Cipralex Progress Report: Now With Doctor Data

**Note: That’s data from my doctor, not Doctor Data. As cool as that would be.

In the world of Cipralex-related things, I have some info to share…

Progress. My doctor left for me a file that detailed my progress on the drug. She had been asking me little interview questions, the same ones every time, but I wasn’t expecting her to leave the information for me, so it was a very pleasant surprise.

Here’s what I’ve got. Each appointment I had – fairly frequent when I began taking the drug; once a month for two months, and every three months since then – she asked me ten questions. Each answer was to be rated out of ten – one being my personal worst, ten being my personal best. The exceptions to this:

1. Appetite: ‘1’ is never, ever hungry. ’10’ is seriously overeating. So in this one, a 5 is normal.
2. Anxiety and Irritability: ‘1’ is low, ’10’ is high, but in these cases, ‘1’ is what we’re aiming at.

I’ll give you the first three sets:

Oct. 11, 2011. Oct. 25, 2011 Dec. 21, 2011
Mood 4 Mood 8 Mood 10
Anxiety 8 Anxiety 1 Anxiety 1
Sleep 2 Sleep 6 Sleep 9
Concentration 4 Concentration 7 Concentration 9
Memory 2 Memory 8 Memory 10
Energy 4 Energy 7 Energy 10
Appetite 8 Appetite 6 Appetite 5
Hope 2 Hope 8 Hope 10
Interest 2 Interest 7 Interest 10
Irritability 3 Irritability 3 Irritability 0
Sociability 4 Sociability 7 Sociability 10

Her notes:

Gwen frequently goes between 3-7 days on less than 2 hrs sleep.
Gained 40lbs in the past three years
On 10mg for 3 weeks: no side effects except initial dry mouth

For the record, I’m still on 10mg per day (except! But wait, we’re coming to that.)

So, this is a pretty cool thing for me to have, and I thought it might be a cool thing to put out to the world wide web.

It’s worth noting that this is not an unexceptional response to Cipralex, from what I’ve heard (not reliable data, just stories ’round the web). It’s got good, low side effects – I mean, dry mouth? Seriously? When weighed against the crushing hopelessness, hell yes, I’ll take some dry mouth. (Actually, it sucked and I whined a lot. A LOT. And drank about twelve litres of water a day.) I’m still reserving final judgement for when I try to come off the thing. And speaking of that…

I’m getting close to that magical one-year mark. At that point, I’ll look at slowly coming off this stuff, probably over the course of three months. It’s a bit nerve-wracking, the whole idea of it, but definitely a part of the plan that I want to stick with.

In terms of my own accounting, when I started this I didn’t have or want a job (thank you, thank you, hours and hours and hours of overtime at previous job, for allowing me to save up enough money to lay on the couch for a year), I didn’t have any hobbies, I barely saw the friends I had and my relationship was tanking. I didn’t work out. I didn’t, really, do much of anything.

Now, I have a job (that I enjoy! What is that?), I’m back to yoga and the gym and walking the dog – and as a side effect, I’ve stopped gaining weight and may have actually lost some – I’ve reconnected with old friends, and even managed to meet two new people that I like. (This is, actually, a shocking thing. I don’t like a lot of people.) I’m volunteering on a few different committees, and they allow me to feel like I’m making a difference in my community. I think I’ve made some changes in my relationships with my family – that’s an ongoing process, as it turns out, because when you drop off the face of the planet for a year or so, you leave some hurt feelings in your wake.  My relationship is the best it’s ever been.

So, yup, I’m feeling like the poster child for this pill right now. If I can come off it and maintain my life and my happiness and most of all, my hope – I’ll frame one of these damn pills on my wall.

A last note: The magic pills are not actually magic, and don’t do a damn thing if you don’t do the work.
Coming up: I have news about PMS. It’s really interesting. Doctor Data says: Stick Around!

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One thought on “Cipralex Progress Report: Now With Doctor Data

  1. So happy to see all this even if I am tuning in a bit late. You rock! Great numbers.
    Love these two images – the first one is just like, you know, the valley of the shadow or something, but coming into the light so beautifully, and then there’s Data, who always makes me smile.

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