catastrophic proportions.) so when morning came, i had slept a grand total of 2.5 hours. what with the brain fog and all, i failed to remember that my Effexor prescription had run out the day before, and that i had called in my refill but hadn’t picked it up yet. this is where the story takes a horrific turn.

sometime in the afternoon i started to feel weird. my doctor had warned me of the possibility of a “zinging” sensation when going off of Effexor, so i knew what it was, and that it was because i hadn’t taken my dose that day. i told Carlos, who quickly got to feeding the kids their dinner so he could go out and get my refill, since by then i knew i couldn’t drive. the “zinging” sensations where enough to completely disorient me.

during the time it took to feed the boys, i got worse. my skin was crawling, i was dizzy, i was weak, my speech sounded “jittery”, i was shivering, and the “zinging” had now taken on a feeling more akin to electrocution. every time i made the slightest movement, i got zapped. every time something touched me (one of the boys, my sweater, or when i touched my glass of water to pick it up), i got zapped. every time i turned my head, not matter how little, i got zapped. it was awful.

one of the worst things were the brain flashes. every couple of minutes it was like there were suddenly thousands of camera flashes in my head. the key phrase here is “in my head“. this wasn’t something i saw with my eyes. it was the same whether i had my eyes open or closed. and if that wasn’t disturbing enough, the sound that accompanied these flashes was straight out of a horror movie. you know that metallic “schwing” sound that swords make in movies? well, it was like that crossed with an electric zapping sound.

i won’t go into the details of how our pharmacy closed earlier than we expected, and how we had to find another pharmacy that would fill my prescription with just my empty pill bottle rather than an actual doctor-written prescription. to make a long story short, it took about 3.5 hours from the time i took my missed dose to when i started to feel better. it wasn’t till the next morning that i was completely myself again.

i Googled this whole nightmare to find out that Effexor is known for its intense and torturous withdrawal symptoms. some people, even after slowly lowering their dose until they are Effexor free, have suffered dizziness and other nasty side effects for weeks after stopping the drug.

so, though i’m finally ready to try a different medication, i’m facing a long, nightmarish departure from the Effexor. i guess the silver lining here is that i’ve been given a glimpse into what it will be like so i can be prepared. i have a feeling that the start of my Effexor-weening will be timed with one of my mom’s week-long visits!

the old saying “the cure is worse than the disease” has never rung so true.

Posted in me me me, pity party | 7 Comments

poopy croup

*** just fyi…i started writing this post on April 6th. Logan is all better now…but that fact that i’m just finishing this and posting it now just shows you how frick-frackin’ tired i am!

we brought more home from my parents’ place than chocolate bunnies after spending the Easter weekend there. all of us came home with a crappy cold. unfortunately, Logan’s has gone ahead and progressed into Croup.

i’m not sure how he got Croup. all i know is that my nephew was just getting over a cold, my niece was just starting a cold, and my cousin’s 3 daughters all had some kind of cold when we saw them for Easter.

Logan kept grabbing my nephew Oliver’s pacifier and shoving it in his mouth, which can’t have been good. my niece Georgina was snotting all over him. and my cousin’s daughters, the oldest being 6 years old, have never been told not sneeze or cough all over other people, other people’s food, or to simply cover their mouths.

so Zander, Carlos and i are getting over our stuffy noses….and Logan has Croup.

i’ve never dealt with Croup before, but i recognized the telltale barking-seal signs when Logan coughed. here in Ontario, we have a service called TeleHealth. great service. it’s a call center manned by nurses. you speak to a nurse, tell them what’s going on with you or your loved one, and they can give you recommendations to treat the illness/injury at home, advise you to see your doctor as soon as possible, or rush your ass to the nearest emergency room. let me tell you, TeleHealth has saved me many a gajillion-hour wait at a clinic or ER!

so i call TeleHealth to confirm my suspicions, and sure enough….it’s the dreaded Croup. luckily it’s not bad enough to warrant a hospital visit, but enough to be advised to monitor him while he’s sleeping at night, lots of humidification, steam baths, and honey to help the cough.

the honey didn’t go so well. we gave him a tiny bit, he gagged, and he threw up all over himself, Carlos (who was holding him at the time) and the kitchen floor. he was not a happy camper.

