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Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5578
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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Hi Kate, please let me know when youre available and back

Resolved Question:

Hi Kate, please let me know when you're available and back from your trip.

I saw the endo doctor and want to fill you in.,

Rita
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

Hi Rita!

 

I just got back this afternoon. I was wondering how your endo visit went. Let me know.

 

Kate

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Well, so, so. She was good and asked a lot of questions. After she was done she said I didn't need thyroid meds at this time. That's good news. The questionable news is she wants me to do a 24 hour urine collection starting when I get up in morning. Then she wants me to have some lab work done.

 

Here are the name of the tests: ACTH (CPT-82024)

Cortisol, Serum (CPT-83789)

24 Hour Urine

 

One of these tests is to check hormones and one is to check to make sure there's no cancer, which she said is rare but should be checked. One has something to do with the pituitary gland.

 

She didn't give me any information - said she had no knowledge regarding drug withdrawal and had no idea if the reason my hand was a little shaky and I has anxiety had anything to do with my withdrawal or not. She just asked a lot of questions about how I felt physically and typed everything in her computer.

 

I'm to see her again in four to six weeks and if she hears anything regarding the tests, (I would imagine bad) she would call me. That sort of put me off but I was offered the ability to sign up for an email account so I can email her anytime I need to for appointments, questions, etc. and they reply back within 48 (or 72, I forget) hours. I have my own pin number which they gave me. So that's good news.

 

I still feel lousy in the mornings. Hernz called and when I told him about my appointment he said that was wonderful! He was so happy to hear the good news!?!

 

I didn't mention anything to him regarding how I was feeling for two reasons...one, he has no answer for me, so why bother? He said it could take 10 days or more to recover from reduction of Xanax, which is today. But it could take me longer. Either I'm going to get better or I'm not. You have more experience with drug users and their problems with withdrawals than I do and maybe even him. So you tell me what you think!

 

And secondly, until I get the test results back, we don't know if my thyroid and/or hormones are the problem or not. So in the end, I just have to trust God that He'll take care of me and let go of it all.

 

I'm doing the urine test Monday because Tuesday at 8:30 a,m is the first available time. The blood work has to be done at 8 a.m. and they said a half-hour wouldn't make any difference.

 

So that's it. You know, Kate, I think part of my morning problem is that I take a .5 7 a..m., another at noon, and then none until 10 p.m. I think the morning and noon one is too close together. If I was going to take 3 a day, they should be spaced further apart,.

 

Any advise about that, too? And about the withdrawal advise - I've heard and I'm sure you know already, it's a hard drug to get off of. Do you think, from your experience, I'm still going through some withdrawal? BTW, the palpitations are getting a little lower in the morning, one day at a time.

 

I'd appreciate your thoughts on everything, as usual.

 

Rita

Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

Rita,

 

It sounds like your appointment with the endo went about as expected. The doctor usually doesn't do too much the first appointment except collect information and set up the testing with you. Since they seem to rely mostly on the test results, then that would make sense.

 

I understand your hesitancy to see this as a good thing. But progress, even if it is slow, is always good. You are taking big steps in helping yourself find answers. Considering that it would be easy to hide in your home, afraid and unwilling to help yourself, you are doing very well.

 

As soon as the endo has your test results, you will know a lot more than you do right now. Those tests are intensive. I know because I've had them done. They tell a lot about your endo system and give you a good idea of what is going on.

 

Hang in there. Waiting this out is hard, but you've been here before so you can do this. Besides, you and I can wait it out together!

 

Your idea of spacing out your medications is a good one. I would pass it by Dr. Hernz and see what he says. It may be that he prescribed your medication to be taken that way to help address how you feel in the mornings. Maybe he thought it would help. But if you feel better off spacing the medication out, by all means try it. You know yourself best and if that will help you then I would suggest it to Dr. Hernz.

 

Withdrawal from Xanax is difficult. It is not an easy drug to taper down from as you said. But you are taking it very slowly, which is the smartest way to handle it. Drug withdrawal globally is a difficult challenge. Your body expects those chemicals to be in your system. It gets used to them and alters your physical chemistry to accept them as part of your system. When you withdrawal the medication, your body reacts and has to find ways to adjust and compensate for the loss. That is why a sudden withdrawal makes you sick. It is too much of a shock to your system. A slow tapering is best. But that does not mean your body is not going to protest. And your body is doing that. It is actually a good thing because you are forcing your body to cope without help and become natural in it's function which is why you have all those symptoms. But getting there is hard. You are quite strong, Rita. You are facing this head on without going the easy route. That is why I have no doubt you can do it.

 

I do think you are still experiencing withdrawal. But I do not think it will go on for a long time. Getting back to your natural state physically can take a while. Just think of how long it takes you to recover from a surgery or a bad injury. Your body takes time and work to start to feel normal. And even if your injury is healed, you still may feel off and awkward for a long time afterwards. It takes time before you can start the day without thinking of your injury or how you feel first. But the day will come when you start the day without thinking about your withdrawal and how you feel. It is just a matter of time.

 

Kate

Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5578
Experience: Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Oh, Kate, thank you from the bottom of my heart. You have no clue what you have saved me from today....total dispair.

 

I have never had any test done but a simple blood workup,

Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

I am sorry you are having a rough day. I am so glad I could help you feel better. You are not alone in this. God is with you. He will watch over you.

 

From what I remember, the endo tests are mostly urine and blood tests. I cannot recall what else I had to do, but it could not have been much because I do not recall it as difficult to do. I think the results will help you get at least some of the answers you need. Every bit of the puzzle you can fit gets you closer to the answers you want!

 

I hope you have a better night, Rita.

 

Kate

 

 

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX have saved me from total dispair. I never went to a specialist before, except Hernz and he sits and talks to me like a regular gp. I thought she just ordered the tests because she didn't have anything else to offer me when she said I didn't need thyroid med after looking at the lab results for a couple of minutes and then started asking me a lot of questions. So what you're saying is she looked for the simple answer, didn't see it, and went on to try to find the deeper problem. I get it now. Just because she didn't do it the way I thought she would, I got myself all worked up for nothing.

 

Kate, tonight I told Joe, because I really believed it, that I thought I had cancer. Simple withdrawal couldn't feel like this and it's been too long. Yet it's only been less than 2 weeks. I should never have done that to him. That wasn't fair. I'll make it up to him when I go downstairs again.

 

Since Joe has been sick he got used to sleeping in the back room because he doesn't have to worry about waking me up because he gets up really early and our two cats jump all over him. So the last couple of nights I've been putting my tape recorder on the bed, playing simple, quiet worship songs. Usually before the disc is done I'm asleep. This keeps my mind from wondering.

 

Kate, how can I thank you for what you told me tonight? You truly have God's heart when it comes to helping me. I literally had tears running down my face while reading your answer. You have given me back my hope. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

 

I'm going to print out your answer and re-read it as often as I need to. God bless you, Kate. You have no clue what you have done for me and believe me, I know I'll probably will need it again, yet you never get upset at me for saying the same thing over and over. Believe me, God has you right where you are supposed to be!

 

Sleep tight and I'll be saying a prayer for you as I go to sleep listening to Don Moen's God Will Make A Way....

 

Rita

 

PS Somehow I hit the wrong key a while back and must have sent you half the email. Now you have two to read.....(I hate this pc)

Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

Rita,

 

It is truly a blessing that God put us together. I think for as much as you feel I help you, you help me as well. It is a good feeling and it gives me much peace to be able to be there for you.

 

I would have hoped the endo doctor would have told you how the testing and results worked. I think it is easy for doctors to forget that just because they do this all day does not mean the patients understand what is happening. The doctor just probably overlooked explaining this to you because of that.

 

Telling Joe you thought you might have cancer is just a way to express your fear over what you are going through. It is always easy to think th worst when you feel out of control and you don't know what is coming next. But hang in there, Rita. You have been through some pretty rough times already and held up like a trooper. Just last week you were facing the panic attacks with the bravest attitude I've seen! You can deal with whatever happens next too.

 

I love the idea of listening to worship songs as you go to sleep. I may have to try that myself!

 

I hope Joe is doing ok. I will pray for him as well.

 

Take care today, Rita. Be good to yourself and try not to worry. Deep breaths, peaceful thoughts. I'll be here today if you would like to talk.

 

Kate

Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5578
Experience: Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks, XXXXX XXXXX agree that it would have been nice if she had explained the tests more thoroughly but she only gave me a brief outline as she was walking out handing me papers and telling her assistant when to make another appointment.

 

 

Please don't be upset with me over that. It wasn't until last night's email that I got it. Don't ask me why but I did believe you both but in the back of my mind I had the idea it couldn't be true. That something else must be wrong. Because I didn't think withdrawal should last this long, then I must be right. Like I'm a doctor or something.

 

It just came to me why I was thinking that way. I'm so afraid you both might be wrong that I'd rather prepare myself for the worse and then I won't be disappointed. And you have to be wrong because it's taking too long to change. If you both were right it should be better by now -

 

I am my own worst enemy, aren't I? Talk about catastrophic thinking!!

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks, XXXXX XXXXX agree that it would have been nice if she had explained the tests more thoroughly but she only gave me a brief outline as she was walking out handing me papers and telling her assistant when to make another appointment.

 

 

Please don't be upset with me over that. It wasn't until last night's email that I got it. Don't ask me why but I did believe you both but in the back of my mind I had the idea it couldn't be true. That something else must be wrong. Because I didn't think withdrawal should last this long, then I must be right. Like I'm a doctor or something.

 

It just came to me why I was thinking that way. I'm so afraid you both might be wrong that I'd rather prepare myself for the worse and then I won't be disappointed. And you have to be wrong because it's taking too long to change. If you both were right it should be better by now - completely forgetting that I'm so sensitive to drugs that two .5's of Xanax XR could be like two 1.0's for my body. I may be wrong about that but you know what I mean?

 

Ok, I'm accepting it as truth as of today. I have to because I just have to. It is really arrogent of me to think I know better than two experts in the field.

 

I'm starting my urine collection tomorrow and will have it in by Tuesday morning plus get my blood tested. After that I will email the doctor's office and ask them if they will get hold of me when the tests are completed and not just if there is something wrong. I will request knowing one way or the other. I cannot sit here and wait patiently for a month to hear back.

 

God bless,

Rita

 

 

I am my own worst enemy, aren't I? Talk about catastrophic thinking!!

Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

Rita,

 

I had to smile. Your explanation of how your thinking works with the anxiety/panic situation is so normal. You may feel it isn't and that is ok. To accept blame for something so normal- there is no need.

 

The very nature of anxiety is to make you feel the worst is going to happen. Anxiety is about looking ahead and trying to control the future. It is also about controlling now. When you feel you don't have control, you look for it. So saying to yourself that Dr. Hernz and I could not be right and it is something worse makes you feel you are preparing for the worst. And to be prepared for the worst gives you some control.

 

But your questioning Dr. Hernz's and my judgment also shows you are highly intelligent. Accepting things at face value is ok, but questioning what you are told is smart. You need to question things until you feel comfortable. The purpose here is to find a balance. Accept that anxiety/panic could be a cause, ask questions and search for other possibilities, and come to a conclusion. Accepting all possibilities until you are sure you feel ok with the answers is fine. You have the logic and the intelligence. It's just the anxiety that covers it and doesn't allow you to think about it the way you want to.

 

I agree with you, you are sensitive to medication so your conclusion works. It is going to take time because of your sensitivity. Anxiety also causes you to examine every symptom and look at everything that happens as if it's under a microscope. So it is going to seem bigger than it is. But you are learning along the way and your insight is good. You are doing great.

 

Kate

Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5578
Experience: Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I'd rather be dumb and not have to go through this....Cry

 

Now I get what Hernz meant when he said last week that yes, this was anxiety and that some people go back on the drugs rather than deal with the anxiety and then went on to something else. I didn't get what he was talking about until now. What he should have said to me was yes, Rita, you can trust this anxiety is part of withdrawal and it can be so bad that some people can't handle it and go back on the drugs.

 

I know it's only slightly different words that say the same thing but it would have helped me more.

 

Thanks again,

Rita

Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

Oh Rita, I understand. It is not easy. But you figured it out. And in the future we will know to look at this in a different way. I'll be here to help.

 

Have a good night,

 

Kate

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Kate, my daughter just asked me a question...why isn't the Xanax I'm taking every day taking over for the two I stopped taking? I told her I think it's because my brain (or body) was used to a higher dose and hasn't caught up to the lower dose yet. She said she wouldn't think it would take this long since I do have Xanax in my system.

 

Hmmmm!

 

Rita

Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

Rita,

 

Xanax is a highly addictive drug, which is why it can be dangerous. In my experience, tapering off Xanax is making your body adapt to a lower dose. It will not react the same way as when it was on a higher dose. Your body craves the higher dose because your chemistry got used to it. Also, you were on a theraputic dose. It began to incorporate the Xanax as part of your body chemistry. When you withdrawal it, your body protests. And since Xanax is a very addictive drug, it takes your body longer to get used to the loss.

 

Think of it like taking aspirin. When you have a headache, the dose is usually two tablets of aspirin. That is because medical researchers determined that two pills is the dosage that most adults need in their system to get rid of the headache. If you try to take one tablet, it may take the edge off the headache but it's not going to be enough to get rid of the headache. It's because your body needs more of the medication to change your body chemistry to affect the pain of the headache.

 

So if you are tapering from a theraputic dose of Xanax and you are on a low dose, it does not affect your body as it did before. It cannot eliminate the panic and anxiety as it did before. When you were on the maximum dose, the medication affected your body's chemistry enough that it "sedated" you so you would not experience the panic. But the side effects of that was you feeling like a zombie. The same as when you take the recommended dose of aspirin, you may have a stomach ache as a side effect.

 

You can also check with Dr. Hernz for a specific medical explanation. He would know the exact physical reactions and why you feel the way you do.

 

Kate

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

OK, now we're finally getting away from feelings and into the nitty-gritty of what is going on.

 

Now I'm beginning to understand the reasons why my body is reacting the way is has been. Now if I could only convince myself that it is normal for it to be taking so long, I'd be ok with it. I keep thinking it should be over by now - maybe I should stop counting the days and just let nature take its course.

 

To me, two weeks is a long enough time in my mind and if I'm still having a problem, there must be something else wrong with me.

 

Thanks so much, Kate. Your explanations are helping me accept my life at this time.

 

 





Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Me again...I was just reading your latest answer again and I think you might have misunderstood about my doses.

 

My theraputic dose of one .5 twice daily was the one I took for 12 years. Then, when it reappeared again, Hernz upped it to three .5's daily spaced out during the day plus 1mg. at bedtime. I was on that dose for two and a half months before I started tapering down, which was 14 days ago in total.

 

To me, although I must remind myself constantly I'm not a doctor or have any knowledge about drugs at all, two and a half monhs of being on a higher dose doesn't warrent this length of time for my body to get used to the lower dose.

 

What I need to know is, Kate, are you sure how long this is taking is normal?

 

Rita

 

 

 

 

Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

Rita,

 

From what I know, it can take this long to get used to a new lower dose. You spent two months getting the higher dose in your system so it does take time to get your body used to a lower dose. Dr. Hernz could tell you more about the reasons behind why it takes this long since he will understand the physical reasons better than I do.

 

At any rate, giving it time is important. You will not be harmed by a lower dose and you should feel less effects than you did before.

 

Kate

Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5578
Experience: Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Kate, the worst thing I could have done, I did and now it's coming back to haunt me. A week or so ago I googled Xanax sites and forums and they scared the wits out of me.

 

Everything was so negative and scary that now I've scared myself to the point where I can't relax. I promised myself I wouldn't do it but I did anyway. Cry

 

I haven't been out since Friday but I do have to go to the drug store this afternoon.

 

I'm sure you're tired to telling me the same thing over and over - I don't blame you.
As for Hernz, he wouldn't explain things the way you do. It's like, "I told you that you are going to have anxiety, now stop dwelling on it". Remember the last thing he told me on the phone was that it would maybe take 10 days or longer for the anxiety to pass. I believed him and now it's longer than 10 days and I'm scared all over again.

 

What is wrong with me? Cry Am I the only one like this? Why can't I stop my mind from going round and round?

 

Cry Rita

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Just go home from storel...now I know what a craving feels like. Before all I felt was anxiety but now I'd do anything to take a Xanax.

 

Dr. Hernz said I could take a .25 if I ever needed it but I think I've taken one or two back in the beginning but not since. I'm afraid to after what I read.

 

I hope to God the craving is the last to go. I think it's time to call Dr. Hernz...

 

Rita

Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

Rita,

 

You are fine. You may not feel like you are fine, but you are. You are trying to gain control over your feelings and this is what is causing you to feel this way.

 

Relax and let go. There is nothing wrong with you. All you have is anxiety. It can make you feel out of control and give you racing thoughts. It is a completely normal reaction. You have been worrying a lot about the Xanax and your withdrawal. This is going to cause your thoughts to race and for you to feel anxious. There are things in life that you cannot control. That is ok. It is the same for everyone. No one can control everything. At some point, you have to let go and let God.

 

What you need to do now is get the focus off the Xanax and onto resolving your anxiety. Deep breathing, calming thoughts and relaxing your muscles are the first things to do. Getting you down from the spiral you are in from your anxious thoughts to calmness is priority. What calms you? What helps you relax? Things like a cup of tea, hot shower, soothing music, or listening to a water fall are some ideas.

 

Next, work on your thoughts. There is nothing wrong with you. I have seen anxiety many, many times with clients. People always react thinking something is wrong. Many run to the doctor sure they will be getting bad news, just to find they are ok and they have anxiety. Anxiety dumps adrenaline into your system. It puts you on alert. You have been so focused on your Xanax and controlling your withdrawal that you have let your body get ramped up and excited. Now you are feeling out of control. But it is an illusion. You are not out of control. You are fine. I would tell you if I thought you were in trouble. I can tell that your thoughts are clear, you are speaking to me in a logical manner and you understand who you are and who others are. You make perfect sense.

 

I want you to consider a resource to help you. Try Edmond Bourne's book The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook. It provides so much information that can help you learn to calm yourself and explain what you are experiencing.

 

I am here for you. You are not alone. I will help anytime you need me.

 

Let me know how you are doing,

Kate

Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5578
Experience: Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I just downloaded Bourne's book to my Kindle. This way I have it wherever I go. I remember this book from way back when.

 

No anxiety this afternoon but extremely tired. I don't know if you noticed but when I said I went to the store it was this morning, my bad time.

 

I went to sleep last night saying all kinds of positive things, like I'm going to have a good day today, etc. I'm sure that helped me.

 

Dr. Hernz called back and said he can't tell when I'll feel better because everyone is different and metabolizes differently. But for me to go on and try to get on with life. Blah, blah, blah. Nothing explicit to help me, like you, but he basically said it's going to take as long as it takes. But that 10 day or more thing? Now he said some people don't even begin to experience withdrawal until the 10th day. I'm going to forget the 10 day thing and try to relax and take each day as it comes.

 

I really looking forward to learning how to relax my body. I'd love to be able to do that at bedtime, especially.

 

God bless,

Rita

 

 

 

Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

Rita,

 

That is good news! I'm glad you talked to Dr. Hernz. It would have been nice to know that information upfront but it does help either way.

 

I hope you have a good night, Rita. I'll be thinking of you.

 

Kate

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Well, Kate, got myself up at 7 and out of the house by 8 this morning and took my jug of urine (ugh) to the lab and got my blood withdrawn as requested by Dr. Tapino, the endo doctor.

 

I had a bit of a rough time, shaky and anxious enough to take a .25 Xanax but it didn't work. That tells me I am still not there yet because that little pill usually kicks in and takes what anxiety I'm feeling completely away. Know what I mean? But I made it by repeating over and over as I drove there that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me and He did.

 

I went to bed as soon as I got home and slept off the extra Xanax and got myself straightened out emotionally. Not to make a big deal of my morning adventure, but it was a bit traumatic for me. Anyway, I'm feeling pretty calm and trying to keep my anxiety level low by telling myself these tests will only bring good results. On the way home from the lab I started to think, what did I do now? Open a new can or worms?

There's my catastrophic thinking again.

 

Today seems a bit weird to me because my regular routine was disrupted but it's good that it was. It meant I was out and doing something real.

 

Some good news - yesterday afternoon a calmness came over me that I haven't felt in months and lasted all night. So I must be getting to the end of the tunnel. But I felt kind of strange - I can't explain.

