Anxiety, Depression, Health, Medication, Mental Health, Notes, PTSD

Psychiatry Monday

BTW:  I’m writing these as sort of a record of what’s going on.  It helps me keep track of changes and reactions to meds and therapy.

 

Today was a fairly normal visit with the psychiatrist.  I’m feeling a bit better.  It’s getting there a little at a time.  I’m still hearing voices, but they are less frequent and less intense.  Dr. W isn’t as concerned as she was earlier in the month.

A few changes today.  I’m going down again on citalopram.  In need to get off of it because of interactions with the Lupron.  With that change, Dr. W decided to go up again on the Zoloft.  The only other big change is going up on the Haldol.  11 mg at first and then 12.  I’m hoping that will have to be the last dosage adjustment up.

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Cancer, Health, Medication, Mental Health

Psychiatry Wednesday

I met with Dr. W today.  A ton of stuff is going on with my cancer treatment and its intersection with my psychiatric treatment.  I had two options.  One was going off the Wellbutrin and going on Tamoxifen.  The other was using Lupron to shut down  my ovaries and using the drug for post-menopausal women.

I was going to start with the Lupron combo because I was having so much trouble coming off the Wellbutrin.  But…  Yes, there’s always a but with me.  Lupron doesn’t play nice with Haldol and Celexa.  I found out after looking up side effects of Lupron.  I came across the drug interactions.  There were big red stoplights next to the two drugs.  Some kind of cardiac problem that I simply don’t understand.  I guess that puts me between a rock and a hard place.

So after some discussion with Dr. W, we decided to go with the Lupron option.  The Wellbutrin was working so well for me.  I’m going to go down on the Celexa along with up on the Wellbutrin and Zoloft.  Together we decided to go up another two milligrams on the Haldol over the next few days.  That seems like a funny decision, but with other things changing (Zoloft up, Celexa down, Wellbutrin up) it’s best not to change too many things at once.  But up on the Haldol because the voices are still a big problem and are quite distressing.

I see Dr. W again in a week and half.  We’ll make some more adjustments then.  I’m not looking forward to this transition, but it’s necessary.

Cancer, Health, Medication, Mental Health, Therapy

Therapy Thursday

Another week.  Another day of therapy.  And as usual, it didn’t disappoint (just kidding).

Since I’ve been talking about cancer treatment there, I went through what the oncologist said yesterday.  Basically I have two medical options for long term treatment.  I can go with Tamoxifen but it requires getting off the Wellbutrin.  And that doesn’t seem like it’ll happen anytime soon.  So medically, my other option is shutting down the ovaries with Lupron and treating with Arimidex.   That’ll cause menopause.  The other option is removing the ovaries and going with the Arimidex.  At the moment the choice is Lupron and Arimidex.  The long term plan is to go off the Wellbutrin and then switch to Tamoxifen.

We talked about control and losing control of my body.  Losing what makes me a women.  In other words, the ability to reproduce.  Not that I want to reproduce, but the thought of it.  I don’t know why it bothers me so much.  But it does.  Perhaps that’s something to explore next week.  The other small topic on this was going to the dentist next week.  It’s my worst nightmare.  Why?  At least I can answer that one.  Feeling exposed.   Feeling vulnerable.  Having someone (turns out it’s a woman) standing over me.  Yeah.  Nightmare.

On of my usual comments was X is my fault.  In this case letting the depression and voices get so bad without asking for some help.  I got the usual “It’s not your fault”.  Fault and responsibility is something I struggle with everyday.  I don’t even know how this came up.  But it did.

I guess it’s a matter of putting one foot in front of another.  Hopefully the increase in Haldol will help with the voices and the Zoloft will help with the depression.  And now that radiation is finished, hopefully the fatigue will subside.

Cancer, Depression, Health, Medication, Mental Health

Psychiatry Tuesday

You know things are bad when the doctor tells the scheduler that you are a priority for scheduling.  My chin almost hit the floor.  I mean, things aren’t good.  And there has been a lot of pain (both physically and emotionally) lately.  But I certainly didn’t think I fit into priority territory.  Priority.  Minimizing.  I do such a good job of it.

I have four appointments scheduled between now and the beginning of July.  She’s going on vacation for 6 weeks starting the middle of July.  She once to see me once again before she leaves.  Unfortunately, that means I’ll have to take what I can get off the cancellation list.  That is if any appointments come up.

