Aside from coughing up blood and hospitalizations and losing lung function, one other element of cystic fibrosis I hate is when you’re doing okay and then you’re not. It’s like a magician making a quarter disappear. One minute it’s there, one minute it’s not. One day I feel well, the next day I don’t. This then leads to more days of not feeling well and the mad scramble to play Sherlock Holmes and solve “the mystery of the disappearing good health.”
This recent “flip” started when I failed an anxiety/depression test. Well, I didn’t really fail it, and it wasn’t really a test. All I know is at some point during a recent CF clinic, I must have filled out a questionnaire about anxiety and depression, the latter subject being something I never think about. I know I have anxiety. The daily fluoxetine and “as needed” Ativan cocktails make it pretty obvious.
What surprised me was the call from the clinic telling me I’d scored higher for depression than anxiety. Let’s skip to the chase on this one: work problems? I’m thinking, “oh yeah.”
The medical solution: Increase fluoxetine from 20 mg to 40 mg. Okay. Why not?
This is how it went.
Day one: Nice buzz for most of the day. I like it. No depression here, there or anywhere. Not that I’m sure there was any before, but life is good and I’m feeling fine.
Day two: Still feeling good. No buzz, but not bad. Noticed some shortness of breath later in the day. Ate way too much food in my happy state. Paying the price with bloating.
Day three: Holy shit, I can’t breathe. The mucus is thicker, harder to get out. I’m all screwed up now. Bloating like a cow. What the fudge? The wheels come off.
Day four: Speak to the clinic. Back to 20 mg of fluoxetine and one of the worst, most necessary, medicines ever invented: prednisone.
The search for my equilibrium begins again and I am reminded of what happens when I don’t ignore the paperwork they give me at clinic.