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  1. PLEASE NOTE THAT ONE RECOVERY THREAD ONLY IS PREFERRED. PLEASE DON'T START ADDITIONAL THREADS ABOUT YOUR RECOVERY.

Rider1960, Dorothy, back home finally!!!! (the long version!)

Discussion in 'Hip Replacement Recovery Area' started by rider1960, Feb 4, 2012.

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  1. rider1960

    rider1960 Post-Grad

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    Re: Post op blues has hit hard, but 9 weeks out ...

    Thanks everyone. I really appreciate your support and suggestions. I will weigh them all carefully.

    As far as taking more time off work, financially I can't do it. No paid time off and I have another surgery and recovery waiting for me in June. I'm still glad I decided to do this one at a time instead of both at once, though. I'd probably REALLY be in a bind if I had attempted that!

    I do think the mental parts of the adjustment are a big problem now. You are very right. I am trying to be normal in the world and I'm not quite ready to be that way, and it's frustrating.

    Time to take a deep breath--it's Friday, and I don't have to work the weekend!

    Dorothy
  2. Jen

    Jen Senior

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    Re: Post op blues has hit hard, but 9 weeks out ...

    Dorothy, everyone else has already given some great advice so I will just send a :friends:. I hope you have a wonderful weekend!
  3. bobslp

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    Re: Post op blues has hit hard, but 9 weeks out ...

    You mentioned several times in your post that the hip is not your greatest concern but that the non hip problems were. It sounds to me like you are suffering from a case of depression and the distorted thinking that always accompanies it.
    You might do well to consult with a MD and look at the possibility of using an antidepressant. I use an old standard called Sinequan and it does me very well. Having said that, some of what you feel is to be expected. I am going through some if it too as I approach my 2nd THR. I think the hardest part is realizing that "normal" is not static, it changes. What was normal for me when I was 30 and had healthy joints is not at all normal for me at 61 with advanced OA.
    It's a process of losing something, of giving something up and it sucks. I have a friend who has been disabled since his 30's and he once told me that he was jealous of and angry with me because I was one of the "normals". Now I sort of see what he meant.
    This last go round with the hip pain and disability has brought it home to me that I will never be "normal" again. Actually, I see that "normal" is again changing. When I had my first THR, I let myself get out of shape for about 4 years until one day I realized I had lost the ability to run. I started working out on a treadmill and within 3 months, I had it back. Not sprinting or anything but much better than where I was. As a matter of fact, last summer I was in better shape relatively than I had been in a long, long time. Hmm, maybe I can get close to that again. Maybe you can too. Maybe ride again. I think there's a post here somewhere about that.
    Let me suggest a book called "Feeling Good" by David Burns. Used copies should be cheap on Amazon. It's actually prescribed by many helath care professionals for people with depression but it's also a good source to help with what's going on in our livess right now.
    As usual, my response has turned into somewhat of a disconnected ramble. I hope it makes some sense and if so, let me know if I can help any at all.
  4. nanamac

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    Re: Post op blues has hit hard, but 9 weeks out ...

    Aww, poor Dorothy. I understand completely though and echo what has been said. Perfectly normal to feel as you do. I actually felt this way long before I had this hip done as I had been in so much pain since my first THR.

    I went to my psychopharmacologist who is the most compassionate doctor and he put me on Cymbalta. It wokls on both pain and depression and is the best thing I could have done for myself.

    Hips #2 is done now and I am still on it and plan on staying on it. There is nothing wrong with you. Look what you have gone thru and you are 1/2 way to being fixed for good!

    There is nothing wrong with asking your doctor for some help. I started at 30mg, and am on 60mg now. I went higher but it made me sweat profusely so 60mg is the magic # for me.

    Hang in there honey, it will get better. Ask for help, either from your friends with the house, or you doctor for an antidepressant. You'll be just fine in the end. Good luck :console:...
  5. Erushka

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    Re: Post op blues has hit hard, but 9 weeks out ...

