Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Riding out the waves..............of nausia

Gosh I cannot believe how naughty I have been again and not blogged for ages, tbh I have not really felt in the mood to whinge about how I am feeling but have decided its not whingeing, its sharing!

So I have followed Professor Grossman's advice and weaned myself off of my venlafaxine, I did this by reducing 1 tablet each week over 3 weeks, um heeerllloooooooooooo could you not have pre-warned me about the side effects of doing this and the possibility I would be rushed to a&e as a result.

I took my last tablet last Wednesday in the morning, the pain in my joints was getting worse and I only managed 1 day last week at NANNA Animal Rescue, then Friday I could not get out of bed, let alone stay awake, I woke up Saturday morning feeling even worse, hence the visit to my local a&e department.

After trying to explain my Von Hippel Lindau and where the 6 tumours are that I currently have and then the whole story regarding the Pheo, they just looked at me completely baffled.  The doctor who assessed me in a&e was fantastic and overruled everyone by keeping me in overnight.  I had a CT and they couldn't find my brain tumour which I took as good news as this means it had not grown, it was found at just 4mm, they seemed more fascinated about the shape of my skull and the scarring to my brain from my first surgery to remove a brain tumour in July 1998.  In fact they all seemed quite intrigued about the oddball they had in a&e, I didn't care as I had a trolley to lay on and drifted in and out of sleep.

The next morning I was asked to do another urine sample and was then told off as I never bought it back from the toilet, firstly they were lucky I made it to the toilet without collapsing and secondly if they wanted me to spill urine all over the floor I would have just peed by my bed!  Next came the ward round with I can only assume a consultant and a junior doctor, the junior doctor I had asked the previous night if I could have some pain relief and never saw her again.  We went over my results, bp was ok, scan was ok, bloods were ok but query on the urine sample, so they were trying to say I had a urine infection, REALLY!!!!  When I tried to emphasise that something really was not right with me I was told "Miss Batchelor it's about time you learnt to live with it", as you can imagine I was fuming, I got myself dressed and then stood by the nurses station until they removed the needle in my hand and then discharged myself, I got a taxi home as I knew I would not make it walking.

Now I am not a doctor but I KNOW the way I am feeling is withdrawal from Venlafaxine, I even kept saying this on the phone to emergency doctors, ambulance crew and a&e staff.  I called my GP Monday and she agreed with me, I have some anti sickness medication and painkillers.  She checked the results posted from my weekends experience and I DO NOT have a urinary infection which is what they were trying to put it down to, my white blood cells are slightly raised so I could have a virus on top of it all.  Even though I still feel absolutely awful, I am going to continue not taking the Venlafaxine as I do not want to let Professor Grossman down as he is working very hard to help me.

Some of the side effects from Venlafaxine withdrawal:

Signs of Flu
One of the common Venlafaxine withdrawal symptoms is the set of flu symptoms such as cough, headache, fever, muscle ache, and body pain. Once you stop using the drug abruptly, these signs tend might take place in some days and can remain for up to more than a month’s time. The reliving news here is that these signs are mild, which are alleviated with time if you lessen the drug usage in the correct manner.

Adverse Effects on the Brain
Stopping the use of Venlafaxine abruptly increases the chances of many bad reactions in the brain. Due to this, you might experience fatigue, dizziness, impaired coordination, tremors, headache, strange sensory feelings, sleeping difficulty, drowsiness, and nightmares. Even worse is the fact that these signs can be moderate to severe, which can later affect your ability to deal with the daily activities. In case you experience these symptoms, it is advisable for you to be vigilant while performing the usual daily tasks such as cooking, driving, and other concentration related activities.

Unfavourable Effects on the Gastrointestinal Tract
You might experience symptoms such as vomiting, nausea, diarrhoea, dry mouth, and loss of appetite after Venlafaxine withdrawal.
Unpleasant Behavioural Changes
A sudden change that is not normal affects your behaviour with others. There are many adverse effects on your usual behaviour that tend to spoil your relationships. Portraying anxiety, agitation, nervousness, bad mood, confusion, and irritation are all the possible symptoms of Venlafaxine withdrawal. In case you used to take a big dose for a long time, these symptoms show off with an increased frequency. In this case, the patient is again put on the previous dose that is reduced gradually henceforth.

Depression and Suicide
This symptom reverses the very aim of the drug. In patients with worsening depression featuring suicidal trials, even lowering the dose is done with great care. Therefore, you can imagine what can happen if you stop taking the dose all of a sudden. In such cases, the patients need very close supervision.

Other Signs
- Burning or tingling sensation
- Insomnia
- Feeling of ants crawling on your skin
- Frequently changing emotions

Reading some of these symptoms is like reading how the drug made me feel when I was on it too, I sincerely hope that this will help me become non-dependent on anti depressants, which I have been on since losing my beloved mummy on 29th November 1997 and possibly even before then. 

I do not ask much, I just want to start living my life, have some of my energy back, find my smile and keep making my mum proud as that is not one Guardian Angel that I want to upset.............

Shellie B xxx

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