A Vulnerable Coffee Catch Up

Hi everyone. I want to share what I have been going through the past two weeks, but first, if talking about mental health or anxiety is triggering for you, then please skip this post. I would hate to cause anyone any negativity.

So. Where I have been. Three weeks ago I was feeling good – blood pressure fantastic, mild anxiety left over from Wyatt’s surgeries but nothing terrible, my weight is good, and had A+ blood work according to my doctor. However, at that wellness visit we decided to increase my Prozac by just ten milligrams. I had been taking 10mg Prozac for years, and we thought since I was having some mild anxiety we would increase it. The doctor said it still was considered a very low dose, etc. Then things when to absolute hell.

My anxiety and fear grew with every single day. I was struggling to not just lay in bed, I wanted to hide from my own brain and thoughts. It took all of my strength to get up everyday and care for myself and Wyatt, which I absolutely did. I did the bare minimum, fed us, made sure we were safe, went to appointments, but nothing extra and for sure nothing exciting or enriching. In addition to my anxiety growing – like I was afraid to eat or walk around for fear I would have a stroke – my blood pressure just kept climbing as well. I have had essential hypertension since I was 24, it is just inherited and I am very good at tracking my blood pressure and keeping a log. However, no matter what my doctor was increasing my blood pressure meds by, it was not controlling it. By Good Friday, I was feeling out of my mind, and when Billy came home from work, I drove myself to the ER. I told them I was having constant panic attacks and that my blood pressure was insane. They monitored me for about an hour, prescribed an extra pill, told me that I was actually fine and not going to die, which I was absolutely positive I was going to and gave me some good information about my current blood pressure to help me through. I wrote that kind doctor’s words down and kept them with me.

My doctor contacted me the next day, saying that she had gotten my ER notes and was going to have the nurse manager call me the following Monday to help me find an appointment to follow up. At my follow up, my blood pressure was still high. After we talked a bit about what was going on, we realized that I had been fine up until she increased my Prozac. She thinks that there is a very good chance that the increased dose triggered a reaction in my body, like a less severe version of serotonin syndrome, which in extreme cases can be fatal. Even if it was not serotonin syndrome, Prozac is a drug that when you first start taking it or have an increase in dose, it can actually INCREASE fear and anxiety for a few weeks. So just something to realize and pay attention to. I think due to my small dose and dose increase it wasn’t as severe as it could have been. However, unfortunately for me, I have a whole lot of anxiety tied up with my blood pressure anyway, as a result of my month in the hospital while pregnant with Wyatt for pre-eclampsia, which probably exacerbated the whole situation on top of things. Yay me. So, my doctor came up with a new plan. We dropped the Prozac back down to 10mg, since I can’t simply just stop taking it completely just like that, and she put me on an entirely different blood pressure medicine. And Xanax, the lowest dose for a short time until I get through this time of transition. I am not super comfortable with that last one, but I do need it right now and don’t plan on taking it longer than I need to. I will take magnesium instead, when the time comes. She told me that it is going to take a little bit to get things (blood pressure) back to normal again, and to not expect it to be back to where it was (110/75!) in just three days. I am impatient to get back there though, so I have to fight that inclination and disappointment as well, and believe that I will get better, but it will be a process.

As for my anxiety, well, right now that is pretty good. I think that once the excess Prozac has left my system finally, I will be much better. And as for the jump scare of taking my own blood pressure, Billy and I team up. He takes it, doesn’t tell me what it is, and records it for me. He knows the parameters that our doctor gave for it, and also knows how to contact her if needed.