    Cymbalta has been very useful for thousands of people. One of my close friends has benefited greatly from it. Unfortunately, it has a long list of possible side effects, some of them deadly. Be sure to thoroughly review the side effects with your provider if you might want to take it. Read the prescribing information. Conduct your own benefit vs risk assessment before taking any antidepressant. And of course listen to the doctor's viewpoint.

    Do not underestimate the power of listening! Find someone who you can speak with, someone who is non-judgmental but sympathetic, who respects your self-determination but can also offer practical advice. This might be a psychiatrist, a social worker, a professional counselor, trained clergy, or even an old friend whose discretion and wisdom you trust. And of course post regularly on BS!

    Moods are in constant flux, they are always changing. This depression is not permanent! This is just one step on the sometimes bumpy road to recovery. There is a long way to go, and from what I've read here, the journey will become much smoother.
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  6. bobslp

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    Re: Post op blues has hit hard, but 9 weeks out ...

    I was on cymbalta for a few years. Yes, it works but if you ever want to stop taking it...well google "cymbalta discontinuation".
    When I finally got it out of my system, I went back to one I had used many years ago. Many times the old tricylics work as well as the newer ssri and snri meds and they have far fewer side effects.
  7. C Mac

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    Re: Post op blues has hit hard, but 9 weeks out ...

    Hi Dorothy,

    I'm about 9 months out from surgery and it's normal for you to feel as if your tendons/muscles & ligaments (soft tissues) are still recovering. They are recovering from the change the hardware has created and will continue adjusting for some time.

    I think we had been talking about this over in Z15's thread. It does take a while for the stiffness to lessen as well -- or at least it did for me, and it was a gradual process. At 9 weeks post-op, I definitely had trouble with sitting for periods of time and then feeling like my body had rusted when I'd get up and start moving. I don't think it is something that can be hurried along....

    One suggestion that I'd make, given you have to be back at work, is to make everything else at home as easy as possible. If you need to go to paper plates and "convenience" types of food to keep your energy level up for work maybe that will help. If you can get help with the household chores take that option as well. Your body is still healing from a pretty major ordeal and I think most of us would wish you a few more weeks at home in your comfy clothes.

    I'm sorry about your friend that passed away and about your pup that is having a rough time adjusting to your return to work and also about the missed trail rides this summer. Are there any fun tidbits that you have to try to look forward to???? Do you have a support network of friends and family close by that might be able to be rallied for additional support.

    It's a long journey working towards your *new* normal and I think that you are having a lot of similar feelings, both physically and mentally, that many of us have experienced when we were at your same stage of recuperation. I hope you have a good and restful weekend. :friends:

    Take care,
    Cardie
  8. Jamie

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    Dorothy, I'm so sorry to hear you're in that "blue" state. I feel like it's a normal reaction with where you are in recovery.

    First of all, you've had to go back to work before you're really ready. It's doable, of course, but you have to expect the trade-off of being very, very tired. Your body is still taking a fair amount of your energy allotment and putting it toward healing. So it's very important for you to give yourself extra opportunities to rest and take things easy between now and the time for your next surgery.

    That means, you try to schedule your days so that you ONLY go to work....no errands, no appointments....just work and home to rest. See if you can get someone to help you with required errands like grocery shopping. Don't worry one whit about things like housecleaning or other home chores. Hire whatever you can, ask friends, or just let it go for a while.

    You also have the added issue of needing your second hip done. Whether you realize it on a conscious level or not, you are probably feeling a bit overwhelmed by that now that you see what this surgery has brought in terms of recovery. If you don't have everything all set up for that surgery, try and do some of the things now to get ready. Being organized will help.

    Lastly, sit down and make a list of small things that you really enjoy doing...like reading, watching a particular television show, knitting, being outside, chatting with a friend.....then plan for space to do one of those things at least every other day. It can be something as simple as sitting outside for your lunch. But these are the things that heal our minds and souls as our bodies heal. It's just as important.

    Come here and chat when you want to. We're always available to listen and help.

