Antihistamines & Stress

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Antihistamines & Stress

Postby Jen on January 1st, 2004, 8:23 pm

Hi, again! Finally!! I can't believe that it's been nearly a year since I last logged onto these forums. I've had a fairly rough year dealing with some family issues and things are finally settling down for my family and myself.
I wasn't able to pay close attention to my BFS this last year, and that has given me the opportunity to learn a bit about myself in terms of my BFS symptoms.

When I last left off, my doctor had changed my perscription for a nasal allergy drug from Flonase to Nasarel. This change, I'm sure, was to save money for the HMO. I live in the allergy capital of California, and was surprised that Nasarel alone controls my allergic symptoms. So, I stopped taking Allegra. My neuro insisted that Flonase and Allegra could not possibly increase my BFS, but within a few weeks of stopping the Allegra, my twitches decreased about 85%!! That's good news for me! So, if there are others of you out there wondering if your allergy meds could be increasing BFS symptoms, try some different meds, or if possible, try going without any allergy meds (far easier said than done).

As for stress, this year, well 2003 actually, has been a doozy. My parents are truly evil people, and I've never found anyone who disagreed with that fact. I spent 5 years as an adult with a psychologist who specialized with victims of extreme cases of abuse. She once told me that I would probably always have a low level of anxiety because I simply had never known anything different growing up. I went 8 or 9 years without any contact with my parents, and it was a pleasant 8 or 9 years at that. Last April, social services contacted me and my mother had suffered a severe stroke. She was the fulltime caretake of my father who suffers from dementia. I wasn't ready for contact again, but was thrown back into their lives. This time, however, I wasn't alone. Several social workers helped out, all of them in utter shock of the living conditions I had grown up in (nothing had been cleaned since I moved away from home 23 years ago!). I am an only child (children from my father's previous marriage had placed a restraining order against him). I am also the closest living relative in 2500 miles. My mother's sister, however, was very helpful, even though she was so far away. The best help, however, came from woman who was my mother's friend. I still can't get over the fact that she chose my mother for a friend, but this woman has gone above and beyond the call of duty to help clear out the house so that my husband and I may rent it out, or sell it. I tried walking away from the whole mess, turning my parents over to the public guardian, however, the PG kept calling me for all sorts of errands, and for money for clothing, diapers, etc. We finally hired a lawyer, and I was appointed their power of attorney, etc. This gave me control of their finances (which were a mess), and after several grueling months, I now have them placed in board and care homes, and can take care of 90% of their needs over the phone or with a computer. To add to this stress, my 11-year old son had begun a diagnosis process early last January. In July, he was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome (it's a disorder that is on the autism spectrum). I was spread so thin trying to meet my parents needs, take care of my son, continue working (because I like to eat and have roof over my head), etc. Things are improving quite a bit, and my son, after the appropriate interventions and LOTS of mommy-time is leading a near-normal life. He's doing fantastic, in fact.

With all of that stress, the BFS really acted up. I went from a twitch or two a day, to lots of twitching and lots of sensory issues. A few weeks after my mother's stroke, I kept feeling like I had a heating pad placed on my left calf. It was a very strange sensation. I knew my twitching had increased, but couldn't spare a moment to dwell on it. I thought about it, and realized that the warm sensation was no doubt due to the BFS (and stress). So, I called my doctor and upped my daily Prozac dose from an already low 10mg to 20mg. It made all the difference in the world. The warm sensation went away, the twitching slowed, and the best part is that I was able to calmly deal with all of the chaos.

Now that all my "ducks are lined up in a row", and I feel like I am resuming my life as it was a year ago. I can now go 3-4 weeks without having to hear from my parents' caregivers, but whenever I do, something, whether it be an eye or a calf or an arm, will twitch like crazy. It's like clockwork. I wouldn't want to relive this last year for all the money in the world, but in a way I was glad that I was too busy to dwell on myself. If anything, it taught me that I can't handle the world without the help of others: friends, professionals, and family. It also taught me to keep a great sense of humor about me at all times, and that a little Prozac can go a looooooooooong way!
Jen
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