Mental health is such a fragile thing, sometimes. Medication can be good, but also, we need to pay attention to what our bodies are telling us. Sometimes they work and sometimes we have reactions. I never read side effects because I am a person who will automatically get them if I read them, but if I take something and feel weird, I contact the doctor and let them decide. I was nervous to write this post, so many people don’t believe in medication for mental health and look down on those who take it, think they are weak. I don’t feel that way. Your body chemicals can be out whack anywhere – brain, cholesterol, hormones, heart, what have you, and it is important to take care of yourself, and if taking a medication can help and doesn’t hurt you, then so be it. But also, if you do take something and know something is wrong, do not be afraid to bring it up to your doctor. I also think you should be able to have an open, trusting relationship with your doctor. My doctor is wonderful, she listens to me, considers what I am saying, allays my fears, and is very responsive to emails – all things that I need in a doctor.

It has been a wild few months for our family and homeschool has suffered, I haven’t been as available to my mother as I need to be, but I am managing that guilt as well. I need to take care of myself so that I can get better and get back to my normal life. I am thankfully very very blessed with supportive family and friends who are helping me through these times and hopefully I will be back to my normal self soon.

Consider this my PSA for the month! Lol. Take care of yourselves, no matter what that looks like for you!


28 thoughts on “A Vulnerable Coffee Catch Up

  1. I wish I could send a LOVE rather than a like! Thank you for sharing this with us, how awful for you. Well done for getting through each day as best you could. You’re amazing. This is me, by the way: “I never read side effects because I am a person who will automatically get them if I read them” – I get my husband to read them on a new med and then I tell him if I feel off. It’s so annoying, isn’t it. And the blood pressure thing, too – I get white coat syndrome so have a home monitor but once you get anxious about it, there it goes. Medications can do weird things and I am hoping for you very strongly (I don’t do praying but if I did, I would) that things settle very soon. I don’t know if you’re on Facebook messenger or anything but feel free to drop me an email and connect if you’d like. I mean that.

    Oh – and apropos state quarters there seem to be national park quarters, too!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Liz, thank you so very much for such a wonderful kind message. I really appreciate it, I do.

      I love that your husband does that for you! It’s so great to have a supportive spouse that helps with things like that. And white coat – oh yes, me too. It’s sooo annoying! So crazy how our brains work sometimes!

      I’m on FB messenger and IG chat – more frequently IG chat. @crackercrumblife

      And wow that is awesome about the quarters! How did I not know about that!!


  2. You are on your way back to where you need to be! It’s going to work out!

    In addition to what you said, people need to remember to trust themselves sometimes even more than the doctor. We know our bodies better than they do ultimately.

    If something is off then you may need to make changes before you can get to a doctor. Of course, I do not recommend stopping any kind of antidepressant or anti-anxiety medication cold turkey without talking to a doctor. That is not what I mean, but sometimes a person may need to taper back themselves a bit until they can talk to their doctor if things are truly out of control and they truly feel that’s what is doing it. I’ve had doctors push me off and not listen and if I hadn’t taken matters in my own hands I might have driven my car into the bushes or something — I was that panicked.

    Eventually, I was able to wean all the way off the antidepressant and felt so much better being off that particular one. Sometimes certain meds are just not right for us and we have to trust ourselves to know that, while also working with our doctors who know (or are supposed to know) how they work.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is so important to listen to your body and yourself, I 100% agree. I also strongly urge everyone to find a doctor that is the right fit and listens and communicates! My doctor emails me back same day when I message her and it is perfect for situations like this. But I know that this is not the reality for everyone. My last doctor for example was terrible for communication. I called her once and she only told me to go to the ER for panic and anxiety, which was unnecessary and right at the start of COVID in the Detroit area – we were a total hotspot and our hospital was overflowing. They didn’t have time for a woman having a panic attack! They were busy with an emerging pandemic that no one knew anything about yet! So I got online and found online therapy immediately. We need to advocate for ourselves!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Erin, I am so sorry you’ve been going through this. Mental health is an important part of our lives. I wish people didn’t stigmatize it. Years ago, I had Restless Leg Syndrome and was on some medication. Believe me, without that medication, my legs were twitching and jerking to the wee hours of the morning, and I was still teaching at the time. But, the weird thing was, every night, around 6:00 (I could almost tell time by it), I would be enveloped in this utterly and completely hopeless feeling…not suicidal…just hopeless. I decided to halve my dosage which seemed to help with the feeling…until it didn’t. One night, the RLS came back with a vengeance as well as the hopelessness. My husband tried to calm me down and keep my legs still. Eventually, we ended up at the ER. After they decided I wasn’t having a heart attack, they gave me a Xanax and drew blood. The following day, I contacted my dr who had them check my iron levels as well. We discovered I was severely anemic which led to the RLS. And, I discovered I’d been having panic attacks all my life, but I never knew what they were and just thought I was weird. I’ve been on medication for them ever since. I know people would say just breathe, count to 10 and all that. I choose to trust my doctor (and my gut) and take my meds.