 

I've felt either sedated or anxious for 5 months along with all that awful stuff that goes along with both that it must have had a bigger affect on me than I realize. I just realized it's bad memories that are haunting me.

 

I definitely have to get myself to go out at least once a day or so to replace the bad memories with new ones. I need a haircut and a mani-pedi. I should do that within the next couple of days.

 

I definitely want to get to church tomorrow night. Our pastor is speaking on Philippians and how to change our lives.

 


God bless,

Rita

 

 

 

 

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Kate, I keep forgetting to tell you that my endo doctor told me that the steroid injections I got for nerve pain from back stenosis could cause some of my problems but she didn't say whether she meant my anxiety or thyroid.

 

She asked me how many injections I had but I couldn't remember exactly except that I had quite a few. She mentioned that she was unaware until recently how many of these injections orthopedic doctors were doing. I was told after I had mine that doctors shouldn't do more than 3 a year to any one person. I have since learned that each injection can last in your body from 8 to 10 months and the ones at Premier where I went to used a very strong dose.

 

I called my orthopedic center today and they looked up my records. FYI: they record each procedure but in a single procedure there are almost always 2 injections given. I know that to be true in my case.

 

This year in January I had one procedure which equals two injections of steroids. In February I had another procedure which also equaled 2.

 

In 2010 I had 4 procedures that equaled out to 8 steroid injections, however, I remember distinctly on one occasion he gave me one injection on each side and one in the middle, so the total was 9 steroid injections in one year alone.

 

In 2009, I had 2 procedures done, equaling 4. No wonder I'm having such a problem with my brain cells. These injections go into the nerves in my spine which goes right up to my brain.

 

I emailed Dr. Topino to let her know how many I actually had. I said I wanted her to know just in case these injections had anything to do with her diagnosis.

 

This is not right!!

 

Rita

 

Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

Rita,

 

That is wonderful! Getting out in the morning and having a goal is a good way to deal with your anxiety. I think you are handling this in a great way. You tried the Xanax and when it did not work, you used a therapeutic technique by talking to yourself and praying until you got through it. Good for you! That is exactly how to handle it.

 

I agree, this is a big deal. It should not be minimized. This is a big step for you. And I believe you are making serious progress. The road may be bumpy, but you are progressing. You are pushing until you get what you want. That is why it is a big deal.

 

As you push yourself to go out, you may feel different things. Some days may be harder than others. What counts is that you do it. That you try. Set a goal in your mind to do something each morning regardless of how you feel. That is how you will defeat anxiety.

 

I was just going to reply and I got your second post. The number of injections sounds very wrong. If you are only supposed to get 3 a year and you have had as many as 9, then either there is a reason the doctor can do that or someone is not doing their job and paying attention. Steroids, from what I understand, can cause many symptoms. I am very interested in knowing what the doctor says in response about this.

 

Let me know how it goes. I am here for any support you need.

 

Have a good night,

Kate

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Kate, I don't know why they do so many but I must not be the only one this has been done to because of the doctor's remark that she wasn't aware until recently how many these doctors were doing and she had just finished saying that steroids could be a reason for ...................I don't remember what she said because I jumped in to tell her I had a lot done. Me and my big mouth.

 

I went out late this morning in spite of feeling really tired and got a mani-pedi and now I'm worn out. Going to take a nap so I can go to church tonight. I probably shouldn't have planned two things for one day.

 

But why am I so tired? I could have stayed in bed and slept all morning. It seems like as the days go by the tirder I get. Something must be wrong with me. I'm hoping the tests show a definitive answer why I'm still having so many problems.

 

Does anything I'm saying sound familiar to you, Kate, for someone who has gone through withdrawal?

 

Rita

Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

Rita,

 

Yes, it does sound familiar. It is very common for the amount of stress your body is under to feel more tired than usual. You are pushing yourself to face your fears. And even though you do not feel like you are doing anything strenuous physically, you are mentally and emotionally. The effort can really take a toll and make you feel exhausted.

 

Another reason you are tired is muscle strain. When you feel anxious, one of the things that happens is you tense up. You may not even realize it. But you shield yourself against the world and your anxiety by tensing. Then when you get back home, you relax some and feel a let down. This is the tiredness you feel.

 

I think you are doing so well! This is the beginning of the end of your anxiety. You are handling it well. Doing two things in one day is a lot, but it is also great practice. And you are getting back involved in life. It just takes time to get used to doing it. But the more you practice, the easier it will get.

 

I took a look at the side effects of long term steroid use. WebMD does say that you should be limited to 3 to 4 injections a year. It also says that use of steroids can cause suppressed adrenal gland hormone production, which may be what the doctor was talking about with you. I believe that has something to do with the thyroid. Check this out with the doctor, though. This is not my field so I'm not sure of this. But I thought you might want to know so you can explore it.

 

I hope you get lots of good rest. Have fun tonight!

 

Kate

Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5578
Experience: Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Dear Kate, I sent you two messages yesterday but haven't received an answer back.

 

I hope everything is ok with you. I'm just a little concerned because you always answer back quickly or let me know if you are unable to.

 

God bless,

Rita

Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

Hi Rita,

I never got the messages. There must be something going on with Just Answer. Can you resend them?

 

Sorry about that!

 

Kate

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

LaughingLaughingLaughing BIG BREAKTHROUGH TODAY LaughingLaughingLaughing

 

I felt pretty good when I got up this morning and by this afternoon I felt wonderful! Back to my old self almost.

 

So I went out to go to the drug store, then I felt so good I went and got my hair cut, then I still felt so good that I went to a large grocery and did some food shopping!!

 

When I got home I still felt good (normal) that I even had an appitite, so I made myself a thin pizza and watched Project Runway that I taped from last night.

 

It feels so good to feel good!!! Look what all I did this week starting from going to the Lab feeling very anxious, got a mani-pedi feeling so-so, went to church and felt calm, and out all afternoon and felt great. I did more this week than I've done the whole last 6 months together.

 

I know tomorrow may not be as good as today - yesterday I didn't feel so great at all - but so what? At least I know I am on my way, even if it turns out where I am right now is a place of one step forward and two steps back. I know from past experience that's the way it is in the beginning of healing. For sure I know I will pay with back pain - it's already hurting past the normal every-day pain but I don't care.

 

I needed today to help gain my confidence back. I was getting a little concerned that I might be falling back into agoraphobia but WHEW! I'm not, but that's why I pushed myself to go to the nail salon. I didn't want the experience of going to the lab so full of anxiety that I couldn't wait to get back home to linger in my mind.

 

I know I still have a way to go. As you said, I was on the higher doses of Xanax for over two months, plus, wait to you hear this....I was cleaning out my handbag and came across a list of drugs the pain management clinic had me on for over a month. I shocked myself when I saw on the list Flexeril, oxycodone, hydrocodone, tramadol, and the worst, hydrocet! There were others that I can't remember their names.....plus steroid shots!! And all of these were given to me by doctors who knew I was on Xanax! And not to mention at least 4 nerve ablations!!

 

I don't think I even told Dr. Hernz about all the drugs I had been on before he raised my Xanax dose. I think I was in such bad shape that we never got into it and then it just passed by.

 

So, because of all the above, if I were to still have days where I don't feel too great, there are two things I can be thankful for .... one, that my bad days are nothing like my I had even less than a month ago and two, I am healing. And actually, there is another one and that is I have Dr. Topino still to hear from. There is no way, to my way of thinking, that she's going to say there is nothing wrong with my either my thyroid or adrenal systems. My harmones and brain chemicals have been battered by all the ups and downs of dosages and different drugs.

 

I accept that and will take each day as it comes and not allowing a bad day get me scared. Anxiety is a scary feeling and I accept that too and will not beat myself up for how I feel when and if it comes knocking at my door again.

 

Lord, Kate, if you only knew how you've helped me until I got where I am today, you'd be amazed. I don't know how much money you earn but you are worth a lot more than you get! You have helped me more than any of my doctors and that's the honest truth, so don't go away, please...

 

To change the subject for a minute - about not getting through to you all the time. It seems when I email you on this site, I get through but when I write to you in the little box where it says something about asking another question, they don't go through.

 

Can't wait to hear back...

 

God bless,

Rita

 

 

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Kate, didn't you get my long email I sent earlier tonight?

 

I tried to cut and paste it to put in this space but was unable to.

 

Please let me know....

 

Rita

Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

Hi Rita,

 

That could not be better news! You sound so happy and I cannot help but have a big grin on my face right now. Just reading all you have accomplished in the past few weeks is amazing. The Lord has really been with you. Praise to him!

 

You have done so much work and come so far. I think about the things we talked about over the past months and the struggles. On some days you felt overwhelmed and defeated but you still pushed through and worked to make the next day better. You got advice from everyone, took what you could and made it work. Incredible strength and endurance. Good for you!

 

Yes, I am amazed as well at the list you found of the medications from the pain clinic. Man, that is a lot. It's no wonder you felt the way you did. Your body as been up, down and all around.

 

Anxiety is scary, but it's not unbeatable. And you are doing it, defeating the anxiety by accepting it and moving through it. I am so happy to hear that you went out and got a hair cut (doesn't that feel good?! It always makes me feel better), went food shopping and to the drug store. That is a full day. I believe that you can have every day like that. Yes, there may be ups and downs initially, but you have the strength to make that your everyday life.

 

I will be here for you as long as you need me. We'll work this through until you no longer need me. And that is completely up to you as to when that will be.

 

Thank you for sharing this all with me. Have a good night. I will be in and out tomorrow but I'll check in as much as I can.

 

Kate

Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5578
Experience: Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Dear Kate, Thanks for the kind words but don't give me too much credit. I really had no other choice but to get through it the best I could. Honestly, Kate, you being here for me helped in so many ways. Just to be able to talk to you and know that you'd answer me back quickly was truly a God-send.

 

Like I said yesterday, I still have a ways to go. My energy is certainly coming back and I did a lot yesterday but today, or at least this morning, is not as great. I can't wait to hear back from the endo doctor about my morning down time. I know it has something to do with my thyroid or some other gland because that's one of the questions she asked me among the many other questions.

 

I'm still having some palpitations and anxiety in the morning and I know I'm not doing it to myself. So I just have to wait and see what she comes up with. Maybe it's something that time needs to take care of. We just don't know at this moment but if I don't hear from her by Tuesday or Wednesday, I may call her office. I know she doesn't work every day because she has children, so it might take her longer to get back to her patients but I would think a week is long enough to give her. If you think differently, let me know.

 

So, I still need you, Kate, and it's such a comfort to know you are there for me and that I can reach out to you whenever I need someone to talk to. I don't know how many clients you have but I feel like I am your most important one. Thank you for that.

 

Enjoy your weekend....

 

God bless,

Rita

 

 

Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

Rita,

 

Thank you so much for saying what you did about our time together. I enjoy talking with you and I want to be here for as long as you feel you need me. Your bravery in facing anxiety is amazing and I feel privileged to help in any way.

 

I did get your request so the system seems to be working alright today. I'll send a quick note back just to be sure it works both ways.

 

What you are experiencing with feeling a bit anxious today is a normal reaction to anxiety. It usually works that way. You'll have a great day then the next day you feel a bit more anxious and not like you did the day before. It is the nature of anxiety to go up and down like that until you overcome it. Then you even out with just a few bad days here or there. Mostly it is because you are tired from the stress of the day before, your good day, and it makes the next day a bit of a let down. It's harder to handle anxiety when you feel tired, sad or other strong emotions. But you will recover and come right back. There are many more good days in your future, Rita. I have no doubt of that.

 

When you call the doctor depends on when she said you may hear about the results. Sometimes it takes a while because of the number of tests they run on the urine and blood. But if she indicated a week, then certainly contact her office by Tuesday or Wednesday if you do not hear from them. Waiting for test results is an anxiety laden process and the sooner you can get a status report or your results, the better.

 

If you are having palpitations and feeling anxious, just use your relaxation techniques (from the Edmund Bourne book) to counterbalance the feelings. The more you can learn to relax your body in response to anxiety, the better equipped you are each time you feel this way. It teaches your body that when it feels upset, it needs to relax. With enough practice it becomes almost an automatic response. So your anxiety never has a chance to escalate and become worse. This is how you gain control over your body and anxiety.

 

I will be here all weekend if you need to talk. Take care and get some rest.

 

Kate

 

 

Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5578
Experience: Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Kate, what would I do without you? I bless the day I found you online. Your explanation of why I'm feeling the way I am today is so helpful. You took away the scariness of how I'm feeling.

 

Plus I just discovered a few minutes ago that I never took my noon time dose of Xanax nor am I sure I took my Effexor this morning. I usually have all my pills in a weekly pillbox but I used the last of my pills when I went to bed last night and instead of refilling it, I thought I'd do it today.

 

Anyway, around noontime my daughter came over and we were all standing in the kitchen by the sink and I remember saying I have to take my pill (the XanaxXR). She remembers me taking the bottles out of the cabinet but not if I took them or not. But thank God, the Xanax bottle was a new script that I picked up yesterday. When I counted them, sure enough there were still 90 pills, which meant I hadn't taken one.

 

Now I'm not sure if I took my Effexor this morning right out of the container or not. I only missed one that I know of in all these years and I felt shaky, like I do now, around this time of day. But then again, it might be from not taking the noon time Xanax.

 

I'm sorry to be such a bother, especially on a weekend, but do you have any suggestions about the Effexor?

 

I know I have to be extra careful because all these meds up and down have screwed my memory something awful.

 

Rita

 

 

Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

Rita,

 

If you forgot to take your Effexor and it's been more than 12 hours since your last dose, my understanding is you skip to your next dose. You don't want to take your medication too close together. But in order to be sure, contact your pharmacy to ask. They should be able to tell you what is the right thing to do.

 

I am glad you are feeling better! Anxiety can make you feel scared, but it is such as common feeling when you have anxiety. You are experiencing very normal symptoms. It is good you are feeling like you are, Rita. It may not feel like it, but it is. The more you make it through these scary feelings and come out alright, the more you will see that it is just a feeling and cannot harm you. But to work through anxiety, you need to pass through. When you try to go around, it does not help you learn the feelings cannot harm you. You only learn to avoid the feelings, which makes them all them all the more scary. Facing fear is the best way. But you do not do it alone. I'm here and you have your family and your resources. And best of all, you have God's help and grace.

 

Kate

Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5578
Experience: Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Sorry it's so late but it's not really important. I just wanted to reassure you I called the pharmacist and he said since it was an extended release med, it was no big deal for me to take it when I did.

 

Have a good night and weekend....

 

Rita

 

~*~ I've learned...

That all a person needs is a hand to hold and a heart to understand. ~*~ Anon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

`

 

 

Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

Thanks for letting me know, Rita!

Kate

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Dear Kate, I feel like I've been on an emotional rollercoaster for weeks and weeks but especially the last couple of days.

 

I know it's probably something to be expected when you consider the bashing my brain chemicals have taken but I feel so alone and hopeless, so badly at times I wonder where is the God I love and trusted with my life?

 

I've told you before that we have 4 adult children, three boys and one girl. Our family was as normal as it could be even though their Dad was an alcoholic but I was in Alanon for many of the years they were home and my husband is a very kind and loving man. We both know the two shouldn't go together but they often do.

 

So in spite of it all, we had a pretty good home life. We had a pool and all the kids in the block would play in our yard. They had a tire swing, a tree house their Dad built, a sandbox, etc. We taught the kids to respect one another and for the most part, they did. There was no cursing allowed in the house and none of them got involved in drugs or anything like that. They never would have even thought to talk to us the way the kids do today but then again, we set the rules at an early age.

 

Soon the oldest son Joey, met his future wife in their high school when she was 15 and he was 16. She was always here and we loved her like a daughter. Our second son, Todd, met a girl from his old high school but she was only 18 and he was 25. Again, we accepted her into the family as another member. The reason I'm not mentioning the other son and daughter is because they are not relative to this story of heartbreak.

 

Our two sons had children of their own - Joey had Ryan, now 20 and Shannon, now 15. Todd had two, one, baby Todd who only lived less than a day, and Shane, who is now 18.

 

As time went on we all got along wonderfully. They all lived closeby and we had a lot of fun together.

 

 

Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

Hi Rita,

 

I understand you need to see God act in your life. But although it is hard to see from your perspective, I believe He is with you right now.

 

For one, he brought us together. As I've said before, our talks have been as rewarding to me as you have said they are to you. You are growing, learning and overcoming what held you back just a few months ago. It is amazing to see, and I believe God helped you. Although I love helping, He gives me knowledge of what you need to hear to help you feel better.

 

Also, you are reaching out to others, learning to ask for help and depending on others. You have a group of people around you that care and want to help. No one can do this alone and God has shown you that your strength not only comes from you, but others in your life as well.

 

I believe that one day, you will use what you have been through to help someone else. It may be in a minor way, but it also could save someone's life. Your experience is invaluable. It has made you stronger so someone who is weaker can rely on you. You never know when you may help someone with what you know and not even see it yourself. But that person will be changed forever.

 

There are times in my life I felt the way you do now. I had no idea why I had to go through things I suffered. But in the end, it was all made clear. That is just how God works.

 

It sounds like your family was (and still is!) wonderful! Your children seem like good people, the kind that everyone would like to know.

 

I am sorry about the loss of your grandchild. Losing a child has to be the most heartbreaking loss that can happen.

 

When you ended your post, it sounded like you may have had more to say. Is there more?

 

Kate

Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5578
Experience: Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Kate,

 

Yes, there was more to the story but I had decided I really didn't need to talk about it anymore. I don't know how it went through to you. But it's not fair to leave you hanging.

 

The story ends with our oldest and next oldest son no longer speaking to their father or me. It started over a daughter-in-law who has always been unable to completely tell the truth without exaggerating the facts. We all knew it about her but to keep peace in the family we let her get away with it. That is, until one day she accused me of something that never happened. When she found out there were two witnesses to the event that she didn't know about at the time, she turned her story around and denied she had ever accused me.

 

Instead of coming to me and discussing it, Todd went to his father to tell him what I had done and that I owed his wife an apology. Of course, Joe already knew all about it and defended me by saying I wasn't the one who was lying. Todd got so angry at his father that he told him he never wanted anything to do with us ever again. That was on a Friday morning.

 

Two days later was my 70 birthday and I had told them all I didn't want a big party, just a quiet day with my immediate family at Joey's house. Everyone agreed and Joe went and got lobster tails and steaks for grilling. Joe and I decided not to say anything to the rest of the family about what Todd had said for two reasons. First, we didn't believe he really meant what he said and secondly, it was between the four of us and the rest didn't need to know about it.

 

We got to Joey's house and his wife barely said hello to us the whole day nor did she sit with us while we ate outside around the pool. Stupid me thought her and Joey probably had a fight and kept on talking to her as if nothing was wrong. Joey sat and ate with the rest of us but really didn't say anything directly to us.

 

Todd and Sheri never showed up. When we asked why they weren't there, Joey told us we'd have to ask Todd. That really upset Joe and me. I mean, this was an important birthday for me. But as ususal, Joe and I let it go, kept our mouths shut and acted as if nothing were wrong. But it was a disaster. Tension so thick you could slice it with a knife.

 

Long story short, Joey and his wife, for some reason I still can't figure out, decided it was necessary to take sides against us and for Todd and Sheri, even though it had nothing to do with them. Our other son, Michael and Maria, stayed neutral until this day although they tried many times to get Joey and Todd to see that we were the parents and shouldn't be treated the way we were. For some reason that often made the other two angry but they never cut them off completely. As for our daughter, Jennifer, and her husband, John, they let the guys know right up front how wrong they were and they haven't spoken to their sister since.

 

Joe and I tried everything we possibly could to bring about a resolution. I never, ever in my wildest dreams thought this could possibly happen in our family. In fact, it shocked the rest of our extended family because we all got along so good. I begged them and asked their forgiveness for eveything I had done wrong to them as a parent because I knew I wasn't perfect. I tried to get them to agree to all meet with a professional mediator to work things out. Never received an answer back. All my cards to our grandchildren were returned unopened. We haven't seen them since. And they only life 10-15 minutes away. Well, they did until Todd moved his family to Tennessee a couple of months ago. Shocker?? If you knew Todd, you would say he would be the last one to move away from his family and the EAGLES games.

