Monthly Archives: November 2007

Something to keep in mind

Standard

ziggy

 

It know it’s hard for many survivors to keep hope.  And it’s been especially hard for me lately.  But today’s Ziggy is a great reminder that we need to identify our problems and issues before they’ll go away.  There’s no magic bullet.  There’s only lots of hard work.  I wish you all the best as you move through your recovery.

Well…

Standard

So I was reminded I haven’t posted in a while.  Two weeks or so I guess.  I just don’t have much to say.  The Zoloft isn’t making me manic, so that’s good.  I’m also not feeling any better.  Two weeks isn’t enough time to tell for sure that it’s not having an affect.  I went back to the doctor on Friday and he renewed the prescription for another month.  I’ll see him right before Christmas.  I can always go back sooner, but six weeks really is the minimum to know for sure if an antidepressant is working or not.

He also feels I’m having some repetitive strain issues with my right wrist.  I thought I had slept on top of it.  But it really does get worse if I’m typing a lot or writing a lot.  And considering I’m grading papers for portfolios right now, the pain isn’t a great thing.   So basically I’m now using a wrist brace.  That’s a little extremely annoying because I wear my medic alert bracelet on my right wrist and the chain ends up pressed into my skin.  Moving it to my left wrist isn’t an option because I wear my watch on that wrist.  And it would just feel weird.  Plus there definitely is a learning curve in figuring out how to type with this thing on.  The brace itself keeps my wrist at a different position and the part that fits over my hand covers the tops of my fingers so I don’t have the same reaching ability with my pinky finger.  In addition to the brace, I’m icing it a couple times a day and taking ibuprofen.  All that together seems to have helped a little.  I’m sure time will tell.

Speaking of Christmas, a friend asked if I was staying away from bridges and tall buildings this year.  I’m not suicidal right now.  Well, at least not actively.  I still have the occasional suicidal thoughts.  Given how bad things got last winter, I guess I better stay away from those bridges.  My Christmas shopping is nearly finished.  I bought for everyone except the paternal unit.  I have no idea what to get him.  I really don’t care either.  But I do need to find something and box the whole lot up and ship it home.  Gotta keep up appearances you know.  My entire family unit is basically in denial about my entire childhood.  I don’t want to disturb their river.

In other news I didn’t sleep much last night.  I got a somewhat distrurbing message from a person who participates in some forums I also participate in.   It was highly triggering.  I ended up turning it over to the forum administrators because I simply wasn’t emotionally equipped to deal with it.  So after I got over the worst of the triggering stuff (which took a good six hours) I spent the next few hours beating myself up for not being able to deal with it.  I can’t seem to move past me feeling like crap about feeling like crap.  Or something like that.

OUCH!  My wrist really hurts now, even with the brace.  I’m signing off to put some ice on it.  If you don’t hear much from me in the next week or so it’s because my hand is about to fall off.

Theme Change

Standard

Yeah. I’m bored with the other theme. I changed over to “Neat”. It’s OK. I can take it or leave it. I cropped a new header. Meh. Whatever.

I can’t get excited about anything. It’s Friday and I’m relieved. If I can make it through grocery shopping tonight, then I don’t have to worry about leaving the apartment again until Monday morning.

Zoloft

Standard

Before I go any further into writing this…

Yes, I know that taking an antidepressant isn’t a sign of weakness.

But that doesn’t really change the way I feel. I feel like I’ve completely failed. I feel like I’m a total screw up. Are either of those things true? Probably not. But again, that doesn’t really change the way I feel.

I’m working on talking back to the irrational thoughts and emotions. But at this moment, they are really powerful. And it’s really hard to fight back against them.

And yet again, I digress. So on Wednesday I went to see the doctor again. My sinus infection has pretty much cleared up. I’m still pretty congested, especially at night, but that’s getting better. What isn’t improving is my mood. Keeping the mood diary was pretty much a waste of time. It basically said the same thing every day. I feel like shit. Well, not in quite those words, but you get the general idea. So when I went back on Wednesday I asked him to prescribe an antidepressant. I need some relief from this. I need to sleep. I need to be able to actually look at food without getting nauseous. I need to be able to go to work and not want to cry every time I set foot in my classroom.

I explained all of this the best I could. Holding back the tears was close to impossible. I didn’t want to let him see me cry. A lot of that goes back to my old fears about crying. But I think part of it too was I was (am?) afraid of him. Damn it! He’s never done anything remotely bad to me (except shoving that vacuum thing up my nose to see what my snot looks like, but that’s a medical doctor thing). He’s probably one of the most soft spoken and kind doctors I’ve come across in Korea.

So after all of the talking and making sure I wasn’t planning on killing myself (I won’t lie to you all, I do have some suicidal thoughts, but not intense enough to worry about) he wanted to prescribe Prozac. I put a stop to that really fast. Prozac was the first antidepressant I tried back in college. Let’s just say it was NOT a good experience. I was having trouble sleeping to begin with. Prozac completely trashed my sleep cycle. Wait, there was no cycle. I basically didn’t sleep for almost two weeks and ended up in the hospital after coming within about five minutes of attempting to kill myself. So yeah, I don’t think trying Prozac again is a great idea, especially when living in a country where you don’t speak the language.

