Category Archives: Medication

The Day After

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So I saw Dr. D yesterday.  It was tough, complete with a panic attack.  She encouraged me to call Dr. W.  Since I seen her earlier this week, I didn’t think it was a good idea.  But Dr. D gently explained that Dr. W would be concerned that I let myself continue to suffer needlessly.  So I called.  I got a call back that evening, which surprised me because she’s on vacation.  She asked what was going on and I told her everything.  Well almost everything.  I didn’t tell her how long things have been going on.  She gave me hydroxyzine, which she has given me before.  Dr. W said she’s hesitant to prescribe a benzo at this point.  Not because she’s worried about addiction.  But rather given the amount of medication I’m on.  I understand her point of view, and I respect it.  What it says to me is that she’s being conservative, but is willing to go with something more powerful if I need it.

Dr. D wants me to come back on Monday.  I don’t really know how I feel about that.  I do have somethings I want to talk about related to the physical abuse.  But I’m not completely confident that I can get through it without losing myself in the flashback loop.  It makes me scared just thinking about it.  I’m going to copy/paste it in here so I can just read it if need be.

It was my grandfather. The summer after kindergarten, my parents made me stay there while they took my grandmother out of town. I don’t remember what I did that was so bad, but I got punished but good. He took off all of my clothes and made me lie on the bed. He put my arms over my head with my hands together and told me to stay that way. If I moved or cried, he hit me with a leather belt.

I don’t know how long I stayed in that position. It was so cold in there. He had the air conditioner on as cold as it would go. It felt like it was forever. I had almost fallen asleep when he came back into the room. I laid there while he felt my whole body, from top to bottom. He was on the bed with me. Then he left and told me not to move or I’d get it with the belt again.

I tried not to cry, but I did. As soon as he heard me, he came back and punished me for disturbing his baseball game. He told me that I better not move again. So I didn’t. I laid there and counted the cracks in the ceiling, over and over, and over again. But I couldn’t help but listen for him. I was terrified he would come into the room again.

After what seemed like forever, he came back into the room. And he got on the bed again. I was so afraid he’d get the belt out again. He wasn’t touching me anymore. He was on top of me. I couldn’t move. I couldn’t breathe. He was so big and heavy. The penetration was extremely painful. I wanted to scream and yell, but I couldn’t. It hurt too bad.

All of a sudden, he jumped off of me and the bed. I put my arms down. He started to scream at me. He told me that he had said not to move. He told me I was an evil child filled with the devil. He was right. He got the belt again and told me to put my hands back up or he’d punish me again. I begged him not to, but that made him really angry. He took me by my shoulders and shook me. He kept yelling how little girls should obey their elders. He put my hands back over my head and made me stay like that.

I laid on that bed for hours. It was so cold in that room. I really had to go to the bathroom, but he told me not to move or say anything. I had to go so bad, I ended up wetting the bed. When he found out I had wet the bed, he beat me again. And then he was on top of me again. It must have gone on like that for hours. I remember watching it go from day to night.

I hurt right now just thinking about it.  I think I’m going to sign off, take some hydroxyzine, and eat.  Toast for breakfast and not eating anything else doesn’t cut it anymore.

Living With Haldol

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It’s definitely not an easy drug to live with.  I’m tired all the time.  I’m lucky if I make it 20 minutes on my walk because I just want to climb back in bed.  Therapy is draining enough as it is without adding bone numbing tiredness into the mix.

Unfortunately, based on what I said today in Dr. D’s office, I won’t be coming off it any time soon.  If I try to go down a bit the voices come roaring back.  On the dosage I’m on now, they’re simply a dull roar.

On top of the fatigue, I grind my teeth and clench my jaw.  That’s resulted in some TMJ type stuff going on.  Next Monday I have an appointment at the local dental school to evaluate one tooth for another root canal and the TMJ.  I’m taking Cogentin for this, but it only really works well up to my previous dosage of Haldol.  It doesn’t do so well on this higher one.