 

I called them before Joe's first operation on his colon and literally begged them to come see him. After that one visit they never came to see him again, even during his lung cancer operation or during his chemo treatments. They never called, sent a card, dropped in....nothing! I was told their excuse was because Michael was Chief of the PA's in the cardiac unit in the University of PA hospital, where Joe was, and they kept in close touch with him regarding their father's condition. Our Michael got Joe the top surgeons in the U.S. to do the operations. The most well-known oncologist. He sat with Jen and me during each operation, going up and down to the operating rooms getting info. Jen worked a train station away from HUP and came in to see her Dad every morning before going into work, at lunchtime, and after work.

 

I don't know why I'm telling you all of this, Kate, because both of us have forgiven them completely but yesterday morning I was feeling anxious, broody, and upset with God.

First we lost our boys, then Joe got cancer, then almost my entire back has degenerated discs and now I got this condition through no fault of my own. Talk about Job. I felt completely different than he did. I questioned God from the first incident to the last. There wasn't even space inbetween....one thing on top of another.

 

I said all that to say this....I love God with all my heart and praise Him as my Lord and Savior, but trust Him? I admit to you I have a hard time with that. Where was he when I went through 18 years of agoraphobia? I went through this same thing 12 years ago. Why am I going through it now again? Wasn't once enough? Our sons accepted Christ as their Savior years ago. Why hasn't God done anything about that? Do our prayers mean nothing? In the Psalms it says he collects all our tears in a bottle. How many do I have to cry before He says "Enough"?

 

I'm still having break-through anxiety attacks and that upset me until I realized it's only been 20 days, less than 3 weeks, that I went down on the Xanax. God, Kate, I'm so tired of waiting and waiting for something good to happen.

 

Thanks for "listening" - I'm not even going to edit what I wrote.

 

Rita

 

 

 

Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

Rita, that is a lot for one person to handle. My goodness. My heart breaks for you over the situation with your sons and their families.

 

What you need to remember is that you have done all you can do. You forgave them, tried to work it out and you have been there for them. They are choosing to act this way. Hopefully someday they will see what they are doing. Their eyes will be opened and things will change. Your daughter, thank goodness, sees this for what it is and is sticking by you. But somewhere in all of this, there is a lesson for someone. God is working on the situation, even if we cannot see the reasons behind it yet. He hears you and your prayers. He knows about the tears. But God gave us all free will and we choose our own actions. He lets us act the way we choose because to take our free will away, we would not be able to come to him and choose to be saved. We would have no choice. We also would not be able to learn from our mistakes and work to be closer to God.

 

I have a book to recommend. You may already have read it, but if you have not, it helps explain some of the questions you have. It is called The Case for Faith by Lee Strobel. I keep a copy bed for whenever I need reminders of why bad things happen to good people.

 

Have you grieved yet over your loss? Many people do not. They feel that unless they lose someone through death, then grieving is not necessary. But your situation is a loss and a big one at that. By not grieving, you prolong the pain of what you experienced and it stays with you. That does not mean this will not bother you again if you work through the grief, but grieving helps you recognize the significance of the loss and feel settled with it.

 

It is very understandable that you feel overwhelmed by the continued anxiety. I think that is why all of this came up for you about your children. You are experiencing a long period of trials and are feeling discouraged. But this cannot last forever. Nothing ever does. Things change. It may feel like you are being tested like Job and that is ok. Be upset, question God and challenge what is happening. It is good for you to do these things. You do not have to walk a straight path, you can be human. Job reacted one way, and you can react in another. As long as you are not hurting yourself or someone else, it is ok.

 

I believe God is allowing this trial for you because he is trying to show you something. You can try praying for an answer. Somewhere in all of this, it is there. God does not allow suffering without a reason.

 

I am glad you told me all of this, Rita. And you did not edit it- awesome! (not very therapeutic, I know). But I am honored that you feel you can trust me enough to share your pain. You know I am here for you, as always.

 

Kate

 

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Dear Kate,

 

Right when the earthquake hit, I was sitting in our porch/family room doing breathing exercises because I was having a pretty strong anxiety attack. Just what I needed at the time - something else happening that scared the wits out of me on top of that. I thought the roof was going to collapse on top of me and ran out the door, yelling for Joe. Neither of us knew at the time that it was an earthquake.

 

Now about my anxiety attack this afternoon, which is unusual for me this time of day. I have a strong feeling I know why it happened. See if you agree.....

 

Three weeks ago the first Xanax XR we cut back on was the one I took at night...the 1mg. Hernz said to instead take a .5 XR and a .25 regular xanax. For some reason I never dropped the .25 but instead started dropping the 5 o'clock .5 XanaxXR 4 days later That's when the withdrawal began.

 

About a week ago I began noticing I wasn't sleeping as soundly as I had been. I began waking up around 3 o'clock really restless and twisting and turning. I'd go back to sleep but it wasn't restful. I didn't feel any anxiety, just uneasy.

 

It sort of dawned on me over the weekend that my body was probably reacting to the .25 wearing off. I knew it was time to get rid of it if I wanted to get a good night's sleep. So last night I took only a .5 XR. Slept great. Felt good this morning for the first time but then had the attack this afternoon.

 

This showed me my body is still very sensitive to any change in meds and I would be susceptible to withdrawal symptoms. I have two choices on how to wean off the .25. One way would be to do what Dr. Hernz would say to do and that's just completely dropping the .25 immediately and take it from there. Or I could do what my old friend who was a neurologist always did. He would say drop the .25 every other night for 4 times, which would add up to almost a week. Then drop it every two nights for three times, which is another week, and then either drop it all together or cut the .25 in half and take it every 4 nights for a couple of nights and then drop it.

 

I know you said you didn't understand the thinking behind it but the way he explained it, it tricked the brain cells into thinking it was only getting half a dose but instead of every night, it was a slower way of doing it and giving the brain a better chance to get used to the lower dose. I hope I explained that right so you can understand what I mean. Thus the withdrawal symptoms would be less.

 

When I did it this way when weaning off an anti-depressant, I would feel some minor withdrawal but only for a day or two. I was on the anti-depressant a lot longer than I have the xanax but this xanax is harder to get off of because it's shorter acting.

 

I'd like to hear your take on this. I still haven't heard anything from the endo doctor.

 

I'm doing a personal study on Job from my NIV Life Application Bible. I tend to go to my Bible when I need help rather than a book. I know God loves me and I can trust that love. It's during the times I start feeling sorry for myself that I take my feelings as truth instead of telling myself my feelings are only FEAR - False Evidence Appearing Real. I have my head on straight again.

 

Dr. Tapino's office just called. They haven't gotten the lab results back yet but assured me the doctor will call one way or the other with the results. It's okay with me right now. I'm back to trusting God with my life, trying to do what the Bible says in 1Pe5:6-7.

Not easy for someone like me who only feels in control when she knows what's happening at all times. I've let myself slip back into my old way of thinking way too long and all it's gotten me is more of what I'm trying to get rid of and that is Anxiety!!

 

God bless,

Rita

 

 

 

 

Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

Rita,

 

I am sorry to hear the earthquake frightened you. It was very unsettling, especially if you have anxiety. Anxiety makes you feel unsteady already so an earthquake doesn't help! But I think everyone felt anxious. I noticed all the people where I was were feeling anxious and talking about how upset they felt. They were not happy at all about it.

 

It may very well be that the way you are weaning off the Xanax is causing some of your anxiety. And I also think some of it is the anxiety the Xanax was covering up. You remember feeling drugged before you started weaning. I think your dose was too high and it covered a lot of your feelings. Since you started weaning, you have had a re emergence of your natural feelings. Anxiety is just one of them. It may seem too much in light of what you are going through, but I believe it is natural. And it is good. I know, I sound like I'm talking nonsense. But feeling your feelings as compared to covering them up with medicine is always good. It means you have a chance to work through them, which is natural and healthy. And you are doing a great job doing just that. You are working on your anxiety, practicing breathing, reading your Bible and doing other healthy things to combat how you feel. So your anxiety will go away naturally and you won't need medication, or at least as much as you were on before.

 

If you feel your friend's option for weaning would work for you, then by all means pass it by Dr. Hernz and try it. It may very well be a better option. No one can say that one method works for everyone, because it doesn't. All people are different and weaning this way may work for you.

 

I am very interested in what the endo says. It's good that they did not leave you hanging and at least let you know what is going on.

 

Kate

 

 

Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Kate, the earthquake didn't frighten me. The thought that my roof was going to fall on me did. Once I found out from the neighbors that they had all felt the same thing and asking what it was, I knew everything was ok. But I immediately called my daughter. She works in the Comcast Building, the tallest building in Philly, on the 40th floor. When she answered all she said was she knew all about it and they were being evacuated and didn't have time to talk. I asked what happened but she had already hung up on me. Now that was a bit disturbing until I turned on CNN and they were just announcing there was an earthquake in Virginia. Once I knew my roof wasn't going to fall on my head and Jen was safe, I was able to sit down and get over my palpitations.

I kind of was kidding about having a reason to have anxiety when I already had it!

 

BTW, just out of curiousity, since you also felt the quake, what state are you in?

 

Anyhow, Kate, I've been rethinking my xanax withdrawal. I think I'm going to take a .25 tonight, a half tomorrow night, and continue that routine until I see how that works. Then maybe go down to half a .25 every other night and see what happens. I'd like to get done with this ASAP but with the least discomfort. I'll still be taking a .5 every night which should help some. I feel I have nothing to lose, so why not just try it.

 

Our son, Mike, just called to see what were the results of my lab tests. He said I sounded better but also that the older a person gets, the longer it takes for things to metabolize. Great!

 

Please say a prayer that the going down the xanax works without too many problems.

Things are just starting to settle down and I hate to stir things up again but I really have no choice if I want a calm night's sleep.

 

God bless,

Rita

 

Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

I am glad to hear everyone your way is ok. I am in PA as well and we felt it here. I did not feel it personally since I was driving at the time.

 

Your plan sounds good. I think it should go well. I will say a prayer for everything goes well.

 

Take care,

Kate

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Uggh! What a rotten day. I feel like I've taken three steps backwards. First off, last night at the last minute I decided to take the full .25 along with my .5 Xanax. Sure enough I woke up at 2:30 and even though I feel back to sleep it was a restless, eerie sleep and I woke up early feeling out of it.

 

I decided to call Dr. Hernz to ask for his opinion about how to taper down the .25 because I couldn't make up my mind other than I HAD to get off it. Then a couple of minutes later the lab that did the 24 hour urine test last week called and said I had to do it over again because I didn't refrigerate it. No one told me I had to and there was nothing on the jug about it.

 

I rushed out to the lab and picked up a new jug. I can't start it until tomorrow morning, which means I can't take it back until Friday. Which means the testing lab won't even start on it until Monday.

 

When I got home, sure enough there was a message on my home phone. Dr. Hernz, who never calls early, had called me during the half hour I was out. I called him back and here it is 5:15 and he hasn't called back yet.

 

I tried to call back the lab where I picked up the jug and Dr. Tapino's office but they were both closed for lunch. I wanted to find out if this test needed to be started in the morning or could I start it anytime today. I went and googled it and found out the urine test is to look for cancer. Great! I mean, I knew they were going to do a test regarding that but to actually know which one it was, didn't help.

 

My two friends came over to clean my house. We were talking about what was going on and they were wondering why it was taking so long to feel better. When I told them it was only 3 weeks today that I started the weaning down process they didn't believe me. It had to be at least two months ago. I had to show them the calander before they'd believe me. So I'm not the only one who feels it's been months and months.

 

I want to go to church tonight but I'm debating it. I'm so tired out and feeling anxious and not myself one bit. Yet that might just be the place I should go to get my mind off things.

 

Tell me again, Kate.....this is going to end someday, right? I feel like it's been forever and no matter what I tell myself, nothing is helping me today. I feel like I just break my way out of the bag.

 

You said in one of your recent emails back that you have gone through the same type of suffering, like there would be no end. Is that really true? Not that I mean you're lying, but what I mean is have you really gone through a long, drawn-out type of suffering where you felt it would never end and you would never be the same again?

 

I need some encouragement, desperately, Kate.

 

Rita

 

 

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Dear Kate,

 

You won't believe this but I just got an email from Dr. Tapino stating my lab tests weren't in yet but she hoped they would be befoe the end of this week because next week she would be on vacation!!

 

God certainly has me in a place where I have no other choice but to fully trust his love for me and his words, "all things work together for good to those who love him and are called accoring to this purposes."

 

Rita

Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

Rita,

 

I am sorry that you had such a bad day! You really did a lot and it all sounded overwhelming. But it will pass. Just the other week you were telling me how great you felt and how far you have come. That is very true and you will feel that way again. You have come very far and you have better insight now than you did just a month ago. It is because you have gone through tough times and survived. And you will this time too.

 

The tests you are getting from the endo are very standard. I had the same tests when I went years ago. I imagine that they make you give so much urine because they test for more than just cancer. But you could always contact the office and ask. The nurses will know what kinds of tests they run.

 

I know you feel overwhelmed and upset. That is natural. It may be a good idea you do go to church tonight because staying busy would help you feel better. Talking to others and keeping yourself occupied would help you cope and make the time go faster. I know that when I am overwhelmed, two things help. One, taking care of myself and treating myself to something special and keeping myself busy. The more you sit and think, the worse you will feel.

 

It may be hard for you to go out a lot, but challenging yourself will help. Find a place you would love to go to such as a favorite store or restaurant. That way, you are motivated to get there. Spend as much time as you feel comfortable spending there.

 

Try not to control this situation. So much anxiety is caused by attempts to control. You will not get the answer any sooner if you are upset about it or calm about it. Try to let go and let God. You will feel better and the results will come back just as fast as if you worried about it.

 

Also, try praying over this problem. God can provide an opportunity in ways you might not think of. But either way, you will someday have your tests results. Worrying will not make them come any faster. It will only waste your day, one that you could be enjoying. Try to distract your thoughts. Ask for help from others. Meditate on God's word. All of these things will help you pass the time and help you focus on good things.

 

Kate

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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

You are so right, Kate. Getting upset about this is not going to change one thing. I made up my mind that since God is in control of my life, there must be a good reason why this happened. I'd rather have a good test than one that might have a mistake.

 

I did go to church tonight and something pastor said really hit me hard, so I'm glad I went.

 

BTW, Kate, do you know from your studies why a person, like me for instance, physically and emotionally feels better in the later afternoon and night than they do in the morning hours? It's funny but that was one of the questions Dr. Tapino asked me as a symptom among all the other symptoms she asked if I did or did not have. It must be a physical or hormonal thing. I've felt that way for quite a while, maybe a couple of years but nothing like I feel now. Now emotionally my mornings are low. At night I feel like my old self. Any ideas or answers?'

 

I'm not taking a .25 tonight. I just can't take how it makes me feel. I'd rather deal with any anxiety that may come if I don't take it than taking it and having a bad night's sleep. It will depend upon how I feel whether I take a half of .25 tomorrow night. What's the worse that can happen? Bouts of anxiety here and there but I know why it's happening if it does. I now know it will go away if I either lay down, drink a cup of hot tea, or just wait it out. Anything is better than feeling like I have when I take it at night. I'll just have to bite the bullet and hang on to God and you, my friend.

 

God bless,

Rita

 

 

 

 

 

 

Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

Rita,

 

I would first rule out any physical reason you may feel worse in the morning. If it has a physical cause, then you can do something medical to cope with it. But if any physical cause is ruled out, then it would be psychological. If it is, then we can work on it.

 

There are some people who naturally feel worse in the morning. You have heard, no doubt, that there are "morning people" who jump out of bed with a smile on their faces. Some feel good in the afternoon, and others are night people who come alive after dinner. Some people even arrange their schedules to get up later so they can stay up late to enjoy their favorite time of day. For some, it is a matter of functioning better after noon time.

 

It could be that this is the case for you. Or it could be medication based and the fact that the medications alter your natural rhythm. Or you may feel, because of your anxiety, that mornings are hard because you must face a whole day of potentially not feeling good. Or the possibility that things could go wrong and you would have a bad day. There are many reasons and it is just a matter of narrowing it down.

 

I am glad you are feeling better about your tests. I believe you are right, this is in God's hands and the reason it is happening will be revealed someday. God will take care of you, Rita, and this will all turn out fine. Whatever it is, you will have the grace to handle it.

 

It's great you went to church! It is the place you need to be for comfort in such a stressful time. No matter how I feel, I always feel better after church.

 

I hope you have a good night's sleep,

Kate

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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Kate,

 

It's not that I feel anxious in the mornings or sick, just no get-up-and go. I'm talking about normal times, not now, although I'm getting there, slowly but surely. If I had something to do, like Sunday services, I'd be up, showered, dressed by 9:30. It probably is the meds and I'm definitely a night person.

 

Right now I'm getting my strength and energy back. Isn't it hard to believe it's only been three weeks that I've been dealing with this and it seems so much longer? Our minds and the way we think sure can play games with us, can't they?

 

Today is my birthday....I'm 76 and my grandson, Adam, turned 6. When I told him I was 70 years older than him, he said "What?" in that voice like how could that be. Too bad we all can't get together but they are down the shore almost all summer and live in Chalfont, not exactly around the corner from us. While my daughter-in-law and the kids are heading home today, they have their weekend up here all planned and then school starts Monday. Sigh....so sad but what can you do?

 

My husband woke me up in the middle of the night to see if I was OK because he said he had a bad nightmare about me. That's the second time he's done that. Clearly he's very worried about me and I'm going to have to reassure him I'm really okay when he gets home. Poor guy....

 

I slept great last night. I've only been on the .25 three weeks, so it shouldn't be too bad and I keep telling myself I'm not going to let it get to me. Given my sensitivity, if I feel a bit anxious, so be it. In the meantime I'm spending the day peeing in the jug. Whoopee....

 

I'll be in touch later to let you know how I'm doing....

God bless,

Rita

 

 

Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

Happy Birthday Rita! I hope you have a wonderful day. Cake and ice cream, I hope?

 

Three weeks can seem like a long time if you struggle with something. But on the other hand, it has been three weeks and you are doing great! The ups and downs are tough, but you have gotten through every one of them. That is something right there.

 

Is Joe just out for the day or is he away?

 

It's good to know you slept well last night. You needed a good night. It does put a better perspective on your day when you feel rested.

 

Kate

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you, Kate. No, no ice cream and cake. My appitite or desire for sweets haven't come back yet. XXXXX XXXXXves in center city at the Phoenix - do you know where that is? - and doesn't have a car since she really doesn't need one living where she does. The concourse is right under her building and she could come here by train but I told her not today. Maybe this weekend.

 

If things were still the way they used to be with my boys and their families and Jen was still married, things would be different but holidays are just another painful reminder of what we've lost. I think I told you our Michael and XXXXX XXXXXve in Chalfont, which is too far

for a run-in type of thing. I wish we lived closer to them - we get along really well and they have three of our grandchildren, 6, 10, 13. We miss each other a lot.

 

I have to say, Kate, my kids don't celebrate birthdays like we used to. Everything is different now then they used to be years ago. Everyone is too busy. None of them work a 9 to 5 job and they travel a lot. All except Michael and that's only recently when he got a new job as Director at Frankford Hospital or whatever it's called now. Allied Health? Before that he was always on call at the hospital and never got home. But I got a call from everyone and emails from all my nieces and nephews.

 

Before I forget again, it's nice to know you live here in my state. Sort of comforting in a way. I still don't know how close you are to me but at least you know pretty much where I'm talking about when I mention different places, unless you live way up in PA.

 

Dr Hernz called finally and said definitely drop the .25 but he suggested I go to half for 5 or 6 days or even longer before dropping it all together because of my sensitivity. So that's what I'll do starting tonight.

 

You're right, Kate, I'm not completely back to where I was but I'm centaily not where I was three weeks ago. I'll get back to my old self but it will take one day at a time. Hearing from the endo will be the last piece of the puzzle. At least, it better be!!!!!

 

God bless,

Rita

 

 

Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

I am sorry that your kids cannot make your birthday. It would make it so much nicer if they could be there. But it is good that you got lots of birthday wishes from your family.

 

Yes, I agree, things are so much busier now. It was supposed to get easier with all this technology!

 

What Dr. Hernz suggested sounds like a good plan. Let me know how it works for you.

 

Have a great birthday!

 

Kate

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Dear Kate,

 

Hope you are all ready for our big storm. As long as I have some type of light to read a book and my Bible, I'm fine. I hate to say this but if our electric goes out, the one thing I'll really miss is our central air. A friend let Joe borrow a small generator to keep our sump pump and frig running, so food will not be an issue.

 

I was out and about a lot yesterday. Had to take my urine jug back, then later yesterday afternoon went out to do some food shopping.

