A Root Canal Was Only The Beginning…

It’s been nine months since I’ve been to this blog–and what LONG nine months they have been!  It all started with a root canal that I had in September of 2018…the one that caused me to have to cancel our trip to Key West.

Here’s what happened:

It had been a whole month after the initial root canal, but the tooth still wasn’t feeling  right.  It was time to have a temporary crown put on, but I was still having issues.  I was told by my dentist to call the endodontist’s office for an appointment, which I did.

All of this happened to take place about the time hurricane Michael decided to come roaring through the south!  Of course, I couldn’t get an appointment for several days, and when I did, the endodontist couldn’t see anything wrong.  However, after giving me a round of antibiotics and steroids, to try to make the tooth feel better, the endodontist decided to repeat the root canal procedure a few days later.  There was still no improvement in the way the tooth felt.

Just before Thanksgiving, and after the repeat root canal, I was given one more round round of antibiotics and steroids, but I continued to have tooth pain!  I went back to my dentist for advice.  He wasn’t sure what was going on with the root canal tooth, but seemed to think  the neighboring wisdom tooth might be causing problems. He referred me to an oral surgeon.

Two weeks before Christmas I had the wisdom tooth surgically extracted by the oral surgeon.  I was asleep and didn’t know anything about it, thank goodness.  Everything went great until I contracted “dry socket” about two days later. This happens when a clot doesn’t properly form in the empty socket, and it’s VERY painful!  I’ve never experienced pain like that before, and it lasted for well over two weeks.  I went back and forth to the oral surgeon’s office [to have the socket “packed”] every day or so, in an effort to alleviate the pain.  This is how I spent the two weeks leading up to last Christmas!  I also took A LOT of pain medication.  I lost seven pounds from not being able to eat, and did not enjoy the holidays.

Eventually, the pain of dry socket went away, but the root canal tooth continued to be sore and achy most of the time.  My dentist kept urging me to “give it more time”. February came, then March and April.  In May, when I had my teeth cleaned, the dentist announced he was going to crown the tooth in a month, even though it was still sore.

After I had my teeth cleaned, the root canal tooth began bothering me more than usual.  I prayed and prayed about what to do.  A week before I was due to get the temporary crown, I began to experience even more pain with it.  I finally asked the dentist to just “pull it out”.  He was very hesitant, and told me he “really hated to do this”, but, in the end, he did.

Unfortunately, I was not asleep when the dentist removed that tooth, and the extraction was AWFUL.  Because the tooth had become brittle, it broke in half, and each one of its roots had to be surgically removed.  The procedure was very painful, even though my mouth was numb!  I left the dentist’s office in a lot of pain, that just got worse when I contracted “dry socket” for the second time!

It’s been six weeks since that last extraction and I’m still experiencing mouth pain.  I wonder if there’s any end in sight?  Now I have to wear a mouth guard at night because I’ve started back grinding my teeth.  One tooth or another always seems to hurt, but x-rays don’t show anything wrong.

The extraction sight was big and it’s taking a while for it to heal.  I have the distinction of being the “slowest healer” my dentist has ever seen.  I also have the distinction of falling into the 1% of patients who experience a “failed root canal”.  Lucky me.



Published in: on June 25, 2019 at 5:52 pm  Comments (4)  
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Something About December 10th…

What are the chances I’d have surgery twice on December 10th?  You would probably say, “Pretty slim”, but, yes, it happened.  The first surgery, on December 10th, 2004, was a cervical fusion, to correct a herniated disc in my neck.  I’d suffered with neck pain for several years, then, all of a sudden, my fingers began to go numb.  My neurologist said I needed surgery, immediately, to preserve nerve function in my hand.  The surgery was a day procedure, which they put me to sleep for.  Shortly after lunch I was released from the hospital, and, although I wasn’t supposed to, I felt well enough to stop by K-mart on the way home!

My second December 10th surgery was plastic surgery, to close the gaping hole in my face left by the Moh’s surgery I’d had earlier this week. (An M&M would’ve fit perfectly in the crater left by the skin cancer surgery)  Yesterday’s surgery was performed in the surgeon’s office, and I was wide awake for every minute of it!  Unlike the previous December 10th surgery, afterward, I didn’t feel well enough to go anywhere except home!

My daughter had the same [plastic surgery] procedure done, last week, and had warned me how unpleasant it was.  She didn’t exaggerate.  The surgery, itself, was fine.  I didn’t feel a thing, once the surgeon finished numbing my face, but the numbing part was excruciating!

That first shot was given inside of my mouth, between my gum and my cheek!  The entire right side of my face immediately went numb, including my teeth.  (Think of the worst dental shot you’ve ever had multiplied by ten)  My eye immediately swelled shut, and I couldn’t see a thing for a few minutes.  This shot was followed by two more [in the face], which I felt, in spite of my face being numb.  I think one of the shots was actually given in the wound that was to be repaired.  While getting the shots, I held my eyeglasses case in both hands and squeezed with all my might!  The nurse noticed, and commented, “If that glasses case was alive, it’s not anymore!”

