And I Thought Last Week Was Bad

At least that week has some redeeming qualities. This week was pure hell.

Posted Aug 29, 2020

My last blog post was about the week before last being the week from hell.  I had no idea what was yet to come.  The week before last I had one emergency with a client that carried over until Monday when thankfully everything turned out safely.  This week I had an additional three, OMG, three emergencies, over the course of four days. 

When I instant messaged my manager late yesterday afternoon he IM’ed back “911 ?” I responded, “Don’t jinx me.”  I believe people are being adversely affected by the pandemic and how long it has lasted so far.  Add to that the uncertainty as we head into fall, a point in time, I think most people told themselves, life would start to return to normal and that just is not happening.  Most people are starting to comprehend that life will most likely never return to life as we knew it.

Additionally, my clients already suffer from fairly severe emotional issues, and in some cases comorbid substance abuse issues. Most of them have economic challenges that make navigating some of the trials that the pandemic has presented, such as moving to an online-based form of communication impossible, because most of them don’t own computers and can’t afford Wi-Fi.

This week my appetite was raging constantly.  I was hungry for what felt like almost all the time. When I started one of the antidepressants, Dr. L. had mentioned one of the side effects could be a slight increase in appetite, but that didn’t happen so I put that thought on hold. But not totally out.  This week, when I found myself heading to the refrigerator what seemed like constantly, I thought it must be this medication because Dr. L. and I had just increased the dosage.

©  Jiri Hera | Shutterstock
Source: © Jiri Hera | Shutterstock

I lowered back down to the previous dosage.  I didn’t expect to feel the effects right away.  Two days later I e-mailed Dr. L. to let her know:

I had to go back down to 30 mg.  My appetite went through the roof and I couldn’t stop eating. This is a tough week to judge my mood as I’ve had four emergencies with clients and I’m worn out.  I even had to cancel my appointment with the neuro-psychologist.

Never one to mince words, she shoots me back this e-mail:

This medication causes, reportedly, more sedation and appetite increase at a low dose.

Damn, I thought.  Not only is Dr. L. a woman of few words, but she is usually right. I felt like an idiot, complaining of something that couldn’t be true.

I replied, Then maybe it’s stress and anxiety. I can go back up tonight and see how I feel over the weekend.

She wrote right back. Good idea.

I felt as though I was wearing a path in the carpet going back and forth to the refrigerator from my desk.  Even though I wasn’t eating “junk” per se, I was eating more yogurt, watermelon, frozen Greek yogurt bars (okay, maybe a little junky), but still my hand was moving toward my mouth more often.  I felt out of control and I was scared.

©  GoodStudio | Shutterstock
Source: © GoodStudio | Shutterstock

After menopause, the weight piles on more quickly and is more difficult to get rid of.  This defies reason, but ask any post-menopausal woman and she will verify this in an instant.  The way to avoid this dilemma is simply not to gain weight in the first place. Hard to do when hunger is constantly gnawing.

I don’t like feeling out of control and I’ll do almost anything to avoid it.  But I also realize feeling out of control and being out of control are two different things.  There are a lot of explanations as to why I’m hungry.  One could be nutritional, my diet stinks and I’m not getting the nutrients I need to ever feel satiated. Another could be anxiety and stress, though, in the past, these feelings tended to stifle my appetite, rather than stimulate it. A third could be the medication, though I know I am highly suggestible.

©  mhatzapa | Shutterstock
Source: © mhatzapa | Shutterstock

Or most likely, it’s some combination of the three.  I feel as though I should draw a pie chart diagram and try to figure out how much of each of the three reasons is contributing to my feeling out of control.  That’s my rational mind taking over when I should be trying to get into Wise Mind.

And what does Wise Mind say?  Eat better, find a way to deal with the stress, and stay on the higher dosage of the medication because right now, I need it.

Thanks, Dr. L. for giving me a boost and for working with me so I have tools to help myself

Thanks for reading.

 Be well.     Andrea