 

Dr. Hernz's idea is working fine. I feel a bit edgy but that's about it. As the day goes on, the better I'll feel. Thank God I'm not alone and have my husband with me. I hope you have a family to surround you and keep you busy and safe.

 

Let me hear from you after this is all over. I'd like to know you are okay.

 

God bless,

Rita

Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

Hi Rita!

 

It sounds like you are very well prepared for the storm! I am glad to hear it.

 

We are doing fine but I do have family that lives right on the coast, one in VA and one in NC. They both had to evacuate. One is going back tomorrow, if he can get back into the area. If there is too much damage, he has places to stay until they clear it up.

 

I'm praying that there is no loss of life and that everyone is safe.

 

It sounds like you have had a lot of chances lately to get out and get things done. Has it been helping with your anxiety?

 

Kate

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Kate,

 

Glad to hear you're okay but sorry about your family. We're fine. Didn't lose power, no trees down. That was the scary part, the trees, but God was good to us.

 

Sorry to tell you I have having a really bad time again. Last night was my 5th day of cutting back on the Xanax plus the one night I didn't take any, so it's been a total of 6 days and I'm really feeling withdrawal today. It wasn't too bad yesterday but this morning my heart is thumping a mile a minute. I'm really pumping adrenaline like crazy.

 

I was hoping it wouldn't be as bad this time but I'm finding out withdrawal is withdrawal, no matter what the amount is. Apparently once my brain gets used to a certain amount of drugs, any cutting back causes it to react.,

 

I'm not as scared as I was before but withdrawal wears my body down. I'm doing the relaxation exercises but right now they aren't working too much because the withdrawal symptoms are continuous....I want to take some Xanax so bad, even a half of .25, to stop the palpitations but I know I can't.

 

I know it's Sunday and you deserve a day off, but when you get a free moment tomorrow, could you please "talk" to me? Remind me this is natural under the circumstances, if it is? I need some encouragement and reassurance I'm going to be okay again.

 

I'm sorry for asking the same thing over and over but this is what it does to you....it's scary and you can't think straight.

 

Blessings,

Rita

Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

Rita,

 

I don't mind talking with you at all, on any day! I am sorry you are having a rough time of it.

 

I understand that the anxiety feels overwhelming. It has a way of making you feel that anxiety is all there is in your life and there is no relief. But that is not true.

 

You nailed it when you said that the adrenaline feels like it is pumping like crazy. That is what is causing you to feel this way. But that is all it is. Just the adrenaline. It doesn't feel good, but it cannot hurt you in any way. Your heart can beat fast and you can feel strange and unable to relax, but none of that will hurt you.

 

What are your thoughts lately? What have you been thinking about? Are you focused on anything in particular? Think back over the last few days. Pay attention to your feelings for those days. For example, you may have been thinking about grocery lists but underneath you may have been trying to hold back feeling upset or sad about something. That can trigger anxiety to get worse without you even realizing it.

 

Withdrawal can also be part of how you feel. You are right, as your body adjusts and you cope with the side effects of withdrawal, you are going to feel some anxiety. That is normal. Once you adjust to the lower dose, you will feel better.

 

Keep in mind that going off of your medication allows your body to regain it's normal functioning. Anxiety is part of that. Not that you should have anxiety as a normal part of who you are, but that dealing with your anxiety without the use of Xanax is a better way to eliminate your anxiety. Xanax covers your anxiety, it does not cure it. So you still have anxiety, you just don't feel it because you are taking a drug to cover it. There is nothing wrong with that, but it does not give you the opportunity to resolve the anxiety once and for all. But without the Xanax (or any other drug), you have the chance to learn to cope and eventually resolve your anxiety. That gives you power, power that you cannot have relying on Xanax.

 

It's good you are using your relaxation techniques. But if they ones you are using are not being effective enough, try other ones. There is no rule that says you cannot try other options to help you resolve your anxiety symptoms. One that I like is picturing yourself floating on a calm lake or pond. See yourself laying on your back with your arms and legs out. Look around you and see what you can find- a bird flying through the sky, the breeze blowing some flowers, the feeling of the sun on your face. Put yourself into the moment with all your senses. See, hear, smell, etc. Focus on letting go. Let your worries and anxiety wash over you. Take a deep breath and let your muscles relax. Try it and see how you feel.

 

Rita, I am just fine with you contacting me anytime about how you feel. It doesn't matter if you ask 20 times a day, I am more than happy to talk with you. Your need to talk about how you feel and have reassurance that you are completely normal is a very natural part of anxiety. It could even be considered a symptom because it is so common for anxiety sufferers to feel the need to hear that they are ok. So ask anytime.

 

Kate

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Category: Mental Health
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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks, XXXXX XXXXX the reassurance I'm okay. I just want this done and over with, hopefully for the last time. Before, as soon as I was starting to feel better I had to start all over again and that stinks. I just want to get to the place where I can let my body rest, including allowing my brain chemicals a chance to get used to one dose for a while without changing things again.

 

Two things, Kate. You said something Dr, Hernz and I talked about years ago - which came first, the panic attacks or the dysfunction of my brain signals? We came to the conclusion it doesn't really matter in the long run which came first - my history shows I definitely have Panic Disorder.

 

Attacks of anxiety is something I never experienced before this past March. Of course I never went through drug withdrawal before either but we noticed the anxiety when he raised the Xanax XR and while it stopped the panic attacks, it didn't touch the anxiety. That's when he said something else was going on and wanted me to get my thyroid tested.

 

Second question....before I go on line to look them up, do you make relaxation tapes for your clients. The scenerio you wrote out sounds really peaceful and serene and I'm definitely going to try it. Relaxation tapes work really well for me because I tend to think in picture form. If someone tells me something, I see it happening in my mind.

 

I'm really glad that if I have to go through withdrawal it's now and will be over by the time the endo doctor gets back to work the Wednesday after Labor Day. I know she is going to give me some sort of med because she wrote on the office visit statement they give you a copy of, that hypothyroidism and unexplained anxiety was the reason she is seeing and testing me. Any how, I'd rather start taking new meds with the old ones out of my system first. Otherwise, how could she tell what was doing what?

 

Thanks for being there for me, Kate. It is because of you and all the things you've explained to me about anxiety that has taken the fear of it away from me. I still don't like it and it does upset me, but it would upset anyone under my circumstances but thank the Lord, the fear is gone.

 

I know this is anxiety from withdrawal because my heart is pounding again. Well, it will just have to pound away for now. My heart rate is 92 - still under a hundred - and it will go down soon.

 

Blessings,

Rita

 

Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

You are welcome, Rita!

 

I need to clarify something. Are you saying that you did not have panic or anxiety before you started Xanax? If not, why did you start taking it? Did you just have anxiety before and that is why? I just want to be sure before we talk about your anxiety attacks.

 

I am glad you found the relaxation imagery helpful. I do not personally make tapes for clients, but I do suggest different relaxation techniques. I also find certain books helpful, like the Edmund Bourne one I mentioned to you. If you get stuck and can't find anything helpful, let me know. We can work on something that will help you.

 

I hope the endo doctor doesn't need to give you anything but if she does, at least you will have some answers.

 

If you are feeling anxious, keep trying your relaxation techniques. And don't forget deep breathing. It helps. If you need to talk more, I'll be here.

 

Kate

Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5578
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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I had panic attacks first for many, many years along with agoraphobia plus panic for 18 years. Xanax along with Effexor XR were the only meds that totally stopped all attacks.

 

The anxiety started when I got the panic attacks back again when they were triggered by (according to Dr. Hernz and a Dr. Freeman, endo doctor) withdrawal from opiates and high pain levels. I got awfully scared by the return of the panic attacks that I couldn't control my anxiety. I thought I would never have them again and if I did, Xanax would stop them.

 

However, because Dr. Hernz was away the first 10 days of the new panic attacks, my gp didn't know how to handle the attacks or Xanax and I was too afraid to up the XanaxXR so by the time Hernz got back from vacation, I was in a total full-time high anxiety mode. Hernz double-upped my XanaxXR from one .5 twice daily to two .5's twice daily but that made me feel so sedated which only made me more afraid and upset that he finally spaced them out during the day.

 

I stayed on that dose of one .5 three times daily and 1mg at nightime (because I couldn't sleep) for almost 12 weeks until I finally settled down and I felt less anxious. But that much Xanax was too sedating and I begged him to decrease the Xanax, which he did starting August 4th, which started withdrawal symptoms, which started me feeling anxious, which scared me, which elevated my anxiety, round and round. In the meantime I finally got to see the endo doctor on the 12th of August but I was still experiencing withdrawal anxiety.

 

Did I explain that so it's more understandable?

 

Kate, I was just looking up the tests the endo doctor ordered and none of them have to do with my thyroid, I think.

 

 

 

Did I explain that so it's understandable?

 

 

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I had panic attacks first for many, many years along with agoraphobia plus panic for 18 years. Xanax along with Effexor XR were the only meds that totally stopped all attacks.

 

The anxiety started when I got the panic attacks back again when they were triggered by (according to Dr. Hernz and a Dr. Freeman, endo doctor) withdrawal from opiates and high pain levels. I got awfully scared by the return of the panic attacks that I couldn't control my anxiety. I thought I would never have them again and if I did, Xanax would stop them.

 

However, because Dr. Hernz was away the first 10 days of the new panic attacks, my gp didn't know how to handle the attacks or Xanax and I was too afraid to up the XanaxXR so by the time Hernz got back from vacation, I was in a total full-time high anxiety mode. Hernz double-upped my XanaxXR from one .5 twice daily to two .5's twice daily but that made me feel so sedated which only made me more afraid and upset that he finally spaced them out during the day.

 

I stayed on that dose of one .5 three times daily and 1mg at nightime (because I couldn't sleep) for almost 12 weeks until I finally settled down and I felt less anxious. But that much Xanax was too sedating and I begged him to decrease the Xanax, which he did starting August 4th, which started withdrawal symptoms, which started me feeling anxious, which scared me, which elevated my anxiety, round and round. In the meantime I finally got to see the endo doctor on the 12th of August but I was still experiencing withdrawal anxiety. She didn't really talk to me, just asked a lot of questions, then ordered the tests that I looked up and none of them have anything to do with my thyroid, it seems. Okay, I'm telling myself she just wants to rule out every possibility that something else is wrong first, that's the reason for the tests.

 

Did I explain that so it's more understandable for you? First the panic, then the Xanax, then the return of panic attacks, then anxiety, then meds, then lowering meds, then anxiety from withdrawal, then more anxiety because of that.

 

Rita

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX understand. I was interested in how this all got started because it explains a lot.

 

Kate

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Kate, I hate this answer box. If you got the information already, please excuse me. It just disappeared as I was typing.

 

In case you didn't get it, I want to explain that I am anxious, like anyone else would be, to hear the results of the tests the endo doctor ordered. Most people only have to wait a few days or a week at the most to get the results back but it will be three weeks and more before I get mine.

 

Plus to add to the anxiety is I don't know why she ordered the tests or what she is looking for because she never gave me a chance to ask. She did ask why I was there and I explained about the new panic attacks and that Dr, Hernz seemed to think my anxiety was coming from my thyroid and had taken me off of the thyroid meds. That's all I got to say before she started asked me multiple yes or no questions as she quickly typed my answers into her computer. So fast that I didn't get a chance to even explain why I said yes or no to a question.

 

When she was done, she got up, handed me a printed form and told me to get the tests on them done and come back to see her in 4 to 6 weeks. She explained she was checking to be sure I didn't have a lump or cancer but not to worry because that was very rare. I thought we were going to another place to sit down and she was going to tell me what her diagnosis was or at least what she thought but she didn't.

 

She walked me out the door and walked away and as she was going around the corner, she leaned back and said she call me if she found anything and that was it.

 

It wasn't until I was in my car that I realized I had no clue what just happened. So I got the tests done and you know the rest. Because I didn't listen carefully enough, and the lab tech never questioned why the urine bottle wasn't cold when I handed it to her and the lab taking a week to even begin the testing, plus the doctor going on vacation on a holiday, here I am, waiting and waiting.

 

I'm trying my best to see the bright side but for someone like me it's hard to do, I really have to work on it. Plus I'm not at my best. It will be just my luck to have the lab either under three foot of water and I'll have to do it over again or they have no electricity and won't get it done for two weeks instead of one. I'm kiddding.....

 

But God will get me through and I have a lot of people praying for me.

 

Anyway, I'm going to bed and count my blessings and think of myself floating on a beautiful tropical pond, looking up at the palm trees and beautiful birds flying around.

 

Wake me when it's all over.....

 

Rita

Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

Rita,

 

I think all of your posts have come through so far. I received the explanation of your history of anxiety, which helped a lot. And I got this post. If there was another, it may have been lost.

 

It seems the endo doctor did not have the best bedside manner! She sounded unconcerned about your situation (which may be a good sign!) or she just sees so many people that she is too busy for more than the basics.

 

I do not think she had enough information to give you a diagnosis yet. Endo doctors work off the test results so they cannot tell you much ahead of time. Their diagnosis comes when the test results come in.

 

It is a long wait, more than usual. August is a tough time to get anything done because of the number of people off for vacations. I bet the doctor is not the only one off on vacation. The lab people could be as well. But everyone is making their way back soon so your results should be first priority.

 

I know it is hard to wait. No one likes to sit and wonder what is wrong, if anything. The best you can do is distract yourself. The days will pass and soon you will know. Then you can deal with whatever it is or be relieved it is nothing. But worrying more is not going to change what the results are. You are already living with whatever you may have (if anything) so you are coping with it.

 

God will care for you regardless of what happens. It is in His hands.

 

Kate

Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5578
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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks, XXXXX XXXXX telling me that endo doctors work off test results. I never knew that before but hearing that helped a lot. GP's work off symptoms and give you an answer right away. I guess I expected the same thing from her.

 

How I wish I could talk to you in person. I had a real spiritual awakening this morning regarding why anxiety has taken over a large part of my life. It goes back to my childhood and the person who raised me. She was my step-grandmother, although I didn't know that until I was 10 years old. She was married to my biological grandfather, an immigrant from Italy who could never read or write and had all the old-world ways of thinking. My biological mother was his daughter. His wife died in childbirth leaving him with 4 children and he needed a mother and she had a child out of wedlock and needed a husband, so it was a marriage of convenience.

 

The woman who became my step-grandmother, his wife, was a mean-spirited, controlling woman who had nothing good to say about anyone, including her step-children, one of which was my mother.

 

I was born in 1935 as a "love child" which was frowned upon society and a disgrace to the family. I never knew my biological father but I do have a picture of him and I know his name. He was married with children and went back to his wife at some point in time. My mother lived in Atlantic City as a waitress in a bar. Another disgrace and her landlady watched me while she worked.

 

My step-grand hated my mother. Being the type of woman she was, she would have found some reason to dislike her but my mother really gave her a good reason when she had me. My step-grand felt it was a disgrace for me to be living where I was, so she went down the shore while my mother was working and literally stole me away, telling the landlady she had permission to take me.

 

From what I understand, my mother knew she couldn't take care of me and because her brothers were all living at home and she knew they wouldn't allow anything to happen to me, she figured it was best to let step-mom take care of me. What she didn't know but found out the hard way that step-mother would do whatever she had to do to make sure my mother never got me again. In the 1930's women didn't have any rights nor money. It was during the depression.

 

She forged my mother's name in secret to a notary notice that said she was allowed to adopt me and change my name. And that's exactly what she did. My name on my original birth certificate was Joyce Madeline W***. When I was adopted at 2 years old, my name was changed on my new birth certificate to Rita Marie T******.

 

So there I was at 2 years old suddenly being called a different name and had a new mother. Traumatic? you bet it was. I recall with clarity standing up in my crib crying for my step-grandmother and clutching her dress that I was able to grab hold of, smelling it to comfort myself because I was afraid she was never coming back. Seems strange but not really. I already knew somehow that I had lost my mother and what would happen to me if this woman left me too. I was able to prove this happened because it was my so-called brother (really my uncle) and his girlfriend who lived next door who were baby-sitting me while mom and pop were out. The ended up getting married and I was able to ask her if this really happened or was it something I dreamed of. She said no, it really happened, and they had a terrible time getting me calmed down again. Isn't it amazing what a child will remember and be able to figure out?

 

So step-grand, called mom, and grandfather, called pop, raised me. Brothers went away to war. Mom's idea (Here We Go - TA DA) was that anyone who had any misfortune in their life was because they either were a bad person or did something bad and GOD WAS PUNISHING THEM. This is what I heard day after day and year. I distinctly remember one time she really scared even herself. She had an argument with the shoe repair man while in his store and she told him to drop dead....that afternoon he did! She later said he deseved it.

 

Her way of controlling me was through fear. I was told that if I didn't do what she told me to or talked back I was a bad girl and she would send me to live in an institution called The Home For Wayward Girls located in West Philadelphia. Not only did she threaten me with that but she also took me there to show me it was real, and it was, believe me. So of course I tried to be the best little girl I could but I was doomed to never pleasing her. You see, she kept changing the rules but never told me about it. What was good today was bad the next day.

 

Now Pop, being the uneducated man he was, plus Italian, never hugged me or told me he loved me. But what he did tell me over and over again all my life until he died when I was 20 years old was that I was a bad girl because I HAD BAD BLOOD IN ME FROM MY MOTHER. She was a whore and therefore, so was I.

 

The day I found out they weren't really my parents is another story for another day. All I'll say I was 10 years old and was lied to in such a way that tramatized me forever. If you are interested in hearing it, I'll tell you tomorrow. But I'm sure from what I already told you, it's clear where anxiety and fear came into my life.

 

Tomorrow I'll tell you when I had my first panic attack and why. Or maybe it was my second one - the first one when I was in the crib. Anyhow, the second one was when I was on a trolley car all by myself at 5 years old going to school. The reason I was all alone is not to be believed but it happened.

 

So my fear, panic attacks and anxiety did not come out of the blue. Maybe this will help you help me.

 

Rita

 

 

 

The Holy Spirit helped me realize this and many other things this morning. I'm glad I was alone so I had time to cry out to God and cry with God. I truly believe I received a spiritual healing today. Right now I feel drained but okay. It's a lot to take in all at once.

 

Now I'm sort of glad I have to wait for the results of the tests. If I had them already, I wouldn't have received the gift I did today from God. Why He picked today to open my eyes I have no idea but I know His timing is never wrong.

 

The anxiety is still there....I am still going through weaning down on the Xanax....but it's not

Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

Rita,

 

Reading about your childhood brought tears to my eyes. Oh my, you really suffered. I would love to be able to give you a hug right now if I could. I am so sorry you had to go through such horrific abuse.

 

Your step grandmother was quite a story unto herself. She was horribly abusive, cruel and very ill. If she did those things today, she would be in prison, I have no doubt of that.

 

It always amazes me how grown adults can do such things to small trusting children.

 

The pain you suffered must have felt overwhelming. Torn from your real mother, which is a huge loss and caused you such grief and confusion. The lack of safety, comfort and a sense of being loved and cared for were all missing in your life. On top of that, you were made to feel ashamed by the adults in your life. Shame about yourself and your mother, who you were torn from. And your father abandoning you as well. Rita, that is a lot. I can understand very well why you would develop anxiety. You were made quite familiar with all the facets of anxiousness.

 

Your childhood, though, made you who you are today. No one would want to go through what you went through, but if any good was to have come out of it, you are that good. You survived, grew strong, are a good person, married a great man and raised a wonderful family. And most of all, you have your faith. That is a gift that is most precious of all.

 

I knew there had to be a reason you are going through these tough times right now. You not only had the experience this morning with the Holy Spirit helping you heal, but you have given me a gift as well. I will never forget your story the rest of my life, or the person you were able to become because of what you suffered. The gift of Heaven is for people like you, Rita.

 

Please, if you will, share the rest of your story. I will be away in the morning tomorrow for an important appointment but I will response as soon as I get back.

 

Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX sharing this with me.

 

Kate

Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Kate, I'm not having a great day mentally. A copy of my test results came and it said my A.M. Cortisol level was 30.0 - flagged as High.

 

Also, they couldn't do the HIAA urine test because the specimen submitted for testing has pH less than the allowable range.

 

I don't know what this means and I am a bit apprehensive about it. Can't talk to the doctor because, as you know, she's on vacation until next Wednesday.