Thankfully I see Dr. W about all this on Wednesday.  I don’t know what she’ll change.  I know the one thing I want changed in antidepressants.  I take Cymbalta for pain.  That’s nonnegotiable.  But the Celexa has to go.  It’s doing nothing as far as I can tell.

As usual, the med go round goes round and round and round and…  well, you get the point.

The Med-Go-Round Goes Round and Round

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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.

Itty Bitty Baby Steps

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After working on it for like a month, I’ve finally called a psychologist.  I tried doing the Psychology Today route.  Too confusing since my insurance is administered by X company, but because it’s Medicaid, people who take X don’t necessarily take my form of X.  Today I worked up the courage to call X company directly and get some names.  I took those names and Googled.  Luckily one of the people specializes in trauma.  I left a message on voice mail.  Thankfully, she’s out of the office until Monday and I can quit stressing over it until then.

Earlier, I saw useless GP.  Remarkably, he wasn’t all that useless today.  I guess it helps if you go in focused and only asking for one med change.  A few weeks ago, I started Couch to 5K.  I messed up my previously messed up ankle.  So after resting for almost a week didn’t do anything I made the appointment.  Now, all of this could have been taken care of last week, but drunk family member fell down in her driveway and I had to take her to the ER and wait around while they scanned her head.  I barely know this person, but nobody else who could do it was around.  I swear, I think I’m going to start using the phrase “Not my monkey.  Not my circus.” around my family.

So I see GP.  He orders an x-ray basically to cover his butt should the 6 weeks of PT he prescribed not work and he wants an MRI.  I guess having a GP who also does sports medicine is handy.  He says I can continue walking, but no more than a half mile or so and no C25K period.

He also gave me a referral to a different rheumatologist to evaluate for seronegative arthritis.  Despite lab results and symptoms and joint pain responding to steroids, current rheumatologist doesn’t think there’s anything else going on aside from fibromyalgia.

Oh, and I get to increase the Vitamin D I’ve been taking because I’m still deficient despite taking a standard 2000 IU a day.

Only other thing is I had a sleep study done.  I wish they’d hurry up and send the results.  I had a split study, where they monitored the first part and then put me on a CPAP machine the second part.  I’m guessing the fact they did the CPAP means I had a significant number of apnea events.

Psychiatrist is being a bit pushy, but I don’t expect less.  She’s ready to call up Company X and go off on them because they want to do her job.  She’s the one pushing therapy.  I think things have lifted a bit because as I said above, I’ve been able to deal with looking into it.  She also wants me to go back to the NAMI group I used to attend.  But I haven’t been there for like 10 years.  There’s a meeting tomorrow night.  But I don’t know.  I guess I’m minimizing things again.  I get all “But it isn’t that bad” all the time, despite evidence to the contrary.

And no, dear psychiatrist, my mother’s voice isn’t going away.  It’s been in my head my entire life.  And no, I’m not psychotic.  I think we’ll have to agree to disagree.

Coping Skills

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I’m learning to live with the side effects of the Cymbalta.  Yogurt is my new best friend.  It’s easy on my tummy and I found a flavor I like (Yoplait’s Whips in Chocolate).  They’re 100 calories a pop and I can usually get two down.  I’ve been eating those for breakfast and lunch and trying to choke down whatever we’re having for dinner.

I actually started adding Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner in my to-do app.  It’s definitely got a game type vibe to it, and that helps motivate me to actually open it up.

I’ve given myself permission to take a Klonopin during the day if things get really rough.  Yes, I get the doctor’s point that she doesn’t want to change too many variables at once.  But there’s no use in torturing myself.  All that accomplishes is making me want to eat even less, which feeds back into the anxiety.

