medication irony

There’s been

Fluoxetine and Paroxetine

Citalopram and Clonazepam.

The Tricyclic, Notriptyline

And the Noradrenaline

Venlafaxine.

Then Naproxen and Nurofen

and Ibuprofen and Promethazine.

Don’t forget the Metoclopramide

and the Metamide.

The Diazepam and the Alprazolam,

the Lorazepam and the Oxazepam.

Then there’s the Dexamethasone and the Valdecoxib,

Meclofenamate and Metoclopramide Hydrochloride.

The Sertraline and the Parozetine,

The Benzodiazepine, Aprazolam

and Zopiclone.

Meclizine Hydrochloride, Antivert and Diphenhydramine,

not to mention Dopress too.

Then there’s Omeprazole and Paracetamol,

Varenicline and Allersooth.

Not forgetting the

Surmontil and Aropax.

And where I wonder are the things

I ‘self medicated’ with?

Well there’s abit of coke, and weed

Plenty of Tobacco and bourbon.

Beer, a few uppers and downers.

A couple of trips

And some red wine.

IRONY?

I thought so.

First Published on: Aug 27, 2015 @ 11:24 😉

Link

Me: addressing … sadness?

Just had too lol.
Sometimes My way of describing things cracks my shit up.
So as I’m going through my old posts and re-categorising etc, I happened upon this beauty lol. Turns out, I still agree with my own insightful wisdom 😉 and with the newly donned label of mdd to add to the shortlist, I find myself once again, in this predicament – to medicate or not to medicate. And guess what … if I get all medicated up and shit, the ‘professionals’ tick the ‘she’s complied with treatment’ box. Doesn’t mean I get paid more. Also doesn’t mean they offer more or different assistance. Doesn’t mean the fluffy pts(d) and mdd fairies come and wave some wand to make me feel all a wee bit better …. Nope.

meptsdandallthefuckedupshitinbetween

I’ve been ruminating on this for a while … I’ve written about it a few times in the past; from my point of view of course.

I’m at it again, because there is a disturbance in the (my) Force and it’ll come tumbling out all slightly messed up as usual … but oh well 😉

We’ve had a few more suicide attempts within the family; a couple of deaths; couple near misses; the earth (Paptuanuku) has been flexing her muscles which sends unease throughout the masses;  … Theres grief and perplexity abounding all round. Not obvious; but it’s there.

So as the Suicide Hotline numbers are topic 1 on the family Newsfeeds at the moment, and there’s an outpouring of “I’m here if you want to talk … anytime” sentiment tagged onto these Hotline messages; and Topic 2 is Depression and what you should do if you think your depressed…

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health and shit

Oh how I forget so quickly.

I was feeling tip top the other day … full of energy (for me anyways) and ‘shiny’ and bright 😉 So I decided to reduce my meds again.

It’s a long slow process, but I want off’ve the antihistamines; which I’ve been taking now for nearly 7 years. Apparently they’re not designed for everyday use. And that would’ve been great to know back then … along with all the other drugs they tried pumping into my system … but lets not go there!

So, back to the awesome day … I reduced the antihistamine; now I’m at a 1/3 a day, and have been for the last week.

Enter the shits, itchy skin, swollen eyes, sneezing, headache, muscle ache and increased heart rate and anxiety.

Yes thats right, I forgot that last time I reduced those bastards the same things happened.

So no time is a good time to feel like shit and at least I know how to deal with this now, and how to ride it out. It takes about 2 weeks for shit to balance out; quite literally.

Next round, I think I may wait at lest a few months before reducing.

Anywho … yah Me 😉

Me: addressing … sadness?

I’ve been ruminating on this for a while … I’ve written about it a few times in the past; from my point of view of course.

I’m at it again, because there is a disturbance in the (my) Force and it’ll come tumbling out all slightly messed up as usual … but oh well 😉

We’ve had a few more suicide attempts within the family; a couple of deaths; couple near misses; the earth (Paptuanuku) has been flexing her muscles which sends unease throughout the masses;  … Theres grief and perplexity abounding all round. Not obvious; but it’s there.