 

Rita

Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

Rita,

 

From my understanding, higher levels of cortisol means more energy. So if you have higher levels in the morning, it would account for more energy. Because your level was flagged as high, it may mean that you feel more nervous energy in the morning, which is when you said you have the most difficult time of your day. Excessive energy could be interpreted as anxiety.

 

Are you allowed to redo the urine test? You could call the lab and ask. Or call Dr. Hernz and see if he has any input about what your test result means. He may be able to give you some insight until your Endo doctor comes back and can interpret for you.

 

In mental health, it is recommended that with a high cortisol level, relaxation techniques can help reduce the cortisol level to more acceptable levels. Try some of your relaxation exercises when you wake up to see if you feel better. It would not hurt and it would help you in two ways- to keep you relaxed until you hear from the doctor and to help bring your cortisol levels down.

 

I am sure that there is a good reason for your levels and that the doctor will have answers for you.

 

Kate

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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Dear Kate,

 

Thanks for your answer. You always have an answer that makes more sense than any doctor. I called Hernz because he asked me to when I got my results. I told him what the test showed and whatever he said really didn't make much sense or reason. He certainly wasn't reasurring or discouraging either way. All he said was Dr. Tapino would take everything in consideration and then tell me what she thinks.

 

He also asked me how I was feeling and when I tried to tell him as honestly as I could, like I'm feeling much better but still get bouts of palpitations here and there, he said "Wonderful" like it was something great. Joe said I went on from there sounding like I was trying to convince him the reasons I was still experiencing some anxiety, such as my body is still healing from a lot of stress, I'm been up and down on meds for some months and I'm not better yet. He just said "uh-hu, uh-hu" Didn't seem concerned or not concerned but no reassurance I was right. Bah Humbug!!!

I have this feeling that the excessive energy comes from the high level of stress I've been through this past year and a half, not to mention when my husband was ill for a whole year. Add that length of time of stress, no wonder the level was high. But I may be all wrong....I'm no doctor. But I believe you are right, it might be worthwhile to do some relaxation exercises before I get out of bed in the morning and also some mental relaxation techniques, like praying, instead of just jumping out of bed and trying to get myself together after I'm up. Does that make sense?

Oh, another thing about Dr. Hernz...today he said he didn't think I needed any thyroid meds! The reason he sent me to her was because he thought I was taking too much and needed the dose lowered. He also said most people do not have the 24 hour urine test done in their lifetime. He has me so confused I could scream.

Please help me, Kate, to understand what is going on. Tonight will be the first time I'm only taking one .5 Xanax XR at bedtime. I slowly weaned down. Am I still in the weaning off period with some withdrawal symptoms? Please tell me before I drive myself nuts.

Personally, I think my poor body and brain cells (or whatever was affected in my brain) are not going to get regulated until they have time to be allowed to settle down to the same routine of meds. Again, you can tell me if I'm wrong.

Sigh.....

Rita

Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

Rita,

 

It sounds like Dr. Hernz might not have had his total attention on your conversation! What you said is not "wonderful" but it is information he should note. He may have meant that since you are feeling better, it is a good sign. Or he could have had an off day and was distracted. It happens to everyone.

 

Yes, you have been under a lot of stress lately, which could very well explain your levels. That, plus going off your medication and upping your anxiety from that would easily explain why you have so much cortisol. And higher levels of cortisol itself does not necessarily indicate a disease. Higher levels are common in people with anxiety. So I would not take your test results as an indication that there is anything wrong.

 

Definitely start the relaxation techniques in the morning. It would be good for you to start the day feeling more relaxed and centered. Even after you are done and are out of bed, keep reminding yourself to breath deeply. That will help you wake up and get yourself going, and also serve to keep you relaxed. When you get enough oxygen in your body, it does good things. You may even want to consider exercise in the morning. A brisk walk (maybe at your local mall or walking trail) or even join a gym. The benefits to you would be enormous. And it would burn off the cortisol and give you a positive outlook for the day by increasing your "good" hormones.

 

It may be that Dr. Hernz is right about most people not seeing an endo doctor, but in my experience each person who has seen one, including me and a family member of mine, had the 24 hour urine test done. It is a bit curious why he would say that.

 

Just a question, do you have access on your insurance to an "ask a nurse"? That may be another source of answers for you. Some insurance companies offer that benefit and it can be very helpful. Nurses are often a bit better than doctors with the bedside manner and therefore explain things more patiently and thoroughly.

 

I am happy that you are already down to taking one .5 Xanax XR. That is wonderful. You may not feel so excited about it, I understand, but from where you have been just a month or so ago, it is great improvement. In the beginning, you said that you were so anxious about withdrawaling but look at where you are right now. You should be very happy with yourself. You've done so well handling this stressful time.

 

You may still experience some anxiety with the continued withdrawal, but you have very little in your system so it probably won't affect you too much. Your body is used to dealing with much less Xanax in it's system that you have very little to adjust to. Your body can handle a lot of stress so taking your meds down just a little more won't do much. When you consider what kinds of stresses drug addicts put their bodies through and they can still get sober, you are hardly exposing yourself to much, though it does not feel that way, I'm sure!

 

I will pray for you. Let me know how it goes!

 

Kate

Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Kate, I can't exercise walk because I have degenerate disc disease in my spine - severe steno sis. I can no longer go to big grocery stores, malls, etc. I am in constant pain every day but if I do anything too strengerous (sp?) I am in extra bad pain, like three days worth. Been to doctors and surgeons and they all say because of my age I'm not a good candidate for surgery....the healing process, if the operation even worked, would take at least a year. I cannot stand in one place longer than a few minutes without enduring additional pain. That's why they got me to take opiates, which started this whole thing.

My dearest friend from church is a nurse and she's been a blessing from above. She, and also my neighbor across the street, said Dr. Hernz is wrong by saying none of the test results have anything to do with my thyroid. I don't know if they are right or wrong but I believe the Holy Spirit is telling me not to worry because everything is going to be okay. It has to be Him because I have an anxiety and feel at peace, which is a miracle considering who I am and how I react. ;-)

You are right - look how much better I am today than I was the beginning of the month. I just need more time on one dose routine to allow my body and brain to get used to and time will take care of the rest.

And Kate, you did read that I am taking one .5 XanaxXR three times during the day, right? Hopefully in time, my body will let me know when it's time to get rid of another dose and when it does, I'll know and do something about it.

One of the many things I have learned to accept is that everyone is different and how they process meds is not always the same. I'm 76 and I'm sure that has an effect upon how I process medicine or anything else. You know, Kate, in spite of it all, I'm not doing too bad for my age. I am just going to relax and take one day at a time.

I do know one thing, though. If my endo doctor wants to do another test, she will have to sit and take the time to explain to me the reason why she wants it done.

God bless,

Rita

Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

Oh, I am sorry to hear that, Rita. That sounds so painful. You must be a special person indeed to handle all you have going on. I will pray for healing for you and relief from the pain.

 

I am glad to hear that you have a nurse you can talk to. See, God does put the right people in your life! Nurses are surely some sort of angels because they help so many with their kindness and knowledge. I could not survive without the nurse in my life. She helps me with so many things.

 

Yes, I understand about the Xanax. When you are ready to reduce again, you will know.

 

You are doing so well for your age! I always think of you a bit younger just by how well you do. You go with the flow, use your resources and reach out to others, all signs of a person who is wise and flexible!

 

Have a good night, Rita.

 

Kate

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Kate,

 

I am feeling so disheartened this morning. Yesterday was a perfect day for me. Slept well, woke up feeling relaxed, not one moment of anxiety all day, and I went to church last night. So wonderful to feel back to myself.

 

This morning, not so good. I was wakened in the middle of the night with strong pounding heart. Even though it passed and I went back to sleep, I feel tired and drained.

 

This was my second night with just .5 Xanax. I dropped the 1/2 I was taking along with it two nights ago. I think that had something to do with what happened last night. What do you think?

 

When is this ever going to level itself out?

 

Rita

Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

Rita,

 

Yes, you will level out. This is the nature of anxiety. It goes up and down until it levels out. So you are very normal. Even a person without anxiety has good and bad days. They react differently because they are not coping with anxiety, but it is the same. They have days they feel off and days they feel great. For you, the goal is facing those days without bringing anxiety into it.

 

Just the fact that you are having this many good days is a sign that you are recovering. Try to take encouragement from the good days. And when you have the bad ones, use the relaxation techniques and other things we have talked about to help you through.

 

You want to take the bad days as opportunities to build up your good thoughts and your techniques in allowing the anxiety to pass over and dissipate. By reinforcing your responses to the anxiety, you can become so used to using them it becomes automatic.

 

Use the relaxation techniques, journaling, positive thoughts and imagery to help yourself calm down. Also, eat a good diet today. Make sure you get the protein, vegetables and fruits your body needs to handle the additional stress. Try a vitamin B today so you help your nervous system to calm you down.

 

Also, try not to think about your Xanax reduction. Sometimes when you concentrate on the possibility of increased anxiety, you have a self fulfilling prophecy. But when you think that a reduction is something your body can handle because you are strong, you have a different reaction and you are not as anxious.

 

Keep trying, Rita. You are working your way through this and doing a great job. God is with you and cares what happens. He is thinking of you right now. You will be just fine.

 

Kate

Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5578
Experience: Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Kate, I'm holding on to the words you wrote, that this will level off eventually. That's all I need to hear right now. I'm not saying that all the other things weren't good or I'm not going to do them, but just that I needed that reassurance this too shall pass and before I know it I will have more days in a row of feeling myself. I have to hang on that to be able to do the other things.

 

I have B vitamins down stairs and I'll take one when I go down and eat something healthy.

 

It's just that I don't feel healthy, Kate, and it scares me, I have to be honest. How can you feel so good one day and so down the next? Hopefully when Dr, Tapino gets back to work and finally gets back to me, she might have some answers.

 

I just want this to be over, Kate. I'm tired of dealing with it.....just keep reassuring me that what I'm feeling is normal under the circumstances.

 

Rita

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hello, Kate

 

I just received an email from Dr, Tapino and she stated that my urine test came back Ok and hoped I was tolerating the lower dose of anxiety medicine I am taking. She will be back to work next week and if I have any questions I can ask her then.

 

So I guess I have no thyroid problem and no other problem that is causing my anxiety.

 

You said " Yes, you will level out. This is the nature of anxiety. It goes up and down until it levels out. So you are very normal

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hello, Kate

 

I just received an email from Dr, Tapino and she stated that my urine test came back Ok and hoped I was tolerating the lower dose of anxiety medicine I am taking. She will be back to work next week and if I have any questions I can ask her then.

 

So I guess I have no thyroid problem and no other problem that is causing my anxiety.

 

You said " Yes, you will level out. This is the nature of anxiety. It goes up and down until it levels out. So you are very normal". Kate, I don't understand what you mean. Are you speaking of the anxiety that was caused from the drugs I was on and the withdrawal I went through? That those two things caused the anxiety and in time as my body adjusts to the drugs I'm taking now, the feelings of anxiety will disappear, slowly but surely?

 

Rita

 

 

Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

Rita,

 

I am glad you heard back from the doctor. That is good news! That means you just have the one issue to deal with and we can work on that together.

 

The anxiety you have is something you can control. The withdrawal is uncovering your anxiety and you are feeling it now. Before, you were taking a lot of Xanax and it was covering the anxiety. Now it is coming out from the withdrawal. But this is a good thing, Rita. Drugs help take the edge off anxiety but they are never supposed to be the answer to getting rid of the anxiety. That is what therapy and self help is for. Therapy and self help are both highly effective in treating anxiety and once you learn the skills to deal with anxiety, you always have them. You do not need drugs.The anxiety goes away and cannot come back because you have the skills to get rid of it if you do feel anxious again.

 

You are doing just fine. This is how anxiety works. One day is good and the other is not so good. What makes a difference is your ability to see it for what it is and use all the tools you have to respond to it. You do have the ability to rid yourself of the anxiety. You are learning them now and are working to put them into practice.

 

The first step is to understand that anxiety does not control you, you control it. Anxiety comes from your thoughts. At this point, you may be so used to thinking of the anxiety as controlling you that you do not recognize your thoughts as causing you to feel anxious. But whenever you say to yourself that the anxiety controls you, then you cause yourself to feel anxious. Start paying attention to your thoughts. Are you telling yourself something is wrong? That you are not in control? Are you catastrophizing? These thoughts convince you that you are in trouble and that is what causes the anxiety.

 

Practice telling yourself that you are in control. Because you are. You can tell yourself that you are ok, and you are.

 

Rita, you are ok. I see nothing about what you are telling me that makes me think something is wrong. You may tell yourself that there is something wrong, but that is part of the anxiety. Anxiety is fear of losing control. You are not losing control. You are very much in control. I have known many people who feel the way you do and none of them have ever lost control. You will not either.

 

Kate

 

 

Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
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Experience: Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Dear Kate,

 

The only thing I can think to do is accept this is where I am for right now - that God loves me and is taking care of me - tell myself positive affirmations over and over again - let go of trying to figure out why I have this and how long it's going to take to get over it - give the fear and/or anxiety to God when I'm feeling it and do my relaxation exercises the best I can. None were written in any particular order.

 

I also have to keep telling myself over and over this too shall pass, so that I don't lose hope.

 

Right now at this minute trust in God's love and care for me and acceptace is about the best I can do.

 

BTW, I again did what I said I wasn't going to do and went to the Wikipedia site and read Benzodiazipine Withdrawal Syndrone. From your years of experience, is what they said in the article true?

 

Rita

 

 

Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

Rita,

 

I do not know how authentic the article is since it is Wikipedia. The source for the article is often not stated on Wikipedia and when it is, it is not authenticated. So this article could be completely wrong or it could be right, there is no way to tell. Since it is not reliable, I would not use it as a source of correct information. It will only confuse the issue.

 

Your best sources are in places like WebMD or Drugs.com, if you need to look online. Although they are not as reliable as your own doctor(s), they are better than Wikipedia.

 

Although your anxiety may be caused in part by the withdrawal, some of it also may be the anxiety you had before you took Xanax. At this point, it can be both as well so treating your anxiety as we have been is important. It will give you the tools you need to help yourself until you can get back to the levels of Xanax (or off Xanax).

 

Let me ask you this, have you had any other symptoms from your withdrawal besides anxiety?

 

If you feel the positive affirmations work, that is the right thing to do. Any positive thinking and letting go of your anxiety is going to help you. Each person finds their own way to work on the anxiety they feel. Having so many resources can help you find your own self treatment to work through your anxiety. Letting go is also a very good way to face the anxiety.

 

Try tomorrow to do something that challenges your anxiety. Make some time to go out somewhere enjoyable, for example. Facing how you feel will give you strength and help you feel better.

 

A good night's sleep will help you as well. Since you did not get one last night, a solid 7 to 8 hours will make a big difference.

 

Kate

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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

What I mean about positive affirmations I mean positive things about God and his love for me....things like that all during the day. The most positive thought I need to remember that I seem to have forgotten is that with God all things are possible. What is out of my control to make better doesn't mean God can't.

 

I have to put my focus more on God and His truth than on my problem, which I haven't been doing. You are so right....the more I keep focing on my problem, the bigger it gets.

 

I also suddenly realized I have a resourse right in my own church that I have not considered using. My Pastor's daughter

Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

Rita,

 

I think part of your reply was cut off. I wanted to wait to respond until you had a chance to finish your thoughts.

 

Kate

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Kate, I sent another email but I guess you didn't get it. Our church has a counceling center. He is the director and his daughter has Masters degree in art therapy. I was thinking of maybe seeing her. She is also continuing on her education.

 

I did speak to her about counceling and she said she does teach relaxation therapies but thought I should have everything checked out medically first.

 

I emailed the endo doctor and told her I was still experiencing anxiety and since that was why I came in to see her and she did the urine test first, did that mean there was nothing wrong with my thyroid. I also told her I had waited two months on August 12 to see her and now my next appointment isn't until Sept. 13. I explained that was a really long time to wait if she thinks my thyroid needs to be checked, especially because of my anxiety.

 

I don't know when I'll hear back from her but honestly, Kate, can't I just have my family doctor do the test? I could have that done next week and be done with it. I'd see another doctor in the association, not the one I usually go to. I really didn't care for his demeanor and a friend said this other doctor was much nicer.

 

What is puzzling to me is why I can feel so good one day or one afternoon and night and so bad the next? It just doesn't make sense. My husband still thinks my body (or brain) hasn't settled down to the new dose yet. I don't know what to think.

 

Dr. Hernz told me to call him when I heard back from Dr. Tapino, so I called him this morning. Now let's see how fast he returns my call. In the meantime I'll tell him I'm still experiencing periods of anxiety....some lasting longer than others and see what he says.

 

Other than that, all I can do is be still and let God work, hard as that is.

 

God bless,

Rita

 

Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

Rita,

 

It is a good idea to see a therapist for your anxiety. I'm not so sure about a therapist trained in art therapy since that is a different kind of therapy than you would benefit from. It is much like seeing a cardiologist for a cancer diagnosis. Though if she is continuing her education she may have had more training geared towards regular counseling since her art therapy degree. Just keep that in mind when you see her.

 

Though I agree that you should eliminate the medical causes of your anxiety first, working on relaxation and other anxiety techniques does not hurt. And in case your anxiety is not medically based, you will already have the skills and resources in place to help yourself resolve the anxiety.

 

The endocrinologist needs to do your tests because that is what they specialize in. If regular doctors performed the tests then they would need additional training in the endocrine system to understand and interpret the tests. To use a similar comparison, it would be like seeing a regular doctor for a heart problem. You can do it, but you will not get the answer you could get from a specialist. And you want to be sure that your thyroid is not causing your anxiety. An endocrinologist can be sure because that is their training and it is all they do.

 

It is very common with anxiety to have up and down days. When you didn't have anxiety, didn't you have good and bad days? And there was little explanation for it. Just some days were ok and some not. You just didn't notice it as much.

 

Anxiety is very dependent on your thought process. If you think positively, you have a chance at facing the anxiety better than if your thoughts are negative. It also has to do with how tired you feel, stressors in your life and the support you have around you. Anxiety is a disorder that makes a person hypervigilant so every mood change and physical sensation is magnified. Since anxiety is about the fear of losing control, people with anxiety try to control what is around them and themselves so they don't lose control. This is why every day bad day feels so overwhelming and why the days are so drastically different from each other.

 

You can help yourself by changing your focus. Don't let the anxiety be what dictates your day. You decide how you want your day to go. If you did not have anxiety, what would you do with your day? Then do it. It may be harder because you feel anxious, but anxiety cannot stop you. You have faced off with anxiety before and won, there is no reason you can't do the same thing now.

 

Rely on God, remember that you are loved and cared for, and pray, a lot. God promises that he will care for you. That will not change, anxiety or not.

 

Kate

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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Dear Kate,

 

I realize everyone has good and bad days but even during my worst, and there have been many, I never got as anxious or experienced the heart palpitations that I do now. Yes, there were instances in my life that consumed my thoughts for days and weeks but none produced what I am feeling now. Not even close.

 

This started when I went off the opiates. Today and yesterday my heart is constantly pounding. The relaxation techniques help for a bit and then it's back. I feel like I've taken a giant step backwards.

 

I've heard about something called "rebound anxiety" from going off or weaning off Xanax but I don't know too much about it. Do you?

 

I know I'm not doing this to myself or else I would have had it before this. I'm sure my thinking isn't helping matters but I honestly believe something else is going on. What, I don't know.

 

Only God and His Word is holding me together. Cry When fear that this will never change comes into my mind, I repeat over and over Scripture I've read today, especially "Fear Not"....and all the scripture I can remember that go along with those words. I hear the Holy Spirit telling me "Be still and know that I am God" and that's what I'm trying to do as much as possible.

 

I got what you said about the councelor. And my GP. What is so hard with Tapino is that she only works three days a week and it makes it hard to get an appointment without waiting weeks.

 

What I need right now is to get out of the house but I have to wait for Hernz to call me back. My Blackberry isn't working and I'm waiting for my daughter to pick me out a new one. But I can sit out on my open back porch and walk around the yard, which I'm going to do.

 

This too shall pass.....

 

Rita

 

 

Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

I understand Rita. I think it is a good idea that you wait until your medical situation clears before any final decisions are made where the anxiety is coming from.

 

Rebound anxiety occurs when a person is withdrawaling from Xanax or other similar drugs. It occurs because the blocked receptors in the brain become hyperactive from the lack of Xanax blocking them. They sort of come alive but overreact. This is only one theory, however. Other researchers feel that you would get a sedation effect. It is not clear to me which theory would be more accurate and since they may have done studies on this theory since it was written, your doctors may know more.

