not feeling too juicy


I managed to complete my conversation heart necklace that was largely unfinished after the event that Sassy and I hosted last weekend... you know how it is... you get to visiting with your friends, you get to swapping, and next thing you know, it's time to go home and your project isn't finished. That said, I'm happy with the way it turned out and I plan on getting some good use out of it next year. I embellished it with a few extra strings of chain I had on hand leftover from some other projects and it feels... well, downright juicy. I'm surprised I even took the time to finish it but I'm glad I did.

I have to be straight with you. I'm not feeling very juicy myself these days. I don't often mention it on the blog, but I struggle with a few health issues, not the least of which is pretty severe arthritis. The pain gets me down in the winter. Last week my doctor suggested that I try Cymbalta, a mild antidepressant to combat my general pain - it seems to help diabetics experiencing neuralgia. I thought it would be a good idea and after my specialist agreed I am giving it a genuine whirl... but I feel a bit like I've been hit by a really big truck. With a forklift on it. At a high speed. While wearing a miniskirt. So... vulnerable.

So rather than wallow on the couch and shuffle around here in my housecoat (as I've been doing) I thought it might be an idea to put it out to you, in blogland. I've never taken an antidepressant before (and I really do like my pills - better living through medication, you know) so I wasn't expecting to feel so low... so mentally low. Especially when I'm taking it for pain, not for my state of mind. It seems as something that is supposed to make you feel happier should not do the opposite; and it's particularly frustrating when I wasn't feeling low in the first place.

In fact, I came home from Las Vegas all charged up and full of ideas. My camera is stuffed with images of all sorts of inspiring things to try in the kitchen and the craft room - but I just can't muster up the enthusiasm. Aside from the fatigue, the tummy problems and other unwanted side effects like losing my appetite (but remember, you're always just one stomach flu away from your goal weight!) I just feel a general malaise that is hovering over me like a cloud and I'm wondering... do you know when it might go away? 

It might be two to four weeks before I see a difference in my pain reception, so I promised my doctors I'd give it a good go. I know it's a personal question to ask, but if you have any experience with this, please give me a word of advice.  I simply cannot lay on the sofa and watch Toddlers in Tiaras for the rest of the winter. That would be a new low, even for me.

I did promise to share some of the Valentines from the swap so here are a few that particularly tickled my fancy - I thought you might like to see them and file them in your idea file.


Karen of the KAGS fashioned delightful three dimensional tea cups and saucers in a Valentine theme, complete with tea bag and a message, "you're my cup of tea." A signed and numbered edition.


Let's all ask Erin, how did you do this? I should have snapped this unopened - it was a sealed can with a pull lid! How fun... and stuffed with conversation hearts. So Erin, how did you do this?


jkiddz came up with something very personal for everyone - a photo tile featuring every swapper with their Valentine. You can find her tutorial here.


Our resident Team Edward enthusiast, Jenn, came up with these adorably embellished cans of Crush - turn the wheel to reveal:


Her beloved vampire. She loves boys who sparkle.  You can see even more of the loot from the swap here.

Well peeps, I want to tell you to tune in tomorrow and I'll be here with something to show you but it seems that I can't promise that. I'll promise to try. Even if I could get into the kitchen and make some cookies - the kind of cookies that The Fan used to call desperation cookies, cookies that you make when the world seems a little bleak and you need a pick me up. I guess I could start there. 

46 comments:

Trish the Dish said...

Give the meds some time to kick in - they might end up being your best friend. Feel better - spring & summer is on the way!

Marianne@Songbird said...

I hope you will feel better soon. Helas no advice from me, just hang in there and take your time.

Just call me Peach ;-) said...

Dear, Dear Saucy...

I was diagnosed with depression last year and began taking Zoloft...and while it helped my depression for a period...I recently began feeling absolutely horrid. Not wanting to get out of bed, hardly having any enthusiasm, and not wanting to play with my little sweetie bean.

