Sunday, October 9, 2011

Serotonin Syndrome Scare

    Recently my husband and I discovered that the medication a Physician at the VA prescribed him to treat his anxiety has caused an adverse reaction resulting in much more complicated and serious symptoms than expected. Immediately when realizing how serious his symptoms were, sudden panic on both our parts began to rise to heights unforeseeable to both of us. The symptoms were pretty nasty: restlessness, shivering, muscle rigidity, confusion, uncontrollable heavy sweating, muscular twitching and/or tremors, diarrhea, increased heart rate, dilated pupils, seizures, continued headache, and hallucinations. These were just a few of the recognizable symptoms that we noted. If many of you out there are thinking about now- Wow, my husband has the same symptoms. What’s causing this? The answer to that question is this-Serotonin Syndrome , also known as Serotonin Toxicity, which is a form of poisoning. If you are wondering just how serious Serotonin poisoning is, please be advised this condition at it’s worst may cause death. I’m not trying to scare you, but I feel you should know the facts about just how serious this condition can be if not immediately tended to.

I’m sure if you are in my shoes right now and freaking out by what all this may mean to you, allow me to pass on a little information that may help you figure out what steps to take next. Here is an insert from Google-

Serotonin syndrome is a disease that appears when someone is making abuse of certain drugs that store high levels of serotonin in the body. Serotonin syndrome occurs particularly when is taken in addition to these drugs, which serve to regulate serotonin levels in the body, some other drugs that together give upside these levels of serotonin. Of course this syndrome occurs also when the doses of these drugs are increased over the doses prescribed by the doctor.

          In cases of sever Serotonin syndrome you will notice symptoms like high fever, seizures, unconsciousness and irregular heartbeats. Serotonin syndrome in severe forms can bring even death to a person. In milder cases of serotonin syndrome for immediate treatment are used drugs that block serotonin or they will stop the medications that affects the serotonin levels.

If you begin to have these serotonin syndrome symptoms especially because you got a higher dose of a drug (that your doctor prescribed to maintain your serotonin levels) or because you decided to try a new drug about which you do not know too much, I recommend you to contact a doctor immediately or go to the nearest hospital for detailed investigations.

For my husband, the central cause of Serotonin syndrome was the combination two medications that he was advised was safe to take in conjunction with each other; Effexor (SNRI used to treat anxiety), and Tramadol (used for pain management). Both drugs on their own can cause this reaction, but by taking both of them together, and having his dosage of Effexor increased was really the nail in the coffin that caused his serotonin poisoning.  If you have noticed these symptoms in your loved one, my suggestion would be to immediately seek medical attention. I am not a Physician, and this post is not intended to direct care, but to pass on information about my experiences. I hope none of you have to experience what we have just recently gone through, but if you are, please do not wait to see if the medication will settle on its own.
                                                              Stay safe, and live well-

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Warriors in Pink-FIVE

Every once in awhile you see or hear about something so groundbreaking and inspirational that it instantly brings tears to your eyes and makes you grateful for the life you have been blessed with no matter the difficulties or bumps in the road. For me, this tear provoking moment came on strong as soon as I saw the first press release for FIVE, an exceptional film directed by five of Hollywood’s most incredibly dynamic women, and stars 5 of Hollywood's most compelling and extraordinary actresses. The film is part of Lifetime and Ford’s Warriors in Pink campaign which encourages the expanding awareness and support in finding a cure for breast cancer. The film depicts the stories of 5 different women who have been affected by breast cancer. 

Here is a short insert from Lifetime:

The groundbreaking original movie “Five” is an anthology of five short films exploring the impact of breast cancer on people’s lives. “Five” highlights the shared experience each short film’s title character endures from the moment of diagnosis, through an interconnected story arc that uses humor and drama to focus on the effect breast cancer and its different stages of diagnosis

To read more please visit Lifetime’s website:

Being someone who has lost a loved one to breast cancer, I believe strongly in the necessity to heighten the awareness of breast cancer, and encourage all who can to learn about this disease and lend their hand in finding a cure. Sometimes being a warrior wife, mom, sister, or daughter extends beyond the battles of PTSD, and for these battles, having a solid grounding of continued support makes all the difference between losing a life, and saving one. Please tune in to Lifetime to watch this incredible film, and learn how you can extend your support in finally beating breast cancer.

 If you would like to know how you can lend your support and stay stylish at the same time check out this link:  to pick up your own warriors in pink swag. The Lady Bug and I officially are owners of our own! Pictures coming soon.