    I also have Hashimoto’s which really makes me wonder if anxiety and HD go together! BTW…I always tell my husband not to read the side effects because HE’s the one to have the symptoms then!

    Take care of yourself, give yourself some grace, and know you will get better.


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Marsha, that sounds so awful and scary! It made me teary to think of you in that situation, with your husband trying to keep your legs still for you. 😦 Bodies are so incredible, and also just so weird. It’s amazing how everything works together the way it does, that a severe iron deficiency could cause all of that. I am so glad that you are doing better now and don’t have that happening – or those feelings! I understand what you mean about the hopelessness! When I went to the ER the other week she asked if I felt hopeless and I was like, “I do sort of feel like I will never get better” and the nurse whipped her head around and was like “wait do you want to die? ” and I had to assure that no no no that was absolutely not what I meant!!! Oops. I try all that breathing stuff and grounding exercises, etc and those do not help me too much, unfortunately, in a panic attack. Usually if I am having one if I move my body in some way it helps me more. Like gardening, cleaning, etc. But I had gotten myself into a mindset that I would die if I moved like that so I was trapped!

      This is me, 100% “I choose to trust my doctor (and my gut) and take my meds.”

      Hmm now I am really curious about the Hashimotos!

      And thank you Marsha. I am getting better, I just need to not be so impatient at this point.


    2. Well I just googled it and this popped up!

      Thyroid diseases, including Hashimoto’s disease, can affect your mood and mental health, often causing anxiety or depression. It is possible that the more severe your thyroid disease, and the further it progresses, the more extreme the mood changes.


      1. Wow! That is really interesting. It’s the diagnosis that keeps on giving, right? My thyroid levels are right where they should be, but I always wonder if maybe “normal” on the charts isn’t really “normal” for me.

        Liked by 1 person

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  5. Oh Erin, I hope things improve with changing your medication dosage! It’s good that you posted this because it gives hope to people who are suffering with similar issues. If someone needs medication I absolutely agree it needs to be taken to take care of the issue.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Sorry ye be having such a rough time. Medication doses can be so tricky. I sometimes feel silly for having to take depression medication or my blood thinner and the First Mate says “I am lactose intolerant. There is no amount of being strong or white-knuckling it that can make me digest lactose. I have to take the pill.” Bodies are weird things. Take care of yerself.
    x The Captain

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Kudos to you, Erin, for sharing what you are going through. And you have been going through so much. I’m glad you sought out medical help when things went awry with the increased dosage.

    I am not at all against using medication to deal with health issues of any sort. But because my mom’s health problems began with years of taking too much thyroid medicine and then were further exacerbated by the medications she took to combat the problems caused by too much thyroid medicine…and so on…I tend to try to deal with my anxiety and depression by working in the garden and walking and going outdoors and writing and dancing around my kitchen and meditation—all of which have been useful for me in the past in dealing with anxiety and depression. If, in the future, these do not work, I will not hesitate to seek out a recommended therapist and/or medicine.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have heard that about thyroids and medication! Sometimes the things we rely on for help just go overboard, don’t they? So hard to find that balance!

