Right now, having been at .1 for just about two weeks, I feel my *self* again: I have energy; my physical symptoms are greatly reduced; I sleep well and wake rested; and the crushing weight of depression and fatigue is lifted. It’s good enough that I can almost consider lowering the dose – it’s as though I needed to fill in the backlog of need before my body could adequately supply the ongoing need.
(the only “side” effect I’ve noticed is an increase in the mild lympedema in my left arm & flank- weird, but true. I’m not noticing swelling, but a certain tenderness – and a mild increase in sensitivity in my left breast surgery site. On reflection, I figured out that this is far more likely a reaction to my increased activity level – I’m actually *doing* things, rather than merely sitting t my computer allowing entropy to take over my life – than a reaction to the ERT itself)
It’s fairly amazing… a complete turn-around from the past seven months’ downward trend, and very welcome.
I’m ‘me’ again – or close enough so that I can cope with the bits that aren’t matching up perfectly as of yet, which are mainly physical symptoms and are relatively mild. I want to stabilize at this state for long enough so that I can clearly recognize any changes that occur with the addition of a SRNI – and also just to give my body and psyche a rest from the turmoil I’ve gone through. It’s been a really rough year, from diagnosis to surgery to chemotherapy to radiation to the major and unexpected effects of chemical menopause.
And I recognize that part of that is justification for avoiding taking a medication that I fear – I’ve had such bad effects from psych drugs used for pain relief in the past that even though I *know* this is in a far different subset of medications, I still am unfairly resistant to it. I just got back to myself, I don’t want to lose that again. Add to that the known side effects of Effexor are some of the same effects that I’ve experienced already with chemopause, and I’m understandably reluctant.
I’m putting it off for now – I’ve filled the scrip, but I’m going to wait a bit before starting on emptying that bottle – and I’ll most likely start on a much lower dose than prescribed (looking at the scrip more closely, I found it’s actually prescribed at 150 mg per day, which is a fairly high starting dose).
My gut level feeling is that the doctors aren’t used to seeing patients with the extreme symptoms that I had developed – many women may seek relief far earlier than I did, and they’re more used to dealing with women who are having difficulties with hot flashes and night sweats and some more mild psych symptoms, rather than the full gamut of symptoms I’d developed, both physical and mental. The sense I got was that they were somewhat dubious that I wasn’t having issues (other than hormone depletion) that were causing my symptoms, both physical and mental*.
On one hand, I certainly appreciate their caution, and checking into other possible sources for my symptoms makes perfect sense and I’m grateful that they have – on the other, it’s pretty clear to me after all of this that the source of my problems has been extreme hormone deprivation.
Onward – into the light! And a clean and functional (relatively speaking) house! Progress is being made, albeit slow – there’s a year of entropy and debris to cope with, after all.
*in particular, dry mouth, dry eyes, depression & fatigue, and body discomfort (joint and muscle aches and stiffness) seemed to be seen as uncommon reactions – even though they are all recognized as symptoms of hormone depletion. The hot flashes and night sweats – the more ‘acceptable’ symptoms – were irritating enough, but livable.