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anyone have ideas on ways to look awake?  I'm thinking that it's a congestion thing from the fanapt...that it's not just nasal, but that it's somehow impacting my eyes as well.  I seem droopy/groggy.  Which is the opposite of what my psychiatrist saw when I saw her Friday night--I think because it was night-time and because i'd been busy all day.

the irony is I don't need to take something to actually BE awake.  I'm awake enough as is.  But I can't go into an interview looking either dead or drugged.

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@dancesintherain would trying a non drowsy antihistamine work? A la Claritin? Or vistaril if you need something more drowsy inducing (it’s an anti anxiety and antihistamine and sleep inducer in one)? But definitely contact your drs before adding anything in case of an interaction with your other meds. I take Claritin but I’m wondering if I need it now that it’s winter. Not sure. I wonder if that will receive the sinus pressure for you? Either way I guess a call to your doc wouldn’t be a bad idea if it’s affecting you so much like that. 

They make those steam Vick’s things for congestion that supposedly helps remove the congestion but I don’t know if that’s a long term solution. Husband has one and uses it when he is sick.

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I use visine cooling eye drops daily, some days needed more than others. It burns for a second or two - imagine being maced with peppermint spray, lol - but then feels good, and my eyes are clear. 

Also maybe an ice pack wrapped with a cloth for a few minutes, pressed over your eyes? I’ve always heard of cold wet tea bags, but I’ve never done that, doesn’t tea stain? 

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You could try a nasal steroid like flonase or nasonex. My preference is flonase sensimist - unlike the others (including the store-brand versions) it doesn't burn, smell, or overly dry out my sinuses.

I tend to find nasal steroids do a better job at eye stuff than systemic anti-histamines like xyzal or claritin. YMMV. They're safe to take with most psych meds, I've even taken them with MAOIs and those interact with everything.

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silly as is it, cold cucumber slices under the eyes can help you look more refreshed. leave em on for 5-10 minutes. i had a friend that swore by it. :P it's pretty much just about cooling to reduce puffiness and hydration to settle the skin. drinking lots of water and using a cold pack will get you the same results.

i don't know if you're a makeup person at all, but a bit of concealer works great on dark circles. bronzer or blush can give you a nice lifelike glow if you're looking zombie-ish. patting a little light-coloured eye shadow right in your tear duct area can brighten up the eyes. bonus points if it's shimmery.

Edited by echolocation
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good to know all, thanks.  I never would have thought that a nasal steroid would handle eye issues, for what it's worth.  it makes sense now that you've said it.  but i think of it as just being nasal congestion.

for tomorrow, it'll require what's in my house (sadly no cucumber or steroid).  so cold pack, water, and possibly make-up it is.  I've been wavering on make up because I'm not particularly gifted with it.  But I'll give a quick try and remove if necessary. 

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2 hours ago, dancesintherain said:

the warm shower, antihistamine, cold pack, hydration, and concealer did the trick enough today.  still not great, but passable so long as they weren't up in my face, which they weren't.  thanks all for the help.

i'll look into a nasal steroid for a better long-term solution.

It’s generally pretty easy to get coupons for brand name Flonase. I find Walmart has the lowest price, much lower than my usual pharmacy.

 

Edit: and I’m really glad that you were able to make stuff work for today!

Edited by Geek
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13 hours ago, dancesintherain said:

the warm shower, antihistamine, cold pack, hydration, and concealer did the trick enough today.  still not great, but passable so long as they weren't up in my face, which they weren't.  thanks all for the help.

i'll look into a nasal steroid for a better long-term solution.

Or if you have a membership or know someone who does, the nasal spray steroids from Costco or Sam's Club (personally I've only seen the Costco ones, no one we know has a Sam's Club membership) are dirt cheap compared to most other places. So that might be another option if you can get them from one of those membership stores. I know this isn't what you are looking for but I got 365 pills of Claritin there for like $11. Geez, go to Walgreens and you get 20 some pills for $11 or something like that! 

And I've used the nasal steroids before and they do work, in fact they work better than claritin. But I read something about not using them long term and asked my GP and he wanted me to come in for steroid shots or something!?!? I was like no thanks. I will try over the counter first.

But anyway, I'm happy you got things to do the trick for today!

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interesting.  my eye doctor had recommended some once.  i'll look into it.

thanks everyone else for the purchase ideas.  i grabbed it at my grocery store today just because I needed to start fixing the problem/seeing if it would fix the problem.  But my parents have a costco membership and I can see if they have anything. 

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  • 4 weeks later...

I met with my allergist for regular skin testing.  I raised the increased congestion, said it was nasal and then making me look like a zombie (though I think that part is decreasing).  I explained that it’s a listed side effect for a medication but that I know that it can also be allergies.  He said that unfortunately the only way to know isn’t an option—there’s not a test that can be done, so it would have to be going off the medication and seeing if it went away. He stressed that he was not recommending that.  He supported the Flonase addition.  

On a random note, I had to be off my antihistamine for three days prior to skin testing and found that my sense of smell got a lot better.  That one made no sense to me because I assumed it would get worse from congestion.  We are going to try a new antihistamine just for the hell of it (Allegra - Claritin did nothing, Zyrtec stopped working, and xyzal is what I’ve been taking.  He wanted to give me clarinex but my insurance won’t let me take a prescription one unless I’ve tried all the OTC ones.)

so the adventures in congestion and looking dead continue...

random happy side note--my allergist checks my weight and it had gone up by 20 pounds in the past six months.  I explained that we made the medication change (Zyprexa to Fanapt) because it was causing a steady increase over time.  However, one of the start-up effects from the Fanapt was weight gain also (10-15 pounds).  Fortunately, that stabilized and I'm now losing weight...about 10 pounds in the past 6 weeks.  He congratulated me on the weight loss and said that it's really unfortunate that medications that can help so much cause such significant problems sometimes.  In other words, understanding, non-judgmental, and supportive.  If only all docs were like that... ?

Edited by dancesintherain
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