Monday, September 26, 2011


A very medical week last week. After Eastin's emergency room episode, she had an EEG on Friday. No results from that yet. And Thursday I drove down to Omaha for yet another follow-up with my sleep doctor.

About a year ago, he suggested that I need to see a psychiatrist in town and try an anti-depressant or anti-anxiety med -- see if messing with my neurotransmitters did anything. I opted instead to spend some time with a holistic health kind of guy trying to get at that problem more naturally, to no avail. So, last spring, my sleep doctor again recommended I see a psychiatrist about anti-depressants.

I did, and the psychiatrist after talking with me a while said, although it's clear I'm "dysthymic" (kind of a low-grade chronic depression -- I've known that for years), I seem to be managing that well on my own and don't need meds. He gave me another type of sleeping pill.

So, following up with the Omaha sleep doctor last week . . . I'm still not sleeping as much as I'd like, and I'm still tired and groggy all day. And he AGAIN wants me to try an anti-depressant -- in fact, this time, he just wrote the prescription himself. Effexor. I'm reading up on it online, and I'm not crazy about the idea.

It occurred to me as I thought through all this over the weekend that I've been taking some kind of sleeping pill (Tylenol PM, Benadryll, Ambien, Trazadone, etc.) on a somewhat regular basis (at least once or twice a week -- now every night) for about 14 years. 14 years!! And it has been during those 14 years that I've learned how to manage my dysthymia better. I'm wondering, if I got off all these sleep meds altogether, if I might be able to figure out how to get some sleep on my own. Maybe the meds are part of the problem.

Thing is, I am quite dependent on the meds now. I don't sleep at all without taking something. Going au naturale is going to be a painful process, for myself and probably for everyone around me whose head I will bite off until my body finally readjusts itself -- if it ever does. I may be totally wrong about this.

Is this worth the battle to try? I don't know. I'm not a fan of the better-living-through-chemistry movement. But I still gotta live . . .

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