Aug. 5, 2020

Health Update

So, I finally had my first visit with the new psych doc. My anxiety was through the roof. I remembered five minutes before we had to leave that I needed to jot down all my meds I've been on. Then my cat was trying to trip me as I left because his bowl was empty and another cat nearly attacked me wanting outside (he's very ornery when you don't do exactly what he wants when he wants it) and the 10yo was begging me to unlock the PC in the living room. I actually walked out the door without my shoes because I was trying to do so much. Got the computer unlocked, told 10yo to feed the cats, making sure I had my phone, wallet and mask. Forgot the shoes. Ugh. Also forgot my hand sanitizer (one of these days I'll remember to bring it and not have to buy a new one while I'm out).

Anyway, while I was writing down the meds, my hands were shaking so bad from nerves. I thought about popping an anxiety pill but got distracted by the cat and general madness of rushing out the door. By the time I got in the car, thinking I forgot my sunglasses in the kitchen after having gone in there to unlock the computer, I really wished I had taken the pill. Luckily, my husband had grabbed my sunglasses because it was super bright, and I'm very sensitive to the light.

We barely made it there on time because we had to take the highway instead of the back roads because of construction (ugh) then got caught in light traffic. And then I had to check to make sure I had the right office in the building. They told me suite 130 which was the family practice office so I was confused but that was also the number on the info board at the entrance so...

Ended up being the right place. Maybe with COVID, check in is weird? I checked in there then they told me to go wait outside of suit 150 next door which was the pediatrician's office. Um, okay... A nurse came out of there a few minutes later and took me into their back hall to an exam room to do the pre-appointment stuff. Blood pressure was 144/100 which wasn't as high as I thought it was going to be considering how anxious I was at the time. Weight was also up to 270. UGH!

After talking to the nurse and making sure my chart was up to date, the doctor got me and we went to her office which was a little room just outside of the pediatrician's suite that I thought was like a janitor's closet or something, lol.

She was really nice and understanding. I told her about my first therapist experience at 12 or 13--the crazy woman that threatened to put me in a group home for difficult girls because I refused to speak to her after she insisted I stop being friends with my BFF who was only 8 or 9 at the time (long story). She agreed the woman had no business being around kids, let alone doing therapy with them. Then I told her about all my other issues and came to the stuff about my last mental health provider who I was with since 2012 and how I had been weaning off my meds because they didn't seem to be working. He said why take them if their not working and then said he'd tried everything and there was nothing else he could give me--try therapy.

That was back in February 2019. I was so devastated but accepted the therapy (which I hate for obvious reason) because I knew I'd need to find a way to cope with the rest of my life being depressed (of course, I finally psyched myself up for that appointment only to get there and find out it was canceled--spiraled completely out of control after that).

She was completely flabbergasted at his approach and told me there were other options besides what he had tried. I had been on the same three meds pretty much for six year but they weren't working anymore. He never tried any other mood stabilizers after the first one but would play around with the antidepressants and anxiety meds.

This new doctor right off said they've been doing great research into bipolar-depression which is obviously what I have. I guess most bipolar meds are geared towards treating manic episodes, but I'm rarely manic (and when I am, its mild--bipolar II). She also said, she's usually leery when people come in saying they have bipolar because it's often a misdiagnosis but after I told her my symptoms (and I was the one to figure it out and let my other provider know), she agreed 100% with the diagnosis but said there are much better treatments I could try to combat my symptoms.

So she put me on a different mood stabilizer and refilled the anxiety med I've been taking from my stash of old meds because it seems to be helping but she doesn't want me to use it to get to sleep if I can help it (apparently it can mess up your sleep cycles even if it helps you go to sleep). I was only taking it to calm myself down at bedtime because that's when the anxiety would get really bad--it wasn't so much to get to sleep but allow me to relax so I could fall asleep on my own). Instead, she also renewed my script for gabapentin which I had been taking for my anxiety years ago. It was the one thing that finally put the insomnia in remission after over a year of not sleeping.

I cannot even explain how awful chronic insomnia is. They say if your insomnia is like more than 3 or 4 times a week for two weeks to seek help. Mine was every night, every week, every month for over a year. I would lie in bed, crying because I was so exhausted but couldn't fall asleep until I'd eventually pass out around 8am (after going to bed around 1am) then sleep until noon and be up the rest of the day. Constant sleep deprivation on top of everything else nearly killed me. I tried every kind of sleeping pill the doctor could think of even controlled substances which did nothing for me. Trazadone worked at first but left me super drowsy the next day then slowly stopped working and I was back to not sleeping again. The gabapentin didn't seem to do anything at first but since it didn't make me feel like crap the next day, I kept taking it. A couple weeks later, the insomnia slipped into remission and hasn't been back in full force since like 2015.

But that meant my prescription eventually ran out. I had saved some of the pills back for the times I couldn't sleep but ran out last year. I'm willing to try it again if it means I can stop taking the anxiety pill at night and maybe get some actual sleep because I rarely wake up feeling rested (which could just be some other chronic illness--I think I might have sleep apnea because my husband says I snore really loud).

Anyway. My husband is going to pick up the prescriptions on his way home from work tomorrow so I'll see how it goes. I go back in 4-6 weeks.

I'm not sure what to think. Part of me has a little glimmer of hope, but the rest of me has had my hopes crushed so often that it doesn't want to think about it ever getting better. That would just make it even more disappointing if the meds don't help. On the other hand, if you don't have hope... what's there to live for? You know?

So I guess it was a good day. We stopped at Walmart on the way home for a few cooking ingredients although my husband loaded the cart with a bunch of junk food (cookies, chips, crackers, bagels and cream cheese, yogurt... guess he was hungry?) and I was able to get a little more yarn in the colors for the sweater I'm working on. I was hoping I'd have enough left of the first skeins to do a second one but with the yarn doubled up so it's thicker like actual pattern calls for.

I ended up not making the soup I had planned for dinner because the stress of the appointment and shopping wore me out. Instead, I finished up The Umbrella Academy with the 17yo (we had 3 episodes left and got interrupted so many times). Now I don't know what to do with myself. I'm still watching Voltron with the 10yo (I've already finished the show so it's a rewatch for me). I could rewatch The Dragon Prince but I think the 10yo might actually like that as well if he gives it a chance. Maybe it's time for yet another Red vs Blue rewatch (would be my 4th or 5th? especially of the early seasons). That show never fails to make me laugh and pulled me through some rough times in the past.

I hate making decisions. I end up just sitting there doing nothing instead. I'm sure that's related to something somehow.

Written by justanotherjen

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