Well, that's what I feel like I'm doing anyway. I think I've turned a corner. The past few weeks have been different. I've still been feeling my normal levels of anxiety and irritability, but something has changed. I'm sick of being sick. I'm tired of worrying about my moods and medication and coping skills. I'm just over it. My counselor thinks that is a pretty big step. I'm ready to move on with my life and close this chapter on PPD. I'm also ready to be done with this medication and all the lovely side effects- headaches, insomnia, and eczema. I'm also sick of being told to take Ibuprofen for my head, cortisone cream for my eczema, etc. So I recently took two big steps- I got a new general doctor and a new psychiatrist.
My new doctor's concentration is in naturopathy and it was a complete breath of fresh air. Our appointment lasted an hour and a half and most of it was me sitting in an armchair chatting with her and discussing different aspects of my lifestyle and health history. At the end of it all, she suggested I look into at least lowering my SSRI dosage to see if it would help with any of the side effects. She also suggested some simple lifestyle changes that I should have been doing all along, but somehow just never thought about. I now try to eat much more regularly throughout the day to avoid blood sugar fluctuations. I also am much more aware of my protein and fatty acid intake and have added a fish oil supplement. I've cut back on caffeine, especially later in the day.
My new psychiatrist has also been very helpful. She suggested weaning off my SSRI completely. She gave me the choice of either weaning off the SSRI and going med-free, or crossing over to Wellbutrin. Even though Wellbutrin isn't necessarily contraindicated for breastfeeding, it is an L3 medication, so I opted to try going med free first. I feel comfortable with that decision at this point in time. If any of my PPD/PPA recurs, I can always add in the Wellbutrin later. So far I have weaned down to half my original dosage and I should be completely med free by mid-August. The adjustment has made me feel a little sleepy and sometimes jittery, but so far my mood seems to be holding pretty steady.
I hope all of these new events mean I am "cured" and well on my way back to good health. I am excited about no loner having to worry about the depression and anxiety. I just hope I can get back to where I was pre-Perrin. That is my new goal. But I am also realistic and know that it could still be a long way out. But at least it seems like things are moving forward after quite a long lull.