The surgeon then explained he was going to “rob from Peter to pay Paul”, which meant he was going to “borrow” some skin from my cheek, and use it to cover up the hole left by the Moh’s surgery.  He says, “you’ll never miss it.”  Ha! Sure I won’t.

The surgeon was extremely nice, and I didn’t feel a thing, once the shots took effect.  The entire procedure took under 30 minutes, but I left the office looking and feeling like I’d been “sucker punched” in the face.

The surgeon gave me two prescriptions.  One for antibiotics, the other for a pain medication, which he said he didn’t think I’d need.  Ha!  Apparently, he’s never had any plastic surgery on his face!  All I can say is, “Thank God for Oxycodone and ice packs!”  Those two things are what got me through yesterday afternoon and last night.  So far, today has been better, and I’ve only taken some “over the counter” pain relief.

I have a bit of “a shiner” today, and I woke up with a bit of “a smirk” on my face, due to swelling in the cheek/eye area. Ha!  My daughter says I look like “the Joker”.  Thankfully, an ice pack helps reduce some of the swelling, as well as the pain it causes.

Of course, those antibiotics I’m taking will be causing some more problems, in addition to the nausea I’m feeling.  I’m already “doubling up” on my probiotics and yeast control medications, in anticipation of what’s to come. Fun times!

The good news is, the surgery is behind me, and the surgeon says I should have “good results”.  (Anything would be an improvement over the hole that was in my face) The affected areas of my face are covered with flesh-colored bandage, and will remain covered until next Thursday, when the stitches are removed.

Today, I’m lounging around the house, and catching up on Hallmark Christmas movies. Meanwhile, Ed has gone to take our daughter, Brandy, to have her stitches removed from last week’s surgery.  Her face looks pretty good, nothing like it did last week, so I know there’s hope for me!

My daughter and I had our picture taken, together, last night, as a souvenir of our Christmas surgeries of 2015!  I don’t know about anyone else, but I think we’re about ready to ring in the New Year 🙂


still able to smile…

Published in: on December 11, 2015 at 11:42 am  Comments (4)  
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Kathy’s Surgical Adventure…

How the surgery came to be necessary…

I’ve been dealing with back issues since April 8 of this year.  The symptoms pretty much appeared without any warning, except I began having trouble straightening up my back after I’d been sitting in the recliner for a while. Suddenly, I woke up one day, and discovered my left leg was feeling numb. The following day, the numbness was followed by a sharp, searing pain running from my left buttock, down to my left foot, and it hurt like hell!  My husband, Ed, said it sounded like sciatica to him, and suggested bed rest for several days.  After a few days, I’d feel better, then all hell would break loose again.  Many days, I could barely make it down the hall to the bathroom and back because of the excruciating pain. After almost eight long weeks of this, I finally gave in and went to see my doctor.  I had a feeling the news wouldn’t be good.

An MRI revealed I have a herniated disc and a bulging disc, both in the lumbar spine region. Apparently, I’m a victim of degenerative disc disease.  (I’ve already had my cervical spine fused.) In spite of two rounds of Prednisone and physical therapy exercises, the sciatica kept lingering and making my life miserable.  I fought the pain for almost 5 months.

Finally, about a month ago, I agreed to have a minimally invasive foraminotomy performed by the neurologist I’d been referred to in July.  Basically, this surgery would make a larger pathway for the sciatic nerve to exit the spine, by shaving away some bone, thus keeping the nerve away from the bulging disc that appeared to be causing my symptoms.

I was a bit hesitant to have this surgery because I had two ‘trouble spots’ in my back, and the surgeon could only operate on one.  He felt pretty confident, from my symptoms, that my trouble was being caused by the bulging disc at L4-5, but there was no way he could be 100% sure.  I decided to take the chance.

Getting prepared for surgery…

The doctor’s office called me about a week and a half prior to my surgery, which was scheduled for Monday, September 14. They gave me a long list of “do’s and don’ts”.  Preparing for surgery meant making adjustments to my list of medications and supplements. I was required to stop taking several of them about a week prior to surgery. These included the NSAID I take for rheumatoid arthritis, as well as a few other things like calcium, vitamin C, and cranberry supplements.

Waiting for a surgery time…

I sat beside the phone ALL DAY on Friday, September 11, waiting for someone to call and tell me what time to report for my surgery on Monday.  Finally, at 4:30 in the afternoon, the phone call came.  To say my nerves were frazzled would be an understatement!  It turns out the office does all of their patient calling during late afternoon hours, but I didn’t know this.  I was told to report to the Surgery Center at 8 a.m. on Monday morning, for surgery at 9:00.

