Friday, April 23, 2010

I did it cold turkey....but not by choice

Picture it....

Three weeks ago, Tim had to go out of town on business for a few days.

In the past, that would send me into total panic mode.

The conversation would usually go down like this...

Tim: Oh, by the way....I need to go out of town next week for a few days.

Me: Well, crappity crap crap....I absolutely HATE when you have to travel. I feel like I'm going to hyperventilate....or puke....or hyperventilate and then puke.

Tim: I know you hate it and I'm sorry but you know I don't have a choice.

Me: I guess I better make sure I have enough Wellbutrin to get me through the next few days, huh?

Tim: Maybe even have a refill on standby, if necessary. And let me know if you want me to pick you up a bottle of wine before I leave.

Me: I feel like I'm going to cry. You're sure you HAVE to go? Wait...are you SMILING? Is that a glimpse of happiness I see on your face?!

Tim: Sweetie, come on now. I'm only smiling because you're being silly about this. Besides, it's only for a few days.

Me: Easy for you to say. I'm sure it only feels like a few days for you but for me....dude, it feels like a freakin lifetime until you walk back in through that front door.

Tim: I know.

Me: Oh, and this time...please don't call me from the restaurant where you're just about to sit down to eat a juicy piece of prime rib, a baked potato smothered in butter and sour cream and an iced-cold beer to wash it all down with, k? That's really nothing other than just being plain cruel.

Tim: How many times am I going to have to apologize for that?

Me: Probably for the rest of your life or at least until I get to experience it myself.

Tim traveled on business quite often right after Garrett and Landon were born.

Wait....let me rephrase that so you can better understand the reason for the serious meltdown.

When Garrett and Landon were newborns (you know, not sleeping through the night yet) and Cole and Bella were 2 years old (you know, not fully potty trained yet), Tim would travel often on business.

Awww, see, now you're feeling it. Yes, FOUR children...2 years old and under...all completely dependent on little ole' ME for their every little need, 24 hours round the clock for at least a few days.

I knew leaving us for even just a few days couldn't be easy on Tim, though...what with a quiet hotel room, 8 consecutive hours of uninterrupted sleep, 3 meals a day that he got to taste and enjoy all by himself, a lock on the bathroom door that could actually be used. The list could go on.

Traveling on business is, in fact, a hardship...believe it or not. I knew he missed the kids...sort of. And I'm sure he missed me...not really.

So back to his most recent vacation business trip...for some reason, I didn't go into panic mode. I was cool about it. My response when he told me was, "Oh, okay..."

The kids are a little bit older now and things aren't as challenging as they were, say, 3 years ago. That's not to say it's EASY....oh no, it's definitely not easy. It's more....well, manageable is probably more like it.

Only, on the morning Tim was scheduled to leave, I woke up feeling achy and congested. I hadn't been sick in months...and of all the times to be sick, I was going to be sick NOW??

In addition to that, I was down to my last 3 Wellbutrin pills (1 days' worth) but I planned to pick up another refill at the pharmacy that day. Little did I know that my doctor was out of town and hadn't received my refill request.

Talk about bad timing on all parts, right?

I should've known something was amiss when the pharmacy tech looked confused and asked me, "So...when did you call this prescription in?"

The kids looked nervous as I shuffled them out of the pharmacy..."Mommy," they asked, "how come you couldn't get your happy pills?"

I walked over to my doctor's office, across the street, with kids in tow and that's when I learned she had been out of town the last few days. She had just returned to the office but was now gone for the day. I guess she was still in vacation mode.

God was laughing at me, for sure.

I left a desperate message with the receptionist for my doctor, which started with "Please refill my scrip" and ended with "my children's lives depend on it".

My doctor didn't fill the scrip until the next afternoon, with many apologies for the delay, but I wasn't able to get to the pharmacy.

Long story short, I winged it. I tried not to think about the fact that I didn't have 450 mg of Wellbutrin coarsing through my veins.

I kept myself extremely busy and kept repeating to myself, "You can do's all about mind over matter".

There were several times where I could feel myself about to become unglued, like when the kids thought throwing baked beans at one another was more entertaining than eating them.

