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Saturday, January 18, 2014

Losing the Golden Ticket

I'm feeling frustrated. The Strattera has more or less stopped working for me, even at the maximum dose of 100mg. Having enjoyed a respite from the worst of the ADHD symptoms, it's as if the Golden Ticket were ripped out of my hands. I'm used to living with full-blown ADHD, but I REALLY appreciated the relief that the medication provided. I'm irritable, have chronic stomach aches, trouble sleeping; the RLS/periodic limb movement disorder are back and I'm not sleeping well. I'm exhausted. I'm snapping at people. I'm less organized and more overwhelmed. My body image is poor right now also, another symptom common in women.

I have an appointment to call my doctor on Monday. I've faxed her twice this week with blood work results she requested 6 weeks ago as well as updates on how I'm doing...it made me feel better to let her know the higher dose simply isn't working out. It's better than no medication at all, but not much. I'm REALLY hoping that she switches the med to a stimulant. I've never abused a medication; I'm circumspect about taking what I'm supposed to take, no more or less. The "anxiety" that plagued me and made her reluctant to prescribe a stimulant was ADHD, not true anxiety.

I'm dealing with another health-related issue: the flu has visited our household. We were all inoculated at different times. I received my shot in October and had a severe adverse reaction, confirmed with my doctor. Within 24 hours, I was exhausted and very achy; within 36 hours I had a high fever and severe body pains. I missed two days of work. I now think that, in addition to my autoimmune illness causing my immune system to be unpredictable, I had such a bad reaction because I had the flu in May and my body still had strong immunity. D's firehouse was stricken with the flu (confirmed). Nearly everyone has been ill, though the men who received the flu shot, like D, were sick for a shorter period of time. Several days ago, the site of my inoculation became raised, red, and very sore. It seems that I was exposed to the flu by D but I haven't gotten sick. The kids have been ok too, though D woke up this morning with a fever of 103.5. She's acting happy and pretty normal since I gave her a bath and advil to reduce her fever. She's congested and has had a low grade fever and slight cough all week, so I think it just might be one of the typical viruses that the kids get.

I think I STILL have the sinus infection I've had since October, shortly after receiving the flu shot. I really despise the fall/winter, because I hate the cold and I hate the constant illnesses we all have even more. However, I'm focusing on the positive - it's not nearly as bad as last year, when little B had pneumonia twice and bronchitis three times; both kids were sick nonstop from September through the end of June. I had pneumonia twice and bronchitis several times as well. Additionally, from January 1 - June, we had SIX ER visits: January 1 for B's periorbital cellulitis; late January for me for pneumonia & emergency gallbladder surgery; little D in February for a head injury; little D in April for a high fever; our dog Chloe in May for bloat; big D in June for burns to his face from a fire (terrifying to get a text that he was on his way to Cornell Burn Center!) Last year was one of the worst of our lives. We survived it, and when I'm frustrated now, I think of how awful last year was in comparison.

Being relentlessly positive is a wonderful coping mechanism. Sometimes I feel self-pity, bitterness, anger, frustration - I'm human, and it's ok. But I don't wallow in bad feelings; I acknowledge them and move on. Having the attitude that the universe is crapping on me was detrimental to my happiness.

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