The day finally arrives…

Ed and I hit the road at 6:15 on Monday morning.  It was cool and dark outside when we left home.  The drive into the city normally takes about an hour and fifteen minutes, but we chose to leave early enough to beat the morning rush hour traffic.  I’m glad we left early because even though it was early, the traffic was still brutal.  Our youngest son, who works in the city, told us about a short cut to the Surgery Center.  Thanks to his advice, we arrived at the Surgery Center at 7:20!  We had plenty of time to spare.

Let me stop here and mention that the son who told us about the short cut had originally planned to stop by the Surgery Center on his way to work, later that morning.  Believe it or not, he encountered a four car wreck on his way to work, and ended up helping some of the folks who were involved, instead of making it to the Surgery Center to be with us.  I’m glad he stopped to help the mother and her baby who were involved, especially considering they were stranded in a lane of the interstate when he stopped to help them!

At the Surgery Center…

Meanwhile, upon entering the Surgery Center, I quickly discovered there are lots of people with back problems! So many people looking for help, so early in the morning.  At 7:30 in the morning, the place was filled with people!  Some were there for surgery, others for pain management procedures.  So many people, of all ages, looking for relief.  I felt right at home.

After filling out the necessary paperwork and paying the necessary fees, (they always want some money up front, these days) I was taken back to the holding/recovery room area, questioned, then prepped for surgery.  My nurse was great, thank goodness, and explained what she was doing every step of the way.  A good nurse goes a long way toward making any surgery a positive experience!

Before I knew it, I had on my surgical gown, plus those lovely white support hose they ask you to wear during and after surgery. (Ed laughed and said the hose were my surgery souvenir, since I was required to wear them home.) Next came the iv and all the other wires they hook you up with.  Finally, the anesthesiologist came by and had a talk with me, as well.

While I waited for my surgery, I could hear my doctor dictating surgical notes about the patient who’d just had surgery before me.  He’d had the same procedure I was having. In a few minutes, I heard them bring the patient into the recovery room area next to mine.  He was still snoring from the anesthesia… I knew it would soon be my turn to go!

About that time, Ed was allowed back to the holding area, to see me for a minute or two, before I was taken away to surgery. I barely remember the nurse putting on my surgical hat, or Ed kissing me goodbye.  I felt the stretcher begin to move, then I went out like a light!  The next thing I knew, I woke up, and it was 11:30–two hours later!

When I woke up, my back didn’t hurt at all, but my throat sure did!  The anesthesiologist had warned me that this might happen, due to the breathing tubes that were inserted down my throat.  This was my third surgery, but the only one that caused my throat to become sore.  I wondered if the reason for this was because I was placed on my stomach, for the surgery, instead of on my back.

My next sensation was one of having “to go”.  I told the nurse I needed to go to the restroom, and she seemed surprised.  She told me my bladder had been drained during surgery, but I said I still needed to “go”.  (Those iv fluids do it to me every time.) With her help, and that of Ed, I wobbled my way across the hall into the bathroom, and took care of business.  The nurse informed me that I had just “passed a necessary test” in order to be released.

After eating a small snack of applesauce and saltine crackers, I was given some pain medication and a muscle relaxer. One of the medications I’d been given made my mouth so dry I could hardly eat those crackers!  I drank an entire bottle of water trying to wash down four little crackers!  Ed patiently fed me the snack. They gave me a throat lozenge, for my sore throat, but my mouth was so dry, I had to throw it away.

Thirty minutes later, my iv was removed, I got dressed, and was rolled out the door and put into the back seat of our car.  I’d only spent four and one-half hours at the Surgery Center, from arrival to departure, including registration, prep, surgery and recovery!  The entire ordeal was over, except for the ride home.

To be continued…



Published in: on September 21, 2015 at 7:40 am  Comments (5)  

What A Week That Turned Out To Be!

I’m sorry I’ve been MIA from the blogging world, again, but after I finish explaining the week we’ve just experienced, I’m sure you’ll understand.  Blogging has been about the last thing on my mind, lately.

Last week began with a doctor’s appointment for me, and one for Ed, as well–together.  As in, we shared an exam room together.  This was our second experience of sharing an exam room and the doctor at the same time.  I’m not really sure I like it, but I went along with it since it was Ed’s idea.  Whenever we share the doctor and exam room, it seems like we should get a discount or something, don’t you think?

Anyway, Ed and I both had fairly good checkups, but when we went to pay our bills, we discovered Medicare had neglected to send Ed a new card showing that he has part A and B on it.  Oops!  Ed wasn’t able to use the card he had.  Next, when Ed decided to try getting his prescriptions filled through mail order, there was a glitch with that, too.

Tuesday, after making several phone calls trying to get Ed’s Medicare and mail order pharmacy business in order, we decided to plant the rest of our garden.  It took us most of the day, but we got everything planted–by hand, with the exception of Ed’s row of peanuts.  And we said we were going to plant less this year…but that didn’t happen, of course.