Or when Garrett took off his pull-up, watched as the poop rolled out onto the floor, then stepped in it while making a feeble attempt to let me know ..."Ooops, Mommy, I think there's poop on the floor".

Breathe....mind over matter....just breathe....I can do this.

And you know what? I did do it. I survived. I got through it.

Though I wouldn't recommend that anyone just quit their meds cold turkey. There's an obvious reason why doctors discourage their patients from doing that. In my case, there were FOUR little reasons but I guess God stopped laughing long enough to carry me through.

After all, it was the least He could do, seeing that He was the one who thought sending me my children in pairs within a couple year's time was a fantastic idea...along with a whopping side dish of PPD.

Upon returning home and learning of the "situation", Tim left skid marks in the driveway when he peeled out of the garage to go to the pharmacy to get my scrip for me.

I have yet to open the bottle...the bottle of Wellbutrin, that is. The bottle of wine...yeah, that's already open. I'm keeping the Wellbutrin on standby... but for now I think I might actually have a handle on everything.

And it feels good, for a change.

Now, if I could just get Tim to stop nervously asking me, "Maybe you should consider going back on your meds?" every single time I get angry or show the slightest bit of frustration.

Poor Tim...there's no safety net now. It's no wonder he's been sleeping with one eye open every night. Registered & Protected


Lori said...

Hilarious. I'll let you in on a little secret that makes it all worth while. About 10 or so years from now when the kids are busy, you'll be saying, "honey, when are you going out of town again?" lol Takes being alone to a whole new level. But in the meantime, my prayers are with you. :)

The Mother said...

All of my kids' major injuries happened when the hubby was not around.

It wasn't me, I swear.

NOW I enjoy the alone time. Not then. Nope.

SMS said...

Hey there super mama :) I recently had the stomach flu and couldn't keep my Prozac down for the first time since I started taking it about 4 months after the girls were born. My OB had said that my dosage was low enough that I could just stop cold turkey if I ever felt like going off of it. So I did. It has been about three weeks and things have been pretty good. Then this last Tuesday I hit bottom.. randomly it just hit me and I was a super mess. I have fought my way back up but it has been a minute to minute fight. I read online that lots of vitamin C and B Complex vitamins can help so I have been chugging Emergen-C and I can feel a difference (in a good way). So all this to say - hugs to you for being brave enough to try going off your happy pills. I know you don't know me but as a fellow MoM I feel like we have a automatic kinship so I hope this is ok to say. Please be careful, bloggy friend. Maybe the Emergen-C would help keep you from hitting the bottom of the well the way I did :) Ok.. lecture/ramble over.

The Girl Next Door Grows Up said...

Yay for you! You did it. Did you have a packed suitcase waiting so you could leave when he got home?

These poor men and their trips and then they say "There's no place like home" which is total crap, because I want Prime Rib too, not grilled cheese for the 2nd day in a row!!!

Tropical Mum said...

Good for you for coping so well. Four kids under two? I just cannot imagine. I feel like I am not entitled to whinge with just my two boys--but I will anyway.

Good luck with kicking the happy pills. You can do it!

BigSis said...

You are a stronger woman than I. Good for you!

Anonymous said...

I love little dude stepping in the poo....

Menopausal New Mom said...

Yay for you! *applauding*

Just for the record, I thought all men slept with one eye open in fear of their wives.

Oh and the poop rolling on the floor, I think I would have reached for the wine right about then Lol!


Omotee! said...

so hilarious! good for u tho, u r some great mum!

FRANNIE said...

One day at a can do it!!

Think of it this least they were throwing the beans and not the poop. :)

Carly said...

I was on Zoloft after my 1st son was born until he was 3 then I slowly whened off because I wanted to get Pg. After my 2nd was born I did't feel like I needed it. Crazy ! Now I am pg with my 3rd and I wonder if I will need something after this one. good Luck and getting off your pills.

The Boob Nazi said...

Wellbutrin did nothing for me, so when I stopped, nothing happened.

Evonne said...

I would go crazy if my husband had to travel for work!

Good for you for making it without your pills!

Shell said...

Oh, wow, that's amazing! At least you had your wine,though.

