Category Archives: me me me

beware the wrath of Effexor

i’ve tried a couple of different drugs for my ppd since being diagnosed a year ago. i’m still trying to find one that works well. they all seem to work on some of my…er…issues, but not all.

Luvox was great for my depression, but did nothing for my anxiety attacks. Celexa worked wonders on my anxiety, but did nothing for my depression and made my fatigue worse (i didn’t even think that was possible!).

i’m currently on Effexor. i was told that this drug can take longer to work than others, so we gave it a while. i’ve been on it for 7 months now, and i’m just not thinking it’s the drug for me. first of all, it took a couple of months to do anything. Secondly, it’s worked on my depression as well as my anxiety, but has fallen short for me. it’s take a bit of the edge off….but that’s it. even after my dose was increased, it doesn’t seem to do as much as the others.

and lastly…and this is the big one….it was simply too easy for me to fall back into my depression-induced malaise after the move to the new house. my anxiety has creeped back. not as bad as before the meds, but bad enough to be a big, red, flashing warning light that something is amiss. my fatigue is almost unbearable. i can hardly wake up and i nap whenever i get the chance (even in the car for the 5 minute trip to the grocery store). as for my passions, which are blogging and cardmaking….well…they’ve gone out the window, as is clearly evident by my few-and-far-between posts over the past couple of months. i’ve also lost touched with so many friends…i’ve become a hermit again.

so there you have it. i rest my case. it’s time for a new drug.

but here’s the rub. events in the last couple of days have made me scared to get off the Effexor. allow me to explain…

the other night i didn’t sleep much. my asthma was so bad that i kept waking up in spectacular fits of choking. so i was up reading most of the night while trying to quell my attacks. (atleast if i was awake, i could catch the attacks before they grew to catastrophic proportions.) so when morning came, i had slept a grand total of 2.5 hours. what with the brain fog and all, i failed to remember that my Effexor prescription had run out the day before, and that i had called in my refill but hadn’t picked it up yet. this is where the story takes a horrific turn.

sometime in the afternoon i started to feel weird. my doctor had warned me of the possibility of a “zinging” sensation when going off of Effexor, so i knew what it was, and that it was because i hadn’t taken my dose that day. i told Carlos, who quickly got to feeding the kids their dinner so he could go out and get my refill, since by then i knew i couldn’t drive. the “zinging” sensations where enough to completely disorient me.

during the time it took to feed the boys, i got worse. my skin was crawling, i was dizzy, i was weak, my speech sounded “jittery”, i was shivering, and the “zinging” had now taken on a feeling more akin to electrocution. every time i made the slightest movement, i got zapped. every time something touched me (one of the boys, my sweater, or when i touched my glass of water to pick it up), i got zapped. every time i turned my head, not matter how little, i got zapped. it was awful.

one of the worst things were the brain flashes. every couple of minutes it was like there were suddenly thousands of camera flashes in my head. the key phrase here is “in my head“. this wasn’t something i saw with my eyes. it was the same whether i had my eyes open or closed. and if that wasn’t disturbing enough, the sound that accompanied these flashes was straight out of a horror movie. you know that metallic “schwing” sound that swords make in movies? well, it was like that crossed with an electric zapping sound.

i won’t go into the details of how our pharmacy closed earlier than we expected, and how we had to find another pharmacy that would fill my prescription with just my empty pill bottle rather than an actual doctor-written prescription. to make a long story short, it took about 3.5 hours from the time i took my missed dose to when i started to feel better. it wasn’t till the next morning that i was completely myself again.

i Googled this whole nightmare to find out that Effexor is known for its intense and torturous withdrawal symptoms.  in fact, it is said to be on par, if not worse, than the withdrawal alcoholics go through when they stop drinking. some people, even after slowly lowering their dose until they are Effexor free, have suffered dizziness and other nasty side effects for weeks after stopping the drug.

so, though i’m finally ready to try a different medication, i’m facing a long, nightmarish departure from the Effexor. i guess the silver lining here is that i’ve been given a glimpse into what it will be like so i can be prepared. i have a feeling that the start of my Effexor-weening will be timed with one of my mom’s week-long visits!

the old saying “the cure is worse than the disease” has never rung so true.

