Monday, October 24, 2005


WENT TO THE SHRINK AGAIN TODAY (me again), because the Zoloft is kicking my butt and I'd really like to rejoin the world. I have been instructed by my doc to stop the Zoloft cold-turkey and start Effexor tomorrow, even though every source I can find, including Zoloft's own P.I. sheet and this fantastic psychiatric meds website say that cold-turkeying off Zoloft is a BAD THING. Oh, well, we shall see.

But the highlight of the visit was that we wound up taking Bella along, and good gosh, she was a hoot. In high form, she was. QUOTE OF THE DAY: While roaming around the huge and mostly-empty waiting room in the pdoc's office, Bella struck up an involved conversation with a nice lady who happened to have a 2- and a 4-year-old at home and was also a preschool teacher, so she was not bothered by Bella's prattlings. When the lady first spoke to her, Bella just puffed up to her fullest height, and with arm flourishes worthy of those "The Price Is Right" gals, said "Hello--I am Isabella Faith Millerrrrrr!" Then, with an extremely dramatic wave toward the sofa upon which Alex and I sat, she continued, "And these are my friends, Mommy (dramatic pause) and Daddy!" There was more, but that was the part that killed us.

THIS IMPRESSED ME, because I sure don't have this kind of manual dexterity, and this column was higher than her head. These blocks, on end, are no more than an inch wide, if that.

OUR LITTLE HOPE is safely in Hahvahd, MA, after an uneventful flight, hopefully getting to know her intended. It is so difficult to find a stud dog who not only complements your bitch phenotypically and genotypically, who is also of sound and stable mind and temperament, AND has had the full slate of health clearances and genetic testing appropriate for the breed. This guy has it all, is a breed champion and performance titled, and we're really hoping for great things from this cross.AND SPEAKING OF BREEDING DOGS, if Isabella ever decides to get involved in it, there is some indication that she will make a discerning breeder. One of her birthday gifts at her party on Saturday (more on that in a later post) was a poodle "Puppy Surprise". The idea behind this plush toy is that it is a "mommy" dog, with puppies inside. The "surprise" part is the mystery of how many puppies there will be, much like in real life! Apparently, the marketing department felt that a natural birth would be too upsetting, so Puppy Surprise dams have a sort of velcro C-section, which, in my opinion, is a little unsettling.Bella's cousin Grayson had this same toy when he was really little, and he was helping her take out the puppies and count them, and we were all kind of gathered around as Bella gasped with delight at each new pup. They were each a little different from the other, but only in small ways. Until...the count was going, "ONE puppy! TWO puppies! THREE puppies...And then Grayson says quietly, "...and a...hamster?"Bella takes hold of this last "puppy", takes one brief look at it, and pronounces with certainty, "This is NOT a poodle! This is a CRITTER!" and tosses it unceremoniously over her shoulder. Seems she has no problem culling the non-show-quality pups from the litter. When we'd ask her, "Did you get FOUR puppies in your Puppy Surprise?" She'd answer testily, "NO! THREE puppies and a stupid CRITTER!" I've slipped it back in a couple of times, only to have her discover it and wail, "Mommy, that critter is in my Puppy Surprise again!"

Anybody know of a good pet home for this guy? He seems cheerful and laid-back, just not up to the breed standard.


  1. Funny about the toy. Kids can be discerning.

    I was going to tell you that stopping Zoloft like that can be a bad thing. It depends on how long you have been on it though, too. If it hasn't been that long then it's no big deal. I have been put on and off of meds numerous times, but the times when it was necessary to do it gradually it was because of trying a new one to replace one that I had been on for a while. Take it easy. You're in my prayers on that one.

  2. Thank you! I've been on it about 2-3 months. He brought me all the way up to 200mg (!!!), and my BP dropped so low (80/40) that I hardly felt like I could get out of bed. So I called in, and they had me cut back to 150. I felt better after only a couple of days, but still bad. So last week I went down to 100, and have been a little better still.

    I'm very much dithering on whether to follow the doc's instructions or my own. Gee, how stupid is that?

  3. The critter sounds like the runt of the litter :-)

    good luck with the drugs and cold turkey stuff, perhaps you should get a second opinion if you are feeling uncomfortable with your doctor's advice. Better safe than sorry, no? (how's that for a Tuesday Cliche?).