I’m trying to get off Wellbutrin because I can’t take the estrogen blocker with it.  Wellbutrin renders the other med useless.  When I tried to go off before, things got dicey.  I see the oncologist tomorrow and have no idea what to tell her other than I tried and it’s going to take longer than anticipated.

So Dr. W started me on Zoloft.  Yippy skippy.  Another med to add into the mix.  She upped the Haldol and wants to be a bit more aggressive with it.  I’m still hearing voices…  almost constantly now.  Depending on how I’m doing, she may start weaning me off the Wellbutrin next week.  Yes.  Next week.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen a psychiatrist that often since I was in the hospital.

It all seems so complicated right now.  Appointments with the medical and radiation oncologists.  Appointments with Dr. W.  Appointments with Dr.D.  Maybe moving up to twice a week with her.

I keep hearing people say that I will feel better once the radiation is finished.  I finished yesterday (yay me).  But it’s not like a switch.  Really recovering will take about as long as the radiation took.  In my case, four weeks.  The only one who gets how I feel is my primary care, Dr. M.  Dr. M went through radiation himself.  He said it’s not uncommon for people to get more depressed right after finishing.  I totally agree with him.  You’re in the middle of treatments and running around.  And it feels like you’re doing something active.  Now I have to wait on the Wellbutrin and see what the oncologist says.  It’s like I’m not doing anything at all.

I have some Haldol and Trazodone in my near future, so I better sign off.  I’m really fighting sleep right now.  Better to give in.

Depression, Fibromyalgia, Health, Medication

The Med-Go-Round Goes Round and Round

Reptiles Merry go round Worksheet

This is what life feels like right now.

I talked to Dr. W yesterday.  The voices are pretty bad right now.  She tried to increase the Haldol once before and that led to such horrible jaw clenching that I had to go down plus start taking Cogentin with it regularly.  Now, given my symptoms, she feels I should go back up and she increased the Cogentin too.

I feel like I’ve been on this ride for so many years.  And I’m going round and round.  I’m actually dizzy when I sit down and look at my med list.  I doesn’t help my list when you factor in the fibromyalgia diagnosis.

I see Dr. W next week.  We’ll see where the med-go-round stops then.

Anxiety, Depression, Fears, Health, Medication, Mental Health, Phobias, PTSD

A Very Long Day

I’m so mentally, emotionally and physically exhausted.  I started the day with the psychiatrist.  Initial sessions are always long.  Having to go through my history is beyond demanding.  Fighting back tears (and failing miserably) left me drained after the first 30 minutes.  Then she drops the little bomb shell that she thinks I’m psychotics.  I basically told her I respectfully disagree.  Hearing the voice of one of my abusers is more likely a PTSD symptom (PDF) rather than a psychosis symptom.  She wanted to put me on one of the newer antipsychotics.  I told her no.  I absolutely and positively wouldn’t go down that route again.  I gained so much weight on them and they sent my cholesterol sky high.  I don’t need that crap again.  She didn’t seem pleased with my refusal, but it’s my body.  Honestly, it’s not causing me that much distress that I think it needs to be medicated.  I’m quite aware the voice isn’t real and what the origin of it is.  I’m not putting those drugs in my body unless I’m going crazy.  I think they’re overused for things like bipolar, PTSD, ADHD (!) and Autism (!!!).  So, in the end, she upped one of my meds and put me back on Cymbalta for the depression and chronic pain.  Once I’m doing somewhat better, she wants me to get back into therapy.  I’m not against that.  I just need to find someone the energy to find someone.

Then it was to the hospital side to register for blood work and an EKG.  I’m still not 100% certain why she feels she needs the EKG, but whatever.  The nice man filling in from another department was trying to register me into the ER, which is why he couldn’t find the doctors name.  Once that was fixed, I got to the lab where the paperwork was screwed up because my age ended up getting entered as 103.  I don’t even know how that happened.  I got stabbed in the hand, leaving me with a nice little lump and a big old bruise.

Then the fun really began.  Gynecologist time.  I kid you not…  when the nurse took my BP, I almost had a stroke right there given how high it was (190/130) after it being normal (120/80) earlier in the day.  She was pretty alarmed until I told her I was basically sitting there having a panic attack.  The doctor was really nice.  She tried to be as gentle as she could.  It isn’t that easy since my body is a bit weird and I was, well, freaking out.  At least I don’t have to go back for a year, and then only for a quick check, not the full thing.

I’m about to take my meds and go to bed.  I’ve finally gotten myself mostly calmed down.  But I’m exhausted.