I also noticed I began putting on excessive amounts of weight...I weigh more now than I did when I was 5 months pregnant. turns out, some anti depressants slow down your metabolism, and can worsen your depression symptoms...and if you have never had depression before, taking them can cause depression. It's very strange, I know.

I feel your pain, and I hope that this will work for you...I just went off mine about a month ago...still in the withdraw period but I am hoping to feel more like myself soon.

You will be in my thoughts, I can't imagine how frustrating this must be for you. Try to hang in there...we're all here for you if you need to vent!

The Sice Family said...

Hi! I have a friend who suffered with anxiety after starting anti-depressants. Within a week she swapped to another brand and then she was okay. Also, remember to take the tablets at the same time each day.

Another thing I've seen work well is hypnosis. Sounds kooky and scary to some, but it is not always about delving into a traumatic past. Spending a month listening to a CD with positive affirmations before you go to sleep each night is often the method, and has got to do some good! Thinking of you, and good luck! Wendy xx

Lisa Russell said...

I'm so sorry you have to deal with this. My bff here has RA and I will ask what she does to help. I know she takes Embrel and Oxycontin. Just don't take Ambien. Heard some really bad things about that one. xoxo -- will keep you in my prayers.

MoveYourAsana said...

feel better Saucy!! whip yourself up some blondies with chocolate and peanut butter chips...that will do the trick!

Janie's World said...

I hope you feel better soon, you have so much to do everyday! I don't know about the meds, but when my husband was desperate to ease the pain in his back, he tried acupuncture and it worked! You might look into it for your arthritis. I'm praying for you!

Jenn@ You know... that blog? said...

After my oldest was born, I was rather blue, and went on a mild a/d for about 3 months. HATED the fugue state I was in, and decided I'd rather deal with reality than never know exactly what was ME, and what was chemical.

I know you suffer with this, and it makes me sad to think about it. You're an amazing woman; you accomplish more in a week than any 3 people I know, and you're always taking on more. I don't know how you do it, especially in the face of your "issues".

My advice to you is to give it a little time, but if after another week you don't start to feel better, head back to the doctor and stand up for yourself (never an issue for you I'm positive!!) and pursue another course of action. You might just be on the wrong meds for you.

Get as much sunshine as you can, too. Can't hurt (although it might be hard to find these days) Spring is just around the corner!

Still waiting on clarification of that other matter - I'll be in touch with that info soon.

*hugs*

Heather@PixieDust said...

i hope you start to feel better soon :)

SOINSPIRED said...

Oh no, the opposite effect. I'm so sorry. I'll be praying for you. I looovvve your necklace. What fun gifts you received. I'll be snatching that "Crush" idea. Hope you are feeling better soon!

Pepper said...

I think you should go and see Hoe Mark on 20th...by where Andy used to work. He is a miracle worker!
Hang in bud, the sun is going to shine and the snow will melt soon and that will totally help! xoxo

Coco said...

I only lasted a week and a half on cymbalta. It made me VERY depressed. And when I stopped after only that short period it made me very dizzy for just as long.

Claudia said...

I'm sorry to hear you're having such a hard time. I'm afraid I have nothing to offer but support. I do have a blogging friend who suffers from Rheumatoid Arthritis and has been dealing with much the same issues with medication. Give it time and know we're all thinking of you.

xo
Claudia

Maija said...

I take my anti depressent like a multi vitamin! You must call your doctor and tell him how you are feeling!! The med is supposed to make you feel better not worse. It may not work with the chemicals in your brain.
I was struggling during the holidays this year and my doctor gave me an extra boost with a drug called Abilify- a mood stablizer and I feel so much better!
Please don't wait until you feel so crappy and blue you can't function- call your doctor or talk to your pharmacist- you will feel good again!!

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

That you can make such beautiful things when you feel so crummy really amazes me, saucy. I hope you feel better soon and things can start evening out for you--throughout your body!