 

Have you explored the idea of taking another medication while you withdrawal from Xanax, maybe something less addicting? I know we talked about Ativan before, and this is still an option. It would at least give you something to control your anxiety until you withdrawal from the Xanax.

 

Keep reading the scripture and trying the relaxation exercises. Going off Xanax is a very good thing you are doing, Rita. Try to keep that in mind. You are made of tough stuff and you will get through this. God will help. And we will keep working on answers to help you. I'm here for you.

 

Kate

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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Kate, Since I last emailed you I got this reply back from Dr. Tapino:

 

As we discussed at your visit, your last thyroid blood test was fine-- off of
the synthroid. Thus, I do not think the thyroid is contributing to your symptoms
at this time.

I also gave you a slip to have AM blood work done. Have not received. If you
did it, please call the office and tell them where so they can obtain.

Otherwise, at this point, we have not found an endocrine cause for your
symptoms.

Hope that helps,
DrTapino

 

I called the lab and the ACTH Plasma results were 43.0 and were included on the sheet with the urine results. The 43.0 is right in the middle range where it should be, as I read it. I guess she overlooked it but I emailed all the findings across the page to her.

 

Well, from what she states, I have no endo problems, thank God. Therefore, I asked her if it was necessary for me to keep my next appointment.

 

Thanks for reminding me about the Ativan, Kate. I forgot all about it. Dr. Hernz hasn't called back yet but I will ask him about them. I do remember him telling me though that I could take a .25 Xanax if I needed it. I've taken maybe 5 this whole time. I'll also ask him about the rebound theory.

 

I bet he doesn't call since it's a holiday Friday. We'll see....

 

I know I owe you the 2nd part of my story. I haven't forgotten....

 

Blessings,

Rita

Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

Rita,

 

That is great news! I am very happy to hear that you do not have any thyroid problems. You must be relieved to not have to wait for the news until next week.

 

The Ativan should help but if it doesn't, there are other medications that are not as addictive as Xanax that could help take the edge off your anxiety. There is no need to suffer feeling as bad as you are right now.

 

I would very much like to hear the second part of your story. I have not forgotten the first part and was just thinking about it this morning. That is why I said that I think you are strong and have coped with this all so well. You have gone through so much and are more than a survivor, no matter what you are faced with.

 

I hope your night goes well. You are in my prayers,

 

Kate

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you for your prayers, Kate. I appreciate them so much but I feel God has already been answering them when He put us together. What a blessing you have been to me.

 

Dr. Hernz did call back just a few minutes ago. He said "no" to the Ativan or anything else because he doesn't want to change anything right now and take a chance of me having any side-effects. He knows that I won't abuse the .25, even if I remember to take one. And I'm going to if I need to, to be able to go to church on Sunday morning. Instead of staying home because I feel a little shaky, I'd rather take one and go. I have to learn to be good to myself but I always tell myself I shouldn't have to take one, like I should be stronger and be able to handle the stress.

 

Hernz also said he believes this is my body still adjusting to the new doses because we upped the meds for over two months and as soon as my body got used to the doses, I got impatient and wanted to lower them again. He forgot that I was so sedated I was stumbling all over myself, etc. I'd rather deal with anxiety now than be on the higher doses. He said patience was not my strong suit and he's right but I reminded him that I also had over a months worth of narcotics in my system when he started upping the Xanax.

 

Know what, Kate? I just realized something. No wonder he had to raise the XanaxXR so high!! He had to overcome the high (for me) doses of opiates I had been on steadily over a month plus here and there for months before that were in my system.

 

He also stated that the fact I am having good days and afternoons, shows I'm getting better. Now if I wasn't having any at all, then I'd be in trouble. He said just be patient and let things settle down and I will be okay.

 

Please don't worry about me taking a .25 here or there. I agree with you, I wish I had something less addictive to help me but I won't allow myself to get too used to them, believe me.

 

Hope you have a great weekend. Remember, it's Labor Day and I'll try to let you have some rest for a change.

 

God bless,

Rita

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

Rita, I agree. God did put us together and I am glad for it.

 

You are right with the Ativan. A small dose to get you through will not affect you and will help you face these situations until the Xanax stabilizes. I understand Dr. Hernz's point of view though. He doesn't want to make this situation worse for you. He wants you to have a clear idea of your side effects from the withdrawal so you and he can tell what is happening with you. It makes sense. But I see your side of it as well.

 

Yes, I recall you saying how awful the sedation was from the high doses of Xanax. You really disliked that feeling, and with good reason. Who wants to feel sedated all of the time? That is no way to live. And Xanax on high doses is not good for you. It is a difficult drug to manage on low doses as it is. Weaning off is very smart.

 

I also agree with Dr. Hernz when he says that having good days here and there means that you are getting better. It says that the withdrawal is working. Your mind is clearer, you have better control over yourself and you are healthier now that the Xanax is lower. Once the anxiety is stabilized, you should feel good.

 

Keep in mind too, Rita, that Xanax is known as a short acting tranquilizer. So if you are withdrawaling the medication, it should have a short life in your system. Adjusting to a lower dose can happen quickly, which is good in that you are trying to get back to a therapeutic level. And you are doing this correctly. A slow weaning of the medication is the right way to counteract any possible severe reactions. Are you considering going off the medication completely? I ask because you did mention once to me that you are considering staying on Xanax. I don't know if you thought about it yet but just in case.

 

I would love to hear from you this weekend. I don't have too many plans so I will be available most of the time. Do you have plans?

 

Take care Rita. I will pray that God is with you as always,

Kate

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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Dear Kate,

 

Remember, I'm on the extended release form of Xanax. Right now I don't feel like I can go any lower because of my panic attacks. That's why I went on it in the first place. It does stop the attacks, I have to say that but it's getting to the theraputic dose that's hard.

 

I used to take one .5 XR in the morning and another at bedtime. Worked for years until the pain narcotics got into my system, then they overrode the Xanax. Right now I'm taking three a day. One in the morning, one at noon and one at bedtime. I don't feel that I can get rid of the noon one yet. Maybe I never will because my body has changed. Time will tell.

 

What's hard in getting off the XR is that you can't cut it in half, although I do at times.

I keep reminding myself what I am dealing with is a whole lot better than a lot of other people have to bear.

 

No plans for the weekend. Today my friends are coming over to clean the house for me. I love them - we get a lot of laughs. If my two sons were still around we'd probably have a gathering at one of their houses but those days are sadly gone forever. But our daughter, Jennifer, will be here tomorrow or Monday.

 

Hope you're weekend is a lazy one for you. I don't know if you're married, have kids, or not but however it is, I hope you are not alone.

 

God bless,

Rita

Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

Yes, I remember the Xanax is time release. But the effectiveness still decreases as the day goes on and that was what I was mentioning.

 

I was also thinking that you might be able to switch medications to something different. If you are on something that is less potent and has fewer side effects, it might be easier to work with. Just a thought.

 

I would love a lazy weekend but that hasn't happened in a while! I do have a family and they keep me pretty busy. I hope your weekend goes well.

 

I'll talk with you soon,

Kate

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Dear Kate,

 

I had a restless, anxious sleep last night and woke up very early but I decided to get myself together and try to go to church even though my mornings are not my best time, much less than after a bad night's sleep. But I got there, just barely, and even though it was tough (dizziness, palpitations,nausea) I stayed until the end of the service.

 

I had to take an extra .25 but that didn't really work. I'm happy that God gave me the strength to stay.....that's all I prayed for. Of course by the time I got home I was exhausted and like a wet dishrag.

 

Two of my friends, one a doctor who had to wean herself off big time pain meds and another friend who also had panic attacks and depression at one time, both assured

me this too shall pass in time and to just hang in there.

 

I hope they and you and Dr Hernz are right about that. I honestly have my doubts but all I can do is put my trust in God's perfect will for me.

 

I forgot to tell you something wonderful that happened to me yesterday morning. I was asleep and all of a sudden I heard a man's voice say my name, Rita, like he was trying to wake me up. I raised my head and said "What?" and looked at the time on my new radio clock. The time was 7:30. Here the timer never went off as it should have at 7 am for me to take my morning pill! It wasn't Joe because the bedroom door was closed and I wasn't dreaming.

 

I believe with all my heart that it was my guardian angel, Jesus, or God, my loving father.....it definitely was supernatural.

 

God bless,

Rita

 

 

Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

Rita,

 

Wow, that is a wonderful thing that happened to you yesterday morning! I do agree, it probably was heaven sent, whoever it was. God does love you and looks out for you. I know that in my heart. I also believe that there are angels all around us. God sends them to be with us and help us. And if you pray to God for help, you can also pray that your angel stays with you to help. That is a blessing we have as Christians.

 

It is also good news that you went to church today regardless of how you felt. It is progress. I do not think that you would have felt as strong just a few weeks ago. But you have changed and grown in strength. You are starting to develop a pattern of overcoming your feelings and pushing through to do what you want to do. That is true progress, Rita! Think of the strength it took you to attend services today compared to another person, who may have just got up, got ready and went out the door. Your ability to face the anxiety and push through shows your incredible strength, endurance and your bravery. God was with you and you did it. That deserves a celebration.

 

Your friends are right. It takes endurance to go through what they had to do but they did it and so can you. I have no doubt you have the strength. But I'm not so sure you believe it. I have worked with many people who have anxiety and I can see you have the ability to overcome this anxiety and live the life you want to live. You just need to believe it yourself. There will come a day that you get up, get ready and leave your home without thinking about anxiety. It may not be tomorrow (or it might be!), but it will happen.

 

Keep working on all of the techniques we talked about. Relaxation in the morning, facing the anxiety knowing that it is just a feeling, getting as much rest as you can, and eating well are all basic things you can do to help yourself feel better.

 

How is the book you downloaded? Has it helped at all? I am curious about your input so I know if the author's approach helps you or if it doesn't.

 

I hope you have a better night's sleep tonight. And remember, this too shall pass. Repeat as often as necessary. And don't forget all of the good days you have had. You can have many more as time goes on.

 

Kate

 

 

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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Dear Kate, I don't know if it was because of the anxiety that I had this morning while putting myself in a situation I wasn't comfortable with, but I had a really anxious day today. I had to take another .25 to relax before dinner. It worked.

For the past couple of days I have taken a downward spial. I just pretended it wasn't happening. So I just went up to the top of this page and read my way down. I only got part way down when I realized I haven't been doing a lot of the things I did before.

I didn't want to admit it until I broke down this afternoon that I'm almost back where I started when I began emailing you. I had a lot less anxiety than I have now. I'm back to believing the withdrawal should be done and over by now. It's been 5 weeks!

I have to get back to doing some of the things I did earlier. Like telling myself tomorrow will be a good day and doing my relaxation techniques more often.

I'm a mess of anxiety, Kate. It's almost continuous again.

One thing I realize I did wrong was I went off two .5's withing four days. I should have taken a much longer time to wean down with the first one before I started the second one. Four days is not nearly long enough to wean off one Xanax. But where was Hernz? But can I really blame him when all I did was talk to him on the phone for a few minutes instead of taking the time to get in to see him in person?

So here I am back to the beginning but I do have more understanding what to do about it.

I have to stop now, Kate. I don't want to talk about it anymore and get myself stuck in anxious thinking tonight.

Rita

I am going to have to get in to see Hernz as soon as he

Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

Rita,

 

I agree that going back and doing some of the things we talked about to ease your anxiety is a good idea. I assumed that you were doing these things all along, which I should not have done. I should have asked. It is easy to get sidetracked when you are struggling with the anxiety and all that goes with it. Plus the stress of the endo situation probably did not help.

 

Seeing Dr. Hernz as soon as you can to get yourself back on your medications and weaning the right way will help a lot. Two reductions in such a short period of time is too much. Getting back on your other dose will help. Hopefully, Dr. Hernz will give you a better time frame in which you can start reducing again.

 

Telling yourself that tomorrow will be better is very good to do. Also, the relaxation and the book we talked about will go a long way to help. Anxiety is one of those things that needs constant attention or it can slip back into feeling overwhelming and can get out of hand. What other things do you feel would help? How about we make a list and see if you can print it out and keep with you? That way, you can keep track of what you have done, what will help and what you need to do more of.

 

Let me know how you are doing tomorrow. I want to stay on top of this with you so we can get back to where you are feeling more confident and your anxiety is more under control.

 

Kate

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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Dear Kate,

 

I am so discouraged. The longer the time goes, the worse the anxiety is. Or is it really panic attacks I'm having. They are severe enough that it's hard to tell.

 

I agree I have to go back up to my original dose but which one? The one at 5 PM that was only a .5 or the nighttime one that was 1mg.? I'd rather it be the .5 but then again, I'm not sleeping well. I fall asleep somewhere around 11:30 and wake up during the night and then again around 6 o'clock feeling restless. That is not enough sleep for me and when I take the .5 at 7 AM, it does nothing for me.

 

Of course I have to wait until I see Hernz but who knows when he has an open appointment, especially this short week. And I'm not sure I trust him anymore. Remember, he's the one who said he was certain it was my thyroid causing the anxiety and when he found out it wasn't, he said it was me causing it.

 

I bet you ten to one he will say the reason he weaned down so fast was because I complained about the sedation and wanted to get off as fast as possible. My answer to that is I did say that but he is the professional and should have given me all the facts of what would happen if I went off fast and off more slowly and let me decide which option I wanted to do. I had no clue. I personally would have taken the slow route. Bourne says in his book never to taper off Xanax more than .25 a month!!! Dr. Hernz just doesn't seem to be the caring person he used to be years ago when I first met him. But who knows what's going on in his personal life?

 

Anyway, do you have any idea what is going on here, Kate? Is it anxiety, panic attacks, tapering down, or what? I hate to go back up on the Xanax only to find out after all this time I was close to getting better.

 

But why is it getting worse rather than getting better? I had to take a .25 again this morning and the anxiety/panic went away but I had to take a nap afterwards. I've taken more in the past two days or so than I've taken throughout the whole month of August.

 

I'm baffled, discouraged, and starting to feel hopeless. I know I have control over things but yet I don't when it comes to stopping these attacks. I know I'm not going to die or lose control, or have a heart attack. But what the hell happened to my brain 5 months ago?

 

Could those narcotic drugs plus the added Xanax really throw me into this kind of withdrawal? I hope he has the answer. I think tonight I'm going to take 1mg of Xanax to get a good night's sleep and then call him tomorrow morning. Unless you have a better solution.

 

Rita

Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

Rita,

 

I am sorry that you are having so much trouble with the anxiety. Yes, tapering off is probably causing some of the symptoms you are having. Xanax withdrawal is not easy and it does cause anxiety. But I also think that some of the anxiety is caused by your thoughts. Anxiety is like that. You don't realize how much your mind responds to what you think. You can literally talk yourself into an anxiety state if you choose to. But that is also how you get yourself out of anxiety, by changing how you think.

 

Going back on some of the Xanax, a very small dose, is a good idea. What you are doing now, by taking the Xanax when you feel anxious and not taking it consistently could be causing you to feel more anxious. The Xanax needs to be consistent in your system then you will be able to reduce the level slowly. If you are taking additional doses here and there, it throws your system off balance. Take the lowest dose you can get away with, probably the .5 at the same time every day, and see if it helps.

 

Talk to Dr. Hernz about your situation. I know you said that you do not feel like you can trust him. But right now, he knows your situation and can at least help you to get your Xanax back to the normal withdrawal levels. Then you can think about changing doctors or getting a second opinion.

 

Once you have your dosages back to normal, use the other resources you have to help you get through this time. You need to start addressing the part of the anxiety that does not have to do with the Xanax withdrawal. You can control part of your anxiety, at least. Go back to what we were trying before. Relaxation exercises, deep breathing, listening to tapes, listening to Christian music as you fall asleep and asking others to pray for you. Also, have you tried Melotonin at night for sleep? It is a natural substance that you can take to help you fall asleep after you wake up.

 

Also consider switching to another medication or trying the Ativan more often. At this point, with your symptoms, you need something else to take the edge off until you can feel better.

 

You are ok, Rita. You are talking to me, making perfect sense and thinking clearly. You are just anxious. It feels awful but you will get through this. This will pass and you will feel better. Keep trying. The symptoms will not hurt you. They just feel awful but that is all. You will get better. We will keep working on this together.

 

Kate

Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Dear Kate, I can't take another medication because Dr. Hernz said no at this point so as not to confuse things.

 

I definitely will try the melotonin. Any special brand?

 

So, what I think you are saying is go up another .5 at dinner time and see if that, added to the .5 I take at 10 helps my sleep pattern.

 

It also seems you are saying that I am still dealing with withdrawal symptoms? Am I right?

 

Rita

Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

Rita,

 

I understand that Dr. Hernz feels that adding another medication would confuse things. But it also may help. It is not uncommon for people to try more than one medication at time to help ease symptoms. I also can see that he wants to keep you clear so he can tell what symptoms are from the Xanax withdrawal. But it is a balance between him needing to see the symptoms and getting some relief for you. Just a thought for you to consider. You may also want a second opinion just for input.

 

No, there is no certain brand of Melotonin. They are all the same. Walmart carries it in the vitamin section if you shop there. It is around five or six dollars. Try the 1 mg. to start. And be sure you are already in bed when you take it so when it gets into your system, you are ready to go to sleep. The effects do not last long, which is why it is over the counter and easy to take for everyone. You can take it when you wake up in the night to help you go back to sleep faster.

 

I think taking the extra .5 Xanax may help. But I would clear that with Dr. Hernz. And staying on only the doses you are taking and not taking any extra would be a good way to start you back on the right withdrawal path. You need this stabilized so you can start withdrawaling again without the extra symptoms. And this time, see if Dr. Hernz will keep you on this dose for a while, maybe a month or so.

 

You may be dealing with Xanax withdrawal symptoms. It is hard to tell. But the way you are feeling makes me think that you have at least some withdrawal. I do believe that the rest of the anxiety is your thought process, which is something you can work on and control. It just takes some work but we both know you are tough and can do that easily!

 

What do you feel about going back to some of the basics we worked on and trying this again?

 

Kate

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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Kate, I hate to tell you but I looked up possible side effects of taking melotinin and one of them is possible anxiety. ;- )

 

Rita

Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

Rita,

 

I took a look at the Mayo clinics list of side effects of Melotonin. Here they are:

 

If you choose to take melatonin supplements, side effects may include:

Daytime sleepiness
Dizziness
Headaches
Abdominal discomfort
Confusion
Sleepwalking
Nightmares
Melotonin may interact with various medications, including:

Blood-thinning medications (anticoagulants)
Immunosuppressants
Diabetes medications
Birth control pills

I did not see any anxiety side effect listed.

 

I do allow my 14 year old daughter to use it because of trouble sleeping. Her doctor is aware she uses it and thinks it is fine.

 

It is completely up to you whether or not to use Melotonin. You have to judge for yourself what you feel will work and what will not. If you feel uncomfortable with Melotonin, you can try a warm milk or a similar remedy.

 

Kate

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Category: Mental Health
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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Darn, Kate, I wish I knew this earlier so I could have picked up some. Hopefully the extra .5 I took today will help tonight's sleep.

 

Strange but I haven't had one bit of anxiety since I took the extra .25 regular xanax this morning.

 

When does your daughter take the melantonin? If she happens to wake up during the night or in the early morning? How long does it make sleep last?

 

Rita

Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

Rita,

 

My daughter takes the Melotonin whenever she has trouble going to sleep or if she wakes in the night. We let her have a bottle and she regulates it herself. She will tell me when she takes it and keeps me informed of her sleep habits.

 

She usually uses it to get back to sleep. Melotonin has a short life so it does not last long in your system. That is why when you take it you should be in bed so you do not miss it's affects.

 

If you choose to take it, let me know how it works for you.


Have a good night!

 

Kate

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Kate,

 

Did you think I left town? Tuesday night we didn't have any electricity due to an accident up the street and last night I went to church.

 

During the day Monday I went out around 10 a.m., not a good time for me yet but before I went out I got an email from the endo doctor telling me I should have had two, not one, urine tests done and would I please get the other one done. Tech read the script wrong. This test is for catecholamines and metanephrines. I looked them up and they have to do with the adrenal gland.