My dh travels for work a lot and then comes home and crashes because HE's sooooo tired. I call B.S.

Jen said...

I am glad that it is working out for you but I have to admit that the RN in me is cringing at the fact that you stopped cold turkey. Please just be careful. Please.

Email if you have questions. :)

Missy (Two Little Monkeys) said...

I love your honesty & your humor. Wine is always the best!

Amy said...

You made it.. I am so proud of you..

Have a great day..

singedwingangel said...

Fish oil and vitamin e are also wonderful natural mood lifters..Lol @ the pullup and the poop.. sorry but I had to laugh.. so glad everyone has survived alive

Stephanie Faris said...

When I first began living with my husband and he had to go out of town, I hated being away from him. Now it's a break! But then I don't have kids... I HATE traveling for business, I can say that. I hate eating alone in restaurants and sleeping in hotel rooms. If I had kids, I might feel differently...but I've personally found that you can be in the most beautiful city in the world but it doesn't matter -- because you spend almost all the time you're on the road in boring meetings.

Jenny said...

I'm glad you were able to get through those few days. I only have one child and I would be mad if my husband had to leave for a few days.

Good luck with the medicine. I've been there before, but it always seems like a few weeks go by and then I'm way worse than before. Just be on the lookout for that.

Twins Squared said...

Oh, poop on the floor! That is the worst! And they ALWAYS manage to step in it, don't they?

Glad you made it though! I'm starting to think my husband is the one in need of meds. He blows up at every little thing. Makes me crazy.

And I so know what you mean about the business trip being like a vacation. Funny though, he doesn't feel that way. He'd much rather stay home, but then again, he doesn't do much child rearing M-F so it probably is just a hassle for him. But yes I get envious. I have all the same thoughts about what he gets to do and eat vs my same old same old.

Is this to say Tim helps with the kids when he gets home? My husband does not so much. He gets home usually around 7:30 so I'm usually putting the little ones down as he comes in the door. Then he has to eat so I move onto the big girls while he goes and watches TV with his dinner. Then I'm done with them and he's already asleep half the time. It sucks. Sometimes I understand. Sometimes I'm resentful. I guess it is what it is.

Glad you did good without the meds and very glad they are getting manageable. My big girls did almost their entire bath on their own last night! It was awesome! I just had to help them rinse their hair a bit because their efforts just didn't quite get it all. I think there is hope out there for both of us that we will one day survive. And what it be fun when they're all older and so close in age?

Okay, I guess I'm done with my novel now. Have a great day!

Eva Gallant said...

My kids have long been grown and gone, but the last 3 years before I retired, my job required me to travel and be away overnight quite often. I will totally admit, I LOVED IT! No cooking, delicious restaurant meals on an expense account, a clean, freshly made bed at night. It was heaven. So I don't blame you for being envious!

Natalie said...

Hilarious! I love that you saw the little smile on him because he was excited to be going out of town...I've seen that smile before, too!

Heather said...

I go crazy when Kevin travels with just two...cannot imagine all 4!!! Cool that the pills are on standby!

Sadia said...

Helene, wow! That's amazing! Go you!

Me? That's a story for another day. Actually, it's a story for today, but later today.

Lucas is gone so much, and while he tells me appreciates me carrying the burden of raising the kids and maintaining the family, I just don't think he GETS it. Especially when he tells me to just sit down and take a break. Know what I mean?

Seriously, we should go on vacation some time and LEAVE THE KIDS WITH DAD!

This Daddy said...

I will tell Tim to call you when we get to the club. From outside of course. It is so boring in Atlanta, Tim and I will be so bored, I am sure all he is gonna do is talk about you and the kids. Stop stressing, you know having him gone will be a break. And you will feel like a little schoolgirl when he gets home

Tiffany said...

I love the poop on the floor. Way to go Momma, for kicking the happy pills. We always have wine.

Chocolate Covered Daydreams said...

Bless you for having the courage to go it alone without the happy pills. The first sign of the rolling poop, I would've curled up on the floor and cried.

Sara said...

Sweet. Mother. Of. Pearl.

If I survived 1 day with only one heavily sedated child, I would be screaming it from the rooftops.

You should get an award. Or a massage.


D said...