So as the Suicide Hotline numbers are topic 1 on the family Newsfeeds at the moment, and there’s an outpouring of “I’m here if you want to talk … anytime” sentiment tagged onto these Hotline messages; and Topic 2 is Depression and what you should do if you think your depressed  … *not feel ashamed *talk to someone *get help … being the top 3 suggestions            …. I am left wondering the following:

  1. If we really gave a shit about people / family / those in grief / those struggling; why do we offer assistance only after the fact?
  2. Why is the go to anecdote have to do with how sad we once felt and how we ‘chinned’ up and ‘soldiered on’?
  3. Why is the reason to anything we don’t really understand, to do with sadness, have to be labelled as “Depression”?
  4. Does the title Depression make Us feel more comfortable, rather than Sadness?

Don’t get me wrong, Depressive Disorder / Depression in any sense of the word / label is a bitch, no doubt. I was raised around plenty of depressives … I get it.

What I wonder though .. is, were they really depressed? Or is that just the clinical term given to those who then have a legitimate reason to be drugged? By labelling them as such, do we then get to tuck them all neatly away in the corner, drugged up, still rocking … but labelled, so at least we know what ‘that’ is?

From my own groove; I’ve been given more drugs for Depression than I care to remember. No-one actually did a blood test and said … Yes, your whats’its are low and a good dose of this shit will increase those whats’its and you should be all tip top again in at least a decade. No, they questioned me. They ticked a few boxes and because I ticked the ‘depressive’ category, they prescribed.

The problem with questions, from one perspective, or an ‘anti-wholistic’ perspective – is they only ‘fit’ a generalised populace. And generally, that populace, depending on what it is … is white, mid age, mid class … not, indigenous, not sensitive, not artistic, not unique. Generalised, is just that. Unfortunately, generalised is not really the ‘norm’.

So, back to the drugging aspect of this all … the drugs ‘they’ have prescribed for me over the years include most on Wikipedias List of Antidepressants excluding those that aren’t available in NZ and Lithium.

Fast forward to 2016, and after nearly 2 decades on, some clever fucker decides to look a little wider, noticing that there might be more to this than meets the naked eye … that Me doesn’t display all the A Typical symptoms of Depression / Depressive Disorder …. Whoa … brilliant … we label this one with PTS(D) instead. Now lets try medicating this bitch with other shit …

Hold the fuck up I say … No more medication.

If they misdiagnosed, mis-medicated for nearly 2 decades; like fuck will I let them continue doing that! Because somehow they got brighter and smarter over the last 20 years?? Well, thats what the last lot said.

Now, I’m not bashing the medical System (well, not completely) … my point is …

I know ME … if I’m left to figure it out … I know ME. Therefore I know what I need.

Which brings me to where I’m at now.

But slightly of track with the rest of my ramble …

Back to the Newsfeed Depressives and Suicide peeps.

Whether they’re truly depressed or not, I’m uncertain. I know they’re sad; that much is clear. So they toodle off to the doctors who prescribes one of a trillion possible anti-depressants. ‘Go home, take these .. back to work Monday’. Couple years later, after a dozen or more ‘trials’ of medication have unfolded … but they’re still living a ‘productive’ life … they try and Top themselves … and we all sit back and go, Fuck … didn’t see that coming … ???!!!

Why? How? How did we not see that coming?

I believe medication isn’t designed to cure us, just placate us. If it placates us, where does everything that caused the sadness go??

It got me wondering, what my tipuna (ancestors) did, pre-colonial days, when someone was ‘sad’.

And heres what I found out:

When someone was deemed to be sad, or depressed … unable to engage or talk … they were taken into the whare or community house … where everyone worked and met and talked … the ‘sad’ person, was able to rest / sleep, on a mat in the centre … they were surrounded by their loved ones, who continued to go about their daily business … but would also feed the person, touch them, tell them stories, laugh, cry … love them. And this went on for as long as it needed to. It went on for as long as the ‘sad’ person needed it to.

And you know what … I dig that way of doing things! And i guess, it’s what I’m doing for myself now.

….. Lastly, the suicide topic … ….

Why?

I don’t think i agree with suicide, but I get it. Been there, done that and I get it. Is it preventable?

Fuck yes.

Most of Us want the fight to be over … we want the sadness to be over … we want acceptance … just to be left to be who and what we are … what ever that form may be.