    @rider1960: You may notice that I merged your latest thread with your older recovery thread. We really like to keep each person's updates, questions and concerns about their individual recovery in one place. It's easier for us to look back and see where you've been. And for newer members, your story then reads more easily from start to end of recovery.
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  9. Poppet

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    Hi Dorothy

    I am so sorry that you are feeling blue honey .

    It is difficult going back to work and the real world. I have found (and still do) that it is the energy drain that gets me every day, and even though co workers are kind, I have found that once they see one walking around normally, they totally forget that you have had major, major surgery and that the healing is going on for months or even up to a year or beyond.

    I have a dear friend who said to me prior to my surgery that it took a full two years before she felt normal.. She said that she saw the big improvements and progress early in recovery and then all of a sudden it plateaued. Around the six month and twelve month mark she said she felt well, fit and had more energy, but the dreadful energy drain from working and life in general took longer.

    You need to be very kind to yourself in the 'blue' days and moments. They do pass, although at the time it is hard to see that.

    We have had major surgery, our lives are different now, but that doesn't mean that we won't return to full health, energy, activity and happiness again..

    It just takes time hon... Try not to sweat the small things :)

    p.s. Pleased you have your date for hip two, time will pass quickly :)

    I will pop by again and chat xxxxx
  10. rider1960

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    Gosh, you are all so nice and supportive! Thank you so much!!

    I have to say I felt better right after I wrote my marathon length post and got it all out of me. I did talk with a friend last night about how tired I was and feeling like the accident victim having to learn how to do everything again.

    I also noticed that my foot hits the ground differently than it did before the surgery. I've always had a degree of splay footedness (toes pointing out). Now, my leg and foot want to fall straight, yet 51 years of walking the same way wants me to force my leg and foot to go out again. I know that's not right, but another weird thing to get used to with the recovery. I do think I'll feel better when both sides are moving the same way and I don't feel so divided.

    The suggestions about the paper plates, take out, etc. are excellent. I've been trying to save money for the next "out of work", but I think I need to allocate money for take out food in particular. I used to go to the salad bar at the cafe at work and get large salads and love them. They were so filling and healthful. I rarely prepare salads at home because I don't like a lot of variety, and if I buy all the salad ingredients it will usually go bad before I use it up. Also, there is just something about it just being there for me to choose from--and I didn't have to do anything to prepare it! I may get back to doing that at least some of the time. That will save time and energy preparing lunch to take to work.

    Some of you also made good points about the expectations needing to change with the lifestyle adjustments of going back to work. Don't expect I'm going to be able to fit in as much as I did before and trust that it will be OK. I'm very faithful about doing my hip exercises and spend a lot of time on them each day, but maybe I'll spend less time on them and see how that goes. I'm already on board with the suggestion about not doing housework during the week, lol--haven't done anything this week.

    And, the upcoming right hip surgery IS weighing on me. In a positive and a negative way. I'm certainly looking forward to finishing the other 50% of this ... but at the same time, it's a big ordeal to go through all over again. Maybe if I have more money saved up, I can stay out of work an extra couple of weeks. I stayed out 8 weeks this time and thought that was enough, but I guess I needed a little more time to feel well enough to return. But then again, my body is gaining overall strength after the 1st hip got me up and moving, so maybe I won't feel quite a dragged out afterwards ... have to wait and see.

    And, of course, I'm more "normal" looking now--I walk normally, usually have a big smile on my face because I really *do* feel better, and tell people that the new hip feels great (which it does). But, every time I talk about still feeling tired and drained, no one really cares to hear that or takes that seriously--it just doesn't correlate with how I look in general. They see this person who went from being like the walking/limping dead to skipping along and think all is well. I guess they just think it's a normal tired that everyone gets. I probably wouldn't understand it either. At least no one is critical with their responses.

    I hate to admit this next thing ... but I'll do it anyway ... I think part of me is fighting coming back to work and having that disruption in my life. "I was doing just fine and dandy having a healthy, happy good time at home feeling pretty good, enjoying my life big time before I had to come back to where they wear me out every day!" Isn't that like a spoiled brat??????!!!!!! I have to remind myself that I really do have a good job and this job is why I had very little to pay regarding the hip surgery and my medical care in general.

