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July 11, 2013


Hurray! You posted!

Sorry about missing Patrick. My 14 year old gets on a plane Sunday with a group of people for 19 days in Europe, and I am somehow okay with that, but my 19 year old driving a motorcycle is keeping me awake nights.

Pankaykay and Vaffle. Yes, I would miss him too. Caroline? She is going to be hellon wheels....

Oh, and yes,it's sleepaway camp

All is right with the world again, since you posted:)I wonder if I'll ever send my girls to camp. Not before they ask for sure. I am interested by how you deal with your anxiety since my 7 years old has to deal with her own also, Prozac and all.

It's years now that i've wished we were next door neighbors, but really. We would be such good friends. I've dealt with anxiety ever since my first pregnancy 8 years ago, and i just know we could talk through our fears of, uh, lake monsters, together. So get this. 5 years ago i went on anxiety meds for the first time. Lexapro. You gained 14 pounds on your drug. I gained 40. In 6 months. Pffft. Anyway, obviously i went off that stuff and went it alone. I did really well. . .up until having a miscarriage 9 months ago. It's been rough since (making me certain that my anxiety has everything to do with big hormone changes) so i finally went to my doctor 2 weeks ago to request some help again, anything but lexapro. So he prescribed prozac, i left the office feeling good about the step, and went straight to the pharmacy and filled the prescription. Here's the awesome part, are you ready? That bottle of prozac has been sitting unopened for two weeks now. Why? Because i'm having horrible anxiety about the side effects of the anxiety medication. As in, i'm convinced that if i take it i'll be eaten by lake monsters. . .er, i mean, that i'll go blind or have a heart attack. Yeah. Isn't that just plain awesome?

'is this a regionalism? what do you call camp when it is not a day camp but a... ?]'

no, not regionalism so much as asshat know-it-allism.. and i bet you didn't bitch-slap the person either.. you are so polite..

It is a sleep-away camp, and I say this as someone in the US South, so, regionalism my bottom (as I have taught my elementary-schooler to say. Well, the bottom part, not the regionalism).

Please let Patrick know I am deeply upset at the rising up of the Maples, speaking as someone who only loves the One True Syrup. But, I guess you gotta do what you gotta do.

I hope and trust Patrick is having a wonderful time and look forward to learning about it in detail upon his return. It's always lovely to hear from you!

I've been having trouble deciding what to call it this year too.

I think when I was a kid in MN, it was either daycamp, or camp. Camp-with-no-prefixes was assumed to be a place far from home where you slept. I guess I always went to specialty camps like Girl Scout camp and Swedish camp and math camp and it was known that those weren't daycamps? I don't know.

My 7 and 9 year olds are going to a different YMCA camp in northern MN at the end of August and I really wish my 7 year old hadn't returned to wetting the bed a month ago. This is going to be more complicated than I'd hoped.

Please don't ever go away for so long again. I was about to have to start drugs for Julia withdrawal. Seriously though, I've suffered anxiety all my life and have been on and off of medication. I'm currently off medication partly because won't consider anything that might make me gain weight. But I suffer, so I'm following your Prozac project with interest. I hope it goes well! As for the camp, I'm not sure what I used to call it as a kid in Illinois- but I'm pretty sure I could extrapolate the meaning of sleep-away regardless!

I am from Iowa originally, your neighbor to the south, and I can say with confidence that it is sleepaway camp and, furthermore, you were conversing with assholes.

It's sleepaway camp; don't let anyone tell you anything different.

I so unbelievably love the differences between your children. Caroline and Edward just slay me and I think Patrick would be the coolest kid on earth to get to know. (Please note: I have no intention of tracking y'all down to find out. Please do not have any anxiety about that!)

The anxiety sounds awful. I don't have any good words or advice for you; but I hope you are able to find a balance in there somewhere. Brain chemistry can be a bitch. :-(

Have you tried Zoloft? It ended up not being enough to control my bipolar disorder (now on an antipsychotic) but whilst I was on it I slept beautifully, either never dreamed or never remembered them, fairly bounced out of bed in the mornings and every single symptom of my concurrent anxiety disorder disappeared.

I was probably a little flat on it which was the price to pay... but I do look back at it fondly, especially when I read the statistics of long term antipsychotic usage.

