Thursday, August 30, 2018

Nothing Lasts Forever

This title may be a bit dramatic, but one month after our good times were rolling along the crap started hitting the fan again.  Jordan's 9th grade work load was crazy busy. Between the AP class and no scheduled study halls, she had absolutely no down time. Her counselor suggested she add choir to her schedule, but in order to do this she would have had to skip one French class a week.   Um... No.

Sure. Ask a 9th grader who struggled with Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) to skip a class that she'll still be responsible for, while she's taking a college level class. Yeah, that sounds fair.  Needless to say, we arranged a meeting with her counselor.

The stress began to take its toll on Jordan.  She felt "stupid" because she received help, and apparently it wasn't "enough".  She told me she started picking at her scalp again, which had the propensity to lead to less study time, later bed times, and ultimately, sleep deprivation.  Crap.  If this wasn't upsetting enough, she said she didn't want to tell Adam and me for fear that we would be angry and disappointed. 😟 (I was disappointed because her transition to meds had been such a positive one, and I had so much hope, but I certainly didn't share this with her.)

Let this be a friendly reminder for those who may be going through similar situations; Taking medication is only one piece of the puzzle.  It's not a miracle cure and it may not always be effective. But please don't lose hope. There are many different therapists, doctors, and medications to chose from, so hang in there and keep plugging along until you find what works for your beautiful super hero.

Thank you.

Us Too

Saturday, August 25, 2018

The Good Times Kept Rolling

Here are some more positive, beautiful things Jordan said to me after taking Lexapro for a month.


  • "Even how I walk down the hallway is different.  I used to be so tense and not look at anyone."
  • "I probably didn't get an A on my Human Geography test, but that's okay."
  • "I just yelled out "room 82" when I couldn't find a classroom and someone pointed to the room. I got to class late but it was okay."  --Holy crap!!
  • "I forgot my homework on the first day of school and thought about how I would apologize to the teacher, but it got collected the next day anyway."
  • "I didn't realize how I used to be and how my thinking spiraled, before taking Lexapro."
  • "I don't care if people know that I'm medicated."
  • And she said this to her friends:  "I'm so much happier this year.  Maybe it's the anti anxiety medication that I'm taking."  😊

All of these statements were huge coming from her.  It was like listening to another child. She was still our amazing Jordan... but better!!  (I didn't know this was even possible 😏) 

With all these positive effects, she was still a bit leery.  I think this was a good thing; it showed she wasn't naive or easily fooled. Here's what caused her to worry:  Someone very close to her who also took medication for anxiety, began experiencing sever negative thought patterns again, and this really freaked him out. She wanted to know if that could also happen to her.  😟

Here's the thing, I didn't really know.  

I knew Lexapro wasn't a miracle pill, so I told her what I had presumed to be true: If she did begin to spiral downward, it will most likely (and hopefully) be less intense. Plus, she had learned in therapy the skills and thought patterns necessary to help herself through the rough times.  And she always  had us.  

Sometimes hope has to be enough. 

Thank you.

Us Too

Monday, August 20, 2018

Life Was Good

Here's Why:

  • Jordan told me she realized that she needed to chill out for a shorter amount of time after school because she was still having trouble getting her homework done in a timely manner, and she wanted to get to bed earlier. 

 Holy crap!

  • She also told me that since she didn't know what to expect in her AP Human Geography class, that she was going to give it her all so she "can get better at it".  
  • Even more remarkable, Jordan told me that she would be okay with B's in high school. (Not happy about, but okay with it.)
Double wow!!
  • And last but not least... Jordan got a t-shirt that said "Perfectly Imperfect" and she wore it to high school. 
That's why life was good.  :)

Thank you.

Us Too

Thursday, August 16, 2018

For What it's Worth...

