Packing boxes isn’t ever fun, but we were thrilled to be moving so we tried to make it as fun as we could. I’ve never been one to have someone else do it, the strong willed Scorpio that I am. So I packed, lifted heavy boxes, moved heavy boxes, and tried to do my part. The prize was a beautiful country home and tennis elbow.
Tennis elbow, or lateral epicondylitis, is a painful condition that occurs when the tendons in your elbow are overloaded, usually because of repetitive motions of the wrist and arm. The pain can spread to your forearm, your wrist and even your fingers. Rest and over-the-counter pain relievers is often the treatment, but rest isn’t something I do well and not something I couldn’t really do. I did seek medical treatment and I wore a brace, and I got massages (which helped), took Ibuprofen like M & Ms, used essential oils, and so on. My sleep was disturbed (as I have a tendency to sleep on my stomach with my arm under me) and as time progressed the pain worsened, my fingers numbed. Picking up objects resulted in them immediately dropping, and even typing was excruciating. I couldn’t take it anymore so my husband took me to the nearest Urgent Care. They told me that it was severe and that I had so much inflammation that they gave me a pain shot, a steroid shot, and an oral steroid called Dexamethasone that I was to start the following day and take for 6 days, with the possibility of a refill after that. The injections took my pain away and I felt human again, until the following day when it wore off, so I began the oral steroids as prescribed.
The day after taking my first dose I began to feel angry. I was mad, I was sad, and I was confused, and simply chalked it up to sleep deprivation and stress. The third day of taking the medication resulted in me starting to see things that weren’t there. Okay, so I see people who’ve crossed, but this felt weird and scary. It was different. My speech was slurred and I thought maybe I was having a stroke. Again, I let it go. The fourth day I was raging angry and my husband Chuck and I got into a huge fight over something ridiculous. To be honest I don’t have a clue what it was even about now, it was that stupid. As he stormed out of the house, though, my thoughts turned dark.
Just kill yourself.
I didn’t want to kill myself. I didn’t want to leave my family and friends, but I wasn’t thinking straight, I wasn’t me. I felt like the only way to end the pain was to end my life. The devil on one shoulder was telling me to end my life, that nothing was going to get better or seem any better. The angel on the other shoulder was telling me this was a fleeting thought because something else was the matter and to just take a hot shower, drink some hot tea, and sleep off the mood.
I wanted to talk to someone, but I didn’t want to go to a psych ward. I didn’t want to be thought of as crazy. I had no idea who to call and at that moment I felt like nobody would care anyhow, even though I have a great tribe of family and friends who I know do care. But all I heard in my head was to end my life and get it over with. I thankfully listened to the angel on my shoulder, and after some hot tea and a gut wrenching sobs I fell asleep on the couch.
The next morning I told Chuck that I needed to see the doctor, and so after work (yes, I was working during these crazy episodes) I went to my primary and explained to the nurse and the doctor as to what was happening, only to get the explanation that it was a side effect of the steroid and was called steroid psychosis. Not only was I having steroid rage, my hips, back and knees hurt like something I’ve never had before, and my eyesight was blurry. Even after discussing the suicidal feelings, I was nonchalantly told to drink a lot of water and wait for it to work its way out of my system, which could be 2 more weeks. Thankfully it was much less than that, and I used that time of wait to re-ground myself with gardening, reading, and journaling.
Not only was I given a high dose of the steroid, I wasn’t weened on or weened off of this drug, and after doing a lot of research it was comforting to see that I wasn’t the only one who had such an adverse reaction. I’ve never taken illegal drugs, rarely to ever drink alcohol, never smoked a cigarette even, and I’m super sensitive to prescription medications. And I have this one in my medical chart to never ever give me again. Did I say never ever ever ever??!
Everyone is effected differently so I’m not telling you to never take this drug, but do talk to your doctor and pharmacist about possible side effects with any new prescription. I was, however, so desperate to make my arm feel better that I didn’t take my own advice.
It did make me understand those who’ve felt suicidal and those who have committed suicide. I got a glimpse of the numbness and deep emotional ache that their spirits have communicated to me in previous sessions. Many say those who commit suicide are selfish, but as I went through the medicated haze I didn’t have time to really feel. I didn’t have the motivation to write a letter or to reach out to a toll free suicide hotline. I couldn’t explain my emotional pain to my best friend, my husband. It was like my soul had abandoned me and the only way to find peace was to chase after it. I didn’t think of the pain the loss would’ve caused my family, only that I had to go and find me again even if death was the only way.
My moment was temporary and I’m back to me, albeit my elbow still hurts, but I’ll take that over the psychotic episodes.
It took me awhile to decide to write about this encounter, but then my guides said it might help someone. Maybe you know someone taking prescription medication and their personality has changed, but the dots haven’t been connected. Maybe you’ve lost a loved one who might’ve taken their life and you’re angry and thinking you could’ve done something. Let me tell you that you couldn’t have.
If you are having your own moment, please know that you are wanted HERE. Even if you feel as if your soul has left. It hasn’t, and there are people who want to help reconnect you to you again. If you can’t reach out to a friend or family member, reach out to SOMEONE. The National Suicide Prevention Hotline is 1-800-273-8255. They can help as well. It’s not time for your story to end. It’s okay to feel like a mess, and to admit that you are lost. If someone won’t listen, find someone who will.
You are loved and I believe in you.