The only way I can see for any of us to find that … is to create it for ourselves.

I’m still pissed at those that have left me; taken their own lives … but I get it! And those that have tried and been ‘unsuccessful’ and look like they are getting better but are just actually waiting for an opportunity to try again … I get that too … and I can see it on You.

To those that I love … If you do, I hope you find peace. For those that don’t, I hope you also find peace.

There … think I’m finished that for now …

For now 😉

addiction cloud…2010

Sometimes I wonder how the fuck I’m still here! But I am … and stronger for it I do believe 😉

meptsdandallthefuckedupshitinbetween

The BPPV didn’t go away, it got worse. I saw a neurologist and had a CT scan which showed up nuddah. The neurologist suggested I had some kind of CHVS, Chronic Hyperventilation Syndrome, and sent me packing. I was having panic attacks 3-4 times a day, but at this stage they weren’t diagnosed as that. Brilliant doctors decided I had Major Depressive Disorder, and tried to medicate accordingly.

What was interesting about this turn of events is that I had spent about 10 years ‘clean’…not taking any mind altering substances; not drinking and maintaining a pretty descent diet. And their first thought was to pump me full of medication. By this time though, I was so wobbly on my feet, I think I would have kissed a frogs ass if they said it would help. I tried yoga and breathing exercises to help with the dizziness…aka undiagnosed anxiety! No one thought to…

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twitchy eye …

I’ve been weaning myself off’ve antihistamines for the past couple months. I figured my diet is pretty boss now and I’m feeling relatively ‘good’, so now was as good a time as any.

Now, I’ve been taking antihistamines for longer than I was taking the other concoctions and I stumbled upon them way back when, after the colonoscopy and the other invasive thingy that gets shoved down your throat. My weight was plummeting (54kgs by then) and I couldn’t hold anything down. I had gone to the docs and specialists and none of these geniuses had looked at my history, and I was too far gone by then to realise what was happening – STRESS – aka PTS fucking (D). Along while after all this they discovered ulcers in my gutt but by that stage I was banging back antihistamines faster than I could breath.

And they worked. They calmed all the itching, the nausea, the vomiting … and I could hold down food. Which meant I could slowly gain weight again.

Note: It’s not a nice feeling losing weight so rapidly that you feel like your fading away – and not by choice!

So, a couple of years ago I decided I needed to lower the amount I was having (2 per day). And the itch returned, the nausea returned. I persisted and managed the reduction to 1 per day. And that’s where I’ve been for the last couple years.

After a slight reduction recently I thought I’d be able to stop completely. But turns out, there are crappy side effects (not listed on Google or on the antihistamine box I might add) to having popped these bastards for the past 6 or so years.

My system crashed and I was sick for a few weeks … itchy as fuck … and nauseous as fuck.

I bumped them back up to 1 per day and decided to do the slow decrease, like I’d done with the Benzos.

Enter – twitchy eye syndrome!

I Google it and whats the recommendation?? Take an antihistamine! Fucks sakes!

I’ve decided to persevere at the dose I’m at for a couple more weeks before decreasing further, which is 2/3rds of a tab. My skin is slowly settling down – lots of aloe vera applied! But my fucking eye is still twitching like I’ve had a line or 2 of speed!