Wow! I can't imagine doing what you do. Two little boys, and bare in mind they are my nephews, and I have moments where I wonder if I've lost my mind or perhaps I just misplaced it for a minute.

The Lane Family said...

I had to laugh at the part about Tim calling you while eating a delicious meal. Jim also goes out of town and I feel the same way you described. He also likes to call and tell me how hard it is on him...I have NO sympathy as I chase screaming kids, deal with no sleeping issues and pray for a yummy meal to just appear :)

When I went off of my prozac Jim was doing the same things Tim did and even now after a bad day he will say...maybe you need those pills again.

I say NO maybe I need to get the job outside of the house and you stay with the kids all day and let me know how you feel :)

WhisperingWriter said...

Oh gosh, I've dealt with the poop on the floor thing. So gross.

I don't take pills but I do need diet coke to keep me happy. So when I run out, my family is a little afraid.

Anonymous said...

Hahaha! Anytime I get even a little bit irritated Kendrick asks me-"do you think you need to have the doctor up your dose?" How did people (by people I mean married couples and young children) survive BEFORE anti-depressants and anti-anxiety meds?

The Grasshoppa:Triplets Plus Two Momma said...

Brave. Very Brave :)

Anonymous said...

Wow, I'm so glad your withdrawal was only a couple days! When I had to quit my meds cold turkey for a medical test, I had about 3 solid weeks of withdrawal symptoms and it was HELL. I do not ever want to do that again!

Stefenie said...

I just found your blog throguh another blog I follow and I cannot tell you how hilarious your post is. I laughed until I cried. I am the mother of two little boys, one of them with heart problems, so I understand fully well when you have those moments of dealing with ten times the amount that one person should have to only to find the humor in the situation when you actually survive the chaos.


Marianne said...

That's so awesome, girl! I'm so happy for you! I know how great it feels to not feel dependent on anti-depressants, so I'm sure you're thrilled to have concurred the demon, for the time being, at least. I hope it stays at bay for the rest of eternity :) Did I tell you I started seeing a therapist? Thanks for the encouragement in doing so awhile back :)

Sometimes, when I babysit, I pray for a wine I.V. I don't drink on the job, but man o' man, when the poop is flying and the kids are crying, having wine constantly pumping through the veins would be so delightful.

Also, are you sure you aren't from the Midwest? Meat + potatoes + cold beer = midwestern meal of choice. Breakfast, lunch, & dinner.

Melanie said...

My hubby is a Reservist, and is out of town a lot. Luckily, we made it through the first 6mo with the twins before he had to be away over night. I don't know what I would have done if he had been gone right after they were born.

I have been on Lexapro for the last several months, and always make sure I have enough before he leaves. Pretty sure I would burst a vein in my forehead from screaming if I didn't have it. :)

Hope things keep going well and you can do without your meds!

heather@it'stwinsanity said...

Is that all I need? Wellbutrin? That will make me all better? Curse you for not telling me sooner!!!!

Katie said...

My husband traveled extensively a few years ago---he still travels, but not so crazy much. Our son was only 3 weeks old when D. had to take a 10 day trip to Africa. I fell asleep one afternoon during that trip rocking The Boy and forgot that I was also boiling bottle parts on the stove. I nearly burned my kitchen down. My daughter, who was 5, ran screaming for our next door neighbors who came over with their fire extinguisher and put out the stove fire. Talk about sleeping with one eye open after that! THAT was a trip to remember!

CRAZYMOM said... sucks. It just does. I used to get mad at my hubby for calling me from a restaurant too! Very funny post. I'm glad you made it.

Clueless_Mama said...

That's too funny and true. I can't wait for my husband to just get home from work for the day and I only have two! Good luck:) Enjoy the wine at least!

Tracy said...

Oh my goodness, girl. You better take care of yourself.

The funniest part of this post, I thought, was the "bottle of wine." Not plural.

Scott is leaving for a two week business trip (not altogether uncommon for him) and I made sure to double check my stash.

Nobody judge me. I pace myself but YES, I do drink wine while home alone with my children (in bed.)

Cascia said...