Thankfully, I seem to be sleeping better.  The increase in the Trazodone has helped on that front.  I was hoping the sleep would help with my pain, but alas, that doesn’t seem to be the case.  In fact, it seems to be worse than before, with a lot more muscle tension and spasms.  I’m going to start back up on the magnesium supplement I was taking since the Cymbalta (or lack of food) is screwing with my lower GI tract.

Finally, I’m taking it one day at a time.  That’s the only way I’m going to get through my life.  I’ve quit looking toward the future because I don’t see it dramatically changing any time soon.

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

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I swear I can’t win.  I started on the Cymbalta almost a week ago.  The good news, it is starting to help with the pain.  The bad news, it killed my appetite.  I’m lucky if I get 1000 calories a day.  I’ve lost 5 pounds since I started.  While that’s a welcome loss, it isn’t healthy nor sustainable.  My anxiety has also gone into overdrive.  My blood sugar is running low because of the not eating thing and that tends to trigger anxiety.  Despite telling the doctor this, she doesn’t want me to go down on the dosage (I told her 30 mg had worked fine for me in the past but she insisted on putting me on 60 mg even though I’m incredibly sensitive to medication).  She also doesn’t want me to take a daytime dosage of Klonopin.  She essentially wants me to ride it out.  I’ve got enough Klonopin to take it twice a day before I see her again, so I might use it as a crisis kind of thing.  Oh and she isn’t worried about the not eating thing either.

I’m debating whether to try a different psychiatrist (see previous entry about the psychosis thing) or see if she works out.  I don’t like doctor hopping and it’s my general rule not to do it unless the person is truly an ass or incompetent.  But she doesn’t seem to really give a damn.

*sigh*

One step forward, two steps back.  That’s the story of my life, or so it seems.

A Very Long Day

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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.

Weather Changes

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I think weather changes are the worst for me.  Even though I find it difficult to tolerate the cold, this swing upward in temperature along with the rain is, once again, doing a number on my pain levels.

On a slightly positive note, the rebound muscles spasms I was having after waking up (my doc put me on a muscle relaxer at night) seem to have calmed down.  I’ve been trying to do some self massage using the molding around the doors.  It hurts like hell while doing it, but it does seems to give some modest short term relief.

I wish I could get a proper massage.  When I was doing PT in Korea for my back and shoulders, they started each session with about 20 minutes of massage.  And I went three times a week.  Strangely enough, my Korean doctors seemed to be more aggressive about pain control than my US doctor.  But that could be because she’s a GP, not a specialist.

I need to follow up on my Medicaid application.  I think if I could get into see a rheumatologist (I won’t even say a good one), I could do a bit better in the pain management department.  I also need to call my GP.  I’m on an NSAID for whatever sort of arthritis I have in my hands, elbows, shoulders and now feet.  However, I’ve been getting heartburn so bad lately, I could light up the city skyline.  I really hate to stop it because it does help a little bit with the pain and stiffness.  Unfortunately, there aren’t many options in those types of meds.  I tried Celebrex, and while it worked, I’d be reliant on my GP for samples.  At least with the Mobic, it’s only 4 bucks at a local pharmacy.

I guess that’s enough whining for one day.  I’m going to fill out a job application I got out of the blue in the mail.  I think if I’d stop feeling like such a failure for not being able to find a job, I’d be less depressed.

All That Jazz

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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.

Med Changes

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Whee.  Back on the med-go-round.  With the amount of benzos Dr. P had decided to prescribe, why the hell am I have panic attacks multiple times a day.  Needless to say, I’m going to see him tomorrow.  Again.

The rheumatologist cut my dose of Gabapentin.  We’ll talk about that on Wednesday.  He also d/c the Tramadol.  Maybe all this crap is from going off the Tramadol, but I’ve never had problems before.  On Tuesday I had blood work done for possible RA.  I see him again on Wednesday.  This is going to be short and sweet because my fingers just don’t work right at the moment.

I am thankful for the two of them.  I even got a hug from Dr. P when I saw him on Tuesday.