June 18, 2010

The Health Update

A couple big things health-related have been going on in my already crazy life. First, was that I went off my anti-anxiety medicine about a month and a half ago. I loved how much it helped my anxiety issues but I was only supposed to be on it for about 6-12 months. So a few months ago I was looking into the side effects of the specific drug I was on an learned that weight gain was nearly unavoidable. Interesting...I thought I had gained 25 lbs because I was in my 30's and it all seemed to happen right after I had finished training for the half marathon and marathon and thought I had continued eating like a runner but not burning calories like a runner. Beginning in January, I really watched what I ate/drank for a few months and those few pounds never budged even a little (except the week I was literally starving myself for the Challenge at Willow...not a healthy way to lose weight!) As soon I read story after story about people who had gone on this drug and gaining a lot of weight (and a few other negative effects that I was experiencing) I decided it was time to be off. Weening off this drug was horrible. It wasn't just the type of withdrawal you'd expect but were neurological and made me feel extremely dizzy where if I moved my eyes or my head I felt extremely dizzy. It lasted over a week and slowly got better but the first 5 days or so were awful. Those 5 days felt like 2 months they were so bad, so bad that I knew I could never go back on this drug for any reason because the withdrawal was too significant. Now that I've been off a couple months the withdrawal is certainly gone. With that, I've started feeling some of the anxiety come back as well but it's not nearly bad enough to consider medicine again...for now. Didn't think that going off the medicine at probably the most stressful time (wedding, moving, job change, grad school, becoming and aunt --okay, that last ones really not stress, but thought I'd throw it in!) but I knew I had to do it now, or never. And the feeling of being drug-free is so exciting.

The second health update was that about a month ago I had an abnormal pap. Not too uncommon considering the point of having a pap done is a preventative measure to be sure everything's okay. After finding out I had the adbnormal pap, I had to go in for a biopsy. As anyone who gets this news, I was a little nervous about having this procedure done and even more nervous about the results. But after having the biopsy done, my doctor told me she didn't expect that it would come back with anything abnormal as everything looked okay. I walked out pretty relieved and after explaining to the few freinds and family who knew, I didn't think too much more about it. But sure enough, I got the call that the lab results came back showing some pre-cancerous cells and was told I'd need to go in to have a procedure done to (hopefully) stop the pre-cancerous cells from growing and be replaced by healthy cells. That procedure was worse than the biopsy (even though I was told it wouldn't be as bad) and let's just say I'm not as anxious to have kids just yet! I am so happy to have this all behind me! I am praying for the cells to be GONE and for all healthy ones to grow in their place. I will go back for a follow-up in 6 months to make sure that's exactly what is happening. Thanks to all of you who were and have been praying for me. And thanks for all the encouraging words from each of you, especially those of you who shared similar stories of your own.

**As a side note, the drug I was on was Efffexor, and if you're considering going on it (it did wonderful things for my depression/anxiety) please, please, PLEASE talk to your doctor (preferably a Psychiatrist) about ALL of the side effects and do a LOT more research than I did.

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