I’ve been waiting to wrap up my story; kind of rolling it around in my mind about how I would end this tale of crazy. During my nearly month long procrastination session, I’ve discovered something that’s been eating away at me: There isn’t really an end to this, is there? This brain melt is something that I am going to have to live with and monitor and be forever vigilant. I really want to wake up one day and just be not crazy. But then the reality sets in and I know that if I really felt that way, it would probably mean I was ultra-mega-man crazy.
I started this draft on 10/31 and I’m just now getting back to it today on 11/9.
I’ll get back to all the other details in another post because right now I want to talk about what kind of horrible garbage it is to get mental health treatment. Basically,
It really and truly is.
I was released from the hospital on May 12; that was exactly 182 days ago. Ideally, with any sort of long term chronic illness, you want to get better, not worse. When I was being treated at the hospital, I literally felt as if a fog was being lifted from me. It had been such a ridiculously long time since I had felt anything other than suicidal. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t like I was going around with razor blades sticking out of my wrists or anything. I was however, faking every thing. Every second I was alone, even if it was just going to the bathroom, felt like a palpable darkness. It’s amazing how different you feel and perceive the world when your brain functions properly. The part of my depression that takes the biggest toll on me is knowing that the line is so thin between well and not well. The realization of all of those thoughts. The knowledge of what kind of impact your suicide would have on others when you’re well, and the complete disregard for it when you’re unwell. This is how I imagined my life would be emotionally after proper medication:
Look at my awesome and totally scientific chart, nerds!
I thought I’d be at normal-ish now. Not what I’d consider a “happy” person, but stable and for lack of a better phrase “okay with stuff”. I knew I’d hit some unrealistic peak while my medication was being adjusted and I knew it would be difficult. Easing back into a “normal” routine when just a few days/weeks/months ago I knew exactly how I’d kill myself. I’m a planner and a list maker and this was no exception. But now I should be better! Thing should go as planned! I should be better equipped!
Yeah, no, not so much.
The first hiccup was on the day of discharge from the hospital. Discharge instructions: follow up with a psychiatrist. Poof! Easy! Again, not so much. No referrals or suggestions and the doctor I saw in the hospital was a geriatric psychiatrist. Super great but also super busy. I asked flat out if he would see me and he said he only saw geriatric patients. The social worker said “oh, just tell them you were just discharged and they’ll work you in”. Who? Anyone? Everyone? Yeah…
It took two months for me see a psychiatrist. I had serious criteria though: they had to take my insurance and they had to have not treated me like shit in the past. Oh, they also had to be open to doing some crazy shit like setting up a new patient appointment with me. This immediately ruled out three doctors in my area, (one didn’t take my insurance, one was a dick to me when I tried to seek help before and one absolutely did not take insurance and charged $275 per hour. And he was booked through September). Yikes. I worked with my primary care to at least refill the medications I was prescribed in the hospital, so thank the universe for small favors.
Second hiccup: the doctor I ended up with. He was recommended by my therapist based on what previous patients had noted. Luckily for me, it seems that as I started to go to him, all kinds of garbage started getting back to her about how shitty he was. He changed my diagnosis. He took me off of drug A (of A, B and C prescribed in the hospital). Then after an initial increase , he replaced drug B and C with drug D. Drug D gave me a possible allergic reaction so he put me back on…only drug C, even though drug B and C are generally used in tandem. You lost yet? Then he added drug E. And at my last visit he took me off of drug D and E cold turkey and put me on drug F. Drug F has only been FDA approved and on the market since November 2013. This all happened within a five month span. Guess how well drug F is working?
If only I had this kind of energy but the sentiment is the same.
For two weeks now I’ve been running the gamut of standard side effects: diarrhea cha-cha-cha, vomiting, diarrhea and vomiting at the same time! Another side effect is a runny nose which I totally scoffed at but paid for it when I realized that a constant runny nose puts me right back to drainage down the back of my throat and into my lungs and coughing like I have pneumonia. I did get a nice infection and while the ever loving azithromyacin did its job, the cough never went away. TMI: the kind of cough that is so uncontrollable that you pee your pants. I AM A PLEASANT AND DAINTY LADY.
Also, one of the side effects is literally “possible increases in manic behavior”. Who? Me? Totally immune to the effects of drugs, sleeping two hours a night if I’m lucky, hopping on the deck and flopping like a fish (okay, it maybe just feels that way, but constant fidgeting), racing thoughts. And let’s just put that all on top of the suicidal thoughts that I’ve been having since the ridiculous medication roller coaster starting falling off the tracks.
I have not been a silent okay, doctor, anything you say, doctor, you know best, doctor kind of patient. What I have been is a patient patient. I had to have some faith that this guy wasn’t out to kill me and I was prepared for (and terrified of) a lengthy test period to find out just the right dosages/meds that I would need. But every time I’d question something he would give me a relatively sensible answer as to why he wanted this drug or this dose or this diagnosis. I’m not a doctor so at some point I had to defer to what should have been a professional with many years of experience. I do know that he took me off of medications without even the slightest adjustment. I do know that he likes to look at his phone when I’m in his office. I do know that at some point after my hospital stay I was getting better slowly but surely but has been steadily declining and now plummeting with the addition of this new drug. I was thisclose to going back to the hospital and that was the worst feeling in the world And I do know that I am 100% done because I literally can’t even.
My primary care is not comfortable changing my medication and I respect that. I do. But I don’t have a new psych appointment until 11/24 with one of the only doctors that takes my insurance (I have United Healthcare, not some weird sold-out-of-the-back-of-a-van insurance). I am on the waiting list for the doctor that I want to see locally….in December. I’ll get a call.
So I’m doing the thing that I’m not supposed to do: I’ve stopped taking drug whatthefuckever. I’m going to see if I have enough of my old medication to get me through to the next appointment and take that. My primary care is waiting on a call back from the psychiatrist to get an opinion for dosing but who knows. I have a good primary doctor that genuinely cares if I’m well or not and he likes my jokes so he’s pretty much all I could ask for in a person that has to hear me describe pooping and peeing and puking on a regular basis. I AM A DELICATE FLOWER. Yes, I know that stopping medication suddenly is bad news, but killing myself is generally regarded as bad, too and unfortunately that’s where I’m headed if I stay on this medication. I haven’t puked in like, a whole day now and I am slowly becoming less fidgety. I’ll also have you know that I only had to change my pants twice today which is an insane improvement.
I want to blog about less dumb stuff, but oh well for now. I will eventually finish my story, hopefully not in about 65 or so more years.