Kim's Treasures said...

I took antidepressants for pain from Fibromyalgia...they helped some with the pain but took away my ability to focus and be creative. I felt like I was living in the land of fog. I didn't like that feeling...stopped taking the meds and feel better...still have pain...but at least I can still feel like I'm in the land of no fog.

Hope you feel better soon!!

Roberta said...

Love the swap gifts :} Sorry to hear about your pain the even more so that your doctors are having you take an anti-depressent. Very sad...because I have a family who take them like candy. I took them once for about three months because of a separation and my anxiety was so high it was affecting my going to work and sleep, etc. But I would never go back on them...what I learned and found out since is why I won't. Basically they make you "NUMB"...hence why the doctors are using them to treat your pain. The biggest problem is that they don't work on just one "problem" area...they BLOCK all areas and you lose your appetite, your sex drive, your basic ability to have a clear thought. And there are a lot of side effects that the doctors don't consider...like they weaken your teeth and your hair gets thin. Then when you go off of them, there are more side effects. Not as bad as some other drug additions with their physical symptoms...but you will go through a depression when you try to get off them again because you have to ween them out of your blood system.
PLEASE try some alternatives like accupunture and a nurtitionist...with arthritis there are alot of foods that cause inflamation. I send my best wishes to you and hope that this helps and that I haven't offended anyone...that is not my intention here. Just hate the way doctors tend to hand them out like "candy" these days. Fondly, Roberta

Tina S said...

OK...I take an antidepressant and it works like a charm. It took a couple of weeks for it to kick in, though. If it's truly due to a chemical imbalance then the meds will work. Sometimes you have to find another drug that will work for you depending on what your deficiency is. Call your doc anyway and let him know what's going on. If it's only for a couple of weeks...well, you can switch to Little Miss Perfect! Believe me, it's worth the search to find the medication that works for you. It may take some time but please hang in there. I did and my life is so much better! Yes, I gained weight but who cares?! It's better than that overwhelming feeling of sadness all the time!

Saucy said...

You know, I'm generally extra sensitive to the side effects of medications... I really have lost my appetite in the last week and I don't want my hair to get thin :(

I certainly wasn't depressed when I took that first pill last week, but I feel like now I'm in a funk. My specialist is in Germany for a conference right now, I see my family doctor next week.

Sarah and Jack said...

I find it insanely frustrating that bloglines is STILL not picking up your feed. But anyway.

When I used an antidepressant many years ago it took about 30 days for it to feel like I felt ok. I still had wierd spacy moments though. I would fall off the couch (WTF?) or I would stand there pouring water, forget what I was doing, and just pour water everywhere.

Good times.

Sarah Brewer said...

Dear Saucy,
I have taken Elavil for my Fibromyalgia pain and it was a small dose that only took about a week for effect. It made my pain feel better without any side effects. I say, give it a go for awhile, but if you still feel badly, maybe there's another pain-management-antidepressent that will suit you better!!
Best wishes - Sarah

Anonymous said...

So sorry you're going thru this. You are an inspiration to so many of us, and I'm sure I'm not the only one hoping you'll be back on your feet (physical and mental) very very soon! My mom is diabetic and takes cymbalta for restless legs, and she has done fine with it, but bug your doctor to death to make sure if it is the best option for you. Hugs... Julia

Angela said...

Hey there, you.
I am gonna write you an e-mail.
Love the necklace, turned out great.
What nice treasures from the swap.

Love,
Angela

SandraD said...

Oh Saucy, it makes me sad to think of you not your perky self. Thanks for sharing your state with us & I hope you get feeling much better real soon.

MJ said...

Can't help on this one. The strongest med I take on the rare occasion is Tylenol. So sorry to hear you aren't your spirited self & hope things improve quickly & soon! Take care dear friend!

CityofBridges said...

Hope you start to feel better.

