Thursday, June 23, 2011

Chapter 3 - Implosion - November 2010 Through December 2010

Symbyax is a combination of on SSRI and an atypical antipsychotic, and Frankenstein decided to put me on a 3mg/25mg dose. I began to feel an almost immediate improvement over the previous Effexor med. This decent feeling lasted for a few weeks then I began to trail off. So, Frankenstein increased the dosage to 6mg/50mg. This apparently was the beginning of the end. During this time frame I also began researching what else may be causing me to feel like crap. What I came up with is a possible link to low testosterone levels, so I went to a local lab and had my blood drawn to check my testosterone level. The result came back at 380. This is not abnormally low, but low enough to make me think that this could be the root of the problem.

For the last few years me, my wife and son have taken our vacation at or around Christmas time. This year we went to a tropical paradise called Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic. The vacation was just short of 2 weeks into the increased dosage of Symbyax. I am sitting on a beautiful white sand beach, with a nice foo foo umbrella drink, the temperature and humidity is perfect, not a care in the world and women don't seem to be shy about not wearing their tops. All of a sudden I begin having suicide ideations! WTF????

As the perfect vacation days go on "my kryptonite" is on a steady rise, the suicide ideations start getting worse and I begin losing my sense of well being. Never before have I experienced true depression until now. I e-mailed Frankenstein with my concern and asked what I should do...stop taking Symbyax? Here was the response. "The doctor does not think that the Symbyax is causing the suicidal ideations, nor does he want you to stop it.  To do so, could make things worse.  When you return home and you are still feeling this way, you should go to the ER, call 911 or call the mental hospital." Wow...that's some solid advise! You can almost feel the compassion and in-depth attempt at understanding.

I continued to feel this way upon returning home so I scheduled two appointments. One with Frankenstein and one with my general doctor. Frankenstein decided to switch my prescription to 10mg of Pexeva (Paxil). Not until a few weeks after this did I discover that my father was on Paxil when he committed suicide...that would have been nice to know, and perhaps a good psychiatrist may have investigated that as well.

I presented my testosterone results to my general doctor and he agreed that the level was low enough to warrant treatment. So he prescribed a 1ML once a month testosterone injection. I was tentative about this (just a gut feeling) so I just got the prescription filled, but didn't get the actual injection.

On December 30th the suicide ideations, my kryptonite, and a complete disconnection from my surroundings prompted me to try the testosterone injection.

On December 31st I didn't think my situation could get any worse, but it did. What does depression feel like to me? Imagine having the worst hangover of your life, except it won't go away. Imagine being in a small tunnel that has no light and as you approach either end of the tunnel it gets smaller and smaller, but the entrance and exit are closed. Imagine being in a deep well that the water in the bottom of it is too deep to stand in and have your head out of the water. The sides of the well are dirt/mud and as you try to climb out it's too slippery for a hand or foot hold and you have to revert back to treading water.

January 1st 2011...Happy New Year! I am a runner, and running is a bit like meditation for me. It's a time when I seem to be able to think things through, come up with solutions to problems and generally just feel better (endorphins). That morning I went for a run, and none of the above happened. This was the point in time where I knew I was going to have to get some help or end up just like my father.....dead.

When I returned home, from my run, I took a shower, got dressed and told my wife that she needed to take me to the local mental hospital. Her look of concern, shock, helplessness and compassion is one that I will never forget. Once we arrived at the hospital and a staff member interviewed me it was immediately decided that I came to the right place and should be admitted.

Happy New Year!


snoobyy said...

great chapter.

Austin said...

It's actually almost painful for me to read this, it would be hard enough reading something like this written by a stranger, but you being my father makes it much worse. Yet, it's still extremely intriguing and I don't want to stop reading.

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