Not to be put off though … and I think its bloody good progress, for Me 🙂

trying to focus…2011

I’m pleased I did these … went over my life, trying to remember it. And as I re-read, there are such large chunks that I’ve skimmed over .. I’d say, because it probably hurt remembering.
Yes, I did 2 courses, yes I passed. But I always pass. I’ve come to realise this about myself. Come hell or high water, I will always complete / pass / achieve. It’s a strength – it’s also a weakness. I can be so focused on ‘achieving’, I end up not dealing with what I should be – reality. I guess it’s been a way of coping – disassociating so to speak.
The drugs / medication … OMFuck … it’s amazing what you’ll try when you feel desperate and weak (physically and emotionally) just cos some supposedly qualified twat says it’ll help. I think I would have been better off drinking and snorting a line or two than taking the concoctions they prescribed. And in hindsight (such a fucked up thing), every road leads back to PTS fucking (D). Not vertigo … not anxiety (on its own)… not ulcers (on their own) … not IBS (on its own) … not claustrophobia / agoraphobia or any other fucking phobia. Just good old PTSD. I’ve come realise more and more that because our westernised ‘medical’ professions – mental and physical – like to separate ‘us’, our beings, off into tiny segments, instead of dealing with the person as a ‘whole’, body, soul, spirit, emotions – mental, physical, spiritual … they are always going to fuck up a complete diagnosis as such. Especially when whatever is going on, permeates the ‘whole being’.
…. The relationship with my partner (ex at the time) … I managed to swiftly brush over that. We had an unhealthy way of communicating … I get now that we are two very different people with 2 very different experiences behind us. This resulted, this time, in violence … and court. In hindsight, it tipped me. I became more scared and nervous. And I hated him for it. However, now, i can appreciate (not the violence obviously) that if this situation hadn’t of occurred I wouldn’t have started to make the changes necessary to get real help – had to wait another 3 or 4 years, but anywho … The violence, specifically, his violence against me, made me take a long look at myself. No, no-one should treat another person that way … at all … but that fear … I had felt it all my life and not realised it. Confronted with anger and violence or sitting with a friend and having a coffee … my internals still screamed RUN MOTHERFUCKER RUN. And thats what I knew needed to change. I didn’t realise however, that it was PTS fucking (D) doing its thing, and had been for a long long long time. NOTE: it also made me learn how to physically defend myself. I am now able to kick his ass … and he knows, if I needed too, I’d stab that fucker to protect myself 😉 He’s a little afraid … I think thats healthy 😉

meptsdandallthefuckedupshitinbetween

I enrolled in ‘creative’ study. I figured if I could do something that was an outlet and not stressful, then I might kill two birds with one stone. I decided to do Whakairo (Maori carving) first. It was a year-long course and gave me something to focus my mind and hands on. Whakairo was traditionally a male art but is slowly becoming an art for both genders as there are less and less old schoolers to teach the new, and there are fewer people actually interested in learning the art form itself.

It did give me perspective and kept me busy. Most of the time I had to lean against a stationary object to stay upright, but I mananged…sort of. I was trying to lessen the meds as they were just making me feel hazy and nauseous, and not actually fixing the vertigo. The undiagnosed anxiety was worsening though, and I…

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deconstructionist, the beach, a shrink, and no. 4 moko…2014

I had taken a Personal Assistant slash Business Analyst/Deconstructionist position within a Maori Organisation, at the end of the previous year. My friend was the newly appointed CEO, and the idea, for me, was to see what my organisational skills and deconstructionist ideas could bring to the job. I took it on, partially because I could blend it to my needs…work from home…and because my friend knew what was going on for me, my hours and days could be as flexible as I needed them to be.

Within the first week, I had saved the org $45k, just through a bit of reorganising of the structure and doing away with what I deemed, needless and pointless conventional ‘have toos’. By the second week, we had saved around $75k total. I was enjoying the challenge, and found out I was damn good at what I was doing. I had/have a head for restructuring 🙂 I loved doing this type of thing…until I had to mix with people…then, not so much.

Because I was still as shaky and nervous as fuck, and had a full on panic attack every time I left the house, my mobility and interaction with the world outside was pretty limited. If I travelled in the car, IF – I was bunkered up in the back seat with dark sunglasses, my head between my knees, head and ears covered, trying to breathe steadily. I couldn’t handle the movement and the noise and at this time I couldn’t even handle light music in the background. Just hands over the ears was the only way to get any type of peace.

We were trying to look for houses by the beach and it was proving more difficult than I thought. They were either shit…as in you wouldn’t put your dog in any of them…or they were descent and cost an arm and a leg!. We spread our search a little wider, so we were about 40 minutes away from the city; still within travelling distance to doctors, specialists and more importantly, the mokos. We looked for our haven for over a year.

The previous year, I had made contact with an older Maori woman who knew all the old traditional methods of healing…pre-European contact styles. That was/is a rare thing. When the Treaty of Waitangi was signed in 1840 and the colonialist eventually took over, one of their first acts of parliament was to out law or make illegal the practice of traditional healing methods. So a lot, actually most of what we knew instinctually was wiped out brutally and then slowly disassembled completely over the following 150 plus years. So to find this woman, practising what was our traditional healing methods, was not only fascinating but something that I was extremely drawn too.