so i dutifully slept in his room. on my super comfortable Poäng chair. with my legs up on a heaping-full laundry basket. oh, what a glorious sleep i had.

but seriously, Logan woke up in a coughing fit every 20 minutes for the first couple of hours. which was fine, because i hadn’t fallen asleep yet…i was too busy listening to his breathing. then came the coughing fit that changed it all. it was so bad that he gagged and choked and almost threw up. which sent him into hysterics. and that was the end of him sleeping in the crib.

for the rest of the night, i sat in the chair holding him up right, with his chest against mine. he slept. i didn’t. when morning finally came, Carlos came and got Logan, and i went to bed for a few hours to actually sleep.

today has been much of the same. luckily he’s in good spirits unless he’s coughing up a lung. unfortunately, this leads to him not understanding that he’s sick and should take it easy. so he runs around like a madman, which makes him breath really hard, which makes his cough worse.

tonight when the boys were in the bath, we decided to try the honey again. we figured that it might work better since Logan was all calm and humidified by the steam. wrong. once again, he coughed and threw up…in the bath. he thought it was funny, and decided to splash his hands in the pukey water, while Zander backed up as fast as i’ve ever seen him do anything, yelling “can you get me out!!!”.

so it will be another night sitting in the chair staring into the darkness listening to a wheezy, raspy little boy sleeping all the while getting another stiff neck sleeping in the chair. i’m so looking forward to it.

update: it took another 4 days for Logan to be over his nasty cough, and for me to get a somewhat decent night’s sleep. he’s fine now…up to his usual turdiness. we’re lucky that it was a fairly short case of croup…it could’ve been much worse.

i’m hoping to finally get back to blogging on a regular basis. it’s been tough to get back into it though….but that’s a whole other post!

Posted in crapitty crap-crap!, family, the boys | 10 Comments

Haiku Friday: where the hell’d she go?

hey, have you seen cate?
she hasn’t blogged in ages
where the hell’d she go?

she used to be here
it’s like she done dropped off the
face of the planet!

i’m here. and i’m sorry i left the blogosphere without a word to anyone. but i’ve been in my own personal packing/unpacking/moving hell. seriously…whose idea was it to move anyway? oh ya…it was mine.

anyhoo….

i’m in my new house. it’s small, but beautiful. the layout makes daily life with the boys much easier. still settling in, but we’re enjoying it.

moving was tougher than i thought it would be. lots of thoughts and emotions cropped up that i kinda half-expected didn’t expect, and which took their toll on me…leading to my disappearance. and the logistics of the move itself were mind-boggling. but that’s another super-long post.

i’d like to keep my re-entry light-hearted, so i’ll refrain from sharing the depressing details for a few days. for now, i’m just glad to be back.

i missed you all….did you miss me? (lookin’ for some love here…hint hint! 😉 )

Posted in Haiku Friday, pity party, the move, welcome to the monkey house | 28 Comments

Haiku Friday: packing sucks

packing up the house
an endless sea of cardboard
will it ever end?

been packing for weeks
never be able to tell
haven’t made a dent

surpised at what’s found
where did all this crap come from?
do we need it all?

less than a month now
will packing be done in time?
really not so sure

wow…this packing thing is crazy! we’ll pack 10 huge boxes of crap treasured items…and it still doesn’t look any different. like we haven’t packed anything!

my rec room in the basement is filling up with boxes of everything and bags of clothes, yet the top two floors look like we haven’t touched them. i feel like it will never be done.

we are currently scheduled to move on February 23rd. that’s 29 days from now. 4 weeks from tomorrow. we have 4 weekends until the move weekend.

oh…we’re so screwed.

Haiku Friday
Posted in Haiku Friday, welcome to the monkey house | 36 Comments

the wandering mind of a toddler

as if he had hacked into my email and read the message where i told JJ that i would post this morning’s breakfast conversation of it was blog-worthy, Zander was in rare form this morning!

this is the conversation i had with Zander while sitting at the dining room table eating breakfast:

Zander: what dat?

me: what’s what?

Zander: in da kitchen! [pointing wildly towards the doorway to the next room]

me: i don’t know…what is it?

