August Progress Report

Good morning, Readers. It’s zero-dark-thirty and I can’t sleep so I’ve been cruising statistics. Despite the fact that I haven’t posted for a month, I’m still getting an average of 45 readers a day. CPEP, Ativan and “Beyond Recovery” continue to be the blogs that attract the most readers.

My work on the book has slowed down. There are two reasons for that: I am feeling better so I am spending less time in bed, and I can’t get a home health aide so I have to spend what little energy I have on taking care of myself and my home.

The homeopathic remedy—now in its third month—continues to work wonders. Emotionally, no psych med I ever took has made me feel as good as the remedy prescribed by my homeopaths. One of the things that we have discovered is that the damage done to my immune system by antidepressants was massive. Now, the only tolerable dose of remedy is one drop in one cup of water and then only take one teaspoonful of this. One drop to one cup—I marvel at this. Imagine the amount of damage done every time a physician has prescribed a full dose of something, e.g., 250 mg. of antibiotic. Now—one drop, one cup, one teaspoon. That’s all my immune system can tolerate.

My nervous system is settling down. Month by month, I am quieter, calmer. No tranquilizers, just restoring my nervous system after all the damage wreaked by antidepressants. I still get depressed sometimes, but it is always because of something that society has done to me, for example, my home health aide walked out in the middle of his shift leaving the dishes half washed, a load of laundry in the washing machine and a pot boiling on the stove. How am I, in my wheelchair, supposed to cope with this? And the agency, instead of sending me another aide, kicked my case back to the county, which . . . Ah, well, it’s a long story, but one thing hasn’t changed: it’s about the perception of powerlessness. That’s what depression is.

It was amazing to watch as I started to sink into the abyss. I have firmly established such a higher level of functioning that depression wasn’t business-as-usual; it was a major, devastating crisis. Clearly, I have brain damage resulting from a quarter of a century of antidepressants. As that abyss opened, I could see it; I could feel it: I was tripping into some organic problem. But I pulled back. I’m smart; I’ve learned—and I’ve got a homeopathic remedy working for me.

Regarding the potentially fatal urinary tract infection that I reported a month ago: I don’t have one. What I have is an indwelling catheter that causes colonies of bad things to grow. Consequently, physicians who didn’t know much about catheters were misinterpreting the lab reports. As reported in the urologist informed me that he treats patients, not paperwork, and I don’t have an infection. (A nurse later commented that my paperwork needs to be treated.)

Because of this misinterpretation of the lab reports, I have stopped getting lab work done. Does it really matter what the lab tests report? What really matters is how the patient feels, and I continue to feel better. For a long time, I really felt myself to be—if not at Death’s door—then at least in Death’s driveway. A friend sent me a cartoon of a cat at heaven’s door, watching while St. Peter punched another hole in its nine-lives card. Yeah, that was me, but not anymore. Now I feel better. I feel solid, as if I am whole and have got a firm grip on life. And members of my care team—massage, chiropractic, physical therapy—who actually lay hands on me also declare that I feel better.

In three months, I’ll get routine blood work done again just for jollies. Meanwhile, my skin looks better, my smile is brighter, my mind is clearer, I stand up straighter—offhand, I’d say I’m doing okay. A far cry from healthy but an even farther cry from dying.

About annecwoodlen

I am a tenth generation American, descended from a family that has been working a farm that was deeded to us by William Penn. The country has changed around us but we have held true. I stand in my grandmother’s kitchen, look down the valley to her brother’s farm and see my great-great-great-great-great-grandmother Hannah standing on the porch. She is holding the baby, surrounded by four other children, and saying goodbye to her husband and oldest son who are going off to fight in the Revolutionary War. The war is twenty miles away and her husband will die fighting. We are not the Daughters of the American Revolution; we were its mothers. My father, Milton C. Woodlen, got his doctorate from Temple University in the 1940’s when—in his words—“a doctorate still meant something.” He became an education professor at West Chester State Teachers College, where my mother, Elizabeth Hope Copeland, had graduated. My mother raised four girls and one boy, of which I am the middle child. My parents are deceased and my siblings are estranged. My fiancé, Robert H. Dobrow, was a fighter pilot in the Marine Corps. In 1974, his plane crashed, his parachute did not open, and we buried him in a cemetery on Long Island. I could say a great deal about him, or nothing; there is no middle ground. I have loved other men; Bob was my soul mate. The single greatest determinate of who I am and what my life has been is that I inherited my father’s gene for bipolar disorder, type II. Associated with all bipolar disorders is executive dysfunction, a learning disability that interferes with the ability to sort and organize. Despite an I.Q. of 139, I failed twelve subjects and got expelled from high school and prep school. I attended Syracuse University and Onondaga Community College and got an associate’s degree after twenty-five years. I am nothing if not tenacious. Gifted with intelligence, constrained by disability, and compromised by depression, my employment was limited to entry level jobs. Being female in the 1960’s meant that I did office work—billing at the university library, calling out telegrams at Western Union, and filing papers at a law firm. During one decade, I worked at about a hundred different places as a temporary secretary. I worked for hospitals, banks, manufacturers and others, including the county government. I quit the District Attorney’s Office to manage a gas station; it was more honest work. After Bob’s death, I started taking antidepressants. Following doctor’s orders, I took them every day for twenty-six years. During that time, I attempted%2
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2 Responses to August Progress Report

  1. Wow, was this an uplifting post! I feel happier today just knowing that YOU are feeling better off the ADs and all. Congrats for, well, taking your own life in your hands and knowing you had a right to feel better than you did. That was an amazing story about the UTI versus the indwelling cather problem. I will remember it, and file it away for future reference. I, too, have taken steps to take my life “in my own hands” for a change. I am leaving CT and moving to VT. It’s a risk but if my state of mind says anything, it is clearly a risk worth taking as i feel more energized and excited than i have in a long time. More in my blog when i decide to truly go public on this.. . Once again though, so glad you have made progress and feel better. homeopathic remedies impress me the more i learn about them.

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