Take care Warriors and live well!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


I’ve been doing a lot of thinking over the past 6 months of how I can take more time out for myself to do the things that make me happy and help to ease some of the stress that tends to accumulate due to the day to day headaches of work, motherhood, wifeyhood, and coping with PTSD. Coping takes more effort than just taking 10 minutes out of my day to stop and breathe before jumping right back into the craziness that is my life. I don’t know about you, but more often than not for me, the day to day hustle and bustle seems to consume my focus, and inevitably prevent me from taking time out for myself to do the things that make me happy and keep me sane. I’ve been trying to think of a way to resolve this issue, and finally carve out some much needed me time to aid my endeavors of keeping a coherent emotional stabilization to cope with the stressors of life. But not just coping, I deserve to do something for myself. We all do. As mothers, and wives, sisters, and daughters, workers of the world, and stay at home moms, damn it we work hard and keep our families intact, we deserve to do something for ourselves that makes us happy don’t you think?

Well I figured out exactly how to take time for myself, and since I’m a fan of making list and am insistent on sharing my thoughts and ideas with all my fellow Warrior Women out here in the blogsphere, I’ve decided to post this list for all of you today. So here it is, I now declare this list self evident that we warrior Women need to Cape DSFY (Do Something for Yourself). I figured I ‘d give myself a full year to complete these task since, well, hello…If I don’t have a deadline I won’t get anything done. 

  1. Visit 10 historical sites or museums in your area
  2. Get involved in or volunteer for 10 charities in your area
  3. Complete a 10 week body boot camp/detox
  4. Read 10 interesting novels that you would like to share on blogger
  5. Find 10 interesting and culturally themed non-chain restaurants in your area to explore and review
  6. Finish writing and edits of your book in 10 months, and start looking to become published
  7. Find 10 new meet up groups in my area and go on 10 interesting meets to share on blogger
  8. Explore 10 different California Cities you have always talked about visiting. If they have good tourist sites blog about them.
  9. Take 10 artistically motivated classes
  10. Start and finish 10 projects you have been putting off for the past 4 years.
I'm really looking forward to taking on this challenge and sharing all the funsies with you along the way. 

Acupuncture and You

Ever thought some of the most resilient ailments could melt away in a matter of minutes without pills or expensive treatments? I’m talking about back pain, headaches, infertility, nausea, and even anxiety. Yes peeps, you heard right…anxiety disorder. Have you ever wonder how to reduce the effects of most chronic pain without taking meds that make you feel like a zombie? Well readers, if these are concerns that you may have, I may just have an answer-Acupuncture.

If you’re immediate thought is Really? This sounds like a load of crap I can assure you it’s not. A few years ago when my husband first began treatment for PTSD and anxiety disorder a Psychologist that he was seeing at the time inquired as to if he had ever considered acupuncture in addition to traditional medication treatment. Much like most people my husband politely advised that the thought of turning himself into a human pin cushion was not exactly something that he cared to try. As the years ticked on, and the traditional treatments failed to relieve his anxiety, my husband soon began to consider holistic approaches to simmer down the debilitating effects of anxiety. And you know what…it worked! My husband had his first appointment a few weeks ago with a Psychiatrist that specialized in acupuncture and an Acupuncture therapist. Within minutes of receiving the first pin pricks his anxiety levels (which were at the time about a 10) immediately melted away and stayed away for two weeks. Not only did this treatment diminish his anxiety and clam his PTSD, it also greatly reduced the amount of meds needed during the duration of the two weeks after this treatment. Impressive? This is just scratching the surface of what acupuncture can do.

Now before you dismiss this post and write it off as completely irrelevant to you or your circumstances, first consider a few little known facts:

  • Holistic medicine such as acupuncture is based on the treatment of all bodily systems. To this effect, the treatment has the ability to benefit or greatly improve physical health conditions as well as affective disorders and instill a feeling of increased mental and physical health.

  • Acupuncture works directly with the body’s natural energy redirecting said energy and as a result allowing the body to naturally release tension, chronic pain, and anxiety.

  • Acupuncture has been proven effective in treating various medical conditions, and it’s use has been expanded into conventional medicine practices.

  • Acupuncture is best known and recognized for relieving acute and chronic pain, however, it also benefits a wide variety of Respiratory disorders such as: sinusitis, common cold, bronchitis and asthma.

  • Acupuncture can also benefit nearsightedness and cataracts, and improve the effects of frequent headaches caused by some of your most common eye diseases.

Still feel hesitant about trying acupuncture? Listen to this:

  • Acupuncture can also help to strengthen your immune system function, which through treatment can better enable you to fight of cold, minor infections, and flu.
  • Most importantly to me (and you if you or your loved one suffers from PTSD), Acupuncture is known to aid multiple emotional or psychological disorders, which reduce or completely stop addictions, phobias, obsessive behaviors, eating disorders, anxiety, stress, chemical imbalances, and depression.

If you are still feeling a little on the fence, try asking your Physician about Acupuncture in conjunction with traditional treatments you or your loved one may be taking now. As I always like to say; arming yourself with knowledge will never hurt. Good Luck Warrior Wives!

What treatments have seemed to work for you or your Warrior spouse? Send me an email or post a comment to share your story.