Why Prozac? Apparently the pharmacy in LotteMart only carries Prozac. Anything else has to be special ordered. I’m finding that the selection of medications in most pharmacies (read not the ones inside of the hospitals) is pretty bad. I have a hard time tolerating many antibiotics. So I tend to stick with the ones that I know won’t make me break out in rashes or other fun things. It’s been very difficult to find pharmacies that carry these. I’ve never heard of a pharmacy carrying ONE antidepressant. But I guess I’m just used to how things work back home.

Okay. Scratch the Prozac idea. He asked if I had tried other medications. That actually almost made me chuckle. It might be easier to list the ones I haven’t tried. But I digress. I didn’t get very far in my list when he stopped me. I guess he was at least slightly familiar with Zoloft. So that’s what he decided to prescribe. That was fine with me. It was an effective antidepressant when I took it. It was pretty activating the first time I tried it. Well, that might be an understatement. Zoloft is the only antidepressant that’s ever pushed me over into hypomania. I’m not bipolar by any stretch of the imagination. I don’t remember exactly how it’s stated in the DSM, but drug induced mania doesn’t qualify a person for a bipolar diagnosis. And I digress yet again. You would think I’ve started the Zoloft the way my thoughts are scattered all over the place.

The other thing Zoloft has going for it is that it seems to be somewhat effective in reducing PTSD symptoms. If I remember correctly, it even has FDA approval to be labeled to treat PTSD. So yeah, Zoloft is probably a good choice.

The doctor (I wish I knew his name) wrote the script for 14 days. He also warned me that it would be expensive. Apparently my definition of expensive and his definition of expensive are two different things. My 14 days of Zoloft plus a couple days of decongestants and assorted other goodies came to 8,500 Won. According to my favorite currency converter, that’s $9.37. A quick glance at drugstore.com shows that a 30 day supply of Zoloft is $87.14. And I really do have the real deal, no generics. The pills look just like these. So even if you round up and double, my 14 day supply is less than a quarter of what I would have paid back in the US. So, expensive? Not by any stretch of my (U.S. raised) imagination.

So I’ll start it in the morning. Like I said, it was pretty activating for me. Given I’ve been having issues sleeping, taking it at night probably isn’t the brightest thing I could do.  I need this to work.  I need this to help.  I really do.  I’m not looking forward to waiting out the four to six weeks to see if will work, but that’s just life.

Doctor visit

Standard

I ended up going to the doctors a week ago. I was having allergy symptoms and over night I started seeing signs of having a sinus infection. I’m not one to take those things lightly. They tend to migrate to my chest. Give my bought with pneumonia this summer, I really don’t want to tempt the fates on this one.

Because the symptoms had just started, he wanted to wait a few days before prescribing antibiotics. So he put me on a decongestant and some other stuff for 3 days. I went back last Wednesday as he asked and because I was no better, he put me on another 3 days of that stuff plus an antibiotic. He asked if I was eating and sleeping OK. He wanted to make sure I kept my strength up. I had to be honest with him. I haven’t had a good nights sleep in quite a while, nor have I been eating much. He asked why. So I told him that I had seen my general mood slip downhill for the last few weeks. He asked if I had ever had problems with depression in the past. So of course I told him that it had been a part of my life dating back to early childhood. Like the good doctor he asked about suicidal ideation. I wasn’t completely honest there.  Yes, I’ve been having both SI urges and suicidal thoughts.  I won’t act on them (at least at the moment) so I don’t see any need to tell the doctor.  And yes, I promise, if they get to the point where I think I would actually act on them, I’ll tell the doctor.

So basically now the doctor asked me to think about going back on meds.  For the moment, I’m to keep a mood diary.  I saw him again yesterday because he wanted to follow up on the sinus infection.  He gave me another 4 days of antibiotics and told me to come back on Wednesday.  It’s been so rough the past few weeks, I really think I’m just going to break down and ask him to prescribe an antidepressant when I see him on Wednesday.

If this drop in mood had been sudden, I’d be more inclined to think I’d “snap out out of it”.  But it isn’t.  It’s been going on for a while now.  And it’s getting into late fall/winter.  My mood usually takes a nose dive this time of the year.  I don’t know if it’s necessarily SAD, but the fact it’s getting close to the holidays doesn’t help.

All I know is that I’m tired.  I’m not only physically tired (the whole not sleeping thing), but I’m emotionally exhausted.  I’m tired of fighting against my mind.  I’m tired of fighting against my memories.  Sometimes it just doesn’t seem worth the fight anymore.  But I keep on trying.

Twixy Revamped

Standard

Austin sent me some digital art work that she did using the photo of Twixy. All I can say is WOW! What amazing talent that chick has.

It’s been really rough for me lately. That’s a big part of the reason I haven’t been posting. Knowing that there are people out there who would do something like helps to restore some of my faith in humanity.

twixy-1.jpg

 

twixy-2.jpg

I just think these are the coolest things.