Let me stop here and mention the fact that I’ve been experiencing some back stiffness, off and on, for several weeks, especially after sitting for a while.  Stooping over to plant all those garden seeds hasn’t helped the stiffness any. Then, I stepped into a shallow hole in the yard, on Tuesday afternoon, which jarred me just a bit, but I didn’t think much about it at the time.  Perhaps I should have.

On Wednesday, I woke up to a weird sensation in my left leg.  My leg felt tingly, like it was asleep, and it continued feeling that way the entire day.  Ed and I needed to do some work in the flowerbed, next to the house, so I ignored the feeling and went about my business.  A girl’s gotta’ do what she’s gotta’ do–or so  I thought.

Do you know how one job sometimes leads to another job?  Well, that’s what happened to us, on Wednesday?  When we started getting ready to plant some new plants, we decided we needed to put a  new coat of paint on the lattice underpinning surrounding the bottom of our house.  We spent most of Wednesday and Thursday painting and repairing that lattice!

By Thursday morning, my leg was feeling worse.  The numbness I’d been feeling had been replaced by what felt like occasional muscle spasms.  By then, I was pretty sure I was experiencing the symptoms of a ‘pinched nerve’, since I’ve had one in my neck before.  Oh, but that wasn’t the worst part of the day!  While removing and painting the lattice underpinning, that day, we discovered evidence of termites!  Not actual termites, just where they’d been dining on some of the lattice.  Then, later,  when Ed removed the dirt from a barrel planter, sitting beside our house, he discovered termites had eaten the bottom completely out of the barrel–and were still dining on the sides of it! There was nothing left to do but call an exterminator!

On Friday, I decided I’d rest my back (and leg) and see if it made any difference.  I spent most of the day on the couch, but I couldn’t tell that it made much difference.  As long as I sat still my leg felt fine, but whenever I walked any distance (like across the room) my leg began to have spasms that hurt like hell.  (Pardon my language.)

While I was resting, Ed called the exterminator, who came to check out our house for termites on Friday afternoon. Upon his initial inspection, the exterminator told us we had an even larger problem than termites! (he didn’t actually see any visible termites under the house)  He informed us we have mold growing under our house, which if left untreated, will soften the wood and eventually cause the floor of our house to go bad!  (Say it ain’t so!  That’s exactly what happened to the floor in our old house!)  Then the exterminator explained to Ed that his company is in the business of treating and preventing mold, in addition to treating for termites.  He explained the three-day process, then gave Ed an estimate for the cost of the services of treating for mold and for termites.  Ouch!  Let’s just say, it’s going to take two full months of Ed’s former pay to fund this project!  Ed told the exterminator we’d take the weekend and decide what we’re going to do, but as we see it, we really don’t have a choice.  We know how the story ends if we do nothing.

For now, I’m still laid up with this ‘pinched nerve’ thing which doesn’t really seem to be getting better.  I’m going to give it a few more days [of rest] before I give in and go to the doctor, because I already know, from experience, what seeing a doctor will entail, and I really don’t want to go there! I’m going to increase my dosage of Nsaids, continue resting for a few more days, and hope and pray for the best.

One funny thing has come out of this ‘pinched nerve’ situation, though.  Ed went to his mom’s house and got her four-legged cane for me.  He said if I’d use the cane whenever I walk, it will take the pressure off of my bad leg, therefore, helping with the pain.  Well, I must be the most uncoordinated person in the world because we’ve gotten more than a few good laughs over me trying to learn to walk with that cane! When I am able to use it correctly, Ed’s right, it helps.  The problem is using it correctly.  For me, it’s like patting my head and rubbing my stomach at the same time 🙂  I just don’t seem to be able to do it! Ha!

Have a great Monday!  As for me, I’ll be resting my back and trying to get the hang of this stupid cane–until Ed returns to his mom’s house and brings back her walker…








Published in: on April 13, 2015 at 7:44 am  Comments (6)  
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Exams, Shots, and Other Not-So-Wonderful Stuff…

I’m late posting today, but I’ve been a busy little bee this morning…I’ve already gotten up early, drove to town, had lab work done, and gotten my flu shot!  What a way to start the day, right?  I figure the day can only get better after all of that!  After hearing all of the coughing at the doctor’s office, I feel like I should come home, take a shower, and take a mega dose of vitamin C.  Apparently, the cold and flu season has begun early this year.

I really hate this time of the year!  I love the actual season of fall, but I hate all the appointments that come with it!  First of all, I get to have my yearly mammogram done this month.  Whoopee…Who doesn’t love having their boobies squeezed as flat as pancakes?  It’s the highlight of my day…NOT!