    I do dearly miss the leisurely mornings, preparing a smoothie and sitting outside in the morning sun with my dogs watching the horses munch their hay (I had the great warm weather the NE was having), returning to the house to putter around, going out shopping or visiting a friend during the afternoon or just watching some TV, being able to schedule appointments and get togethers with no work hours interfering with them--I was pretty mobile the last 3-4 weeks, even though I still had some limitations. I figured out a way to work around them. So, maybe I'm even grieving the loss of my daytime freedom????? We humans are so complex.

    I had fewer pins and needles in my feet today and I haven't had the muscle jumpiness and restlessness in my legs for a couple of nights in a row. I hope that's a good sign.

    Good suggestion about thinking of things to do that are "transition" type things. I'll give that some thought this weekend and see what I can come up with.

    Oh, how crazy life can be sometimes, huh?! I know I will get through this. It's great to have this forum full of people who truly understand. The other people in my life try to help and sometimes do, but there is nothing like someone who has been there. Thanks so much.

    Dorothy
  11. Poppet

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    Wouldn't it be nice if we could retire Dorothy?

    I am in countdown mode (daily), even though I love my job, I am ready to sit on my deck and watch the wild life.... Ah! It doesn't cost anything to dream...

    Must admit, since my surgery, I have become rather good at closing my eyes and taking myself off to my special place to daydream 
  12. DallasSarah

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    Hi again Dorothy!

    WEW it's great that work Friday came to end finally! Lots of great advice in your thread. The emotional drain of this journey is enormous and double with having to get both hips done. You have such an amazing strong spirit it's so obvious how feisty, spirited and independent you are and this plays into everything right now. Jamie's advice was Stella and Erushka.

    I'm mixed on antidepressant and I'm sharing this thought right now not saying they are bad or anything. I had gone to see a psychiatrist last Jan my OBGYN had told me she felt I was showing signs of depression, so I bounced over and eagerly sharedmy story in my hour appointment and yep they put me on an anti depressant and gave me Xanax. I had to go to see them every two weeks no longer saw dr but their PA and they didn't talk to me just kept giving me a prescription.....I felt calmer yes for sure! By day 45-60 I felt FAT so on a new appointment I said I feel like I'm getting Fatter so the PA said oh here's a new prescription it was original made as a antidepressant but they no longer suggest but it's great for appetite suppressant. I walked out thinking this is silly a pill for a pill for a pill....this is no way to live life! Hate to admit it I stopped everything which they say is naughty, I was fine. The other thing is I have a couple of girlfriends that are taking these pills and also throw in drinking wine, which Xanax and wine is a lethal combination. I hope I'm not coming across as negative to antidepressant I'm sure they have changed some people's lives. My one girlfriend took for a year I think it was Zoloft but she had lost a young grandchild and was seriously in a major funk she couldn't get out of bed it was scary.

    Sometimes the hardest thing to do is to pause, take a deep breath and think ok here I am, today is good, i still can giggle and find joy in my pets, my friends are ok. Tomorrow is not promised and keep it that simple. Baby steps!

    I've babbled tonight...your fault so there~

    Love you!

    xxooxx
  13. rider1960

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    Sarah--you remarked about good info on this thread--remember, you are contributing to this good info too!!

    Your story about the pills is a very valid one. I've been on Zoloft for treatment for anxiety for years and have been weaning myself off it over the course of the last few months--I just don't want to take it any longer. I find my body becomes incredibly weirded out when I try to decrease the dose and I have to do it in tiny, tiny increments--kind of what Bob talked about with discontinuing Cymbalta. I think the anti-depressants can be that way.

