In an earlier blog post, I outlined some potential cardiac problems I was facing. Well, last week, I saw my GP who had the results of the stress test I underwent and everything came back normal. He said I could run a marathon. Indeed, my doctor, who was on holiday when the initial EKG results came back was royally ticked off that such a big deal was made.
Needless to say I am relieved. I hope that others who are being treated for depression recognize that many medications have the potential for scary side-effects. You should ask your treating physician to have baseline testing done before you start your medication and have regular follow-up testing done once treatment begins.
I have long preferred not being on medication of any type unless absolutely necessary. This experience has done nothing to improve my view of medication. Now I am faced with a dilemma. I have come off one of my medications, the mood stabilizing Zeldox, and have tapered down on my anti-depressant, desipramine. A big part of me wants to come off my meds altogether. I don't like the cardiac side-effects nor the other ongoing side-effects of dizziness and constipation. My psychiatrist, however, is concerned that I will relapse back into a major depressive episode. Further, if she is no longer actively treating me, I can no longer be kept in the mood disorder program and would have to be re-referred along with the attendant one year wait I faced last time if I do relapse. This, of course, raises a whole slew of other issues about the nature of the mental health care system, which, really, is a subject for another post.
One silver lining about the scare I endured is that I am now really dedicated to improving my overall fitness and not taking my physical health for granted. I can't foresee a circumstance where I will not have a regular exercise routine and try to manage my diet a bit better. I want to be around for my family as long as possible.