Following the yearly mammogram, comes the yearly pap test and exam!  Things just keep getting better, don’t they?  I don’t get it…I have no cervix, no uterus, and no ovaries, but I still need a yearly pap test.  Go figure!  Of course they have me over a barrel since I still take hormone replacement therapy.  I have to go to the doctor once a year, to get my prescription renewed.  I’ll do anything to keep those hormones balanced…(and Ed will, too.)  I don’t know how long I will be on hormone replacement therapy, but I hope it’s a while longer.  I”m not very pleasant when my hormones get unbalanced.

Following all of that fun comes my dental checkup.  I don’t really mind my dental checkups, but there’s just something about walking into the office and hearing the sound of that drill…There’s also a particular smell that greets you at the door…a medicinal smell, which reminds me of… shots!  I always try to relax during my cleaning, but more often than not I find myself gripping the arm of the chair!!!

Last but not least is the yearly field of vision and eye exam.  I don’t know if you’ve ever had a field of vision test done, but I hate the field of vision test!  You have to stare straight ahead into this machine and press a button each time you see a little speck of light coming from varying directions.  It’s quite nerve-racking!  Did I mention that you only get to use one eye at the time?  I must have this test done yearly because of one of my arthritis medications can potentially harm the eyes.  After the field of vision test is over, then I get to have my eyes dilated and be blind as a bat for 4 hours!  Such a fun way to spend a day…

Well, I’m getting tired just writing about all of the adventures awaiting me during the next couple of months, so I think I’ll go do something fun–like vacuuming and dusting the bedroom.  I can hear the Endust calling my name now!  After that, I think I’ll go outside and enjoy the totally awesome fall weather that we are currently having…and I’ll think of tests, shots, and doctor visits on another day!

Published in: on October 6, 2011 at 11:18 am  Comments (4)  
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Retired, But Still Living By A Clock…

I can’t believe it… After over five years of retirement,  I am once again living by the clock.  You may wonder why, so please let me explain!  

 I went to the doctor in November about my cholesteol levels,  and also found out that I have what’s known as hypothyroidism.  This means that my thyroid is lazy and doesn’t do its job anymore!  As a result, I have gained weight, become fatigued, not been sleeping well, and my body temperature regulation is out-of-whack.  It also means for the rest of my life I have to take this little pill called Synthroid (perhaps for synthetic thyroid medication) to replace the hormones that my sluggish thyroid no longer produces.  Oh yea, another pill…

Now, taking pills is not a new thing to me, since I’ve taken two arthritis medications for nearly 17 years, in addition to an antacid.   However, these days taking the pills just got a little more complicated! 

First of all, I have to take Prevacid daily to protect my stomach from the drugs that I take to keep the rheumatoid arthritis under control.  The problem is, both Prevacid and Synthroid are supposed to be taken in the mornings, on an empty stomach-but the two drugs can’t be taken together!  Prevacid keeps the Synthroid from absorbing  properly. 

 At first I tried taking Synthroid in the mornings, and started taking Prevacid at night.  Soon I found out that Prevacid doesn’t work properly when taken at night, and I began to have stomach issues.  I decided I needed to do something different!

Prevacid can’t be taken within 4 hours of Synthroid, so with the help of the doctor, I devised another plan.  I get up at 6 a.m. and take the Synthroid.  Then I go back to bed for a couple of hours before beginning my day.  In the kitchen,  I keep an alarm clock set to go off at 10 a.m.–to remind me when it’s time to take the Prevacid.  After taking Prevacid, along with my other medications, I finally get to eat a late  breakfast!

I’ve been “living by the clock” for nearly two weeks now, and everything seems to be working much better.  My stomach issues have disappeared.  I’ve begun to feel less cold and more energetic.    In fact, I rode my bike this week, and dusted off the treadmill and walked on it–now that’s improvement!  I hope it lasts.

I thought life was supposed to be less complicated after retirement, but  I almost feel like I’m back in school again–living by the clock!  Oh well…whatever it takes to keep my old body happy and reasonably healthy, right?  I can get used to living by a clock again!

Published in: on January 20, 2011 at 10:18 am  Comments (4)  

Life After Effexor…

It’s amazing the number of visitors that I continue to get to my old post about Effexor–and I know why.  Scores of people  are taking this medication, want to get off of it, but are finding it very difficult.  I can’t begin to tell you how many letters and blogs that I’ve read, written by people trying to rid their lives of Effexor.  If you are one of those people, believe me…I feel your pain!  Because of this, I have decided to share a second post about my experience with Effexor, and my life without it.

I was prescribed Effexor by my rheumatologist about eight years ago–not for depression, but to help in my treatment of fibromyalgia and a “rheumatoid arthritis-like” disease.  Antidepressants can help a person deal with chronic pain more easily, although my doctor actually didn’t present the idea to me in that way…he suggested it might help me lose a little weight…   Little did I know that Effexor is the most addictive antidepressant on the market today! 