    I don't typically have a problem with depression, just situational things will get to me like anyone else. I'm typically a positive person and naturally upbeat. I've always been that way. But, I AM pretty "tightly wrapped", as a friend of mine likes to say. I lean towards generalized anxiety, performance anxiety, and panic attacks rather than depression. I'm a pretty intense, driven kind of person in many ways. I think that's one of the reasons I was able to rehab my hip a little help from the PT at rehab and a couple of home PT visits. I did the rest myself. I live 20 miles from the nearest outpatient PT office, and I didn't want to drive there. I became "unqualified" for home PT very quickly. I asked that PT if she thought I could just continue on my own, and she said yes. Things have gone well. I think I even surprised my surgeon with what I was able to do when I went for my post op appointment at the 7 week mark. He kind of lifted an eyebrow when I told him I never went to outpatient PT, but he agreed that I was doing fine. I got the start up and the instructions I needed, just set my mind to continue doing it, and by golly I did it! Maybe stubborn is a good term for me too, lol.

    Bob, I noticed something I didn't respond to in your post. About my saying I'm not concerned about making sure my new hip does well and doing the right things for it, what I'm really saying is that the hip is improving right on target and hasn't given me any problems--more predictable and consistent with what I expected and the typical rehab and improvement patterns I hear from others. But, I've had all these other goofy things like the muscles in my legs jumping around, pins and needles feelings in my feet, my Achilles tendon feeling like it's been hit by a Mack truck, muscles in my shoulders and arms stiff and sore weeks after surgery. And, the fatigue ... that's been huge! I have found all this more mysterious and more difficult to deal with and understand than the hip itself; thus, the increased concern. That's what I was talking about. I hope that cleared it up.

    Dorothy
  14. DallasSarah

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    I adore you Dorothy always have always will....

    I think over the weekend if you have some down time go back and read your orginal posts, it might take you a month or two to read (JOKING) you have come through this just amazingly well. I would be candid enough to say earlier on I wouldnt have expected this quick of a recovery, theres no hidden point there, you have genuinely impressed me and duh more important I like you. the best part I've loved is your neighbors, friends that says alot about how people care for you...see I get sentinmental about things like this.

    Erushka had good words about finding some help to talk things over sometime its a neutral person that can help you the most.

    Maybe this weekend lounge around, play with dogs and horses and not get crazy about housework have a all about you weekend. If I was closer i would come and take you out for a nice lunch or dinner.

    when you say your body gets weirded out on the pills that makes me nervous.

    wow im a sleepy baby tonight! Let us know if we can do anything to help.

    Love you dearly!!

    xxooxx

    bedtime~
  15. rider1960

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    Sarah, you are very sweet. I really like you too! You are so much fun; your posts have a lot of zip to them. I always enjoy reading them.

    About the people in my life--I really feel fortunate for them. They are absolute gems!

    Sarah, and a clarification so you don't worry--my body doesn't like it when I *stop* the Zoloft--not a problem when I'm on it, so I have to go very slowly when tapering off. I've done this before, so I know what to do.

    I'm kind of where you say you are at with life and health--at a crossroads--wanting to improve my health and make good, solid life-long choices ... and wanting to ditch the Zoloft is part of this. I want to pare down the meds. I can't wait for the day the other hip is replaced, doesn't hurt and I can get off the anti-inflammatories and the occasional Percocet I'm still taking. I've pared my pain meds down a lot too since the new hip, but I would love to go back to the pre-arthritis days when I just popped a multi-vit and that was it. It's just going to take a while longer to get there.

    The loss of my mobility that I had taken for granted my whole life was a huge wake up call for me. I'm now being given a second chance with these wonderful new hips, and that means a lot to me.

    I'm also determined to get my weight down to a healthy level. I'm not doing anything radical, but I've lost 15 pounds since my hip surgery! Still have a lot to go, but I call myself a work in progress. I don't need to be skinny--I just want to be healthier, and I think the hips were just the thing I needed to slap me up side of the head and say "WAKE UP--you aren't a kid any more and have to start taking better care of yourself." A case of something good coming out of a bad situation.

    And Hey, what do you mean it will take me a while to read through my old posts!! You should chat with me in person!!! ha ha! I've actually gotten my hands slapped at work a few times because I had too many people stopping by my desk to chat and stuff like that--"It's too noisy and people around you are complaining". Seems silly to me, but some people like it quiet all the time--BOOORRRRRING!