Weight gain on Zoloft for me was minimal until it was combined with a mood stabiliser (sodium valproate) and then BOOM 10kg, but honestly it is worth looking at, especially as anxiety can be controlled on it at a fairly low dose, therefore hopefully reducing side effects.

We miss Patrick too, when you don't write.

I've never heard camp referred to as anything but camp. If its a day camp, then it's daycamp. But regular camp is just camp. (Western Canada)

Yeah your back!!!

Anxiety and I are the best of friends.

I wish we could sit down and have a glass of wine together.

Bec (from Sydney back in the iparenting blog days)

I want a Patrick of my very own. Can you tell me where I can acquire one?

Instead of sleepaway camp, I suggest hiring out Patrick to various readers each summer. I volunteer myself for next year, as long as you won't miss him too much while he's here in London. Of course, if you think you can't cope without him, please bring your whole family and I shall offer you Pimms to drink and some quaint English sport for viewing while Patrick is in charge of entertaining my children. Deal?

Zoloft here as well. My anxiety led to one solid month (may into June) of not sleeping - at all. Or needing a Xanax and an Ambien to sleep. It was very unhealthy. For example, I lost 25 lbs in 30 days. (I needed to lose 25 lbs but maybe not so heart-attack-ly). So yeah. Now the Zoloft has kicked in and I am doing far better - I also am seeing an acupuncturist and taking Chinese herbs which are fantastically disgusting, but I really think the acupuncture was instrumental in getting me to a better place. Now I only can't sleep and have nighttime panic attacks if I have alcohol. Sad!

I have a lifetime of anxiety behind me but never had such a crisis before. So I hear what you are saying. It's so very hard and baffling and upsetting, and you wonder when or how it will improve. It sucks and I am so sorry.

I am on the world's oldest medication for panic disorder. I keep having fears that they will stop making it. It is tofranil, a trycylic anti-depressant. It has worked for me for, oh, 20 years or so and, at the same time, cleared up a nasty case of depression. It doesn't have any side-effects, no weight gain, no sexual apathy, no nothin'. I have tried a couple of other things over the years in an attempt to stay up-to-date with my psycotropic drugs, but I always return to my old friend.

Sleepaway camp.

In Florida, I most often hear it called just camp (if you don't sleep there it might be called day camp) and you figure it out from the context or because it's called "Girl Scout camp" or "Church camp." Sometimes, t's called overnight camp. But, I have friends (all Jewish interestingly) who refer to sleep away camp. And, I've never had to ask what that was; I found it rather self-evident.

Sorry the meds are giving you trouble. I hope you get them sorted out soon. We'll be waiting patiently until you're ready.

Wait, most people sleep without failing Calculus or missing flights in their dreams all night?

I have anxiety and Prozac sends me right through the freaking roof. They wound up giving me something else to help me sleep at night and I felt like I was taking uppers and downers. Not cool.

The only thing that finally worked for me was Inderal - a beta blocker that blocks the stress/fight or flight hormone. I'm a normal person on that stuff, but all SSRIs really messed with me one way or another.

I really, really love that Allan Sherman song :-)

In New England I have only ever heard of/attended SLEEPAWAY camp.

Being pleassant is .... Not necessarily necessary. You need to be able to write, and make phone calls . I'm so sorry. I, personally, a nondoctor-longtimereader-strangerintheinternet wonder if perhaps a different med would be a wiser choice. Bringing balance to anxiety/depression is one of the very worst things to have to battle through. I would far and away prefer to be dealing with what I've got (physical disability after a brain tumor) now, to what I had (anxiety/depression), back in the days of yore.

DC girl here, and it's always been "sleepaway camp." Because you SLEEP AWAY from home. Maks perfect sense to me.

Very sorry you're going through all of this with the meds. We're with you. Take all the time you want / need. Maybe Patrick can post in the meantime? Steve? Screw it - Caroline. Need to hear from the horse's mouth one day. :-)

(And may I say how refreshing it is to hear the truth that girls are...people! I have two boys and endlessly hear how I need a girl so someone will want to spend time with me one day and take care of me when I'm old. Call me crazy, but I think Caroline is going to be too busy running the Paris bureau of some newspaper or magazine or just the straight-up UN. Edward's your go-to guy there. :-))

We (me, sis, mom, cousins, etc) just called it camp. I suppose the context ("I'm going away to camp, be back in August") was clarification enough. Despite initial homesickness (ages ~9-10 going for 2 weeks), by ages 13-15 7 weeks was not enough, we never wanted to come home. Fast forward 2 years, my kids didn't want to go and I knew I'd miss them like a Patrick so I didn't push it. However, I will always regret they didn't have that experience because it was AWESOME!!!!!