In February of this year, after contemplating it,  and discussing it with the doctor,  I made the decision to stop taking Effexor.  I never was  depressed, didn’t have much chronic pain anymore,  hadn’t lost any weight,  and I just  figured eight years  was long enough!  I had begun to question what the medication may be doing to  my body.  Effexor also kills your sex drive, and I was tired of feeling that way. 

I tapered off the drug very slowly, as recommended,  and I took my last dose of Effexor(a half a tablet) a week before Easter.   I didn’t think it would be any big deal to stop taking it…Boy was I wrong!

  By Easter, I was a basket case.  I could not sleep at all.  My emotions were out of control, my stomach was upset, I couldn’t stand  any noise, and my head never stopped aching.  I thought I was going insane.  I had to wear sunglasses inside the house because my eyes were so sensitive to light.  Sometimes I would lay on the couch while these horrible shooting pains went through my body in waves.  Although I’d never been depressed, I became depressed.  I spent the entire month of April in that condition.  It was a living hell…

Even though my head ached, I spent hours on the computer searching for answers.  I was desperate to find a remedy for the withdrawal symptoms that were plaguing me.  I finally found my answer on a site http://www.theroadback.org    I highly recommend this site for anyone suffering from Effexor withdrawal!

Their program uses Omega 3 fish oil capsules, Vitamin E, Biotin, and calming veggie capsules (Montmorency cherry powder)  to relieve the withdrawal symptoms.  There is a link to order these supplements on the site.  The site has directions for taking the supplements and tapering off your prescription drugs.  I was desperate, and didn’t wait to order the Omega 3 fish oil.  I sent my daughter to the  store for some the day I discovered the site.  I already had some Vitamin E.  I ordered the Biotin(didn’t know the drugstore carried it) and the Body Calm capsules.  They arrived in less than a week.

The fish oil brought some immediate relief , but it took  about two weeks of taking all of the supplements to get total relief.  It was a gradual process.  My eyes got less sensitive, I got calmer, and the headaches were less intense.  I’ve been on the supplements for six weeks, and I am doing great!  I have been symptom free for over a month.  I am as good as new!  It’s recommended to take the supplements for 45 days after experiencing the last symptoms, so I have about 2 weeks to go before finishing the program.

Who would have ever thought that fish oil would stop withdrawal headaches?   I had to take the maximum dosage of 4 capsules, twice a day to get total relief, but what a great feeling it was to get relief!  That was a pain that nothing else would even touch!  I hope I never experience anything like that again.

I’m so happy to be free of Effexor, and feeling like myself again.  I have my life back again!   If you have never taken Effexor, please think twice about it before you start…For any of you who take Effexor, and are  happy with it, just tuck this information away in the back of your mind in case you ever need it…you never know.

Published in: on June 16, 2010 at 10:44 am  Comments (16)  
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Too Much Time On The Toilet…

It’s been a while since I’ve posted a crazy, quirky, off-the-wall post, so today will be the day!  My inspiration for this post came at 6:20 this morning when I was awakened by stomach pains…

Don’t you just hate diarrhea?  Doesn’t everyone?  Believe me, I have spent far too many hours of my life on the toilet.

My problems first began back in 1986 when we began camping.  We would go on a camping trip, and I would inevitably end up with an upset stomach.  The remedy of choice back then was Kaopectate.  Barf…that is some nasty stuff, but it worked–and it worked pretty fast!  We eventually discovered that the water at the campgrounds upset our stomach.  I was the most susceptible, followed by our two youngest children, who usually ended up throwing up.  Once we figured out the problem, we bought bottled water to take with us.

Flash forward a few years to 1994 when I first became ill with my auto immune disease.  About the time I began experiencing join pain, I also began having chronic diarrhea.  It wasn’t uncommon to find me stranded in the bathroom for thirty minutes each day before getting “things under control”.  It also wasn’t uncommon to find me up in the middle of the night, on the toilet,  in a “cold sweat” with stomach cramps. 

My rheumatologist tried to send me to a gastroenterologist, but I’m a stubborn one, and refused to go.  I just learned to keep plenty of diarrhea relief meds handy, and deal with the pain and inconvenience.  I was so happy when they began marketing those little white tablets(over the counter) to stop diarrhea!  No more Kaopectate for me, thank you very much!

The teacher that I worked with at the time, also had an auto immune disease (Lupus).  I discovered that she, too, had a lot of stomach issues.  She kept a bottle of Pepto Bismol at work.  One day while at work, I got sick with irritable bowel syndrome,  and borrowed some of her Pepto.  It worked!  It soothed my aching stomach and bowels, and made me feel so much better.  Now I always keep a bottle of Pepto in my medicine cabinet.  It soothes like no other medication does–I just wish it tasted better!

