When we last saw each other, I told you how I started on two new medications, which are Zoloft and Clonazepam (I hadn’t named them in the previous post). I also talked about how I had my first meal, how my blood tests came back positive, but that I was still struggling a bit with my appetite and anxiety attacks.
Today, I have an update. This will be my third update in this series that I’ll be posting on this blog, but will continue posting about anxiety and my health whenever I feel the need to share something.
How’s the appetite?
Nearly back to normal at this point. I’m up to about two meals per day, and they are normal sized meals. This was my eating pattern prior to the initial anxiety attack.
You may remember me talking about ketosis and intermittent fasting in the past; this eating pattern hasn’t really been a focus of mine since the massive appetite loss. Instead, I’ve focused on eating whatever my body can stomach – be it soup, salad, pasta, or pizza. Not all the healthiest of choices, I know, but food and nutrition nonetheless.
Now that my appetite is almost back to normal, my goal going forward today is to begin limiting my options to healthier, more nutrient rich foods.
How do I feel?
How I feel varies day to day. Some days, like yesterday, I feel totally normal. Other days, like to day, I feel tired and a bit nauseated.
The Zoloft is partly to blame for some of the physical sickness I’ve been feeling over the last few weeks. Zoloft takes 4-6 weeks to really begin to work, and there are a number of physical responses your body will likely have to the drug during that time.
So, it’s to be expected that I don’t feel 100% some days.
How is the Anxiety?
I still have anxiety attacks, though they’ve become far less frequent in the last week. The good thing is that since seeing a doctor and really learning about what’s going on, I’m more aware, and have been able to power through some of them.
Other times, the anxiety attack is too strong, and no amount of mental will can shake it. They can last for hours, make the physical symptoms – the nausea, the rapid heartbeat, the feverish feeling – extremely intense. The feeling of fear and death hovers over me when the anxiety is strong.
It’s a scary feeling that I know is temporary, but no matter how much I know, the feeling doesn’t always just go away.
Are the new prescriptions helping?
The Clonazepam has been extremely helpful for those intense panic attacks. One pill and the physical symptoms begin to die down within about 20 minutes. My body begins to relax, and my mind is able to focus on more positive things.
It’s hard to say yet whether or not the Zoloft is working, but I will say the intense anxiety attacks have lessened over the last week, and I’ve been taking it for two and a half weeks now. I’m told after about 3 weeks, the physical side effects should begin to wear off, and the benefits will slowly start kicking in, and that the medication will be fully active by weeks 4 to 6.
I’m looking forward to that day. While I’m not in panic-mode on a daily basis, I still have been having 3 or 4 panic attacks each week. Some stronger than others, and it’s all very stressful and physically draining.
I do recognize the frequency lessening this last week, so I’m hoping they’ll be a rare occurrence within the next few weeks.
How is life in general?
Life is great. I’ve been going into work more frequently, and have left feeling incredibly productive each day.
Ironically, I’m feeling a little bit more confident and happier about how I look since the anxiety attack. I’m now down to about 167lbs, which is 14lbs down since the first major anxiety attack, and 41lbs down since I started dieting earlier this year.
I’m hoping to maintain this new weight in a healthy way, again, by introducing more nutrient rich foods into my recent diet, and getting back into a regular workout regiment.
Over the next few weeks, I’m going to be actively seeking counseling. My doctor gave me a few recommendations, and I have been doing some research of my own; I’m hoping to find a therapist who can help me work through the anxiety in a way that doesn’t keep me too reliant on my Clonazepam.
Oh, speaking of therapy, two weeks ago we adopted a kitten who’s been appropriately named Special Agent Dale Cooper, or “Cooper” for short. I’ll be sure to share his entire story soon.
Cooper has been incredibly therapeutic for me. He is a fluffy bundle of positive energy. I’ve had a couple nights of insomnia recently, waking up at 2AM unable to fall back asleep. Cooper has made his nightly resting place the floor right next to my side of the bed. When I get insomnia, I reach down and pet him. His response? He wakes up, purrs as loud as possible, hops up on the bed, gives me a little kiss on the face, and lays next to my head on my pillow.
He’s been the light of Jessica’s and my life since we adopted him, and I consider him a huge proponent to my getting back on track.
That’s about it.
That’s really all the update I have. In summary, things are getting better and better. The nausea, anxiety, panic attacks…all occur far less frequently than before. I’m moving forward in a positive light, and I’m looking forward to making the best out of everything that’s happened over the last month.
I do want to thank all of you for your kind words. Many of you opened up to me about your own experiences with anxiety, and it’s a comfort knowing I’m not alone. I suppose that’s one of the reasons I’ve felt the need to continue writing about this…so perhaps others might not feel alone in their journey.
So again, thank you all for the support, the kind words, the encouragement, the prayers, and positive vibes. It means the world.