  • For what it's worth, the love of our beloved fur-babies is always worth it. Always.
  • For what it's worth, once you've hit rock bottom, the fear that it will happen again never goes away. I didn't always understand this.
  • For what it's worth, apparently I never actually hit rock bottom because I told my therapist "I'm doing all of this because I have to." 
  • For what it's worth, there are people who aren't able to verbalize, or do this, and my heart goes out to them.
  • For what it's worth, sometimes it surprises me that being appreciative and thankful for what you have, can feel like work. What the hell is that about?
  • For what it's worth, I watched the movie Sorry To Bother You and although it was very well done, it's portrayal of reality was much too close for comfort. I felt sick and cried afterwards.
  • For what it's worth, after Jordan saw my reaction to the movie she said "Welcome to my mind every minute of every day." Really??  Shit.
  • For what it's worth, our kids are supposed to move on and start lives of their own. It's meant to be and it's a good thing.
  • For what it's worth, parents are also supposed to move on and restart their own lives. Yikes. 
  • For what it's worth, regardless of the shit-show going on in Washington, there is a lot of good going on in the world.
  • For what it's worth, questioning and reflecting (and blogging? 😏) is not always a bad thing. 
That's all I've got.

Thank you for following along in our journey. For whatever reason, I have always had the need to write down my thoughts and emotions during those times when my mind got lost within itself. It's nice to know that at least now there are other human beings actually reading them. 

Thank you.

Us Too

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Positives and Negatives

"Right now the positives SO outweigh the negatives."  I wrote this two weeks after Jordan began taking Lexapro, and it summed up how I was processing the fact that she was taking it. Adam and I were both concerned about possible long term side effects, but overall Jordan's quality of life appeared to be much more "fair". Everything she had previously been experiencing and feeling, the way she was attempting to cope with life, none of that was okay.  I have no doubt it would have been irresponsible and cruel to have done nothing to help her, but that didn't make the decision to medicate any easier.

Jordan told me her jaw and hands sometimes trembled, even when she wasn't nervous or anxious. What the heck was that? I find it strange that I was able to overlook this small, although somewhat concerning (since Lexapro alters the brain) side effect, if that's what it was.  Reading the list of possible side effects for any medication can be daunting. Reading the list for an SSRI, which is defined in Merrian Webster's dictionary as:

any of a class of antidepressants (as fluoxetine or sertraline) that inhibit the inactivation of serotonin by blocking its reuptake by presynaptic nerve cell endings  called also selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor

can be more than daunting. It can be downright frightening. Here are the possible side effects listed for Lexapro:

Common side effects include:
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Changes in sex drive or function
  • Drowsiness
  • Unusual sweating
  • Dizziness
  • Heartburn
  • Stomach pain
  • Extreme tiredness
  • Dry mouth
  • Greater appetite
  • Flu-like symptoms, including sneezing and runny nose
Serious side effects can also occur. If you have any of these side effects, call your doctor immediately:
  • Unusual excitement
  • Hallucinations, which means seeing things or hearing       voices that do not exist
  • Fever
  • Confusion
  • Fast or irregular heartbeat
  • Severe muscle stiffness
  • Thoughts about suicide or dying
  • New or worse depression or anxiety
  • Extreme agitation or restlessness
  • Panic attacks
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Unusual irritability
  • Anger or aggressive behavior
  • Impulsiveness
  • Mania, or an extreme increase in activity and talking
  • Other unusual changes in behavior or mood
What the hell?  The common side effects aren't too bad, although who wants to walk around feeling like they have the flu all the time? At least we didn't have to worry about her sex drive yet. Ugh. But the serious side effects?  So, basically the medicine you're prescribing to help my daughter feel less anxious and depressed, can cause new or worse symptoms of anxiety and depression, panic attacks, and possible thoughts of suicide or dying.  Lovely.  Oh, and does trembling hands and jaw fit into the category of severe muscle stiffness or restlessness? Crap, I sure hoped not.

Nothing about any of this was easy. No parent would chose to medicate their child if they didn't think (and hope) that the positives could possibly outweigh the negatives. The decision may suck, but it's a parent's responsibility to do whatever it takes to help their child become a happy, healthy member of society.  Right?

And sometimes this may include giving your child a small white pill.

Thank you.

Us Too