Sunday, February 5, 2012

Shake, Shake, Shake...

Daily tasks can be really annoying when you're having hand tremors.

Let me back up. I've been doing extremely well on my treatment for depression since May 2011; I was stable on 225 mg of Effexor. But over the last month or so, I've noticed mood swings. A couple of weeks ago I came home to find that John had made cookies - the same cookies I'd been promising to make him for several weeks. I instantly burst into tears, and by the next morning, I realized it was time to add a mood stabilizer. My doctor had mentioned that I might need to add one when I started the Effexor, since I'd had to take one before to maintain level emotions, but we decided to wait until I needed it.

Because I've taken Abilify before, the doctor started me on 10 mg and we made an appointment to follow up one week later. My appointment was on January 30. At the appointment, I told him that I was already starting to feel better, so we kept the Abilify as-is. Since I really want to quit smoking, he also started me on 150 mg of Wellbutrin. (I know, I'm a walking crazy-pill pharmacy.) I've taken Wellbutrin before, and stopped because it gave me hand tremors, but since that was almost 10 years ago, I decided to try again.

Yeah...I have tremors. They're not debilitating, but they're irritating the hell out of me! I need steady hands for lots of things I do, more than I realized. Some of these things:

~ Putting in and taking out contact lenses

~ Painting my toenails - this is already not my best skill, but hand tremors make it so much worse. I just get my toenails covered and clean up the mess around them after they're dry.

~ Writing in my journal - I *just* started writing in a journal again, and now it's difficult to do that. My handwriting is already atrocious; that's why I wanted to keep a hand-written journal. But I'm not giving up; I'm going to keep writing and hope it gets better.

~ Typing - proofreading is even more important to me now, since I make about a gazillion errors in every paragraph I type. I don't necessarily think this one is the fault of the tremors, though. There seems to be a short somewhere between my brain and my hands, causing my hands to type incorrect letters. Occasionally I forget how to spell a word. On Friday I was trying to type the word "doubt," but I typed "dought." I knew it was wrong, but it took me a few seconds to remember WHY it was wrong, and how to spell it correctly.

I am still taking the Wellbutrin, and don't intend to stop, at least for now. I'm hopeful that these side effects will pass, but if they don't, I think they'll be manageable. I should only have to be on the Wellbutrin for three to six months, as long as I can stay off the cigarettes. We'll see how it goes.

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