Flash forward to the year 2000 when I ended up having a total hysterectomy.  I had a mass on one ovary, and a cyst.  What I didn’t know was I also had one of the worst cases of endometriosis that my gynecologist had ever seen!  On a scale of 1 to 10, he rated me a 10!   I have pictures, it was ugly!  After having that surgery, I stopped having diarrhea!  Apparently some of the endometriosis was causing the diarrhea.  Once it was removed, I stopped having problems.

I had five or six wonderful years with no  diarreah, then slowly it began to come back.  My theory is that some of the endometriosis has come back.  The doctor says he doesn’t think so.  Who knows?   I have linked a couple of foods to the onset of my “old friend”.  One of them is onion rings, the other is mozzarella cheese.  I’ve had to completely give up lasagna, and limit eating pizza. 

Whatever the cause, my “old friend” has begun to come back for occasional visits–like this morning at 6:20!  The visits have been getting a little more frequent.  I sure didn’t miss “my old friend” when it was away.  I’ve spent way too much of my life on the toilet already…Maybe “it” will decide to take another holiday!  A girl can always dream…

Published in: on June 10, 2010 at 11:06 pm  Comments (8)  
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This Bear Looks Like I’ve Been Feeling Lately…

"I've fallen...and I can't get up"


When I made up my bed this morning–for the first time in a week, I might add–I carelessly threw my giant old teddy bear on the bed.  As a result, he just sprawled out on the bed.  I looked at him and thought–that old bear looks just like I feel! 

It’s now the fourth week since I stopped taking that Effexor.  I can’t believe that I am still trying to get back to normal after taking that crap.  Just when I think things are getting normal(maybe for a couple of days…) wham!  Something else pops up!  This is “I hate everything week”!  The least little thing makes me mad.  Things that I normally shrug off, are getting under my skin!  The best way I can describe it is “It feels like a HUGE hormone imbalance.”  I know most ladies understand that term… no fun! 

I’ve been trying to stay busy doing all sorts of projects around the house…anything to keep my mind off how crappy my body is feeling.  Some days keeping busy works–some days it doesn’t.  On Friday, I stayed busy and felt pretty good.  Saturday was good also, but I should’ve known that things were about to go downhill again on Saturday night when I didn’t sleep well… 

Sunday morning I woke up with another of those horrible migraine headaches, plus I was nauseated.  Now bear in mind, I NEVER had a migraine before taking Effexor…Since getting off, I’ve had at least a half a dozen of the awful things.  I didn’t make it to church, obviously, and I wasn’t even able to finish cooking lunch.  I spent the entire afternoon on the couch–in the dark– with a blinding headache, and pains shooting through my entire body.  What a day! 

Monday I woke up feeling lousy, and mad because I was feeling that way…again!  My husband had taken a vacation day off–a rare occasion–and I was feeling lousy!  I tried to busy myself in a few projects, but I just didn’t feel like doing much. I did manage to paint the bird bath, paint the back porch door,  and finish painting the front porch–in spite of feeling lousy.  

Meanwhile, instead of helping me get something accomplished, or better yet,  just spending  sometime with me, my hubby was working like some madman painting his “manhouse”–which has been unpainted for an entire year!  I was pissed off the entire day.  Now don’t get me wrong…I didn’t complain when he spent the entire day  Saturday painting that stupid “manhouse”, but I was not hoping for more if the same on Monday…I mean, it’s been unpainted for a year–what’s the rush?  Normally, I would’ve shrugged this off, but this week I was mad! 

I don’t know how much of what I am experiencing is due to Effexor withdrawal, and how much is due to the fibromyalgia…I suspect it’s a 50/50 thing.  I’m just ready to get back to feeling  normal and enjoy life again.   I have come to loathe the day that I ever heard the word Effexor.  I was normal before I took that crap, but at this point, I am beginning to wonder if I will ever feel normal again…  

The good news is this…I am getting a lot accomplished while trying to stay busy–in between migraine headaches, nightmares, body aches and sleepless nights–Here’s a picture of one of my projects.  Maybe something good is coming out of this misery… 

porch chairs...before


new tables, planters, and porch chairs…after

Yes, I painted those ugly brown chairs black!  My granddaughter, Madison had stepped on a rocker to one of them and broke it.  Ed repaired the rocker, so the chair had to be painted…The newly painted chairs looked lonely, so I decided to add some side tables and planters.  In addition, I painted the porch banisters,  the deck boards, and washed down the front of the house…Now you know why I feel like the Teddy Bear looks….Thanks for letting me vent.  I feel better now…I still have one more painting project awaiting my attention! 

Published in: on April 22, 2010 at 9:02 am  Comments (5)  
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Think Twice About Filling That Prescription…

Happy Friday, and welcome to Friday Follow AND My Friday Giveaway. I am doing dual duties this week, as I try to make more blogging friends. I love Friday Follow, and have met some great new friends. Please see the explanation of how to participate at the end of this post.