    Today, a co-worker and I were talking about e-mails and she asked me "do you write e-mails like you talk"--meaning wordy. I laughed and said absolutely!!!! And, I told her I tend to do the same on my message board posts. But, I don't really do that ... do I ... ha ha. I'm a very fast typist ... good thing, huh! lol lol lol

    :) :) :) See, you all have me feeling better all ready!! Just talking about all this really helps.

    Dorothy
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  16. C Mac

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    Hi Dorothy,

    I just wanted to quickly tell you that I also experienced this same change in the alignment of my leg early on after surgery. Now that I'm further out and tendons/muscles & ligaments have had time to stretch out more and adapt to the new hip ( I had some length added as well) my leg has loosened up considerably -- I think yours will too!! Of course after hip #2 you'll be adjusting again, but hopefully your OS will match your angles and alignment so that your legs work happily and easily together!

    Take care,
    Cardie
  17. rider1960

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    Thanks Cardie, I'll keep that in mind. Actually, I'm walking with more correct leg alignment and foot fall than before in that leg. Maybe he did this on purpose to correct it ... I wish I would have thought to ask. I did ask our retired orthopedist where I work and he gave me a brief answer in a rather confusing manner something like this--there is a ligament in the capsule that gets released during surgery. I might have had a life-long contracture of that which got released during surgery, and they put me back together in the appropriate alignment. He, too, thought my leg alignment and foot fall was better in my new hip leg than my other leg and didn't recommend trying to change it. It's more balanced.

    When I was at my follow up appointment with my surgeon, my big focus was mainly on clarifying a few of the exercise and activity questions, and, of course, scheduling the 2nd THR. I forgot some of these other questions. I can always call or email him, but I may wait until closer to my next surgery.

    Funny how some people have this done and don't want details. In fact, my friend who had her hip replaced by the same surgeon during August 2011 doesn't even know what kind or size or materials of the prosthesis she has ... and doesn't care ... as long as it works. Me, I had to know the brand, size, specific materials, etc. and lots of other info. lol

    I'm feeling pretty good today mentally and physically. I think I might be coming out of this funk. I see another thread about the emotional roller coaster aspect of hip replacement ... I haven't read it yet, but I'm sure I'll have some things in common with that person.

    Thanks again everyone for taking time to read my long posts and respond--I really appreciate it. You helped me through a tough time.

    Dorothy
  18. Poppet

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    You are a very special lady Dorothy, we all love your newsy posts, I know I do for sure.

    I don't have anything to offer about the antidepressants.. I have never taken them.

    Sounds like you have a good reason to be on them and now a good plan to get off them... All in good time, it takes a strong will and determination to do this.

    I am so pleased you have the joy if two new hips and the promise of a life full with your dogs and horses.

    Those trail rides are beckoning when you are ready  xoxoxoxox
  19. dianemarie

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    Dear Dorothy,

    I am 17 weeks out and still have those "days" when all seem bleak and it feels as if I will never get back to "normal", then the darkness parts and feeling good comes back again but it remains up and down and I sense it will be quite a while for me with my 2nd hip. Hang in there...No matter how bad my day may be it isn't as bad as the bone on bone pain used to be.:thumb:
  20. mrsdouce

    mrsdouce Junior Member

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    Nov 17, 2011
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    Hi Dorothy,

    I know you don't know me nor do I know you, but can I make one suggestion? I have experience with zoloft as I have been taking it for years. I completely understand your wanting to get off of it, but maybe now is not the best time to make that change. It really can do things to your level of "blues" when you wean off. Since you are in the middle of a anxiety provoking situation maybe waiting to your life "stabilizes" would be a good time to wean off of zoloft. The highs and lows post hip surgery are so frustrating and you have another surgery ahead of you. I love your positive attitude. I just wonder if the zoloft may aide you through these months and then as you really return to normalcy wean off of it. Just my two cents! :)
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