 

Sort of pisses me off because she didn't even notice it wasn't done until I emailed her and asked if there was any test that could be done that would indicate why my mornings are not my best time. She indicated that when she looked up my chart, that's when she saw the test was never done. Good thing I asked her another question or she would never have found out the adrenal test was never done. I don't understand because when I asked her if I had to get two urine tests or just one, she said only one because the other one was normal.

 

About the melotinin - it worked really great. I wish I had known about it earlier. I sure could have used it. It helped me until the extra .5 XanaxXR kicked in, so I only had to use it for two nights.

 

When I said the .5 kicked in, I meant the sedation part did. I felt it especially today. A little dopey and sleepy, so I just stayed in. It's only one extra pill but do you know how long it takes before the sedation goes away? You know how I hate that part of it.

 

One good thing, though, is that the anxiety palpitations are almost gone. A few here and there during the day for a short while which tells me maybe I needed the extra Xanax for now.

 

I don't know why I didn't remember this earlier but I remember Dr, Hernz telling me that you need to stay on one dose for at least some months (can't remember how many) to allow the brain chemicals settle down before deciding whether to taper down or not. Like I said before, he never should have allowed me to taper down 1 whole mg. within 4 days like he did. But that's done and over and can't be changed.

 

Another reason you haven't heard from me is because of something my Pastor said Sunday and continued on last night that really caught me up short. All this time I have been totally concentrating on what's been going on.....am I going to get better? When am I going to get better? Suppose I don't get better, etc., etc.,etc.

 

The one thing I completely put out of my thought process was that God was in control of this whole situation. I know I said I was praying and listening to Christian music and so forth but looking at the truth that God was in control and would use this for my good as some time or place never caught my attention for too long.

 

Every time I asked God what he wanted me to do (meaning what to do to get better) He always answered back, "Be still and know that I am God". I'd think, yeah I know that and before too long, like maybe ten, fifteen minutes I'd be back looking for a solution to my problem.

 

Last night Pastor said that we all, at one time or another, walk around carrying our burdens but God carries both us and our burdens, so why not just let go and drop them at Jesus' feet? I realized he was talking about me. That's exactly what I was doing. Instead of allowing Jesus to be in control and trusting him, I was trusting myself to find the answers. What a foolish woman I've been.

 

I'm so tired of this whole thing. I'm tired of trying to fix it. I'm tired of talking about it. I'm just tired, period! When I first got the news I had to get another urine test it brought back memories of how hard it was for me to get to the lab and back again and I got very anxious. But that was like almost a month ago, right? Besides, now I am trying to think of it in a positive spiritual way. It's happened for a reason. I don't the reason but God does and that's what is important.

 

Please don't think I suddenly have it all together spiritual-wise, Kate, 'cause I don't! Far from it but the important thing, I believe, is now my eyes are open to the truth. It's going to take a while for this new way of thinking to filter down from my brain to my heart but I'm on the right path, so it will happen as long as I keep it repeating God is in control over and over again until it once again becomes part of my natural way of thinking.

 

I also canceled my appointment with Dr. Hernz for tomorrow. Now that all the endo tests aren't competed, there's no real reason to see him yet. I told his receptionist to tell him I upped my Xanax by .5 and he never called me back to say anything.

 

I'm okay and I hope I didn't worry you but I would appreciate any info you have on the XanaxXR sedation and kicking in time line.

 

Until I hear back,

God bless,

Rita

 

 

 

 

 

 

Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

Rita, it is so good to hear from you! I must confess, I was a little concerned today about you. I hadn't heard from you so I was praying for the best. But I know God has you, so you were in good hands!

 

I am so happy you found what you needed to hear from your pastor. Isn't it funny how you just think you are going to church to hear something that will add to your ChristXXXXX XXXXXfe then boom! You get the seat knocked out from under you. God has His ways of getting us to listen. And you are right, you had been hearing that God was taking care of you but maybe you were not taking it in like you thought you were. So He got your attention in another way. I can't tell you how many times that has happened to me. And I thank God I did not choose to sleep in on those Sunday morningsWink

 

The endo doctor missed your second urine test. Hmmmm. Good thing you did check in with her. It is frustrating when the patients need to be the ones who keep up with everything. But I guess with doctors being so overwhelmed, that is what it has come to. At least now you will have your complete testing done and know the correct answers to your thyroid situation.

 

I am glad to hear that the Melotonin worked for you! Now you have another option if you have trouble sleeping. It's very good news.

 

With the Xanax XR, if you took just one extra dose then the sedation feeling should reduce or go completely away within 12 hours. But if you are staying on the extra dose, then it could be up to two weeks before your body gets used to it again. You are on a high dose so your body will have a limit as to how much you can take before you feel sedated all of the time. Much of the effect you experience also depends on your individual body chemistry. How fast you metabolize, whether or not you are sensitive to medication, etc all effect how you react.

 

A good night's sleep will help. That usually helps your body readjust. Drink lots of water and eat every 3 to 4 hours. This will help your body rid itself of the extra side effects of the medicine.

 

You are getting through this, Rita and doing great. Look at how much you have learned and grown with God in just these past months. The reason you are going through this will come to light. But I think you already are seeing the benefits!

 

I'll be praying for you,
Kate

 

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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Dear Kate,

 

Thanks for the info. I know you think I'm on a high dose of Xanax but for someone who has panic disorder it's not much at all. It's a shame that the withdrawal is so severe but it's the best med out there for this disorder. Believe me, I've tried them all and this is the only one that takes them away completely. I'm sure you know this already but I'm actually on a low dose than most panic sufferers. Thank God for that.

 

There are some people who choose not to take drugs and use other methods to deal with their attacks but I'm one who chooses not to deal with it at all. Not only that but apparently from my past medical history I've had these attacks off and on since I was a young child, only we didn't know what they were at the time.

 

Mine started young but the time I remember the most was when I was 16 years old. That one lasted 2 years and I had agoraphobia along with it. It's a terrible thing to have to deal with and it takes so long to get under control again.

 

Look at me - I was already on the XanaxXR but when the attacks popped up again, it's still taking me a long time for my brain chemicals to adjust. When I got the first attack again in late March and finally got hold of Dr. Hernz's associate, I asked him if I would get back to myself again and this was only a week after they began. His answer was "It's not if but when". I sure learned the hard way what he meant.

 

I just want to get this urine test over to rule out my adrenal gland isn't producing too much adrenaline and then I want to just slow down and get better. I hope I get the script for the test in the mail today so I can get it over with.

 

I know I'm in God's hands but giving up control is so hard to do. To sit back and accept what the day brings is stressful in itself for someone like me. But like they say, practice, practice, practice.

 

Thank you for your prayers....I thank God for bringing you into my life.

 

Rita

 

 

Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

Rita,

 

I understand. Panic disorder is very hard to deal with. It is one of the most difficult and trying disorders. Given the childhood you experienced, I think it is natural that you would have something like panic disorder. You went through enormous trauma! And panic disorder is very common, along with PTSD, with people who have experienced abuse.

 

Your dose of Xanax XR is not high, it is in the normal range. But for you, there is a limit before you start to feel the sedation effects. Some people have a lower threshold for Xanax than others do. For you, that threshold seems to me to be about where you are now, maybe a bit more.

 

Yes, there are other ways of healing from panic disorder. Therapy and self help both have proven to be the best methods. But you are right, it is a matter of choice. Some people feel that therapy is too upsetting and don't want to go through it. Others feel taking medication is the best option. And still others don't want to deal with the side effects of medicine so they choose therapy. It is all up to the individual.

 

It will be good to get the urine test completed! You need to know if part of the issue is adrenaline in your system.

 

Until you know otherwise, all you can do is deal with this as if it is just panic disorder and nothing else. God will get you through no matter what.

 

Kate

 

 

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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Dear Kate,

 

I just realized I never clicked on the Accept thingy but I just did now. I don't know where my brain is anymore. And about the $3.00 fee instead of my usual $8.00 one. It has nothing to do with you but about finances. I hope you understand.

 

I ended up Friday choosing to go to the hospital to pick up the 24 hour Urine Test script when I called and found out it would take 24 weeks for it to be mailed to my house. On the way home I picked up the red bottle and I'm doing the test today so I can take it in to the lab tomorrow. I also stopped and did a little shopping but paid for it big time yesterday with my back. Between the driving distance and the walking I did too much but it was so good to get out and have something to do.

 

Today I'm in a real funk but it's my own fault. Last night starting at 9 pm there was a special about the cell phone messages that came from the people who didn't make it out of the Twin Towers on 9/11. It was the worst thing to listen to right before going to bed but there I sat, taking it all in.

 

Right before that I listened to Charles Stanley about dealing with the circumstances in your life. He is the only TV preacher I listen to but I haven't listened to him in a long time. His preaching was perfect for me at this time of my life. Actually he validated what the Holy Spirit told me last week....to keep my eyes on God instead of the anxiety issue. And he was teaching from the book of Philippians, which we are studying on Wednesday nights at church. I love it when God lets me know that what I'm hearing is from him and not myself. I wrote a lot of things down that he said and instead of turning off the TV and going to bed or just reading my Bible, I watched the 9/11 show.

 

I'm paying for that today, too. Between the urine test that reminds me of my problem, the downer of the show, and either a little sedation from the extra .5 I've added on, I'm having a sad, blah, depressing day. Other than that I'm fine. Frown

 

Hope you're doing better than me this weekend. But I'm still trying to keep my eyes on God and not the circumstances but I sabotaged myself, I think.

 

God bless,

Rita

 

God bless

 

Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

Rita, it is good to hear from you!

 

Don't worry about the bonuses. You have been so kind to me ever since we met. I could not ask for someone more thoughtful than you.

 

I am sorry you are having a bad day. I think part of it has to do with the somber reminder of September 11. I know I haven't felt much like myself since I knew this day was coming. It is hard not to feel traumatized by the attack all over again, with all the reminders on the news 24/7. Reminders can make anyone feel down.

 

It could also be the amount of stress you have been under. You have been through so much, Rita. And you have done your best through it and held up so well. But even with that kind of strength, you sometimes are hit with a down time. There is only so much you can shoulder before you can't process it all. It is fine to be sad, even healthy to feel that way. Allow yourself to wallow some. You should feel better very soon.

 

Charles Stanley is wonderful, isn't he? I used to listen to him all the time. I even bought some of his tapes (when there used to be cassette tapes! Isn't that dating myself?). He is wise and just hearing his voice is comforting. It is also soothing to know that God is helping you see when He is speaking to you. I had the same experience in the past two weeks. God had something to tell me and my message was every where I looked, at church, on my emails and in my Bible. There is a certain joy in seeing that. You just know God cares about you.

 

I think it is so smart of you to get the ball rolling on your urine test now. Twenty four weeks for a script is really excessive! Let me know if you hear back about your results.

 

Hang in there Rita. You are in my prayers every night. Be comforted that you are cared about and watched over by God. He is in your corner!

 

Kate

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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Dear Kate, LaughingLaughingLaughingLaughing

 

I can't stop laughing!!!! Did I actually say it would take 24 weeks to get the script for the urine test???? Yes, I did!! I meant 2 - two - weeks!! I told you I didn't know where my mind was. Must be the extra Xanax I'm taking!Wink

 

I'm so tired of peeing in a huge red jug and tired of waiting for someone to come up with some weird diagnosis that we know is not going to happen. Come on, be honest with me. Have you ever heard of anyone producing too much adrenaline? I'm sure some people somewhere have but it has to be a rare case. I have plain old anxiety/panic that I'd get over if everyone, especially Dr, Hernz, stopped trying to come up with these nutsy conclusions of what could be wrong with me.

 

The stress I'm under is due to HIM! It was in JULY that he came up with the idea that he was positive it was my thyroid and we've been on this roller-coaster ever since.

I'm also sick, sick, sick of waiting for results that never come to anything, and it's going to be the same thing this time. They are not going to find I'm producing anything abnormal.

 

Know what the funniest thing about taking this test is? It says I should not do anything stressful for at least 3 days before taking the test! Laughing Do you think 6 months of stress might screw up the results....and BTW, it also said false-positive results happen more often than not. I can't remember if that was about having adrenal cancer or an over-producing adrenal gland and I'm not going to google it to find out.

 

With my luck it will come out positive and I'll have to do it over and over again or better yet, they will want an MRI done. I think that's the next step if it comes out positive for a tumor. I have a neighbor who had the same thing happen but her mother is a deacon of their church and blessed her with oil and on the second MRI they couldn't find it.

 

Going to bed to read a good novel. Tomorrow better be a better day or else I'm suing God! Gotta go pee again. The lab said the doctor will have the results within two days which comes out to Wednesday or Thursday.

 

Nite Nite....

Don't let the bed bugs bite....

 

Rita

Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

Rita, oh my gosh! You are too funny. I'm in here by myself laughing out loud. Everyone probably thinks I've gone wacky.

 

I love the attitude! Suing God is an interesting option. Maybe this kind of stress is actually good for you Wink!

 

Too much adrenaline can be a disorder. To my knowledge, it can be fixed relatively easily. But I agree with you, testing is extremely stressful and causes worse adrenaline. So your test results may be a bit off. But hopefully, they have ways to screen that out. I would imagine most patients do not feel calm about testing so they have to be aware of that.

 

I also agree that you probably just have the anxiety/panic and it is not anything else. I understand Dr. Hernz wanting to rule out any physical cause. He is a doctor, and that is what they know. Most doctors are not focused on mental health and do not understand it as well, though they like to give the impression that they do. So when faced with an anxious patient, they start running tests. In mental health, we always recommend screening to be sure people do not have any physical cause for their symptoms. It would be awful to have someone in therapy for depression or anxiety only to find out they had a medical problem.

 

I highly doubt you are looking at a tumor here. You would have so many other symptoms and anxiety is usually not a symptom of a tumor. And when people have anxiety, tumors always come up as a cause for the symptoms. I think that is natural because the symptoms of anxiety are so frightening that most people can't think of anything that could cause such horrible feelings beside something like a tumor.

 

I think today will be a better day. All the stress from yesterday can be left there. Sleep puts a new perspective on things because your mind has time during sleep to work out all the stresses from the day before.

 

How is the extra Xanax working for you? Do you find it is helping with your sleep and your anxiety during the day? Is the sedation back?

 

Have a good one, Rita. And thank you for getting my day going!

 

Kate

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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Kate, I have some wonderful news for you that the enemy does not want to get through. This is the third time I have tried emailing you and each time it went off-line.

 

The news is this is the second day in a row that I have felt like my old self in every possible way from MORNING to night. Just like that, it all fell into place. I don't know how that can happen so quickly but it did. Apparently once the brain chemicals are stabilized and secure, things change quickly. This is the way it happened to me 12 years ago.

 

I have been out and about in the mornings the last two days than I have since before all this began, over 8 months ago, counting the time I was on pain meds.

 

But we know that God used this to teach me something I needed to learn. Although he is in control of all things, I am not saying he decided one day to allow me to suffer so I could learn what he wanted me to learn. Nor am I saying we aren't living in decaying bodies. All I know is my Lord and Savior kept his promise to me in Romans 8:28.

 

I know there is still a lot of holes that need to be filled before the lesson is completed but one day when I am standing on the other side of the river looking back at where I came from, I'll know more than I do today. I will also know then that this time of suffering is over. There will be other trials in my life but there also is a time of peace for those who put their trust in God as their Lord and Savior.

 

We have a lot to rejoice about today. Maybe tomorrow won't be as perfect as these past two days but I also believe they will never again be as bad as they have been in the past. I believe I've already gone through those up and down days, I just didn't know it at the time.

 

God in his graciousness and mercy knew I needed a companion to walk along the path with me so he sent me you. I believe that with all my heart and soul and nothing anyone can say will change my heart about that.

 

Love and God bless,

Rita

 

 

Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

Rita, that is excellent news! I am very happy that you are feeling so much like your old self. It must be such a wonderful feeling!

 

I was wondering if your recent attitude contributed to your feeling better as well. Not that I don't want to give all the credit to God and you for working so hard on getting better, but your attitude was great. You really took on your frustrations and faced it all with humor and a side dish of attitude. It was great to see!

 

Yes, God is with you all of the time. And he cares for you. What you went through may have been a lesson, but we don't know. Only He knows why you had to suffer. But I do think some very good things have come out of it. Your faith is sure strong and the messages God sent you, you listened to. You held on to God all the way through. It is clear you are a blessed with the Holy Spirit.

 

I agree. If you can accept that tomorrow may not be as good as today but still is better than before, you are going to be just fine. I love how you are looking at this all, Rita. It is wonderful to see your new perspective.

 

God put us together, of that I have no doubt. Your past has touched my heart and I frequently think of all you have been through and survived. You have certainly affected my life with your strength and bravery, and I will always remember that.

 

I hope you will check back with me and let me know how you are feeling. I am still anxious to hear about your second urine test as well. All this suspense, I just have to know!

 

Kate

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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Dear Kate,

 

Oh, we're not through yet! Don't worry about that. Two days of good health is wonderful but even though I don't think I'll go back to where I was even last week, I may have some uncomfortable days ahead. We are just going to have to wait and see. Now when we hit a month of "normal" days, then I'd say I'm out of the woods but not yet. I hope I am but time will tell. Plus we have the urine test results to go over.

 

On one hand I hope there is an indication that I'm producing too much adrenaline if it could be easily fixed. Then I know it's not something that's going to pop up without notice. On the other hand, I don't really want to have anything really wrong with me. Know what I mean?

 

Talking about God....with me, when things are going really well in my life, I get caught up in not taking the time to read my Bible or pray as much as I should. But get me sick, then I'm praying night and day and reading my Bible to all the time. In the beginning of this current situation I didn't seek God at first, to be honest. I sought out how to stop the panic attacks and anxiety first and foremost. It was only when I settled down and realized it was out of my control, then I turned to God but again, to get this healed fast.

 

The lesson I had to learn was to trust God in the midst of the adversity when there was nothing but blackness all around me. You know how hard that was for me. And it's not like God hasn't tried to teach me before but he knows how much we can learn at any one time.

 

This lesson was a deeper teaching of trusting him. I learned a lot more about Him and about myself. And, like I said, there's still more to learn from this experience but it's going to take time. I'm not entirely across the river yet but it is getting calmer.

 

Other than telling God the results of the tests are in his hands, I haven't prayed about it at all but it would be wonderful to be able to say to myself and everyone else (some in the family), look, here it is. I have a real physical problem and here's the proof.

 

I'll let you know as soon as I know.

 

God bless,

Rita

 

 

 

I

Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

Ah, Rita, I understand. It would be good if you could say "here ya go", something really was wrong with me physically. But then again, the cost of proving to others and to yourself that you are physically sick is not really worth it. Besides, you have already done so much to overcome your anxiety. I think you are close, if not already there, to feeling better again.

 

It is good that God's message to you is clearer. It is so hard when you are trying to cope with a huge stress. Trying to search for an answer first is natural. Everyone does it. You still came back to God each and every time. You never gave up. I think that is great.

 

I hope you get some good rest tonight, Rita. Sweet dreams. I will talk with you soon,

Kate

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Kate,

 

No news yet from the urine test. I should hear by tomorrow at the latest if they are right about getting the results back in two days.

 

I'm really having a problem with palpitations lately. I would guess they started yesterday afternoon some time. I went out to church and had none then or when I came home, so that tells me it's me doing a number on myself. I was fine until I saw something on TV that started me thinking about the test results and damn if I didn't start getting anxious. And it's still going on today. Pounding away like crazy.

 

Nothing seems to stop it for long.

 

I don't really feel anxious about the test....more like impatient to hear the results. My nerves must really be so sensitized that every little thing gets them upset. To me that means I'm still in the healing stage. Of course I might be wrong about that but it makes sense to me because I'm not catastrophizing about it or the test results. I just wish it would go away.

 

Any ideas on the subject?

 

Rita

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Kate, did you get the email I just sent you? The site said there was a problem and they were looking into it.

 

Rita

Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

Hi Rita, yes I got the reply. I noticed that JA is having lots of problems today. Hopefully, they will fix it soon.

 

What probably happened is you were more anxious than you realized. Anxiety is like that, as you know. You can feel fine when in reality you are feeling anxious. It happens to everyone. But when you already have anxiety, you are more prone to responding to it. Just like you said, you are still in the recovery stage so you are more sensitive to feeling anxious than you normally would be.

 

You may have already been hyped up from your trip to church and the urine test being in the back of your mind. So they anxiety was already there. When the thoughts about the urine test moved to your conscious mind from the trigger on TV, you began to feel the palpitations.

