Tuesday, July 01, 2008

You don't write, you don't call....

Welllll helllll-o there.

Yes, I'm back. Contain yourselves! Hush, you'll wake the babies!!!

That's better.

Yes, I missed you too. Now hush!

It's been so long since I blogged anything that I barely know where to begin. I'm not sure I remember how to put together a post! Let's go with my usual well-organized stream of consciousness and see where it takes us. C'mon Dorothy, buckle on the ruby reds and let's hit that yellow road.

My bout with hormonal nuttiness and anemia really knocked me for a loop. (Oh lookie, there's an original turn of phrase, eh?) I still have some issues with fatigue - though primarily in the evenings which has seriously curtailed any sort of socializing or even just attending the theater. Oftentimes by 8:30 my eyes are drooping and I'm ready for nappies. But at least I'm not sleeping the days away as well. So I consider that a huge improvement.

I've been recovering quite well however - haven't had my follow-up blood work to verify that but I've been running again and that tells me I'm definitely better. Just before I was diagnosed I was running and found that I was gasping for breath and exhausted to a degree that only marathoners should know - and trust me, I was barely covering a mile let alone 26.2. So now that I'm (slowly) covering 2 mile runs three times a week and not passing out in the middle of it, I'm pretty sure my hemoglobin is well on the way to normal again.

The running. Oh the running. I am nothing if not an addictive personality. As of yesterday I have been smoke free for two full months (hurray!!) but I have found a dandy substitute: running. I used to run and then light up as soon as my workout was done - healthy. I am extremely lucky in that 20+ years of smoking have not affected me health-wise in any way, meaning I was never out of breath from running (until the anemia).

Actually the running is not a substitute for the smoking so much as a substitute for my Zoloft. See I decided a couple of months ago that I was going to wean myself off my beloved blue pills. There are a couple of reasons for this decision. One is that I no longer have health insurance and even as a generic (sertraline), which is what I take, it's not a cheap medication. Surprise. The other is that I've been on it a longish time now (almost 4 years) and while it definitely served it's purpose - far exceeding any expectations I had for any medication - I am tired of feeling content.

Not that feeling content is a bad thing! Dear GOD no! Content is lovely and good and infinitely better than Depressed and suicidal! But I have noticed that while reveling in my feelings of happy to be alive and SANE that there has been a bit of a trade-off in drive, ambition. My feeling is that the content that comes with the Zoloft is hampering me in that one direction. So I thought I'd like to see how I do without it.

For the last month I have been s.l.o.w.l.y. coming off and will continue to do so for the next month or so. I've heard too many horror stories of people stopping too quickly to risk any sort of Depression backlash myself. Learning from others: go me! The slow reduction of my dosage seems to be working just fine - no feelings of anxiety, depression or OCD so far so I think I'm on the right track. There are some studies that indicate that Zoloft actually teaches your brain to utilize serotonin better so that you can stop taking it and continue to feel just as good. I'm going with that theory. The running is a big help there. The endorphins and exhilaration of running seem a great substitute for the good/calm that comes with the medication. Plus, you know, good for you.

I do have stories from my time away from the blog - and away from almost ALL my friends (sorry guys, I've just been all about me, me, me... it happens) - but I'll sift them in as we go along. For now I think this has been long enough to suffice. I don't want to bore anyone.

Clearly, too late.

OOH look up ahead: I think I see a scarecrow.


LadrĂ³n de Basura (a.k.a. Junk Thief) said...

Welcome back. Basil looks like he's happy to be surrounded by clean air. Being in northern California and all the smoke, I have a deeper understanding of the impact of years of smoking. Bleh. Basil's coast looks even a shade or two whiter. Handsome devil.

Bella said...

Glad to have you back! I envy your running habit - I really want to try running, but the old bod just isn't there yet physically. Soon enough, I hope.

Congrats on being smoke free for 2 months - that's huge! Very impressive.

Confession - I always have a cig after I workout. It's so weird, but that post-workout smoke always tastes awesome!

marxsny said...

I'm sure you'll do fine without the Zoloft because as you know Oz didn't give anything to the Tin Man that he didn't already have. Gosh it almost sounds like a song.

Gary said...

I am looking forward to tackling the reservoir with you next week (perhaps). It is time for me to get this 'ol body back in shape.

Glad to see you back to the blog. You can't get me involved in something and then flat leave.