Saturday, November 21, 2009

Pill Poppin'

So I went to the doctor yesterday, and was amazingly nervous about it. (Thanks for telling me only every single malpractice story for two decades, Giggy. Way to skew the sample data.) I have Medicaid, which is slightly better than not having insurance, but you're still using doctor's offices that greatly resemble public health clinics (down to not having enough chairs in the waiting room and not being seen till at least an hour after your appointment time.)

But hey, I got crazy pills so I'm happy about that. You all know by now I have five distinct mental illnesses (PTSD, OCD, EDNOS, GAD, and MDD*) but I don't think I'd mentioned before that I've been out of medication for months. (Ah, the joys of the American for-profit healthcare system!) So, crying like a baby in the poor little old Indian man's exam room, I managed to procure three shiny new prescriptions to help me get back to some stabler emotional place.

I've felt like I was on an emotional knife's edge the past few months - I never know what's going to set me off crying or snapping at my kid (shame) or taking everything Boyfriend says in a completely different, and worse, way than he intended. Of course, first there's the introduction period, the two to twelve weeks where we find out if this is the right cocktail for me. Things might get worse before they get better. Two of the medications are new, and I've had some unfun reactions to medications before. Prozac is not supposed to give you disassociative episodes or make you see shiny, melty things that aren't real. Depo-Provera is not supposed to make you suicidal for the 90 days it takes to get out of your system. That one sucked. I figured it out right away, but there was nothing to do but wait. (Hormonal birth control can have serious side effects for many women. If you really love her and don't want any kids, please consider a vasectomy (a simple, outpatient, reversible procedure. Don't worry - they'll give you lots of Percocet to take home.)

Really, I'm just continuing what I started here on ATAT, talking about mental health issues, and being honest. Medicine can make the whole world better if you're sick, as long as it's the right medicine. Sometimes it takes a while to have full effect, or to find the right combination. You know, some anxiety medications can worsen depression symptoms, and some depression meds can really amp up the anxiety. Likewise a script I'm considering for my restless leg syndrome may worsen my OCD, which is completely unacceptable. I will twitch for days before I will make myself an ounce more compulsive than I already am.**

So, thanks for bearing with me. I know it will be easier for me to write once I'm fully functioning again. (It'll also be easier to be a patient mother, a carefree mother, a halfway decent housekeeper, happy, calm, etc.) If any of you think that everyday existence is just way too hard sometimes, I urge you to read up on mental health. It's pretty amazing how much better I can feel, once I've gone through the sometimes really nasty process of finding drugs that keep me calm but not comatose, happy but not hyper, deep but not depressed. Hopefully this time I'll get to stay on my medication continuously, instead of losing my health coverage and having to go through the weaning process once my refills are up.

* Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Eating Disorder (Not Otherwise Specified), Generalized Anxiety Disorder, & Major Depressive Disorder

** Tell me, have we come to the point where "may cause
compulsive gambling is an acceptable side effect of sleeping pills? I gotta admit, I've always thought everyone who slept a full 8 hours a night was kind of a wimp. Seriously, I get a lot done for never sleeping, and for several years of that I was also underfed. I'll take the sleepless nights over compulsive gambling! Sheesh.

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Bryan Christie Designs.