Anxiety, Cats, Emotions, Fatigue, Fibromyalgia, Health, Medication, Pain, Stress

All That Jazz

Or maybe just some of it.  OK, probably none of it.

My brain is utterly fried.  I don’t know what to blame it on…  constant stress, depression, anxiety, fibro.  All of the above, maybe?

I guess if you want to look on the plus side, my PTSD symptoms are pretty much nonexistent aside from anxiety and a wicked startle response.  But I’m bone tired.  Like stay in bed all day bone tired.  And my bones hurt from the cold.  Spring can’t come soon enough for me.

My doc started me on a muscle relaxant at night.  While that’s a good thing (I think since I’m not waking up with spasms in my back and legs) my muscles seem to clamp down even harder during the day.  I could barely straiten my back yesterday.

I’ve applied for my state’s medicaid program.  I’m trying to figure out what the next step with them is.  The website isn’t exactly clear.  I guess I need to go in person.  Luckily for me, there’s an office in the city I live in.  It’s just a depressing place to go.  I’ve already found out that my current PCP doesn’t take medicaid.  Bad because I hate getting established with a new doctor.  Good because, well, to be honest, I didn’t really like my PCP to begin with.  On the other hand, who knows.  The new one could be worse.  And all this is stressing me out too.

I think the only thing keeping me sane is my kitties.  I’m house/cat sitting for someone this week.  Their kitty loves me.  He always wants to be on top of me, kneading me.  And damn it.  It hurts.  I can only put him down so many times before he gets more insistent.  Oh well.  It’s only for a few more days and then I’ll be back with my mostly non cuddly kitties.

Fibromyalgia, Health, Plans, Randomness

7 Years

A lot has changed in 7 years.  I’m a marginally happier person, thanks to years of being away from my crazy family.  My health has taken a huge hit.  Fibromyalgia sucks big time.  I’m out of work, and would love to go back to teaching.  But, realistically, that’s not going to happen.  My body and mind can’t take the stress.  I’ll miss my treatment team in Korea for sure.  I had an excellent psychiatrist and rheumatologist.

I have no resolutions for the new year.  I’m just trying to survive one day at a time.

Not sure about the blogging thing, I logged back in here on a whim and saw it was my 7th blogging birthday.  We’ll see what the future brings.

As for me, I’m heading back to my warm bed to try to sleep off whatever disease my brothers and I picked up at church on Christmas Eve.

Health, Mental Health, Phobias, PTSD

Blogging

I just don’t have the energy to blog.  I nearly freaked out when Dr. P told me to take two showers a day.  I was frank and said it was never going to happen.

I bought a glucose meter.  More often than not, I’m hypoglycemic.  I have Gatorade on hand and a small can of Coke if my sugar really drops.

As before this blog is officially on hold.  This is just an update for those asking.

Health, Pain, Venting

Not Fun, That’s What

Let’s back up.  I saw my Dr. P yesterday.  I have to get up at 8 to be there by 9 thanks to a half hour bus ride.  Of course at 8:30, there were NO SEATS ON THE DAMN BUS!  I don’t do well on buses to begin with.  I get motion sick sitting down.  I don’t have  ton of strength in my arms to begin with and my hands always hurt.  That makes hanging on to those rings fun.  I mean really, so I look like a gymnast or a monkey?

So I finally got to the office.  I see Dr. P.  I’m crying as I walk in.  Don’t want to talk much about it, but crap going on at work.  He took one look at me, got a nurse to do a BP, temp and glucose stick.  Now because Korean cuffs are almost always too small for me (this one included). I learned this summer (while they were using correct sized BP cuffs) they over estimate my BP by a good 30 points.  They measured me at 110/80 which makes me a hell of a lot closer to 80/50.  My temp was down around 95 (for no good reason, I had a shirt and a jacket on) and my glucose was 65.  Plus I was dehydrated (yeah, I know I know I know).

He treats a lot of older folks who have a hard time getting enough nutrition, so he has some nutritional IV stuff and saline on hand.

After we went through the whole work thing he sent me into his treatment room to where the nurse was going to start an IV (he had already given me a couple of glucose tablets and I had stopped shaking so bad).  So what do you get when you try to start an IV on a hypotensive, hypothermic, dehydrated person?  At least 15 sticks.

So I got there at 9 and left at 1.  A great way to spend my birthday, no?  So I went to an Italian place and then a coffee shop and got cake.  At the coffee shop, they had handmade, stuffed kitty keyrings.  So, happy birthday to me.