I am from Iowa and I've always heard it as camp. And then day camp is for camp without sleeping. But if someone said sleepaway camp, I would know what they meant.

California girl relocated to WI, and I always called it sleep away camp. Day camp was called day camp. If someone just said "camp," we assumed it was day camp because sleep away camp was less common where I lived. Oh, and Patrick is insanely hilarious. If I didn't know how near-impossible it was for you and Steve to make babies, I might ask you to make one for me. :-)

I call it sleep-away camp, but I am from the same era and nearly the same neighborhood in DC, so that's not a shocker.

Is it wrong to say I love your description of your anxieties? Of course I wish that you would leave them behind forever, but as someone who has singlehandedly held planes aloft with my personal willpower, I can definitely relate. Hope this latest iteration of medication brings you speedy relief. We miss your writing!

I'm from South Dakota. Now live in MN. I think many midwesterners call it overnight camp, or, as noted, just "camp". Usually if you are going to "Camp WaytheHeck" people know it is in Northern MN or WI or the Black Hills - and so of course you will sleep there. That being said, were the people with whom you spoke kind of dim? Because "duh!" - I agree that the name is self explanatory. I don't think I heard it called sleepaway camp until we moved to Central NY for a while. Of course, what threw me there was they called their cabins (as we call them in MN and SD) "camps". Our mechanic kept talking about their family's camp and I envisioned that his family ran a "sleepaway" camp of some sort. Took me quite a while to sort that out. I think I asked something like "how many children attend each summer" and got a blank stare, and then we worked our way from there.

Wonderful to see an update! I hope you feel better, which is a radically useless statement but nonetheless true.

Sleep away camp and overnight camp are both used here (MA) but I hear overnight camp more often. "Camp" means day camp in my circle.

I don't know what to say really about the anxiety and depression and meds. I struggle with anxiety but not to the level that I have gone the medication route (yet). I'm too afraid of the side effects (weight gain especially -- I have a poor body image although I'm normal weight). Also I'm afraid of any sexual side effects. What I can say is that you don't need to worry about us while you figure it out. Yes I love to read your postings and yes I miss you when you are gone (like the burning of a thousand suns) but I really don't want blogging to become a major hassle and chore. Then you'll just stop forever and WHERE WOULD I BE THEN?? :-) So take whatever time you need now!


I have been on Effexor for 14 yrs and will NEVER go off of it! No anxiety, no rage, no depression, no weight gain. The downside is, you can never forget to take it. Within 6 hours of a missed dose the anxiety ratchets up to unbearable levels, as well as excruciating nausea. If it doesn't work for you, the weaning off part takes a very long time.

Holy...when did Patrick get so grown up? That photo blows me away.

20 year plus Prosac veteran here. Try adding Wellbutrin to the Prosac. It's a winning combination that helped my concentration/focus immensely.
Also, after awhile you do learn to function normally that is, get your work done, on Prosac but that spacey stage can last a month or more.

No wonder you miss Patrick so much, as he is endlessly fascinating.

Also, "sleep-away camp" is correct.

Swistle recently requested reassuring sleepaway camp stories here: http://www.swistle.com/2013/07/01/sleepaway-camp/

I wish you were feeling better and I'm really glad you posted.

We're going to experience our first sleep-away camp soon. And I totally get what that is.

My favorite plant family is Moraceae, but I totally agree with Patric that the Aceraceae have a quite reasonable bone to pick with humanity.

And yes, sleepaway camp. Geez.

I was a YMCA camp counselor for six wonderful summers, after six also great summers as a camper. We called it "Camp", but the brochure said "overnight camp". Far and away, Camp was the best thing that happened to me in my first 20 years. I hope Patrick comes home saying "next year, I want stay for two weeks!" (Camp counselors? Massively skewed toward the overachievers. Everyone I worked with was incredibly accomplished academically or artistically or both. I'm sure Patrick was appreciated by the staff. His camper card, or whatever the modern equivalent is, probably says glowing things for his counselor next year to know.)

My husband (NJ native) and me (Western NY native) both say "sleepaway camp."

Should read "My husband and I." Ugh.

