Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Have you met my husband?

Have I introduced you to Nick? He's a pretty amazing guy who decided to marry me even after he heard about all of my crazies. Here are 20 things you should know about him :)

1. He is a 2007 graduate from The United States Military Academy at West Point. He is an armor officer and spent 10 months in Iraq.

2. When he answers questions, quite often, he will use a lot of words. It's ok. It's because he just wants to convey as much of what he knows to you so that you can know it too.

3. He claims he is "from" 3 states- Kansas, Colorado, and North Carolina. In all actuality he lived in Colorado for 3 and a half years. He just loved it so much he will always claim it.

4. He introduced me to the word "Emo" and just laughed when I was sure he meant "Elmo."

5. If possible, he loves my precious Lily more than me.

6. He has a lifelong dream to own and American Bulldog.

7. Sometimes, and I say this with love, you could mistake him for a 60 year old man. Cigars on the porch, scotch drinking, and calling the police on younger kids have all happened within the last year of living with him.

8. He has a heart 3 times the size of a regular man. He dreams of fixing the world.

9. He has wanted to be a father his entire life. "If it were up to Nick, we'd have kids yesterday." I've said that a lot.

10. He is the most intelligent man I know.

11. He is not a good golfer, but tries to play as much as possible.

12. Supportive doesn't accurately describe how he handles my dream to go back to North Carolina to finish my master's program and work in Mental Health. It will be what happens next, and I never have to ask for that.

13. He is a clean, neat, organized man. He keeps our place clean, neat and organized in spite of my drop-things-where-you-want mentality.

14. He can speak Urdu. Well, he could speak Urdu well about 6 months ago and hates everyday that he is losing it.

15. He has 2 tattoos and a brand. Yes a brand. They all have meaning, God and Country.

16. I am jealous of how strong and secure he is in his faith. He challenges me every time I think I know why I believe what I believe.

17. Staying healthy is very important to him and he loves to run.

18. He also loves pizza.

19. He makes amazing breakfasts. Pancakes are a staple, but he can make a damn good waffle, scrambled eggs, eggs over easy, and even bacon.

20. Before he asked me to marry him, he contacted a jeweler in Seattle to make the ring. Seattle is the first place we traveled together. He then spent months in communication with them on how the ring needed to be designed. Why 7 small diamonds here and why 3 small diamond there. Then he worried about it not being big enough. (see pic)


21. When I have headaches he massages my neck and runs his fingers through my hair. It helps.
22. He can't wait to be more involved in a political campaign.
23. He is the oldest in the family. He has a younger sister and brother. He also has 2 younger half-sisters and a half-brother. He never uses the "half" when he refers to them.
24. He's so, so funny.
25. I'd be lost without him.

There you have it- 25 random things about my man. Now you know him better :)

Monday, March 19, 2012

My Weekend in Photographs

This weekend Nick sent flowers to my work since I started off Friday in a bit of a slump, then we celebrated St. Patrick's Day with a few beers, and a 13th birthday with a cake. Lily was also due for a nail trimming... and as you can see, I cut a little too low. Her paw bled for a while, so we bandaged it, which she hated. Then I tried to bandage and put a sock on-- at one point she had panty-hose on it. It was a little debacle. Nick decided that we would use liquid bandaid (read: superglue). It stopped the bleeding and she rested with dad. Ahhh the weekend... Hope you all had a good one!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Journey off these fabulous pills...

Fully Disclosure in this Post :)

I mentioned before the Cymbalta reduction and elimination plan. (Have I called it by it's name? Cymbalta is the antidepressant I've been taking.) This week wasn't a great one. Basically I am at a point where there isn't really a smaller dose so the plan was to take it every other day. I am feeling more dizzy on the days that I don't take it and I really don't like that feeling, so 2 days ago I basically said, "Let's do it." and dove into no-more-pill land. I have not felt good by any means, but I am trying to keep in mind that it's in my mind, ha. It's just a matter of time.

I have said to Nick so many times the last few days, "I don't know, but I am extremely sad/angry." I was feeling extremely discouraged as of the yesterday and today. I went searching online, however I know that people online will post whatever and cannot be THE ONLY source of information. I have found a few sites with comments from people that have really helped.

Here are parts of posts I found that I identified with:
"Then the terrible irribility set in to the point where I almost started a fight with my boss. A few times I cried at work which is something I never do. Thank God I got to the ladies room in time. In the last few weeks I have been fighting extreme exhaustion, fatigue, and weakness. I feel like I'm walking around in a brain fog."
The irritability has been horrible for me. Yesterday when I was getting ready to go to dinner, I wanted to SCREAM at Nick because he was done getting ready and I was not. Makes a lot of sense, huh?
"The anger takes over so much and I feel like I am going crazy and am going to explode. It has affected my concentration at work. I'm a very level headed person and a logical thinker, so I know that something is not quite right and these feelings of craziness and anger are very unpleasant."
Very unpleasant indeed, even if I'm not the most rational person I've ever met.
"I also like that in your previous post you realize the mood dip is temporary, and a side effect of getting off the drug, and not just your old problem coming back. So important to realize that. I'm experiencing a bit of mood dip right now and it is really hard to realize it is the withdrawal and not the original problem coming back."

