Remember about a year and a half ago I got depressed and started taking the anti-depressant Effexor? Well, after a little while I didn’t feel depressed anymore, but I couldn’t tell whether the depression was really and truly gone or Effexor was just masking it. I kept taking it, even though I felt it made me a little duller, mentally, than I wanted to be, and a little less creative, and it was costing me money I’d rather be spending on other things.
A few months ago I decided to give them up.
Effexor is notoriously difficult to give up. It has a whole thing called Discontinuation Syndrome, so you need to taper off. With my doctor’s guidance, I went from 150mg a day down to 75, and then down to 37.5, before finally quitting. I took my last one on Thursday.
Friday wasn’t too bad. I had moments of weird feelings. Not depression. Just weird fuzzy-headedness, lurching elevator sensations, and stuff like that – several times each minute.
Saturday was much worse. We went to a 3-hour quilting course, and by the end of it I was feeling pretty yucky. You know how sometimes you see a movie where the audio and visual are slightly out of sync? The lips are moving a fraction of a second sooner than the words are being said? It was like that, only it was my brain and my head that were out of sync. My brain was lagging slightly behind my head, and my vision’s timing was a bit out of whack, too. It wasn’t bad as long as I wasn’t moving my head or eyes. But you move your head and eyes a lot more than you probably think, as I realized yesterday.
The result of brain lag, among other things, is motion sickness. I felt dizzy and queasy, and it only got worse as the day went on. The drive home from Kanata didn’t help.
We were planning to go to The Oaks Christmas party immediately after quilting class. The Oaks is where we’re volunteer winemakers. I couldn’t. I just lay down on the couch and slept for two hours.
When I woke up I made red Jello. That’s how sick I felt. Red Jello sick. (GC came over later and suppemented the red jello with Hella Stella’s Chana Punjabi, which is the best curried chick peas ever.)
I slept for nine hours last night and had a bad dream about a world war and snakes and shrinking shoes. I woke up a few times but kept returning to the same bad dream. Vladimir Putin was a good guy. Pakistan and Italy were bad guys. There was a lot of chaos and destruction and fear. My son was four years old in the dream and I was trying to keep him safe from the bombing.
So far today I feel not so bad, as long as I don’t move my head. Head moving triggers all kinds of uncomfortable feelings – the lurching elevator sensation, the brain fog, the cotton-skull feeling.
My doctor, Eleanor, says these symptoms typically last for three or four days, but Dr. Google says it can last for months or even years. (Fortunately, experience tells me that Eleanor’s batting average is better than Dr. G’s.)