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Several Weeks From Hell (April 22, 2008 - 4:25 a.m.)

I do apologize for my lack of updatiness lately. There's been a lot going on. I'll try to summarize it briefly.

Several weeks ago, Stephanie came down with a double ear infection. The doctor gave her Omnicef, an antibiotic. She got better, missed a little school.

The next week, she started saying her throat hurt and she felt "achy." Went back to doctor. Doctor said viral infection. Missed a little more school. Still had a few days left on the Omnicef.

The next week, on about Wednesday night, she came in with red blotches on her skin (warm to the touch), and said her joints (mainly wrists and fingers at this point) were hurting. The next morning, they were hurting worse and the red blotches were bigger. Back to the doctor we went. He said "erythema multiforme," and said it was more than likely a reaction to the antibiotic from two weeks ago. Gave us some prednizone. Missed some more school.

The next week, the pain wasn't better, although the red blotches went away. Steph and mom wound up at the emergency room on Saturday night, where they drew blood and tested for several things, including rheumatoid arthritis and lupis. Both tests were, thankfully, negative. However, we still weren't any closer to what was wrong.

By Friday of last week, though, the pain had gotten better. The doctor said he was wrong about the first diagnosis (very rare for a doctor to do that) and gave us more steroids for ten more days. They seem to help.

The weekend was much better, but by Sunday afternoon, her wrists were "hurting in agony" and she missed school again yesterday.

It was Sunday night that I looked up something that made me think I had figured this whole thing out.

You see, Steph has, under the direction of a psychiatrist, been taking Wellbutrin and Abilify for a while. We thought that they weren't doing her a lot of good, so we tapered off of them over a couple weeks and stopped taking them. Sunday night, just out of curiosity, I looked up withdrawal symptoms of both.

Holy crap. One site listed over 70 symptoms of withdrawal from Wellbutrin, including....Erythema (check), pain in the extremities, such as wrists, fingers, feet, and legs (check!), elevated white blood cells (check!!) AND possible flu-like symptoms (check!!!).

Yesterday, she started taking Wellbutrin again. We will at least keep it up until the school year is out. Then we will see what we want to do. My wife isn't quite convinced that this is the cause, but we agree that her mental state has been worse lately.

So there you go. It's been a hell of a ride, if you will pardon my expression. Both my wife and I have been battling severe depression as this wore us down to a frazzle.

However, I think I have received the same message twice between Friday night and Monday morning. It's going to be all right. And I believe this. It is going to be all right.

TTFN, y'all!

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