Anxiety, Depression, Emotions, Health

The Next Step

I’m really trying my best not to lose the last bit of sanity I appear to have.  I took my Korean co-worker’s advice and asked the doctor about the test results again.  He basically didn’t want to listen.  It’s his opinion that I probably just depressed.  However, he’s recommended that I go see an internist to have a more comprehensive set of blood work done.  I’m fine with that.  I don’t really care how much it costs (and I know it won’t be much).  I just want to feel better.

I had no way to convince this man that yes, I’m depressed with a little d.  My typical every day, that’s just how my life is.  I’m not Depressed with a big D.  This is not clinical depression.  I’ve had full blown, Major Depressive Disorder.  This is not the same thing.  I understand there may be some culture getting in the way.  But me sitting in his office crying does not equal Depression.  I’m physically exhausted.  I can’t do my job.  My hair is falling out and my nails just break off.  I’m cold.   I have no appetite and I eat enough to get by, yet I still gain weight.  I used to go to the gym and work out 4-5 days a week and yet I still gained weight.

The kicker was him suggesting as I was walking out that I’m homesick.  Please.  He didn’t believe me when I said I’m not.  And homesick is the last thing I am.  I’ve been in Ulsan 2.5 years.  This is my home.  My family only makes me crazy.  And given the prospects of getting a job back home, I don’t want to return to the madness any time soon.  And I really didn’t feel like explaining that to him.  I don’t think he could get it.  Maybe I’m underestimating him, but it’s just the gut feeling I have.

So the only thing to do is go see the internist.  That’s what I’ll do.  It may have to wait until winter break.  I don’t know if I can get one of the Korean teachers to go with me in the middle of the day.  Heck, I don’t really have time to go in the middle of the day.

Anxiety, Depression, Fears, Health, Questions, Relationships

Now What?

I got the results from my thyroid panel.  They’re “normal”.  Note the quotes.  In the US, the normal range for TSH has been changed to .3-3 from the previous .5-5.   Korea appears to use the old values.  Now, if I were at home, I’d just argue with the doctors.  Point 1: I’m outside the new normal values (by quite a bit actually).  Point 2:  I have quite a few of the symptoms of hypothyroidism.  Point 3:  Whatever this is is starting to interfere with my life.

I don’t know why I’m so hesitant to ask the doctor here about it.  I’m afraid of coming off as a hypochondriac, I guess.  But I can’t deny how bad I feel, both physically and mentally.

I wonder how different things are with healthcare in terms of culture.  In the US, it definitely isn’t frowned on.  But there is  a lot about Korean culture I don’t know or understand.  I think my first step is going to be asking one of my Korean coworkers her opinion.  I trust H and we’re definitely good friends.  If necessary, she’s probably go to the doctor with me.  My doctor does speak pretty good English, but there are always communication difficulties.  They even crop up when both people speak the same language.

My goal is to just feel better.  I don’t think I can blame this all on depression.  There are just too many physical issues that can’t be explained away by brain chemistry wackiness.

Any suggestions?