If I could suggest anything, I STRONGLY recommend going to a reiki therapist. I swear by this form of therapy. As a Toon Town resident as well, I go to Kristen at Inhale-Exhale (http://www.inhalexhale.ca/). Call her and see if she can help, if she can, I guarantee you'll benefit from it.

Becky Gonce said...

I've toyed with the idea of taking antidepressants...but they sound so horrible to get used to. My dr. did give me some if I wanted to try. She said to promise to do 6 weeks. I haven't jumped into it yet.. .still hoping that excersise and the better weather will help instead. Good luck. I know that once you are used to them they can be great!

Anonymous said...

Sorry you aren't your normal saucy self. I wasn't aware anti-depressants could be used to help with pain. I had to try numerous ones to find the one that worked for me, some seemed to kick in after a few days while some a few weeks. Not sure if that is the same with treating pain. Cymbalta has only been in Canada for a couple years so I never tried that particular one but remember hearing it "kicked in" pretty fast.

Side effects vary for everyone, and what works for one person may not work for another. Mine does NOT thin my hair or weaken my teeth, it has increased my sex drive and i actually lost a few pounds. It does not numb me or hinder my ability to have a clear thought.

Mine is a miracle worker for me, but I'll admit, knowing how each one can react so differently with each person I wouldn't want to mess with them if I didn't have to.

Anonymous said...

Go see Dr. Wang, a wonderful acupuncturist in your town. SR

Shannon said...

I can relate! I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia years ago...after a wrong diagnoses of Lupus years before that. I live with constant pain - sometimes it's just muted, dull pain and other times it's flat on my back pain. I've taken every pain pill out there...and none of it worked. Eventually I got depressed and was put on anti-depressants and about a month into the meds my pain started to subside. I didn't expect it to happen - it just did. Granted, it isn't gone completely - but it became more tolerable. Give it a try - it might work. If it doesn't, consider trying another brand or type. BUT- be VERY careful. General malaise is fine - but suicidal thoughts are an immediate sign that you are not tolerating the meds and you need to get to a doc and stop immediately!

Keep your chin up - and know that their are tons of us out here that share your pain - both figuratively and physically!

Shan

Karen of the KAGS said...

After just a few days I loved my happy tabs - but then as you know things took a turn for the worse.

Who knows if they are to blame - there's as many answers as there are questions.

BUT, for you my dear, keep taking them, give them a chance to kick in, you never know.

I too like meds - why would you not?

And thank you - for the wonderful event and for making that ugly tea cup of mine look so good.

40isthenew30 said...

Desperation cookies sound just like what the doctor would order. (my kind of doctor :0)
Thank you for such a lovely blog ~ Kimi

Stef said...

Hey girl! When those antidepressants work, they are a true blessing. Keep trying-maybe a different one. Anyone else in your family tree might be able to recommend something that works with your chemistry.
As a dietitian, I frequently see people with extremely low intakes of omega-3's, which are an anti-inflammatory, and may be good for physical and mental health, and vitamin D(not really a vitamin at all-acts like a hormone). They might help your overall health-don't know about pain.

Rosa said...

Aw, I hope you feel better soon. I hate feeling bad. And I bet most of us on here have had to take some type of anti depressants at one time or another. Hang in there and give it time to work. I hope this is the right medication. There are so many out there. Let's hope it helps get rid of your pain. Gentle hugs.

Niki said...

If the side effects are serious, try another medication. really.

Charlene said...

Saucy..I started Cymbalta 4 1/2 weeks ago. For 3 weeks, I wanted to sleep all day and felt so BLAH!! Found out that sleepiness and fatique are 2 of the most common side effects. Now I take it a few hours before bed and I am doing much better. It does help with my chronic pain so I would like to continue with it. But I am like you, creative and active. I can't deal with wasting tie that could be used having fun :) Hope you feel better soon and that the meds end up being a help! Charlene

Wendy @ The Shabby Nest said...

