Well, it all began last spring.
Too many details, but I will say I used to visit the Ulcerative Colitis board a lot when I was flaring. Then I decided to just stop reading it. I was on Asacol and praying a lot. I decided that was what I was going to focus on. The board is great, don't get me wrong, I learned so much. But I just felt compelled to stop looking at anything on the Internet re: my condition.
Then, I had a weird event in Sept. Over a period of weeks prior, but really bad one day, I had all these body aches (mostly in my arms and wrists, some in my legs and lower back) which really hurt. I had a long LONG stressful day at work, DH out of town on business, came home and was up all night in the bathroom. I was terrified and called the GI in the morning.
After a visit to my GI it turned out that I did not have a sudden massive flare or even the e-coli that was going around with the spinich (though my GI put me on the antibiotics just in case: I'm in CA).
I visited my GI over a period of 2 weeks when we determined that my continuing tummy troubles (after another colonoscopy) were not physically related at all. My scope was clean, as were all my samples and biopsies.
He walked me through all my lab results (I had been obsessing that they were wrong and in error) and the very next day the D stopped.
So, the next thing starts which is anxiety. Hard to describe, but a horrible crawly feeling that starts at my head and moves down over me. Feelings of doom and panic. An urge to just go find a quiet place to die. Ugh.
Around the same time...I had Xanax in my medicine chest (Dr. gave it to me for panic re: going to dentist. I have a major dental phobia) and because I was having sinus pain that was putting pressure on my teeth, I was having anxiety attacks, so I took 1/2 a Xanax. Yes, I feel like a dork, but that's what it was. So when I told GI that I believed his test results were in error and I was obsessive about having active UC, GI recommended a Psych and off I went.
Between him, my GP, and a therapist, I had started Lexapro and counseling as of middle of December (I was a wreck through the holidays - just didn't care - not like me at all - and as a classroom teacher found it hard to be on stage, though I did every single day - only took 2 days off for the scope).
Part of it I know is changes in my life - we are early empty nesters: our only daughter is getting married this summer, our first grandbaby arrived (via my stepson and DDIL) last month, and our YDS just started college. So we hardly see any of the children (as it should be, I'm cool with that) and we are only 45 and 52. We are learning, DH and I, to focus on one another (not hard, we adore each other) but life is definately different. The first 20 years of marriage (we both had children) were all about the children. Now what? We are learning!
I wanted to say that for me taking Lexapro at night was a big mistake - it kept me up all night! So I take it in the morning. Around 11:00 - 3:00pm I often start yawning like crazy. I'm not really wanting to sleep - I just yawn. I have to be careful about drinking coffee in the morning because if I drink too much I get all shaky. And I do drink alcohol (white wine is my fave) which I understand I shouldn't, but the Lexapro really seems to ramp me up so the wine brings me down in the evening, and we do enjoy it with dinner.
Unfortunately, with this med, sleep is an issue. I go to sleep fine but wake around 1-3 am and have to work hard (yoga relaxation techniques) to go back to sleep. Sometimes I'm successful, and sometimes I'm not.
According to my GP, the reason for my body aches is the depression / anxiety. She said that if your body does not get recuperative rest, your muscles from lack of rest and rejuvenation will ache. She said the "fibromyalgia" word, which made me freak, but once I was on the meds and getting sleep and counseling, I noticed a HUGE improvement. The tell tale signs that my sleep was not good (as if I couldn't know that) are that the next day my arms or back ache.
So, I'm getting used to the new family order / pattern, going to yoga 2X a week, counseling once a week, praying, helping my daughter plan her wedding, and staying busy with work - I don't know what the future will hold or how long I will need to take Lexapro (I'm still on maintainence meds for UC and deal with allergies) but I certainly feel a lot more positive about my llife and health than I did a month ago. And I know my DH is glad to have me back.
So, after a full month on Lexapro, I'm happy to say that I have not had any anxiety attacks at all. I'm not depressed either which is great, but it is having no impact on my OCD which is another of my issues. Fortunately I have good "self talk" as my therapist says, and I'm able to be aware of and somewhat control my OCD tendencies (which can vary depending on stress and other issues). I'm also noticing that my skin has been breaking out like crazy since I started Lexapro, but I'm williong to deal with it to not be anxious and depressed. No weight gain or other issues (I'm still trying to gain weight back from that bad time a few months ago when I could eat for a few weeks).
Just needed to share my experience with Lexapro. I'm going to cal my GP this week for something to help me sleep through the night :)