I’ve been to two of her open classes, or wananga…she practices and teaches Romiromi. It’s like a deep, deep tissue massage…but more…its spiritual as well as physical. Very hard to explain. Maori are instinctually holistic. We didn’t use to treat in segments of ourselves. As in…physical, a doctor…emotional, a shrink…spiritual, a religious thing. We did the whole person as a whole being. And that is what Romiromi is about. Treating the whole person.

I hadn’t been at all open to being touched, but because I was sick and tired of being cooped up and unable to do what I wanted to, I was pretty ready to try anything. I was nearly off all medication…and the repercussions of that, was ‘feeling’. Not something I was used to…without some kind of something in or around me…substances, distractions, work, kids etc.

The upshot was, it moved something deep within me…and I knew that all the stuff I was dealing with, had somehow stuck, not only in my memory, but in my body…they call it cellular memory I think…well the pakehas do. She, this lady…and old Maori…they had a different, ancient kind of name for it.

I initially came away feeling shattered but good. I was still waiting for the wheels of the ministry of health to start turning in my favour and a shrink to be assigned. And I knew I needed to move to the beach. Now, if not, yesterday.

The thing with salt water…salt air…the sound of the waves…for Maori, its cleansing…and healing. And I knew with every little fibre of my fucked up body and mind, that that’s where I needed to be. I needed that and about 3 years of sleep 😉

As my situation started to feel more desperate I had started taking my sleeping meds during the day as well. At the peak of this indulgence I was taking up to 2 during the day and another 3-4 at night to go to sleep. And I’d still only sleep for 4 hours at a time, take another half and then get maybe another hour sometimes two. Manic way to live…absolute hell. Although it was advised that I not take those pills during the day, I wasn’t really to sure what else to do. I was sick of trying the concoctions they had been giving me, and I knew how to control my little blue pills. Highly addictive little fuckers though.

We finally found our little house and we moved to our beautiful beach. I remember packing up the house in like, 2 minutes…booking the truck and maxing out my credit card to pay for the deposit on it. I was desperate to leave the city…and desperate to get to the beach. I remember clearly, our first night here. I felt like 20kgs fell off my shoulders immediately. I cleaned and organised and slept and ate and smiled and sat in the sunshine and listened to the waves…for days…weeks. We have been here nearly 17 months now. And even though I still get angry and stressed sometimes…I am nothing like I was two years ago…or even a year ago. I still have trouble leaving the house…or if things get particularly hectic…but I love being here…I love chopping wood…blogging…taking photographs…waving at the neighbours…having the mokos come out. The whole environment is massively, massively healing.

We’ve had our issues with our landlord…they’re assholes really…and I won’t miss them one little bit. But this whole year, even with its ups and downs, was what I knew I needed.

Our fourth moko was born at the latter part of this year. And she was just as beautiful as the other 3. She’s been extremely healing for me…for us both actually. As she’s grown I’ve been able to see what a healthy, loved, protected and nurtured little bundle of joy actually looks like.

xxoo

I finally got to see a psychiatrist after we had moved out to the beach. She came to me. She diagnosed PTSD, and confirmed what I had suspected. She advised urgent regular sessions with a Psychologist to do ‘active’ therapy. I waited another 6 months to see the one I see now.

side effect irony

ulcers and headaches

anxiety and depression

vertigo and hair loss

nausea and vomiting

night terrors and tremors

‘addiction’ and suicidality

don’t forget the panic attacks

and ptsd

Lets medicate and see what happens…

dizziness and diarrhoea

anxiousness and drowsiness

a dry mouth

agitation and nausea

chest pain and sweating

insomnia and chills

a cough and difficulty breathing

forgetfulness and tiredness

sad and shaky

unsteadiness when walking

faintness and nightmares

hyperventilation and nervousness

light headedness and confusion

blurred vision and heart palpitations

sleepiness and disturbed coordination

epigastric distress and hypersensitivity

photosensitivity and shortness of breath

rash and hives

bleeding and mood changes

vomiting and trembling

headaches and panic

suicidality and restlessness.