Zander: a cake!

me: no, i don’t think that’s a cake!

Zander: it’s a shirt!

me: [seeing the cardigan that i had taken off and placed on the kitchen table] that’s mommy’s sweater.

Zander: it’s a shirt…and pants…and socks! for daddy!

me: it is?

Zander: what dat noise?

me: what noise?

Zander: i hear dat noise again!

me: what noise is that?

Zander: uh-oh! someone in trouble!

me: someone’s in trouble?

Zander: daddy…daddy in trouble!

me: no…daddy’s fine

Zander: daddy in trouble! where daddy?

me: daddy’s at work.

Zander: oh no! i better help him!

me: why do you need to help daddy?

Zander: i like toast!

me: ya…toast is good isn’t it? and it’s good for you. it helps you grow up big and strong.

Zander: [nodding in agreement] mmm…tasty!

me: yup…toast sure is tasty!

Zander: dis cheese is wet!

me: [examining the cheese] no, the cheese isn’t wet.

Zander: i don’t like dis cheese.

me: [trying to figure out how to explain that marble cheese is the same as cheddar] yes you do. this is just like orange cheese, but they coloured some of it white to make it look funny. see?

Zander: no. i want orange cheese.

me: we don’t have any orange cheese…only marble cheese. it tastes the same as orange cheese. why don’t you try it?

Zander: where are my engines? [referring to the plethora of Thomas steam engines he got for Christmas]

me: they’re in the box over there. on the bottom of the bookcase.

Zander: look at ALL my engines!

me: ya…you have a lot of engines, don’t you?

Zander: better get a track!

me: you want to build a track for your engines? i’ll help you build a big track after breakfast. but you have to finish eating first.

Zander: uh-oh…what dat noise?

me: that’s an airplane flying over the house.

Zander: ya! airplane! where she going? [everyone and everything is “she” to Zander]

me: i don’t know. where do you think the airplane is going?

Zander: she going to da airport!

me: yup! the airplane is going to the airport.

Zander: dis cheese is wet!

….

phew….the conversation didn’t end there, but my brain is too tired to keep going.

Posted in the monkey called Zander, welcome to the monkey house | 14 Comments

snotface

both the boys have problems with stuffy noses. their noses are clogged with “boogies” all the time. thankfully, they’ve gotten used to the constant wiping, the use of the snot-sucker, and mom picking their noses all day long.

Zander learned how to blow his nose at a fairly young age. by the time he was about 18 months old, we could hold a tissue to his nose and ask him to blow, and he’d blow like a pro…which made our job a lot easier. now, at 2.5, he’ll even say “i need a tissue please!”.

and then there is Logan. oh, Logan. Logan has super-chronic nose stuffage and, unlike his brother, he can’t blow his nose…into a tissue, that is.

he has now learned to blow his nose….into his hand or onto his arm/sleeve. he lets ‘er rip, and blows boogielicious gunk all over his hand and arm. and then…and this is my favourite part….he wipes his filth-muck covered hand and arm all over his face and through his hair. he inevitably gets a boogie or two in his eye, his cheeks are slimed, and his hair is stiff and sticky from snot.

and thus begins our job of de-sliming him. at least he gets it out of his nose. plus…he’s pretty cute, right? i mean, how can you not forgive this adorable snotface?

Logan
Posted in funny ha ha, the monkey called Logan, welcome to the monkey house | 13 Comments

spreadin’ some love

the absolutely wonderifically wicked-awesome JJ! from Dirty Laundry gave me some love yesterday.

The Spreader of Love Award

she said some amazing things about me that had my head inflating like a balloon me blushing for hours!

so now, i will pass this one on. this is the tough part. first of all, if i could, i would give it right back to JJ ’cause she rocks. secondly, all of my bloggies deserve this award! JJ gave this to three people, but i am going to pick five….’cause i’m a rule breaker. ya…i’m cool like that.

Natalie is such a funny, warm, strong and amazing woman. she (as well as her blog) is open, honest and real. love ya, Nat!

Wineymomma is amazing.  she was reading my blog and leaving such supportive comments even before she had a blog of her own.  now she has a blog, and i regret that i only have time to skim through my blog reads right now so i don’t leave many comments.  i’m hoping that after the move, i will be able to be as good a blog-friend to her as she has been to me.