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i’m not strong enough

oh God…i can’t do this. i’m not strong enough. i can’t watch my 2.5 year old son starve himself. i can’t keep trying things that don’t work. i can’t get my hopes up, only to have them dashed so soon after.

i’m not strong enough for this. why is this happening? i don’t understand.

we went to the parents’ group at the Children’s Hospital. we talked to other parents whose children had similar eating issues/disorders. we talked to a myriad of specialists. we thought we had to tools and information to attack this problem.

none of it helped.

we had a one-on-one session with the OT and Psychologist from the group, and we thought we heard what we needed to hear…what would help us.

we were wrong.

we now go for twice-monthly visits with his Psychologist. each time, we leave there with a new plan of attack…a new method to try….a new way of doing things. we leave with a spring in our step, and some optimism that we’ve finally found something that will work.

it never does.

i don’t know how much more of this i can take. i’ve never felt so helpless in my life. my child not only doesn’t want to eat…doesn’t like to eat. he is almost petrified of eating. he screams to get away from the table. and it’s getting worse.

he used to eat pizza like it was going out of style. now he will take his few bites, and then ask to leave the table with this fright in his voice…he needs to get away from this eating scene. the few things that he used to like to eat, he doesn’t want to eat anymore. i don’t get it.

last night we put cut-up bits of chicken fingers, corn and cauliflower on his plate. he had a sip of his water, took one look at his plate and scream “done!”. we begged and pleaded, as we always do. but he was done. not one bite, and as far as he was concerned his dinner was over. we did manage to get two teeny tiny bites of chicken into him, but we had to bribe him…he could get down from the table if he had two pieces of chicken. and we had to pretend they were Percy and Skarloey, two of his favourite engines from Thomas. even then, he was thisclose to spitting them out…we had to convince him it was okay to chew and swallow them. it was as if he thought the food was going to hurt him. a look of fear mixed with disgust was painted on his face as he painfully chewed and swallowed these minuscule bits of chicken.

after he had eaten the chicken, we let him down as promised. he ran around playing with his train and track while the rest of the family enjoyed dinner. we invited Zander back to the table for dessert. yogurt…his favourite. but no, he did not want to come back to that damn table. i believe his exact words were “no way!”.

beaten down and needing our little boy to go to bed with more than 1/20th of a chicken finger (especially since he had refused his after-nap snack, meaning he hadn’t had anything to eat since lunch), we agreed to feed him yogurt on the couch while he watched TV. and when i say we agreed to feed him, i mean we spoon fed him. that’s right…we had to spoon feed yogurt to our 2.5 year old son. ’cause that’s the only way he would have anything to do with it.

with the terror of the dining table behind him and Thomas the Train suitably entertaining him, we snuck another yogurt and some puréed strawberry-banana into him. far from what a toddler should be having for dinner since most toddlers don’t eat mainly purées, but it’s better than nothing.

tonight’s dinner took almost an hour and a half, start to finish. now i could handle that if it happened every once in a while. but it doesn’t. it happens everyday. everyday. sometimes every meal.

i watch this smart, funny, beautiful, amazing little boy of ours….he’s barely eating, he won’t try to eat new things, he’s growing slowly, he’s been bouncing between 22 and 26 pounds for over a year, but never gains anymore weight….and i don’t know how to help him. and it’s killing me.

i don’t know how much longer i can do this. i want to stop trying to be strong. i want to just let myself crumble. i want to curl up into a ball and let the tears flow for however many hours or days they keep coming. i want to wallow in my feelings of uselessness and failure, my ppd and self-pity.

but i can’t. i have to be there for Zander and help him through this. i have another son who has issues of his own. and i have a husband that is going through all of this too, and who needs me there with him.

i just don’t know if i’m strong enough to do this.