  4. It's not the same as quitting, but I'm on 100 mg of Zoloft, missed a day due to a prescription running out and nothing happened.

  5. I think that if he's switching you to another med immediately after stopping the zoloft, you should be ok. If you were just stopping cold turkey, and taking nothing to replace it, then that's where you'd run into trouble.

    I guess it depends on how well you know/trust this doc.

    I cracked up about the critter - she's a true breeder/show person in the making!

  6. I want the critter! He's precious!

  7. (whoops--didnt mean to be anonymous!)

  8. I don't know why, but the c-section stuffed poodle is just...disturbing. I've dealt with loads of blood and guts. Why a stuff animal bursting with pups would gross me out is a mystery of the universe. Hee.

    And your daughter is hilarious. A flare for the dramatic, eh? Future thespian?

  9. VCJO--I will be happy to send critter-pup your way! I hate to keep seeing him get tossed on the floor.

    Pat--she is quite the drama queen. We just LOST it when she introduced us as her "friends--Mommy and Daddy." Just taking charge of the whole social situation. We may be in trouble.

  10. I bet Bella just MADE the doctor's office patron's day. And what an impressive tower. Aren't those the blocks Gretchen coveted, hand-crafted right here in little ole Madison? They really are gorgeous. Maybe if another child comes along, we can splurge? Natalie used to make towers higher than her self that impressed us with Diet Coke cans; I hope we haven't limited her potential.
    I need to throw Granmma some suggestions for the holidays like she asked me for...hmmm.
    I know several people who have went off the Zoloft and found the effects to be better than the underlying dullness with life they felt on it...people who have come to the conclusion that you have & then went off. Maybe its a generalized thing for people who normaly have low BP? I am not the best at listening to the doc but I think yours may be onto something. Of course, Zoloft's marketing materials may *want* you to think differently. ;) There are just so many options and potential for a really good fit to not move on if something doesn't really work with you as an individual...I hope the effexor is a better fit.
    I've never seen such a poodle, either. What a great toy (minus the convenient c section).

  11. Yep, that's the famous Block Wagon from Madison! I posted about it a few days ago, if you want to scroll back a little. The "family sculptures" she made were...interesting. Gretchen wound up going with the "Train car a month club", which is also REALY cool.

    I'm trying to be optimistic about the med change. I'm starting to feel like, "Hey, I'm not depressed any more, let's forget the whole thing!"

    Bella has seen actual puppy births, and thought the whole process was pretty darn cool. I guess a "Velcro Vulva" just could not get by marketing at the ol' toy company!

  12. i LOVE reading about bella!
    my younger brother had that same sort of confusion about whether we were friends or family. he used to leave notes for my mom like this:
    "Dear Mom, I'm staying over night at Jaimie's house tonight. Love, your son, Stephen Guthrie Mather." as if she had several other sons named Stephen.

  13. Bella is TOO cute! And such nice manners!

    I showed my husband that picture of the thing that came out of the stuffed poodle and he said the same thing as VirginiaGal, it's supposed to be the runt.

    Personally I wonder why there wasn't better quality control at the factory.

  14. Good luck with your switchover. Keep in touch with your doc, but his method isn't nutso - odds are the new drug will cushion the serotonin rebound just fine, IMO. One undocumented, unrecommended and don't-try-this-at-home method of cold turkeying off setraline or paroxetine (when you're not switching to another drug) is to stop cold turkey and take a single tab of fluoxetine, which has a much longer half-life - it seems to just tail things off instead of stopping them abruptly. But not an issue for you in this situation.

  15. Thanks--this is day two, and so far, so good, except for a little "swimmy" feeling in my head. Bella and I are having a blast with InteracTV--educational video games for preschoolers. She loves having one she can do all by herself.

  16. My name is Judith Haven and i would like to show you my personal experience with Effexor.

    I am 37 years old. Have been on Effexor for at least 1 years now. As soon as I was on the beginning dose I could feel releave from my anxiety. My family life is so much better. My kids notice it. They applaud my for taking the side affects for a better live with them. No explosive episode any more.

    I have experienced some of these side effects-
    Nightsweats, I have twitches if I forget a dose.

    I hope this information will be useful to others,
    Judith Haven