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So last year, deep in the depths of low-thryoid function, I was looking pretty rough. I couldn't function. I cried randomly. I was exhausted. I was in a lot of pain (joints, oi). My GP put me back on sick leave, and then, after investigating a bunch of other options, put me on an antidepressant.

I respect the help he tried to give me, but I really don't think I needed that stuff. For the first few weeks it made me nauseous (violently), exhausted and spaced out. He put me on the top dose of the drug he chose, and adjusting to it was hard.

So since about February I've been easing off this thing one tiny step at a time. The first thing I noticed when I first got down to half as much: I was WAY more awake suddenly. I'd been exhausted for about 10 months, and suddenly I had a full weekend when I didn't need to sleep half the day. I was delighted!

Last week I took my final step off and am not taking any of it any more. The symptoms of the withdrawal are about what they've been at each step down (dizziness, being worn out, a bit of nausea, headaches), but it's worse now. I'm dizzy all the time (I'm on day 7) but I'm noticing some serious upsides.

For the last 10 months I've had a terrible time with my feet and my knees. My heels were hurting all the time. Diagnosis: plantar fasciitis. I have orthotics to cope with it, but I have had to ice my feet pretty much every day, all the time. My left knee swelled for no apparent reason a few months ago, for about two weeks; both of my knees have been feeling weak, insecure. I felt very uncomfortable on stairs, because I wasn't sure if my knees were going to give out or not.

I felt old. I've taken to saying that while cancer treatment can (and often does) save your life, it also takes away anything resembling youth. I'm 34 now, not "young" like a 21 year old, but at 34 I felt no longer young. I was constantly being made aware of my body's failings.

So fast forward to today, 7 days after stopping that antidepressant. My knees are perfect again. Strong, certain, stable. I took a bunch of stairs yesterday at the Toronto opera house (we went to see La Boheme) in my wedge sandals without blinking about it at all. While a month ago, even two weeks ago, I felt like I was always walking with a nail jammed in the middle of my heel, now...slightly tender perhaps, on the left heel, but only very slightly. Almost unnoticable. Can you believe that? Can an antidepressant cripple you like that? Really?

I'm caught between being angry that crippled myself for so long taking these innocuous-looking pills, and deeply relieved that I might be seeing the end of all that. Maybe I'm getting a little bit of youth back.

So I'll take the dizziness (temporarily, at least) beacuse I got my feet and knees back. Hooray!


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April 2017

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