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one of those days

yesterday was one of those days…you know those days…the days where everything seems to go wrong, especially the little things…

like when it seems that your children must hate each other with a passion the way they are pushing and shoving and kicking and punching and screaming at each other….

like thinking today is the day that your youngest son won’t dump his plate at lunch like he does every. single. meal. but, true to form, he dumps his lunch half on the table, half all of the floor. and just to add that special Logan-touch, he dumps his cup of water all over himself and starts laughing.

like when you offer your oldest son his fave fruit…pretty much the only fruit he will eat right now…and he gets all excited and you go to the kitchen to find that your are all. out. of. apple-mango.

like when you start to pull the plastic off of your fresh-from-the-microwave frozen dinner (ya, that’s all i have the energy to make myself for lunch…yum) and instead of coming off in one piece like it’s supposed to, the stupid plastic comes apart in strips, covering your hands and your counter top with scalding-hot no-name mock alfredo sauce…ya, that really pissed me off!

like when you finally get your first pee-break of the day, only to realize there’s no TP…and the only other people in the house are two napping toddlers and you have to resort to using your oldest son’s Pampers Kandoo flushable wipes…at least i left the bathroom feeling fresh…

to top it off, i had some kind of monster headache. the kind of headache that makes you walk around with a hood over your head to shield your eyes from the seering-hot-pain that is daylight, making you look all Unibomber, all the while being tempted to drive a screwdriver through your right eye and into your brain…and maybe wiggle it around a bit.

here’s hoping tomorrow is better…

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100 things you never knew you wanted to know about me

i’ve finally reached 100 posts…not without a few bumps along the way. so, in honour of this important milestone, here is a list of 100 useless facts about me…i’m sure you will be riveted! note: i’ve sprinkled the more interesting tid bits throughout…so you have to read them all to get to the good stuff! mwa ha ha ha!

