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Friday, May 15, 2009

Step One in Family Vacation Planning

Twenty-two days until vacation! To make sure you are all able to feel adequate sympathy for me when the time comes, I'm going to be sharing several family-focused posts in advance of vacation.

Preparations for family vacation have officially begun. As any over-anxious freak sane person me would tell you, the first step in gearing up for family fun is to visit the doctor for refills of important prescriptions. Like Lexapro.

Since I've now been on Lexapro since October and it's completely saving my sanity (not to mention my marriage), the doctor felt comfortable offering me the option to switch to a similar medication that is available in a generic to also be saving me some cash.

I totally support the idea of saving me some cash. I'm a big fan of that. However, she also said sometimes the generic isn't quite strong enough and there can be a period of adjusting the dose to find the appropriate level. With that in mind, I asked her if I could first have another 30 days of actual Lexapro before we start playing around with my ability to not kill people meds. I expressed my concerns over family vacation, citing 7 days (and nights!) under one roof with my parents and siblings as the biggest test of my sanity EVER.

Dr V agreed that it was not a good idea to play with my brain under those circumstances. We talked some more about the stress of the trip and time with my family given the fact that we have almost nothing in common except DNA and I'm 98% certain I'm adopted. She encouraged me to have some responses ready for topics that might come up and asked for an example. I told her about "baby" sister and her little guy leading to questions about when I'll have a child of my own. My doctor encouraged me to shed a tear and just break down in hysterics so they'd drop the subject. I told her if I really wanted to shut them up, I should tell them we're considering adopting from China since they are horrified by "foreigners".

It was at that point she jokingly offered me Xanax. And I laughed and said "probably not a bad idea".

We moved along to discuss my other meds and she printed out prescriptions for what I needed. When she went over them with me, not only had she refilled my meds for my allergies, my reflux, my migraines, and my Lexapro, but she did give me a supply of Xanax.

Sometimes it scares me how quick my doctor is to hand out meds. But in this case, I think it's interesting that discussion about my family has made a medical professional feel chill pills are necessary. My only question is - the prescription is for 20 pills. That should take care of move-in day but what am I supposed to do for the rest of the week?

P.S. Despite the fact that I often make light of my medications, I do take them responsibly and encourage everyone else to do the same.

P.P.S. If anyone has any experience going from Lexapro (10mg) to Celexa (or its generic specifically), I'd love to know how it worked for you. Same with any experiences with Xanax - I'm wondering if I should try a dose before the trip, just to know what I'm dealing with (she prescribed .25mg and said I should try half a pill first). If you're not comfy leaving a comment, please email me at showmyface at gmail dot com.


C. Beth said...

I love how it sounds like your doctor is so comfortable to talk to. A day or two into vacation you may be sending her flowers to thank her for being so willing to prescribe meds.

andy said...

i would say you should try a dose of the xanax before you NEED it. that way you'll know if it has the desired effect...and if you took enough. start small, that's what i always do...'cause i have funny reactions sometimes.

and in my own medicated, and uneducated, opinion...i would not change from one med to another for cost reasons. if it is working for you, i wouldn't fuck with it.

when i tried to mess with my dose it was NOT pretty.

in my own situation, my doctor wants me to be stable for a bit (since my aforementioned "messing with dose") before perhaps changing meds as the one i'm on (wellbutrin xl) may be exacerbating (good word:) my anxiety. and who needs more of that, right?!

and your family is cracked. i completely feel your dysfunction...and i second it with my own.

although i certainly still giggled about the "foreigner" bit. instead of china, though, i would suggest afghanistan.


p.s. i totally use my medication for fodder also. but sometimes we must make light of the shit we deal with in order to cope. putting chemicals into my body so that i could feel "okay" was not an easy one to make. but every day i'm still glad i did, and i know i made the right choice.

p.p.s. you only go around this world once...why wouldn't you do anything you needed to in order for you to be happy inside?

p.p.p.s. love ya cate, you have been such an awesome support to me. i am so very thankful for our ability to support each other. chin up buttercup.

blognut said...

No meds - can't help you. I probably should be on them, I just haven't faced that yet.