That part was very helpful to find. It reminded me- don't worry Stacey, your life isn't spiraling downhill and it won't feel like this forever. Things will be ok.

Then I found this one and I bookmarked it- I hope it will help!

"Here are some of the ways I've been working through the withdrawal of Cymbalta.
Saint Johns Wart 900mg twice a day
Started taking this for mood enhancement with some success, I will not know the full effect until the Cymbalta has left the building

Water: at least 2 liters a day
All my life doctors have told me to drink more water, and my response was sure okay (In my head I thought I hate WATER). But what the Doctor did not say was why I needed to drink water. It is such a simple thing. ASK yourself, has a doctor actually ever told you why you NEED to drink the water?
In my quest for the knowledge of Natural ways to feel better I read a book called "Your Bodies many cries for WATER" by some doctor (If you reaaly want to know who he is I'll tell you) and what an eye opener!!!
Let me put this is the simplest terms: Your body is made of water, if you do not replinish the water level DAILY, your body does not like!
On come the cries for water, as in, the body not functioning properly.

FOOD: Protein, Fiber and less Sugar.
Cmybalta literally stole my appetite. So my body did what it had to, Stored all the FAT. Yes I gained 50 lbs on cymbalta even though I ate almost nothing. So Healthy Food is one Natural way to feel better. (oh and stay off scales, go by clothes and how they fit. REALLY want to feel better, trick that brain and throw on a pair of jeans that are one size to big and walk around all day feeling SKINNY!!)
Okay, so I'm now making myself eat at the same time everyday; 3 Squares and 2 snacks. After about a week of force feeding myself, my body realized it was not being starved and I actually wanted to eat when meal time came.

I use the comedy channel on Sat. radio each morning while taking my son to school (It's and hour and a half round trip). I laugh at stupid things and it makes me smile. I don't think about anything but what is being said.

Exercise- 20 mins. 3-4 x a week
MOVE. That's it. You move it or loose it."
All of these posts came from the forums at cymbaltawithdrawl.com

Ok, now a few things from me. Yes, I hate how I feel. But yes, I feel that being on (or increasing) the antidepressant when Mike was killed was the right thing to do. My doctor was absolutely amazing and very caring. She recommended many things to do to deal with the loss, the medication being only one step. Many people are not lucky enough to have this type of health care professional and I am beyond thankful I did, as I would have probably taken anything at all at that point.

No I do not think the pharmaceutical industry is the devil, nor do I think antidepressants or even Cymbalta are the devil. These medications are necessary for mental health. My criticism lies in the ease of prescribing these medications, the length of prescription (Did I tell you I started a low dose of Cymbalta in 2002 when I went to college to deal with anxiety...10 years later here we are). These drugs alter you're mental chemistry so YES they are going to send you for a loop when you take that away. It's not easy, but for many, many people I think other options should be presented before using the medication as a crutch. It's to easy to write a prescription and get the the person out of your office. It's to easy to ask for a pill to take and that be the only thing you have to do to make yourself feel better. It's a low-respsonsibility solution that should not be used as frequently as it is. (Clearly, this is my opinion).

I think there needs to be more emphasis on what happens when you try to get off of the medication. I just remember getting on it, moving doctor to doctor and staying on it. The reason I wanted to start thinking about getting off of it in the first place is in preparation to start a family. No doctor said to me- hey wait it's been quite a while. Maybe we should evaluate this. However I've been in 3 states in one year so its been a variety of doctors and easy to slip under the radar. Anyway, I'll step off my pedestal now. :)

Please don't take this as a research article, because I've been to maybe 3 websites today. But I do plan to keep investigating more resources to bring back my happy as my brain chemicals try to get themselves together.

Monday, March 5, 2012

I Home-Freaking-Made this Dinner!

I usually plan our weekly meals from one of 2 places, Pinterest or my favorite cookbook from my cousins for my bridal shower. Last week (which happened to overflow into this week because we had so many left-overs) was a Pinterest week.

This one, Spinach Mushroom and Pesto Lasagna, took a lot of effort, and was my second lasagna ever home-making, but I was DANG proud of myself for this one.

(that's not mine.)

The receipe and original blog it came from are linked below. I had fun learning to make this one. the Mr. asked repeatedly if I could add some meat, even maybe the ground, frozen, buffalo burgers we had would suffice. I told him no.

I didn't homemake the pesto this time, but other than that and the noodles, it was fully homemade lasagna and it was pretty delicious!

It's a fantastic no-meat meal, probably great for Lenten Fridays. Also, it's really easy to make it ahead and freeze! Find the original reciepe and all the info from The Other Side of 50

Even Nick loved it :)

Weekend in Pictures

I am a serial Iphone photo and I am going to put this obsession to use! Enjoy last weekend in pictures!


This morning I can't stop thinking about this picture. I would like to feel this way every day.