Janet rocks. i love her! i “met” her a few months ago, and it’s like we’ve been friends forever! she always makes me laugh, and is there with heartfelt words and emails when i’m down.

Jennifer is one of the first bloggers that i “met”, and she’s still one of my faves. she’s hysterically funny, and so friendly. she’s been there for me when i needed advice concerning my boys, and when i needed cheering up. we have so much in common, she’s a real mom, and she totally rocks!

and last but not least, there’s Kimberly. when i first “met” her, i knew she was someone i would be friends with IRL. she’s warm, funny, kind, generous. she’s always there for me no matter what. i hope one day we will be able to have that playdate…girl, you constantly make me wish we lived in the same part of the country!

***on a more serious note, Whymommy is having her surgery today. if you haven’t been to her blog, you should go. she is such an amazingly strong woman, and an inspiration. please send your thoughts and words of support her way…Whymommy and her family could use them now.

Posted in blogging, prestigious awards | 12 Comments

Scrolling Saturday: and now for some comic relief

when i was looking through my archives for something to post for Scrolling Saturday, i saw this post and new it was the one. it’s the perfect post to follow yesterday’s haiku about how serious my blog has been lately. enjoy!

*** the following post was originally published on July 12th, 2007. ***

After all of the doom and gloom posts of late, what with all the shit that’s been going on here, I thought it was time for some much needed comic relief…and my son Zander was more than happy to oblige.

Allow me to set the scene. It was bath time last night. Carlos had already run the bath, and everything was ready. As usual, we brought both of the boys upstairs into Zander’s room to strip them down for their bath. Zander was stripped down first. Then it was Logan’s turn. That’s when our noses were hit with something so foul…and that foulness was Logan’s diaper.

Carlos: Aw, man! Logan! How can someone so cute smell so bad?

Logan: A ba da….pfpfpfpfpfpfp (I’m not sure how to translate this, but as far as I can tell it means something like “Ha! That’s what you get for feeding me turkey stew for dinner, old man!”)

Carlos: [cough] [weeze] [cough] Maybe we should put a diaper on Zander until Logan is ready for the bath…??? [cough] This might take a while to clean up…..[choke]

Me: He should be okay….Zander…do you have to go pee?

Zander: No!

Me: Are you sure?

Zander: No pee pee….

Me: Do you want to go on the potty?

Zander: Pott’! No no pee pee….

Me: Okay….but tell mommy if you have to pee on the potty.

Carlos: I can hardly breathe…this is so nasty! Yak!

Me: Do you need help?

Carlos: No…I got it…

Me: Good…’cause I didn’t really want to help you anyway! [smirk]

Carlos: Ummm…..honey? What’s that sound?

Me: (I turn around to find the source of said sound) Why that’s your son peeing into the heating vent, dear!

Zander: Pee! Pee! I pee pee!

Me: Yes, Zander…you peed…all over the floor and in the vent…

Zander: I wet!

Me: Yes, Zander…you’re wet…and so is the floor….and the heating ducts….

Carlos: Here’s a receiving blanket…use this….(he throws it over to me)

I start wiping it up….

Zander: (he takes a step back to watch me clean up his mess….and starts to pee again) Pee pee!

Me: (laughing hysterically) Yes, Zander….you’re peeing….

Zander: (nodding in agreement) I PEE!

We all had a good laugh. We needed that…

I am so thankful that there are wood floors in his room, and that a warm bath was waiting for them just a few feet down the hallway!