PS: we played almost no ball sports at my Y Camp. When I was called upon to lead "sports" during the occasional random period when there was no life guarding, canoeing or archery for me to be doing, they used to let me get my sister out of the kitchen (the youngest counselors washed dishes for free, just for the privilege of being there; she eventually was a paid life guard/crafts lady) to do it for me, because I was not familiar with the rules of any of the traditional team sports. I provided the "adult" supervision and she did all the work. Counselor-aged people who excel at ball sports are off at sports camps, not Y Camp with all the swimming and ultimate frisbee and traipsing through creeks.

huh, the sleepaway consensus is surprising me. Here in the generic midwesternish mishmash of central ohio, overnight camp is definitely the more common term, though I certainly knew what 'sleepaway' meant.

Oh lord. I hate adding yet another med recommendation but what the hell....if the upped dose in Prozac doesn't help any, try Lexapro. If Celexa was working for you, but with bad side effects, then Lexpro may work for you. Lexparo is considered to be a more refined version of Celexa with less side effects, they're very similar drugs. I've been on Lexapro for about 4 years and never experienced fatigue. Now, I did have weight gain, BUT after really looking at what I was eating, I realized I was actually eating more (I guess because I felt better?)Once I started diet and exercise the pounds came off. Therefore, I can't really say that it caused a metabolic issue that couldn't be addressed by me just stopping the shoveling of cake into my ginormous pie hole.
I suffer with tremendous social anxiety and depression and the Lexapro has been a miracle. I did at one point stop and seek another drug when I was in total weight gain denial. Doc put me on Effexsor, but it gave me horrible nausea and heartburn and my anxiety went THROUGH THE ROOF. I quit after 2 weeks, went back to Lexapro, downloaded MyfitnessPal and handled the weight situation in the way I should have the first time.
Just my imput and well, assvice. Sorry, I don't mean to add more confusion tot he situation. Hopefully the Prozac will work, you won't need to think anymore about it and you'll get back to writing because I so enjoy your stories!
Oh and also, New Orleans born and raised and checking in with "SLEEP AWAY CAMP"....why would you call it anything else???

I "went to camp," or "went away to camp," or "went off to camp," for a couple of weeks, over 50 years ago. It was Girl Scout camp; church camps and YMCA camp also existed.
In my childhood, I think that "camping" always meant overnight; I vaguely recall that when I first heard of "day camp," it seemed a sort of wannabe misnomer.
If we kids slept out in the backyard on a summer night, I think we would have said we were camping out overnight. If we'd played in the tent in the backyard during the daytime, I think we would said that we were playing that we were camping.
A city park would have had picnic grounds. A nearby park area in the mountains would have had camping facilities as well as a picnic area.
I'm guessing that the regionalisms you noticed arose as people began making a distinction between "real" camping and daytime activities newly labelled "camping."

I grew up in Texas and we always just called it "camp." If it was referred to as "camp" it was implied that it was overnight/sleep-away.
Everything else was day camp.
I can't fathom someone genuinely not understanding what sleep-away camp means. Obviously it's an overnight camp, what the heck else would it be?

Buspar helped me immensely for anxiety where Prozac did not, but that was 20 years ago, so maybe all is different now.

I was on Zoloft for 3 or 4 years and I am STILL (3 years later) finding really important things that I let slide during that time when I describe my state of mind as "My Give-A-Damn's Busted". Not important like, "forgot to send birthday card to granny," either, but important like, "didn't pay property taxes in 2011". Never again (for me).

Anxiety is situational for me, so I just muddle through as best I can and when it get too overwhelming, I have a nice Xanax-like prescription that makes the day tolerable. Getting off the Zoloft took me almost a year of stepping down and it was still miserable with side effects.

Just plain Camp. Overnight camp and Day camp if specificity is required. Pacific Northwest. I know what Sleepaway Camp is, but only because I read.

It's just camp or day camp.

"Sleep-away camp" makes it sound like they are having camp somewhere and then sleeping somewhere else that is away from there. Who's ever heard of a setup like that? Of course a person would wonder what the heck that is.

"Sleep-over camp" would make more sense, if you feel you must be descriptive about it.

The first year of **sleep-away** (sheesh)camp is the worst. Even for a non-anxiety-prone mom. Next summer will be easier. When my ten yr old was at camp for the first time last year I felt a constant tug on my mom/spidey senses. It was quite a relief to have her home again and hear how much FUN she had.

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