It hits hard. For the most part, the Lexapro has REALLY REALLY helped with my "health anxiety." But sometimes, physical symptoms kick in, and those said symptoms kick start my mind.
Take this evening, for example...
I've been coming down with something for a few days now, more than likely "DVFH #93," so I'm already a bit run down, plus Narda's been in NJ at the McCarter Theatre, working on Radio Golf. So I've been flying solo, and there was nasty rain this am, so I used the hip seat, an umbrella and the bus to get Malka to daycare (as opposed to the mile long walk with her in her stroller).
Malka likes to lean forward a bit while ON the hip seat, which puts a bit of strain on my arm. So by the time I got to work this am, my left arm was a bit sore. By day's end, however, I had forgotten about it. Until the ride home. We took the bus, but we still had to walk a few blocks FROM the bus stop to our apartment. I tried the "holding her hand and walking," but after about 1/4 of a (NYC) block, she stopped, and wanted to be picked up. So onwards. We get home, and I make chicken, she loves it, we light the Shabbas candles, have a sip of Shabbas wine, and she has her chicken. While she's eating, I stick the spaghetti squash in the oven, and notice that I have a slight headache. After dinner (this is the cute part), she signs "all done," and when I take her out, she makes a B-Line to the bathroom, ALL ready for her bath. I tell myself that I'll take some adv*l after I get Malka to bed. Malka, for one, did NOT want to get out of the bath, and protested vehemently when I removed her, and once we were in her room, walked over to her bottle and wanted it, which she usually gets AFTER she's in her jammies. But the screaming (remember my slight headache from a few sentences above....) sends me to get her bottle, which IMMEDIATELY stops the screaming and tears, and allows me to put a diaper on her, slather on her Aquaph*r, and put her jammies on. I then scoop her up, for the last ounce of her bottle, we sit on the sofa-futon-thinggy, and have the last minute of our routine. She goes to bed with ease.
It is walking out of her room that it hits me like a mack truck. I feel light headed, headache, sore arm, and all of a sudden, I've diagnosed myself with an on-coming stroke, heart attack, diabetes, and some weird disease from Quincy's scratch from the other day. It's REALLY weird how my mind works, and I have NO idea why it goes to such extremes when I have any sort of physical symptom. It's like my intellect totally knows there's nothing really wrong with me, but some random part of my mind beats that part up and takes over and goes into full-blown panic mode. Now the difference is that before the Lexapro, I would "sit" in the anxiety for about a week or two. Now, I take steps to try and get out from under the part of myself that tries to take over. The first thing is to put my hand on my stomach and just breathe. Then distract myself - I turned on the TV to my Brit-coms on Channel 21, took my Adv*l, ate something (to combat the low blood sugar), and started blogging. Writing it out is a form of release. It also helps to put things in perspective.
Cougar would like me to also tell you that he indeed has helped TREMENDOUSLY. He has that way about him of just coming onto the couch and insinuating himself into my lap, DEMANDING that I pet him. They do say, after all, that pets lower stress.
I AM so grateful for the Lexapro, as what would have lasted for 2 weeks, has dissipated within an hour. And for you, internets, for giving me the space to share about it. That, in and of itself, is a HUGE help.