From what I've heard though, everyone I know who takes Xanax, takes only half and feels dogged for a couple of days. Start small.

Tabitha said...

I've taken Xanax for anxiety for a few years, and I never need more than half a pill. I'm not sure I can describe the effects of it, since what I feel BEFORE taking it may be much different than what you feel, ya know? But basically, whatever feeling of panic or unrest I feel (usually in the form of racing heart and difficulty breathing) is almost immediately alleviated when I take half a Xanax.

Hope that helps! And yeah, don't change to generic before a vacation...but I'd say it's definitely worth a shot once you get back; who doesn't want to save money?

angi_b72 said...

I take Lexapro and started out on Celexa....the Celexa didn't do anything for me, but the Lexapro i can't live without...and neither would anyone else i deal with!! lol

I also take .25 Zanax...i often times take 2...but i don't take them everyday...i think you will be fine!

mo.stoneskin said...

I'm afraid I don't know anything about medication. But if sis asks again about children say you're undergoing a record-breaking dosage of fertility treatment in order to beat Octomom.

Call Me Cate said...

C. Beth - my doctor is great for quick fixes and prescriptions. She's not so great about bigger issues but thankfully I can just wander off to a specialist without a referral.

Andy - I'm totally going to try a half a xanax before we go. Last thing I want is for Joe to be stuck dealing with me completely cracked out around my parents. Not fair to him. If I came home with a Middle Eastern baby, I think they'd disown me. Hey, great idea!

blognut - I'm always afraid of my reaction to new meds so I will definitely start small.

Tabitha - Glad it works for you. Hopefully it does for me as well. I'm doing so much better in general but there are moments...

Angie - I had a rough couple of weeks when I went on the Lexapro so I'm a little hesitant about switching. I'm going to give it all some more thought over the next month or so.

Mo - Octomom is something I never ever aspire to be. You terrify me just saying her name.

Juliet Colors said...

I like your doctor's suggestion for dealing with questions about having children.

Above suggestions for testing new meds first are very sensible. That is always a good idea. I can't comment on Lexapro. I think it was one of the SSRIs I tried early on, but it didn't work for me (it made me more anxious) and I settled on Zoloft instead.

Have fun with your Xanax! :-D

silver star said...

I came to check out this six word Saturday that C. Beth has talked about and decided to read on. I love the response andy gave, If your family's anything like mine, it will be comedic and involve major freak-outs.

Tori_z said...

Only advice I can give you is... Save the chill pills for when you really need them.

Good luck! *Hugs*

Dr Zibbs said...


Found you through my friend Sass.

Megan said...

I took Celexa years ago. At the time I was on 5 meds and one day I just decided to drop all of them. Probably wasn't the best idea but I was just sick of the meds, meds, meds. However, now years later, I now have a new prescription (that I'm horrible about taking) and it's the generic of Welbutrin. The Celexa did the trick, for the most part, I think. But I say if the Lexapro is working for you, I'd stick with it.

Your family sounds just "peachy". Good luck on your vacation. I hope you are able to have a good time despite them.

Fragrant Liar said...

Xanax is actually a pretty benign drug in the quantity your doctor prescribed. It does work very effectively in taking the edge off when you're having free-floating anxiety. But you should definitely try one before you actually need it, just to be on the safe side. For me, it's a miracle pill. I like the pink ones.

Call Me Cate said...

Juliet - After hearing about so many people that had to try multiple medications, I feel fortunate that the Lexapro worked for me on the first try.

silver star - My family is an interesting crew... The best coping mechanism I've found is to move hundreds of miles away.

Tori - I won't take them unless I can't settle myself some other way (except for at trial ration).

Dr Zibbs - Thanks for stopping by! Any friend of Sass is a friend of mine!

Megan - I know what you mean. I'm on a lot of meds for various things. The two I'm most adamant about taking daily though are my Lexapro and my "no baby pill" - which I take more for migraine control than no-baby reasons.

Fragrant Liar - From what I've read, she definitely gave me a baby dose, which is fine. I'm truly hoping the Lexapro (and some other coping mechanisms I've learned since I last saw them) will be enough to avoid the Xanax altogether but it will be nice to have the backup.