      I am a person who needs movement when I am anxious as well, by gardening or cleaning or painting or walking but with my blood pressure anxiety I was afraid to do anything. It was not great! I have been doing better with both the weaning off of the Prozac and because now I know that I am able to move around. Lol.

      Thank you Deb. 🙂


  8. Mental health is such a difficult thing and affects each person differently. What works for one may not work for another. I am sorry that upping your anti-depressant caused more issues rather than helping, but at least you were able to figure out what the problem was and are now on the road to recovery! I have had blood pressure issues since I was 27, and deal with anxiety and depression, I get it. Sending virtual hugs, thank you for being vulnerable and authentic!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It really is such a fragile and delicate system, our bodies. They are amazing and can do so much but also, can be thrown off so easily! My mom kept telling me, it’s the Prozac, it’s the Prozac, get off of it but I was like naw I have taken it for a long time and been fine. I wish I would have listened to her right away! But I finally got the message and told my doctor who agreed. Phew. And ugh blood pressure causes me so much stress. LOL. Usually it is so good, that when it isn’t I lose my mind. Apparently. Lol.

      And thank you Cindy. I was so afraid to be open but everyone has made me feel like I am in a big warm virtual hug!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Erin, I’m so sorry you had to experience this and I’m grateful that you used your head and followed through. You’ve also had an extremely stressful month or so with Wyatt’s surgeries and I’m sure the anxiety of those times, compounded with the medication change had to be harrowing at times. The blood pressure is scary. We’re going through a pre-eclampsia experience in our family right now and it’s very scary. But I didn’t realize how long that could hang in in terms of chronic symptoms. I have been on depression meds in the past and when trying to go off them, cut too quickly and spiraled down. Fortunately, my doc was there for me. And I’ve had reactions to other meds (one quite recently) and again, followed through as you did and it was OK. I’m so glad you had the wisdom to do the right thing. (And kudos to Billy — and also your method of checking the BP regularly. He’ll tell you if you need to know and sometimes that’s a lot better!) Thank you so much for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Billy has been such a big support to me – he doesn’t always understand anxiety but he says he doesn’t have to, he just has to be there for me, which is true. I am sorry to hear that you have had your own experiences with meds, but glad that you were able to get them taken care of as well!

      And I emailed you about the pre-eclampsia.


  10. Oh it sounds like it’s been an intense time for you. Mental health can be a tricky thing to balance, especially when you have a family to balance. Good that you were able to sense something wasn’t right and that things are starting to improve. Praying that you continue to recover and stay in a good mental health space.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Oh what a time you have had of it! I’m glad you were able to get your prescription readjusted but so sorry you’ve had to go through all that. I’ve been on Xanax and Lexapro since a few months after Will got diagnosed and while at first I really leaned on Xanax now I very rarely ever take it. The Lexapro is my stabilizer and the Xanax is just to give things a little tweak now and then if that makes sense. I’ve had really good luck with Xanax and I hope it helps you as much. All the hugs and good vibes and positive thoughts. Give yourself a LOT of grace and let go of the guilt. You have been through an incredibly tumultuous time and have to be exhausted in all the ways.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I just wanted to say that a long time ago I was put on SSRIs and nothing improved so they kept switching them around, and I don’t remember which one it was, but it my anxiety increased so much that I was borderline psychotic. I spent an entire winter thinking the furnace was going to blow up and I stayed up all night, every night, pacing the house listening to the furnace and opening the cellar door every few minutes to sniff to see if anything smelled funny. I also was afraid to go out into the front part of the house. It was horrible. Finally in that March one of my son’s Godmother’s friends told her that similar had happened to her and they took her off the SSRI she was taking, initially for depression, and her anxiety/panic attacks basiclly went away. It worked for me, too. I still had anxiety, but compared to that SSRI winter it seemed like nothing. Are you taking a beta blocker for your blood pressure? I was put on one for high blood pressure, but it’s know for also helping with anxiety and it did help me. Be well my friend. ❤


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