Good for you staying strong like that. I was on zoloft for PPD but went off of it a while ago when my prescription ran out. My husband thinks that I need to go back on it, but now that the weather is getting nicer and it finally stopped raining I'm starting to feel a little bit better. But our husbands know us well and I think I should listen to him.

Wendy said...

Glad you got through it and I loved reading about def have a flair for humor! I guess with two sets of twins you have too!

Glad you are keeping the meds on hold to see how you do but def. have them for backup as needed and totally agree with having the wine, now that is a must.

Double Wide Mom said...

Keeping your sense of humor has everything to with your amazing gift and attitude. You have "SO Got THIS!"

Donna said...

I am Woman. Hear me ROAR!

You. GO. Girl! Awesome!

I'm on the opposite end of the spectrum, trying to get ON meds!

LOVE the poop on the floor story! btdt!

Good luck on the continued journey! (Oh - and can you send me that bottle of Rx?)

Kim said...

Congratulations on surviving sans medication (sans means without, right? If not that sentence probably sounded pretty dumb)! You definitely kept your sense of humor... I was laughing out loud.

I just had that same conversation with my husband (the one where you panicked about him leaving... not the one where you stayed sane and rational). Then I booked it to my parents (a 3 hour drive) because I completely refuse to spend my weekend alone with a baby and a (crazy) toddler.

My husband's famous line when he returns from trips... "You should really go away sometime too."

My childless trips to date: 0!

I am really glad you are feeling so well!

Robin said...

Wow..that can be very must be very proud of yourself...good for you..!..although there is no shame in using them either....whatever you need in this day and can be hard..!EnJoY YoUr WeEkEnD..!

Anonymous said...

Good for you! I know how hard it was for me with 2 under 2, I can't even imagine 4 under 2! I think it's awesome that things are getting easier for you and you don't need the medicine anymore, but if you do, it's no big deal - life is like that. It's got to be nice to know you can function without it.

Also, I just have to say I don't think husbands get it when they "get" to go to work all day or sleep in hotel rooms with nights interrupted. I'm often tempted to go away for a weekend and leave my husband to tend to the kids. But then I'm sure he would just call his mother and she'd come riding in to save the day.

MommyAmy said...

Woo hoo! You did it! And everyone's skulls are still intact, bonus!

christy rose said...

I can not even imagine how I would make it if my husband had to travel. I have a friend who has 5 kids 8 and under and her husband travels mon through fri every other week. She is about to lose her mind. I feel for her even more after I read your post here today. But you made it through and I think you are amazing for it. And now I think my friend is even more amazing now too. :)

Stef said...

Haha! WOw! You are an amazing Mommy! And I bet it is nice to feel in control again. GOod for you! That stepping in poop thing would have put me over the edge...ugh!@

Mom of twins! said...

That was hysterical! I loved it and I am going to start following your blog! As a mom of twins I can relate!!!!!

Brooke said...

you know the bright side of all this - he is helpful enough for you to actually miss him when he leaves. i know some men that don't lift a finger, so a trip away for them would be one less person to take care of for their wives.

This Daddy said...

See, I was wrong, I thought the answer for sure would be busting Tims balls!!

Nezzy said...

Tornadoes, floods trees fallin' in the yard, cattle jail breaks, flue fires, dog foamin' at the mouth, well house blown away....just a few things that happens when hubby leaves.

Good for you managing so well without your meds. You always crack me up!

God bless ya and have a marvelous Monday!!!

cindi said...

Hats off to you for being able to accomplish this. Every time I go off my meds for a similar reason, I have people beating down my door begging me to get some pills...quick!

The High Family said...

Congrats Helene! Luckly, I've survived the last 5 years without being on meds....but I am not going to lie and say I didn't wish I had my own "happy pill" to take every now and then...

Erin said...

Helene, you write sooooo well. I love reading your blog.

So how's it going off the Wellbutrin? My doc keeps switching me, so I've been on a roller coaster. Now on Cymbalta. Ready to settle on something or throw in the damned towel already.

Are you having any withdrawal symptoms? I hope you can continue without it, but you obviously shouldn't be afraid to take it if you need it.


I figure that if the children are alive when my husband gets home at the end of the day, I've done my job.

----Roseanne Barr

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