Posted in funny ha ha, Scrolling Saturday, the monkey called Logan, the monkey called Zander, welcome to the monkey house | 16 Comments

Haiku Friday – where’d the funny go?

been all doom and gloom
my writing so serious
it’s just not like me

my loyal readers
i’m sure you’ve been wondering
where’d the funny go?

this blog has been so serious….nothing but serious. all kinds of downer posts. granted, sometimes life is not so funny. especially here in the monkey house. and it is cathartic to write down everything that’s been happening, and everything i’ve been feeling. but come on! funny things happen here all the time…i’ve got two toddler boys! how could there not be funny things happening?

it’s like when the funny stuff is going on, i don’t have time or the chance to write about it. and then some doom-‘n-gloom comes along, and that’s what i end up posting.

and i’m funny dammit! right? it’s not just me that thinks i’m funny, is it? i can be funny! what happened to all the funny posts i used to write? huh?

never fear, my blogland friends. i will be searching for my funny-bone high and low this weekend. and by gosh and by golly i’m gonna post something funny next week.

what…you don’t think i’ll do it? oh, just you watch me!

this post brought to you by late-night caffeine and lack of sleep

Haiku Friday
Posted in Haiku Friday, welcome to the monkey house | 26 Comments

a breakfast incident

something happened at breakfast this morning that hasn’t happened in a long time.  Zander threw up.

this used to be a regular occurrence.  so regular, that it was daily for a while.  just the hint of texture in his food would send him gagging, and he would eventually throw up his entire meal.   Zander would be crying from fright, i would be crying from sheer frustration, sadness, and fear that my little boy would never grow because he couldn’t/wouldn’t eat.

this morning was a bit different.  sure, he gagged at some texture and ended up losing his breakfast.  but it was because we have finally been able to move him off of the pureed-to-nothingness jarred baby food fruit to normal pureed fruit cups.  you know…the kind that you and i might eat as a snack.  not only are they so much cheaper, they also offer the same (if not better) nutritional value of the baby food with a bit more texture.  and he’s been really good at eating it, as long as we are spoon-feeding him.  i think there’s a comfort thing there, and we (as well as his Psychologist) are okay with the spoon feeding thing…’cause he’s eating!  i guess the texture was just a bit much for him this morning.
so when he started gagging, i calmly told him it was okay.  when he threw up, i still kept my calm (i’m amazed at myself for that!) and told him it was alright.  he didn’t cry, probably because i didn’t cry.  the only thing he was worried about was getting the puke off him, and i don’t blame him.

whether because of my meds for my ppd, the twice-a-month meetings with Zander’s Psychologist (who has been amazingly supportive and reassuring), or because of the progress he’s made, i was able to handle this morning’s breakfast incident with out trauma to myself or my son.  looking back, i realize how much progress we have made in these past few months.

this time last year, Zander would only drink milk…no solid food whatsoever.  the simple action of bringing a spoonful of pureed fruit or veggies would send him gagging and throwing up what little bit of milk was in his tiny tummy.  he was almost 2 years old and a mere 20 pounds…the same weight he was just after he turned a year old.

when his iron deficiency was diagnosed, we had to resort to force feeding.  i would sit on the couch with Zander on my lap and pry his mouth open while hubby would spoonfeed him a concoction of pureed fruits or veggies spiked with iron-fortified cereals.  he would sputter and gag.  we had to hold his mouth closed so he didn’t spit it out, and i would rock him and sing to him to keep him calm until he swallowed each spoonful.  i cried with almost every meal.  i felt nauseous before every meal, not knowing what horror lay ahead of us this time.

looking back, it is easy to see how far he’s come. instead of force feeding, screaming, gagging and vomiting, our meals have become much more relaxed.  sure, it’s still difficult to get him to eat.  he’s not eating much whole food…most of it’s still pureed.  but i honestly can’t remember when the last time he gagged and threw up was.  he has more energy.  he’s happier and less cranky.  he’s gained weight (he’s up to 29 pounds y’all!).  we can count on him eating something at each meal, which used to seem like an unattainable goal.

i’m so proud of my boy, and what he’s struggle through to get where he is now.  after dealing with this eating disorder for over 2 years, i still can’t imagine what it’s like for him.  can you imagine being scared of food, one of the very things you need to survive? i can’t fathom what that must be like, and that’s probably a good thing.

but he’s slowly but steadily overcome his fear more and more.  on top of his purees, he can now eat small chunks of cheese and toast.  he’ll eat pizza, french fries and potato chips…not super nutritious, but it’s the texture that counts right now.  he’s even started to eat pieces of whole banana!  i never thought i would see the day….

i’m beaming with pride for my 2.5 year old little boy…one of the bravest and strongest little men i know!

Posted in the monkey called Zander, welcome to the monkey house | 12 Comments