Before I begin my story, just know that I debated long and hard about writing it. It’s of a personal nature, and I like to keep some things private. Once it’s out in cyberspace, it’s there. However, I decided if my story can help just one poor soul from suffering my fate, then the story is worth telling.

My regular readers know that I suffer from a couple of chronic ailments.  One is a “rheumatoid arthritis” like disease, the other is a strange disease called fibromyalgia.  Both have been a part of my life for 16 years, and counting…

My rheumatologist is always on the “cutting edge” of new treatments for the diseases that he specializes in.  Thanks to his expertise, trial and error, and a lot of prayers,  he was able to find the correct medications to put my diseases in remission, for the most  part.  The down side of this scenario is having to try the different drugs to see what works to alleviate symptoms and improve quality of life.

About eight years ago–halfway through my journey with these diseases–a new drug called Effexor, came on the market.  I was doing fairly well at the time, but my rheumatologist thought I could be doing a bit better.  He suggested that I try this new drug.  He gave me some samples, told me to try it for a while and see how things went.

What happened was this… I began to feel  much better than I had been feeling!  I had more energy, I lost that “anxious feeling”,  and I was a happy, energetic person.  When I did have those bad days, I found that the pain didn’t bother me as much–I tolerated it better.  

I recently made the choice to stop taking Effexor–for good.  I’ve stopped taking it for brief periods of time before, but always go back on it because I’d end up feeling so crappy… I never got the connection until now… 

Times and circumstances have changed.  I no longer work, live a very low-key life style, and have no stressors. I was thinking–I’ll have one less prescription to pay for– one less drug going through my liver.  However, this time,  I got a little more than I bargained for in the process of getting off Effexor.

At my last appointment, I told Dr. M that I was planning to get off of the Effexor, and he said that it was fine.  He did say that I might experience more pain when I stopped taking it.  I asked what to do in case that happened, to which he replied “get back on it”.  That should’ve been a RED FLAG!

To say that I’ve experienced more pain since coming off would be an understatement!  Everything  has been hurting lately.  My head aches, my body is sore to the touch, my joints ache, I usually can’t  sleep at night.  Every noise still  seems to be magnified ten times.  My little granddaughter’s voice nearly sends me into orbit.  I’m as ill as a hornet–just ask my hubby, bless his heart…  I’m on an emotional roller coaster, and I want to get off!   My digestive system is messed up.  I could go on and on…I thought my arthritis and fibromyalgia were attacking me in full force, because a lot of the symptoms are the same–and I am sure some of this is the disease, but still…  After a few days, I decided to do some research, and…

 I googled withdrawal side effects of Effexor a list of over 75 different symptoms came up!  I nearly fell off my computer chair!  There are many articles about  how difficult it is to “get off” this drug.  There is even a website called “join-in-the-fun” (oh please…)which refers you to a book that someone has written as a guide on how to “get your life back” after discontinuing Effexor.  The site states that only one other drug is harder to discontinue than Effexor–that is Paxil–I can’t imagine!  I’ve been suffering withdrawl, and didn’t even realize what was happening!

Perhaps the most appalling thing that I found in my research was a petition with 22, 095 signatures demanding that the company that manufactures Effexor issue stronger warnings about the side effects of taking/discontinuing this drug That is twenty-two thousand, ninety-five people who have taken this drug, and had major side effects upon discontinuing use of this drug–myself included! 

It’s taken me two months to gradually wean off that medication.  I’ve been off of the medication for two weeks now, and although the smptoms are getting better, I am far from normal.  My prayer at this time is that I will ever be normal again.  I would NEVER tried Effexor had anyone warned me of these side effects of getting off of it.  Now I’d like to punch Dr. M for suggesting this drug in the first place…he and I are going to have a LONG talk in July!

 People beware, do your homework before filling that Effexor prescription…  and by the way, I never took the full recommended dosage of this medication– which was 150 mg per day…I found that I felt just great taking 112mg, so I never increased the dosage to the recommended amount.  I’ve since learned that some patients take as much as 400mg.  I can’t even begin to imagine the withdrawl torture from that amount…..

***Update…  After writing this post, I discovered a solution to the Effexor withdrawal symptoms.  I’ve written a post about it called “Life After Effexor”.   You can read about it at this link  http://www.edshunnybunny.wordpress.com/2010/06/16/life-after-effexor/


Now that I have warned you of the pitfals of starting and discontinuing Effexor…Let’s get on with the cash giveaway!  I will be giving away $20.00 in cash on April 30.  To be eligible for the drawing, just leave me a comment telling me to enter your name or that you would like to win.  That’s it!  No limit to the amount of times that you can enter.  Come back tomorrow and enter again, Sunday, too if you like.  I don’t have a lot of entries, so your chances are good…

Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog.  I hope you’ll come again soon, ya’ hear?



MckLinky Blog Hop

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Published in: on April 9, 2010 at 9:32 am  Comments (12)  
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