I'm not sure what to tell you about the medication, but I do hope you feel better soon. I just wanted to leave you a comment and let you konw how much I thoroughly enjoy visiting your blog. It never fails to make me smile, and despite your health difficulties, I think you accomplish an amazing amount of wonderful things. You are a one TALENTED lady and a lovely mother to your children. I hope the relationship I have with my daughter when she is 15 will be as great as the one you have with Loopy.
((hugs))
Wendy

Anonymous said...

Wow, just when you think your own life sucks and you've moved to Self-Pity Boulevard, you find out someone else is facing huge challenges too. You are so graceful, gracious, kind and poised, no-one would suspect a thing. Most importantly, though, is that you are not hiding behind a graceful, gracious, etc. facade as most would do, but sharing and de-mystefying what could be a painful subject for so many.

I take an anti-depressant (Paxil) because it takes the edge off the highs and lows of emotions I was living. My brain chemistry needs it. The highs were GREAT but the lows were just too low. I take half of the minimal dose available, so maybe it's more of a placebo effect than anything. Any side effects are minor and my life is so much better with it than without it.

I hope you find some relief - nay, full relief - from your pain. Perhaps the tradeoff will be worth it once you are on the right dosage, etc. Give up a little of your over-the-top energy in favour of comfort. You deserve to live pain-free. Perhaps you'll only have five times the creative mojo that the rest of us have than your usual ten times. Gasp, you may even be reduced to being a mere mortal instead of Saucy-the-Superhero! Give yourself a break, you push yourself so hard. Take a breath and relax.

Chrissy said...

I would also suggest taking the antidepressant at night. Switching to taking it at night really helped me with my energy level. I hope you start feeling better soon!

melanie said...

I hope you start to feel better soon. :) xxx

Anonymous said...

I will second the comments regarding accupuncture and reiki. They both really do work and I speak from experience. If you are reluctant, the treatments could also just supplement your medication.A close family member had reiki treatments during her course of chemo. She had absolutely no negative effects from chemo.In my opinion accupuncture and reiki are worth a try. At least you won't have the side effects your meds are giving you.

Anonymous said...

Well, I have to tell you that I started anti-depressants about a year ago for perimenopausal issues (don't you just LOVE being a woman?). They absolutely changed my life. So please try and stay on them until the side effects have subsided. If they benefit you as much as they have me, you will find it to be worth it. Good luck. And, to cheer you up, I tried your chicken finger recipe and it is the BEST. Sliced bread has nothin' on those babies. What are the chances of getting a recipe for your lasagna?

Saucy said...

Well, I took Chrissy and Charlene's advice and moved my dose closer to bedtime. Did anyone else get restless leg syndrome? I thought I'd kill Veto with the jimmy legs last night!

It will be two weeks tomorrow since I started - I'll see my doctor in the afternoon and see what he says. Thanks for all of your advice.

Amber said...

I tried Cymbalta for fibromyalgia pain a few years ago and I couldn't stay on it. I had to quit taking it because of nausea and extreme dizzyness and lack of concentration. I've gone through trials of other medications that I've been on for 6 weeks with extreme side effects and it really stinks. But, I do like to know that I really gave it a go before I stop a drug so I don't have to second guess in the future if it might have helped if I had stuck it out through the side effects, or at least gave them a good chance to go away. I really hope that you begin to see some of the side effects lift, along with improvement in your pain...very soon! Hang in there!

Erin said...

Saucy,

Hope you are feeling better soon.

I just got back from Mexico, was reading through your blog and saw that you had asked how I made those little Valentine tins...well I bought me a little can opener (from your favorite discount store) that takes the entire lid off the can, not just the top part. I then removed the bottoms of the tins (canned peaches), washed them out, filled them with goodies, glued the bottoms back on and decorated. I had seen these little tins done a few times and knew they would be perfect for the swap, so there you have it!

Erin

Nishant said...
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