Quitting Bad Health


Prompt: 

Tell us about something you’ve tried to quit. Did you go cold turkey, or for gradual change? Did it stick?——

  
Have you ever been at a point in your life where you know your body isn’t healthy and in shape; more often then not you are snacking and eating food not good for you; and you are not even remotely trying to be physically active? 

For those of you that dont know I suffer from a depression (mood) illness that has made be chronically fatigued. I don’t have chronic fatigue the syndrome, but I have it due to my mood disorder and many of my symptoms are the same. I also have a sleep disorder probably more of you can relate to, insomnia. 

I have been on many psychiatric drugs since I first became ill about eight-years-ago now. Most of the time I can feel if a drug is helping me within the first couple weeks. Most drugs I cannot tolerate or I am allergic to. I was on a large cocktail of drugs especially because of my insomnia. Drugs that made me sleepy would effect the amount of energy I had in the day which isn’t much. So, my Doctor had me come into the hospital voluntarily for three weeks to start on a new drug called Clozapine. 

I was scared about this as I tried it once before and felt horrible for a day or two. But my doctor told me that because Clozapine can cause your heart rate to increase, cause dizziness at first, and create problems with blood pressure, I needed to be in hospital to give it a proper try. I went off my sleeping pills Gabepentine which were interfering with my ability to think and concentrate. I split the amount of my antidepressant in half and came off some other pills. I started Clozapine and it wasn’t an easy drug to work my way up to the right dose. I am pretty sensitive with medication so it only took about 37.5 mg. But I felt awful the second day after we would increase the drug each time. And it took months, even when I was out of hospital to get used to Clozapine. It acts as an anti-psychotic medication, an antidepressant, and as sleeping pill. 

The problen is I became used to the dose I was on and require another medication to make me fall asleep right now. Despite the fact that 50 mg of Clozapine was too much for me when I first went on the drug; I am going to up the dose at the end of January so I can sleep without another medication aiding me. It will take some time getting used to the new dose. It’s particularly difficult getting up in the mornings. I mostly sleep to 11:00 am or noon some days. But I do find I don’t sleep until 11:00 pm to 12:00 am. 

Something that is great about Clozapine is that I’m actually feeling better a bit more every month I take it. It helped with my concentration and ability to read and memorize notes for my last class in Reseidential Interiors. I have more energy in a normal day at home. For the first time in two and a half years I have the energy to exercise for anywhere from ten to thirty minutes depending on the exercise. I have been doing 7 minute circuit-training with an application on my phone. It’s hard to do each exercise with only ten seconds rest inbetween but I’m doing it. Before, I never could have dreamed about doing a high intensity workout. I can do longer yoga workouts now, from twenty to thirty minutes and I don’t feel tired afterward; I feel relaxed. I did 10 minutes of intense cardio on the elliptical today and it was good. Maybe, not much for someone else but for me it’s great.

So, I guess you can say I was granted  more energy and the ability to concentrate this year, so I could take better care of my body. I have stopped over-eating and am slowly working the portion sizes of my meals down through weight watchers as I would like to lose some weight. 

The bad thing about psychiatric drugs is that you often gain about 10 lbs from starting a new drug. I had hoped it wouldn’t happen this time but it did. I’m trying to loose about 25 lbs to start. Weight watchers is great because they have an application you can manage everything from and plan your eating day. There are even extra points for treats and points for working out.I drank too much pop such as Pepsi before. When you only have thirty some points to work with in a day, rarely, do you waste ten points on a can of Pepsi that is worth ten points of other things you could be eating more of to fill you up. Veggies and fruit are encouraged as you can eat as many as you want. 

So, I’m trying to stop not being healthy and to make my body the best it can be both physically and mentally. I’m taking some courses in creative writing online at U of Toronto starting in February. So, I am excited for those too. Things are working out as time goes by and I’m able to stop being a person who can’t help herself take better care of her body.