 

Your first step is to accept this as normal, because it is. You are fine, just uncomfortable. Palpitations are tough to feel because you really cannot distract yourself as easily as if you had another symptom. But they are not harmful.

 

The second step is to go back to your relaxation techniques. Deep breathing, focusing on a peaceful scene, soothing thoughts, activities that calm you. Tea (decaffeinated), a warm/hot shower or bath, listening to soothing music, and thinking of something pleasant. Picture yourself floating on calm waters or on a cloud. Praying or reading your Bible. These are all ideas you can start with. It may take some time, but it will work.

 

If you can, you can also contact the doctor's office to see if they have the results yet. Probably not, it is a bit early. But it may give you a sense of control and that can help your anxiety go down.

 

Let me know if this helps,
Kate

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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Kate, the test came back NORMAL! Praise God!!

 

We were both right, I was more anxious than I realized. As soon as the doctor's office called, I went to tell Joe and then sat down for about an hour, thinking over how this applied to my life. As I did, I became calmer and calmer.

 

First off, I don't have cancer. Secondly, I don't have to take medicine to regulate the flow of adrenaline which if I did, probably would mean I'd have to wean off the Xanax. Thirdly, no more tests. And last but not least, it's all done and over with. All I have to do now is relax and allow myself to heal completely. Actually I don't think it's all hit me yet. I need a few good nights sleep without any thing hanging over me before it all settles in my mind.

 

The only other thing I was told to do is get another thyroid test done in six months but I'm not waiting that long. Since the last test I had done was in March, I'm going to get another one done by my gp to see if anything has changed. After that, no more doctors of any kind. I'm sick of my life revolving around doctors, tests, withdrawal, more doctors, etc.

 

February of 2010 was the first doctor I saw....an orthopedic doctor....and every month or so since then it has been one doctor after another. One physical problem after another or one on top of another. One pill after another. One procedure after another.

 

Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX the end is in sight. <taking a huge breath >

 

God bless,

Rita

Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

Oh Rita, that is such good news! I can tell you feel very relieved. What a weight off your shoulders.

 

Giving yourself time to process this all is a great idea. You need it. It's been a long haul and it's time to take it easy.

 

God took care of you. I'm so glad you got through this and feel so much better. It is surprising how stressed out and anxious we can get about things and not even know it.

 

I imagine that you are going to have a really good sleep tonight!

 

Kate

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Dear Kate,

 

Dr. Hernz called because he got the results too. He said to just take it easy and not to change anything right now. But I forgot to ask him something, so I'll ask you.

 

Is it ok to start taking allergy pills again? One of their side effects can be anxiety, so we decided to stop taking them a couple of months ago but I really need them now.

 

Do you have any suggestions regarding them?

 

Rita

Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

I wish I could tell you Rita. But that is a better question for Dr. Hernz. Allergy medications are more a medical issue than psychological. But I do understand the side effects can make you anxious. That is a common side effect along with trouble sleeping if you take them on a regular basis or later in the day. But as to how it affects you personally or interacts with your other medication, I am not sure about that. Especially if you have taken them before.

 

Please let me know what you do find out though. I am always interested in knowing how it would affect you and if Dr. Hernz feels you can take it.

 

Kate

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Right now I can do without them. I'm too afraid to try them no matter what he'd say 'cause everyone reacts differently.

 

You know, Kate, you'd think I'd be on top of the world after hearing the good news yesterday and knowing we've covered everything but today is just the opposite. I feel tired, extremely low in spirit. I would expect this is normal for anyone to feel this way who has come through such a stressful time and who isn't quite through it all yet.

 

But I have one spiritual problem that I had to call my Pastor about. I really need to talk to him. Kate, I just don't trust God anymore. I still have faith in him and his gift of salvation but trust him in my every day life or to come through on his promises, no.

 

I've felt that way for a long time but wouldn't admit it even to myself until the other night. I believe that's why I've had such a hard time with anxiety this time. I feel like God has let me down and betrayed my trust and my love for him just like everyone else in my life has done.

 

Thank God my pastor is an every-day sort of guy. This won't surprise him one bit nor will he sit and give me platitudes. He'll probably tell me this is normal and then tell me all those in scripture who questioned God.

 

Will I ever feel secure and happy again, Kate?

 

Rita Cry

Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

Rita, I understand how you feel. Every Christian feels that way. I think some of us feel it a good portion of the time and some don't question it at all. But I think it is healthy to feel that way sometimes. I think in all relationships we sometimes trust and sometimes we don't. Obviously, you want to trust God. Otherwise, you would not turn to your pastor for help. I would imagine that your pastor has some good insight to offer you.

 

Keep in mind that God is always trustworthy. But the world is flawed as are our bodies. God may allow us to go through something to help us grow or to show us something, but He does not let us down. I always think of it like this- if your child has to learn to get along with others and make friends, you don't follow them around, direct their conversations and run the show. You let them make friends themselves. But that means they do get hurt in the process. They meet nice kids but they also meet bullies. And you teach them how to handle it but you don't confront the bully yourself. God is the parent to us. He allows us to learn our own lessons but He also guides us. Plus, he has to give us our free will. It is what we wanted.

 

You will be secure and happy again, Rita. You just have to get through the bad stuff first. When you think of all you have gone through already, I think you are almost there, if not there already. There are days and times that you do feel that security and you do feel happy. It is just creating a balance between the hard times and the good times that will make you feel better. You can encourage it by making it a priority to do more of the things you enjoy. But also give yourself time. Difficult times last a while and take time to recover from. You are reaching out, getting support and always moving towards what you want. That alone says you will get there. And from my perspective, you are doing very well!

 

Hang in there, Rita. I'm always here to help anytime.

 

Kate

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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank God you're here, Kate. It's so good to be able to reach out when times are tough and know someone is always there.

 

I'm far from thought the bad stuff yet physically. An hour or so ago I was sitting with a warm wet pack on my back and fell into a peaceful sleep. Right now, out of no where that awful anxious feeling came upon me. Nothing changed in that short time but there it was. The peaceful feeling just flew away. Did my breathing exercises but the inner feeling is still there.

 

I asked my husband early this afternoon how long did he think I've been on this regimen of taking 4 pills a day. He said it had to be at least three months. I shook my head and said it's only been 7 weeks. He couldn't believe it but it's true. I use my calendar as my diary and I started this on August 4th.

 

From your understanding, do you think this amount of time after all I had been through before we started this routine (the ups and downs of meds) could possibly be the reason I'm still not entirely settled down yet?

 

Look, Kate, I know I'm doing a lot better but I'm so impatient to be back to where I was before. I just want it all to go away. That is probably my problem - impatience.

 

I keep telling myself a month and a half out of my life is nothing. Even though it may seem like I've been going through this a much longer time, the truth is I haven't. Seven weeks is still seven weeks no matter how I may think.

 

If my thinking is unrealistic and I'm in denial, please be honest with me and tell me straight out. If you think I should be further along by now, tell me. If I'm expecting too much too soon, tell me that too.

 

OK, it's time for another pill. I don't know why that bothers me but it does. Twice a day was okay but four times? It just doesn't set right with me. Maybe I should thank God for the pills each time I take on? Think false pride might be my problem?

 

Rita

Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

I think you found that your peaceful feeling went away because when you have anxiety, you are used to feeling tense. It is not natural to you to feel relaxed. So when you find you are relaxed, your mind thinks that something should be wrong so you get afraid. It is much like battle fatigue. You are always on alert, even when you think you are not.

 

It's a pattern that can be broken. It takes a bit of determination, but it is possible.

 

You are tired, Rita. You have been through a lot. And when fatigue becomes a pattern, your body and mind expect it. You have become mentally, physically and spiritually fatigued. So what we need to do it retrain your mind, body and spirit to relax.

 

One of the first things that will help is learning more about fatigue from anxiety and how it affects you. If you have never read Self Help for your Nerves by Claire Weekes I recommend you get it and read it through. It talks about the different types of fatigue with anxiety and how to learn to relax.

 

Also, focus on the relaxation tools we have been using. Do you feel you have a good list of relaxation techniques you can use? If not, we can work on a list together. There are many things we can come up with and you can pick your favorites.

 

I also wanted to ask you, did you ever have the chance to work through your childhood abuse? Did you ever have therapy or did you work through on your own? Why I am asking is because I have been suspecting there are some unresolved feelings you may have that are causing your anxiety. Adults who were traumatized as children often carry with them the scars of their experiences and even years later are affected by the deep and lasting fear and anxiety of what they went through. Think of it like war veterans. Many years after a war, veterans still suffer from the trauma. It is the same for survivors of child abuse. What do you think?

 

You are not being unrealistic and you are not in denial. There is no right or wrong here. No measure for how far along you should be because everyone is different. There are so many factors that go along with anxiety, medication and therapy that there is no standard. Each person handles what they can and copes the best they can. The important part to remember is that you are making progress. A person without progress who gives up is the one to worry about. You are not that person. You keep trying and that is what indicates to me that you will get better. Your determination to get through this is incredible and admirable. Hang on to your tenacity!

 

Kate

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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

You are right, Kate. I'm always on alert. I've got to stop doing this to myself. And I have to stop taking everything I feel so seriously. That also includes stopping making expectations when I should or should feel better. I am only setting myself up to the "alert" feeling and questioning myself constantly.

 

I know I'm getting better every day. I may have a bit of a down time during the day but on the whole I am feeling more like myself with each day. This is what I have to concentrate on, focus on, not the little things that aren't gone yet.

 

My condition is what it is. I can only work so far to change things. I may have sensitive nerves but I can work with what I have and looking at the negative all the time just gets me stuck. Time to put on my big girl panties and get to work.

 

There is a lot I have to think about. I heard about Claire Weekes years and years ago, bought her books and read them. You are right on about my body being fatigued. I need to accept that and also that at my age it's going to take as long as it takes to get my body healed and restored again. It will come as long as I relax and let it take as long as it takes.

 

Time for me to look to the positive, don't you think, Kate?

 

Yes, I have worked on some of my abuse issues years ago but they still pop up. But I'm going to be working on that, too, in the future when things settle down. My pastor is of the same mind-frame as you. He believes healing needs to take place too.

 

Thanks again, Kate.

 

Rita

Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

You're welcome, Rita! You are getting better. It is always hard when you are in it to see how well you have done. But you have such good motivation and that makes a big difference!

 

I'll talk with you soon,

Kate

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Kate,

 

I hope every thing is ok with you. I'm not used to such a short reply and it sort of took me back a bit. Not to worry, though, I'm doing fine.

 

I went to church this morning for the first time in months. It felt good but I felt like I could have fallen asleep. Time will tell if this was just an isolated incident or if the amount of Xanax is getting too much for me. Wouldn't that be great? Even if I could go down one .5 I'd be happy.

 

I'm thanking God for the meds He provided for me instead of looking into the negative. I was talking to a nurse friend in church this morning who had depression issues for years. She said the same thing that it can take brain chemicals months for the ups and downs and changing of meds to settle down.

 

I'm just not myself today because my back and upper leg have been really painful for the last couple of days. I do have Flexeril here but I'm afraid to take it on top of the Xanax. If I did take it, I would cut it in half if I could and just go to bed. The muscle spasms are almost continuous. Tried heat, cold, and nothing is working.

 

Hope everything is well at your house.

 

God bless,

Rita

Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

Hi Rita, it's good to hear from you.

 

Everything is fine here. It's my son's birthday today so we are all celebrating. He is very excited about everything!

 

I am so glad to hear that you were able to make church this morning. That is great progress. A nice sleepy feeling sounds much better than feeling anxious! It may be the Xanax or it could be your mind set or a bit of both. All of that time working on relaxing and focusing on feeling better may have finally kicked in and now you do feel better. It might also be a snapshot of how your future will be. Ups and downs are very normal and now your ups are coming on more often and staying longer. You have been working very hard to get to the point of feeling like you do right now. This is a good sign. Whether or not you have minor setbacks upcoming doesn't matter. The fact that you overcame and got to this point is wonderful.

 

Another possibility is the time you spent lowering your dose of Xanax got your system used to the lower dose. So when you take a little extra, your body reacts to it by making you more relaxed than before. That means your body did adjust to the lower dose and that is also a good sign.

 

I am sorry you are in such pain. I hurt my back a few weeks ago and it affected everything I did. It was quite painful, so I sympathize with you. I could not imagine how hard it would be to live with the pain more frequently. Taking your medication at bedtime sounds like a good idea. Is there anything else you can take to help break the pain cycle during the day?

 

Take care, Rita. I hope the rest of your day is nice!

 

Kate

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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Kate,

 

I guess you've been wondering what happened to me. What happened is the meds totally kicked in and I am free from any feelings of anxiety!!!

 

PRAISE GOD FOR HIS MERCY AND GOODNESS

 

I have even gotten to the place where I can forget it's time to take my meds. I told you before that when I got to that place I'd know I was healed and here it is.

 

I've been out and about doing all the things I haven't been able to do before and had on the back burner. That's why it's taken me so long to get back to you.

 

I knew the anxiety wasn't coming from my way of thinking - it was just the opposite. The anxiety from the chemical imbalance was causing my way of thinking.

 

I am almost over weaning off another .5 Xanax XR and had no problems with withdrawal. I have one more to go but the timing isn't right just yet.

 

Thank you again for all your help and patience with me. I could not have dealt with my fears and pain of the situation without you to talk to. God is so good to me. You truly are a gift from God and will always be in my prayers.

 

I'll be in touch as often as possible. I am going through another problem right now that I'm waiting upon the Holy Spirit for an answer. It has to do with my Pastor who totally left me down in an way that is and was totally unacceptable. Now I'm waiting for an answer about what to do about it. Personally I believe his actions need to be addressed but then I would have to leave the church.

 

Although nothing he did is unforgivable, I don't know that I have much respect for him because his problem is his insensitivity, lack of compassion, and his lack of tact. A lot of people have left our church even in the two years I've been going there but I don't know the reason why. It's gotten so bad that financially the church might be forced to close before the end of the year. No people in the pews - no money for the church. But I love the people who attend the church and would miss them so much. But how can I continue to accept the unacceptable when it's the Pastor?

 

God has the answer for me and I'm hoping to hear soon what his will is for me in this situation.

 

God bless,

Rita

 

 

Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

Rita, that is wonderful news! When I hadn't heard from you, I was really hoping that it was something like that.

 

All that time and patience worked out. Prayers as well. You really kept pushing and pushing at this problem. I knew you were going to win! And with God helping, you could not lose.

 

I bet you feel so good being able to go out and about and do what you want to do. It is such freedom, isn't it?!

 

I am so sorry to hear about your pastor letting you down. I was hoping after you mentioned talking to him that he would be there for you. You are a woman of such faith I'm glad his reaction did not affect your relationship with God, like it might with someone else. But it still hurts when someone has issues that they choose not to deal with themselves but instead hurt others with them. I can understand why others are leaving the church.

 

It is probably a good idea that you do leave. If you have been hurt by this man, then it will be hard to gain back your trust unless he asks for forgiveness and repents. I know you can forgive him on your own, as God wants us to do, but continually exposing yourself to his behavior is not required, even with forgiveness. I pray that God helps you through this difficult time.

 

Thank you so much for your kind words. I will continue to have you in my prayers each and every night. If you want, please let me know how things go from time to time. And I will always be here in case you feel you need to talk.

 

Take care, Rita!

 

Kate

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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Well, Kate, here I am again. Still having some problems but much better in a lot of ways. I looked over my posts to you and saw on the 3rd of Sept. I went back to my 5 PM of .5 Xanax and felt great for two weeks. Then I felt sedated and lowered it again on the 17th. Bad decision, I think.

 

Now it's been two weeks of weaning off but I'm not sleeping at all. The melatonin only works for about 6 hours. Hernz said to take antihistimine, pediatric dose, and that worked but left me feeling "funny" the next day. I don't know what to do to get some sleep. Hernz said to get another thyroid test done to see if I'm going into hyperthyroid mode.

 

I had the test done today by my gp. He'll call me Thursday with results. My gp is of the opinion that, while your thyroid can get better, it's not common and once you need Synthroid, you usually need it for years. He's glad that I've been off it for two months because this way we'll get a clean test.

 

But here's the kicker. Hernz is convinced that the only reason I would have anxiety is if my thyroid is HYPER, not hypo. Yet I've read too many articles that say that it is not uncommon for people who have hypothyroid also suffer from anxiety/panic attacks. Have you heard that, too, or is that just false info. I didn't ask my gp about that but I will if he calls and says my thyroid is off.

 

I'm going to call Hernz and make an appointment to see him but not before I get my test results back. No use until then.

 

So, what do you think Kate? Did I go up and down my .5 too fast and cause problems for myself?

But

 

 

Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

Hi Rita, it is so good to hear from you!

 

My understanding is hypothyroidism causes a slow down, but not anxiety directly. But everyone reacts differently so that needs to be considered. You could be reacting to the feeling you get when your system slows down. It would feel similar to the sedation you feel when your medication is too high. That tends to make a person with anxiety feel panicky because it is something out of your control, which is a common trigger for anxious people.

 

I don't think you went down too quickly on your medication. I think what happened is that you dropped your levels and your anxiety went up. The anxiety is usually covered by the medication so it shows up as your dose goes down. Using the techniques we talked about would help or you can consider another medication to take the edge off the anxiety.

 

Kate

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Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5578
Experience: Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Kate,

 

I wrote you an email last week or so but did not receive an answer back. It was about Pastor Stanley. But that's okay because I have a greater problem facing me today.

 

First, my thyroid test came back normal, so Dr. Hernz was right about that. Secondly, my yearly blood test came back pretty normal except for cholesterol count was a little high. But I had a stool test done and it came back positive for blood in my stool.

 

A couple of days before that I had problems with my hemorrhoids bleeding a little. I knew I shouldn't have done the test but I thought it wouldn't show up in the stool test. I still don't know if the blood came from my hemorrhoids or something else but now I have to have a colonoscopy done. I am totally terrified and having a problem keeping myself together. My anxiety is worse than ever in the mornings. I am seeing Hernz today and see what he has to say to help me get through this.

 

Of all times for me to have this done when I'm not at my best but who am I to question God's timing? I see the doctor on the 18th of next week to schedule the test. I haven't googled anything about the test because I don't need to know more than I already do.

 

Please pray for me for strength one day at a time. That's what I'm concentrating on...one day at a time. Also that this test is only a couple hours out of one day out of the rest of my life. Trying to keep things in perspective.

 

Going to get my shower while I wait for your answer back.

 

God bless,

Rita

 

 

 

Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

Hi Rita,

 

I never got your other email. I am sorry about that. I guess it may have been a glitch in the JA system. If you ever do not hear back from me within 24 hours, write again. It is very rare I don't check Just Answer at least daily.

 

I am sorry to hear that you need to go for the colonoscopy. I understand very well your anxiety about the test. Much of it is very normal. Otherwise, you would not have a whole part of the population who avoid the test like the plague. It's not fun and no one wants to go have it done.

 

For someone who deals with anxiety on a daily basis, your normal anxiety over the test is going to trigger the anxiety you already have. And that is also very normal. Your body recognizes the symptoms of anxiety and kicks in like it is used to. This is about control. Anxiety is a common result of feeling out of control. And getting a test done feels like you are vulnerable.

 

In a case like this, it is very helpful to try and change your thinking. One of the best things you can do is to remember that thousands of people get this test every year. Starting at age 50, it is recommended. So this test is not new (so it's a common procedure) and doctor's are very good at it. Accept that they will care for you while you are with them. And the nurses will as well. Let them know you feel anxious. They hear that a lot and know how to reassure you.

 

Two, some people go through this test frequently. People with Crohn's disease for instance. I have someone in my family with Crohn's and he has talked to me about the test. Other people in my family that have had it also told me about it. Universally I hear that it is easy, only takes a few minutes and the prep is the worst part. The medication they give you is very light so it only lasts as long as the test and then you are up and going. No one smiles and skips over to the hospital to have it done, but they say it sounds worse than it is.

 

Three, you have faced many things in your life, including anxiety. Anxiety is not for weak people. It is hard and overwhelming. But you are a fighter. And if you can face all you have been through, a short test that is uncomfortable for a few minutes would not be a bleep on your radar.

 

You will have the strength to get through this, Rita. God will give it to you. Do your best to distract yourself every day and work through your anxiety. Talk with me. Write down all you read that is positive about the test. Keep the list with you. Read it often. Talk to others who have had it. Keep focusing on the fact that you can do this and you will be fine.

 

Kate

Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
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