  1. i am a stay-at-home mom
  2. i used to work in IT for the Federal Government of Canada
  3. i hated my job with a passion
  4. i am the worst worrier on the planet…i worry about anything and everything
  5. the above mentioned fact has turned me into a bit of a helicopter mom
  6. my eyes are blue
  7. i am 5 feet 10 inches tall
  8. i am the shortest member of my immediate family
  9. i turned 33 years old in June
  10. i’ve only ever broken one bone in my body…my middle toe on my right foot when i was 10
  11. that broken toe didn’t heal straight, and it now curls to the left
  12. my full first name is Cathryn
  13. i lived on a farm for 20 years, until i moved to Ottawa for University
  14. i grew up in a small town 1.5 hours East of Toronto
  15. when i moved away from my hometown in 1994, it had a population of approximately 4000
  16. Friday the 13th tends to be a lucky day for me
  17. i love horror movies
  18. my fave numbers are 3 and 13
  19. my fave colour is purple
  20. i love fancy words….there’s nothing like the proper use of a really good, fancy word
  21. i make up words….a lot…if i can’t find the perfect word, i just make one up to suit my needs
  22. i love to sing…i’m not saying i’m a good singer, i’m just saying i love to sing
  23. i have a sad addiction to reality shows…there…i’ve admitted it!
  24. i drink way to much Coke…it’s unhealthy really…
  25. i lost all of my hair due to Alopecia. it all fell out in a matter of 4 months
  26. i’ve been bald for 12 years
  27. i have never worn a wig
  28. when i go out in public i wear “skull caps” that my mom crochets for me
  29. i have an affinity for fruit wine
  30. i have an affinity for chocolate liqueurs….mmmm….Godiva liqueur…
  31. i’ve been with my husband for almost 10 years
  32. i watch Young & the Restless every single day…what can i say, i live vicariously!
  33. i have arachnophobia
  34. i am allergic to sun….seriously…it’s called PMLE (Polymorphic Light Eruption)
  35. my form of PMLE is severe, meaning i burn everytime my skin is in contact with sunlight (even through windows without UV protection), and results in millions of tiny blisters within 30 seconds to 5 minutes of exposure, depending on the time of year and strength of the sun
  36. i am also allergic to cold…again, i’m being serious! it’s called Cold Urticaria
  37. my form of Cold Urticaria makes me windpipe swell, making it difficult for me to breathe
  38. i don’t go outside much in the winter!
  39. i love pizza so much i could eat it every day
  40. i speak french…i’m not fluent by any means, but i can get by…
  41. both of my parents are from Denmark
  42. because my parents used Danish to speak in “code” in front of my brother and i, i don’t know as much Danish as i would like
  43. i gained 70 pounds when i was pregnant with Zander
  44. i gained 6 pounds with Logan….seriously….i was pretty sick…
  45. i still have most of my pregnancy weight hanging around…
  46. i hate going shopping for clothes…i would rather be at Home Depot or Best Buy or shopping for furniture or appliances
  47. i was born on the same day as my dad
  48. my brother was born the day before my first birthday
  49. my two sons are 13 months apart in age
  50. i use Fuzzi Bunz cloth diapers on my boys…love them…
  51. i love to paint….walls that is…i love to change the colours in my house
  52. i am allergic to nickel, which means i can’t wear most jewelry
  53. i’m a bit of a freak of nature…of course, you already knew that!
  54. i recycle diligently
  55. i can arch both of my eyebrows separately. i arch one, then the other…back and forth and back and forth…it makes me look like an evil mastermind, and it freaks out some of my friend…i love it!
  56. i have an extra vertebrae in my spine….like i said, freak of nature….
  57. i am addicted to papercrafting
  58. i love anything velour…it’s just so soft!
  59. i love all music…except country
  60. when i listen to music in the car (when the boys aren’t with me), i love it loud
  61. i hate it when people don’t use their signal lights when they’re driving
  62. i’m not as tidy as my hubby would like me to be
  63. i can eat more in one sitting than should be humanly possible
  64. we still use monitors for both boys’ rooms, and when i got to bed i crank them up high enough that i can hear them breathing…it helps me sleep better
  65. i hate hearing my voice on recordings…it sounds so deep and manly
  66. i love video games
  67. i like to go through model homes, even when i’m not planning on buying
  68. my hubby and i met at school
  69. hubby and i never had a honeymoon…we decided to save the money (we wanted to go to Italy) and start a family instead
  70. i am too long for an average bath tub, which makes it difficult for Calgon to take me away!
  71. i am a shade taller than my hubby
  72. i love to cook, but i hate cleaning up after
  73. i love to read…nothing like curling up in bed after a long day with a good book
  74. i’ve always wanted to know how to play the piano
  75. i can’t draw to save my life…even my stick figure renditions are all wonky
  76. when i had hair, it was blonde
  77. i have to draw my eyebrows and eyelashes on everyday…i hate it
  78. i have a clock fetish…i love the look of clocks…i have a lot of clocks
  79. one of my pet peeves is bad grammar…unless it’s done on purpose for comic effect, of course! not to say my grammar is perfect…
  80. i have a ridiculous amount of useless music, TV and movie trivia stored away in my shiny bald noggin
  81. one of my eyes doesn’t open as wide as the other
  82. my knees make a crunching sound when i walk up and down the stairs…it’s pretty disconcerting (an example of one of my fancy words from #20)
  83. i hate Barney, the purple dinosaur
  84. i know the lyrics to every Backyardigans song ever written
  85. i watch really really ultra-bad movies just to make fun of them…something i started doing with my cousin Crystal when we were in highschool
  86. i talk to my mom everyday if possible…sometimes more than once a day
  87. i love playing boardgames
  88. i’m lucky enough to love my in-laws
  89. i miss my brother…i wish we lived closer to each other
  90. hair freaks me out…seriously! ever since i lost my hair, i can’t stand coming in contact with hair (from any body part!) that is no longer firmly attached to it’s owner…gives me the heebie-jeebies!
  91. most of my dreams involve me being a superhero
  92. my toenails are always painted varying shades of purple year round
  93. the smell of manure doesn’t bother me…it reminds me of home…odd, no?
  94. i like to use obscure TV and movie quotes in every day conversation…throws people off
  95. i like leather furniture…it’s easy to clean with all the spills and toddler mishaps
  96. when i’m at home, i where comfy clothes…pajama pants, over-sized t-shirts, fleece sweaters
  97. i watch way to much TV
  98. my cousin Crystal is like the sister i never had….so we call each other cousin-sisters
  99. i write my blog on a Mac iBook laptop while sitting on my couch
  100. i never knew how much i enjoyed writing until i started this blog

there you have it….100 completely useless facts…pretty boring, no?