Hmmm

Think yous was better off

at the beginning of that trip!

panic attacks, counselling and a business degree…2012

I can feel myself speeding up as I near 2015, present day. Some of that’s my annoying urge to complete something – yesterday; some of it is the urgency of looming homelessness…and nil internetness lol; some of it is the haze that covers these last few years and my reluctance to delve into them in detail.

Anywho…I shall continue…

I decided to use the free counselling that ACC provide to all peeps that have been sexually assaulted and have made a past claim with them. I had few options open to me as my funds were not quite zilch, but near enough to. However, getting funding for shit is a pretty fucked up thing really…if you don’t fall into a certain category then your options tend to dwindle. Being Maori, a woman, a single parent, a recipient of an abortion and having been sexually assaulted, have all given me the great privilege of accessing certain things. Pfft. Because I am a Maori…or if I state as such on the medical register…I am able to get free cervical smear tests. Yippie. Because I am a woman who has had an abortion I am able to get free STD checks and pregnancy tests, at the local clinic. Yippie. Because I was a single parent I had access to capped funding for tertiary education. But only certain tertiary education, nothing too grandiose. Yippie. Because I was sexually assaulted I can access counselling. Yippie. The only thing with all these freebies though, is that if you were a paying client or had any amount of self-respect, there is no way that these facilities would be your first choice. But because they are ‘handouts’ to the victimized vermin, we are expected to feel honoured, privileged and forever more, grateful. Pfft.

Anyway…By the stage I went to access the free counselling, the system had changed…it was my last resort really. I finally found a counsellor who didn’t do a ‘surcharge’, and attended the first session in a bundled up ball of nerves and medication.

This woman was the first person to suggest some kind of anxiety disorder with accompanying good old panic attacks. She asked for a psychiatrist to assess me through the aforementioned freebie facility, within a couple of months preferably, as she also thought I was at breaking point…and I waited another 2 1/2 years to see one.

In the meantime, me and the partner reconciled, after a bit of counselling and a lot of talking. He had injured his back before he was locked down and was hoping to get back to work after the bracelet had come off. BUT…he had differing opinions…a multitude of tests and scans…with the upshot being an angular tear…which is now two (they missed the other the first time round)…with degenerative spine thingy…I can’t remember what the most up to date, popular term for it all is. One set of doctors and specialists say he can go back to work, the other say he is fucked for life – in more medical terms. So while they argue, he limps around trying to continue on like nothing is wrong. But that is all another story I’m pretty sure he’s told a thousand times to people who are and aren’t really interested.

We decided to cohabit again and as he moved back in my youngest decided to spread her wings and leave home.

Everything that I had been trying to hold together – not very successfully I might add – fell to bits when she left home. It was everything I had been working towards and preparing her for…and she was more than ready. But I forgot to prepare myself. I fell to bits and cried like a big girly girl.

In hindsight, those girls were the underlying reason I lived. I lived…when I lived…for them. I had tried to protect them and look out for them and teach them what I could and make them independent and strong and able. And they were. The youngest was strong and independent…and abit of a mummy’s girl too ;). But this was the catalyst for my ultimate crash lol…I felt empty and alone and how a mum should when their babies leave the nest. But I hated it. And I didn’t want to influence her with my needy-ness…so I let her be, and watched from afar.

I had ended up enrolling in another course at the beginning of the year…a business course. I was floundering in the focus department and even though I was succeeding at everything I was doing…I wasn’t succeeding in the panic attack arena…they were becoming unbearably worse. I managed to get to course during the week…I did night classes because I couldn’t handle the brightness of daylight. But I found the crowded room claustrophobic and the talking painful for my ears and head. It took me about 2 hours of preparation to be able to leave the house to get to course and then about another hour to recover when I got home. It was exhausting. But I did it. I figured somewhere along the line I’d use a business degree…somewhere lol.

As I got progressively worse the counsellor got cold feet. Shes not the first counsellor to do that. She ended up pulling out of the counselling and ultimately gave up counselling altogether…Ooops.

The search began for a new counsellor.

By the end of this year me and the partner were starting to reconsider our decision to reconcile. I was still taking a cocktail of medication but was starting to look at weaning off some of them as I was pretty sure they weren’t helping, just exasperating the situation. And I was starting to forget things…important things…like the mokos ages and birth dates…where I was…what I was doing.