So. Um. I've had about nine Oatmeal Scotchies, so now I have the Scotchie Courage to tell you what I did about Zoloft.
What happened, if you remember, is that I started freaking out increasingly as the mother-in-law visit approached. My mind turned to the half-finished bottle of Zoloft in my underwear drawer, saved because I hoard things like that, and because when I was trying Zoloft it was a $40 copay and so I didn't want to toss it out lightly, and then the years went by.
I posted that the medication was probably expired (although the expiration on the prescription bottle has to be one year or less from the fill date; the actual expiration date can be much, much later), AND I was nursing a baby, AND taking it would be really stupid without doctor supervision.
And you commented, and nobody said, "You idiot, I can't believe you're even considering it," and some of you even said you'd know it was a bad decision but you'd take it anyway, and for all of this I was supremely grateful.
Backstory, since we're here anyway. That Zoloft prescription was from two mother-in-law visits ago; that is, not this one, and not the one before it, but the one before that. I didn't realize that I was freaking out because of her impending visit; I thought I was generically losing my mind. I went to the doctor because I felt like I was going to jitter right out of my skin. He put me on Zoloft and also made me see a psychologist AND a psychiatrist. My mother-in-law left and I felt SO much better and went off the Zoloft. I went off it gradually and afterward had half a bottle left over, which I didn't bother to throw out. End backstory.
That backstory was because I am postponing telling you that I DID take the expired Zoloft, WITHOUT consulting a doctor. I think that was a Bad Decision, even though it worked out well for me--and so I didn't want to confess it to you, and I also didn't want to advocate it to the internet at large, as if I thought it were a good idea when I think in fact it's a pretty crappy idea.
I did consult Dr. Google to make sure it was okay to take while breastfeeding, and I also greatly valued the emails I got from several of you telling me of your breastfeeding/Zoloft decisions. I was glad to know that I was not the only one who (1) felt conflicted about taking it while breastfeeding, and (2) chose to take it. I also checked to make sure it wasn't one of the few medications that becomes stronger or changes effect when expired (it isn't: it just slowly loses potency).
There were several reasons for my decision to take the Zoloft all vigilante-style:
1) I didn't know what to say to the receptionist, if I called the doctor. It seemed like a long story, and I seemed too far away from the birth of the baby, and I couldn't think of how to begin. I still can't. And I don't even know if I'm supposed to call the OB or my regular doctor.
2) Last time I went on Zoloft, the doctor said he only felt comfortable prescribing it if I ALSO saw a psychologist AND a psychiatrist. They didn't help me. The psychiatrist kept trying to put me on stronger, less-tested medications I wasn't comfortable with trying and saw no reason to try since the Zoloft was working fine. The psychologist kept trying to make me complete sentences such as "If someone doesn't like me, I think I must be ______" (hint: opposite of likable).
3) Since then, the practice has changed around, and my doctor is gone, replaced by a new doctor I've never met. So I can't even start with "Here's what we did last time; here's what I'd like to do this time."
4) I only wanted to go on the Zoloft for about a month. And I had about a month's supply already in the house. And it was way, way easier not to mess around with phone calls and appointments and babysitters and explaining things to the doctor and arguing against treatment options.
So. For eight days I took 25 mg/day, biting off half of one-half tablet (taste: slightly bitter, not too bad). Then I went to 50 mg/day. I'm going to stay on that for another day or two, until the aftershocks from the mother-in-law visit have faded. Then I'm going to go down to 25 mg. Then 25 mg every other day. Then every third day. Then off. I go off Zoloft VERY SLOWLY, because people have had trouble with suicidal thoughts while discontinuing it.
I am pretty sure it helped me cope with the mother-in-law visit. I still did freak out, but I think it was less. It is so difficult to say, because when I am on Zoloft I feel as if I am the same as I always am--but when I go off it, I feel different. I think it is possible that when I go off it, I will think, "WAIT! I want that back!" And in THAT case I will call the doctor and get a fresh prescription.
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