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the joy of corn

it was a busy day, so we ended up throwing together something quick for dinner…breaded fish sticks, baked beans, kernel corn and a fresh-baked whole wheat baguette (okay…before you get the idea that i’m some kinda martha stewart nut, it was one of those frozen baguettes that you throw in the oven for 15 minutes…who has time to bake fresh bread???). nothing fancy.as usual, we put a little of everything on each of the boys’ plates. as usual, Logan had no trouble scarfing down whatever was fed to him. and, as usual, Zander just pushed around the food on his plate, and used some of his many distractionary tactics to buy him some time so that he didn’t have to eat.

and then it happened. Zander picked up a kernel of corn….and he put it in his mouth. Carlos and i froze, knowing from experience that if we said anything…even praise…he would get spooked and spit it out.

we watched eagerly…anxiously…our breaths caught in our throats.

he chewed….then he swallowed…”dat good!” he said with a smile. and he kept going, too…kernel after kernel, he happily ate corn. from his plate…from his daddy’s plate. hubby and i smiled at each other…what an amazing bit of progress. he’s never eaten kernel corn before, only pureed corn.

that’s when it hit me like a slap in the face…the realization that my son…my 2 years, 4 months and 13 day old little boy had never experienced something so simple as eating a kernel of corn.

cue the tears.

but they were tears of joy. this is the biggest improvement in Zander’s eating disorder that we’ve seen since starting both his therapy and his iron drops.

so here i sit…it’s the end of the day…and instead feeling helpless, hopeless and dejected like i usually do, my spirits are high…even if just for tonight. ’cause my boy done ate him some corn!

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The Cloud Has Started To Lift

I’ve been stressed out about a lot of things for the past few months.

I’ve been trying to find the right medication to able to feel like “me” again. I’ve been dealing with Zander’s eating disorder (that’s a whole other post). I’ve been working like mad to get this house ready for sale. I’ve been trying to keep my house spotless for the benefit of potential buyers…not an easy task with 1 and 2 year old boys destroying it as quickly as I was cleaning it!

And then there was the stress of actually selling the house. Would we be able to sell it quickly? Would we be trying for months? Would we be able to get close-to-asking-price?

All of this stress has manifested itself as an enormous, dark cloud hanging over my head, threatening to wreak hail and havoc at any given moment.

But the cloud has started to lift.

The word SOLD has never sounded so sweet!

NOTE: Before anyone thinks Canada in August requires long pants and sweaters, I will just say it was unseasonably cold the day this picture was taken (August 18th).

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Cate Unplugged

So….I’ve been MIA for a few weeks. I’ve been overwhelmed by so many things.

I was so very overwhelmed by your outpouring of support and caring comments and emails. I don’t think I can every properly thank any of you for that. It has meant so much.

I’ve been overwhelmed by the sheer number of posts still left unread in my Google Reader. I’m sure they are all beautifully written and pee-my-pants funny as usual….yet I’ve had no time to read them. I have no idea what is going on with all of my bloggy friends and daily reads, and that makes me feel crappy. And kind of lonely.

I have been overwhelmed by all the work on the house that needed to be done in such a short period of time to be able to sell it. It’s officially been on the market for two weeks now, and we still have stuff to do. It’s like the never-ending makeover!

I’ve been overwhelmed by the return of too many aspects of my PPD, and am dealing as best I can with my change in medication. But I’m so very tired all the time. It’s like I’m being forced to be lazy, if that makes any sense…I don’t like it.

I’ve been overwhelmingly overwhelmed by my 2 year old’s refusal to eat. There have been a few ups and way too many downs. This is the worst rollercoaster ride EVAH! (Hi Sara, Jennifer and Heather…picked this word up from you…hope you don’t mind me using it!)

I’m overwhelmed with guilt for the fact that my wonderful brother and his wife had a beautiful baby boy on July 14th…my first nephew, and this fucking house-selling shit hasn’t allowed us time to make the 3 hour trip to see them. I didn’t even post an announcement or pics or anything on my blog! What kind of a sister/sister-in-law/aunt am I???

All of this made me feel the need to unplug. Completely. I haven’t posted anything. I haven’t read anyone elses posts. I’ve checked my email every few days just to see if there are any emails from our Real Estate Agent….but I’ve only read about 8 emails in the past few weeks, and I rarely reply. I haven’t been trying to be rude….I just need to completely cut off from everything and everyone.

But I feel like I’m coming out of the cloud now. It might take a while before I’m back to almost-daily posts, but for what it’s worth I’m glad to be back.

I apologize to all of my fave bloggers who may have feel like I abandoned them. I promise I will be reading again soon…I may not comment on every post, but I’ll definitely be leaving a few words here and there!

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