Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Do I get some wine?

It has been a long couple of days. My eldest is home from school. He's got some kind of virus. Probably a cold. He had a fever but it broke. We sent him in to school thinking he'd be fine. About 20 minutes later, the school called us to pick him up. The nurse declared he looked miserable and mentioned that he shouldn't be in school until after 24 hrs free from fever. Thus, he came home.

And has pretty much been acting like his usual self with a bit of a cold. I don't know if I should send him in tomorrow or if the school nurse will declare he must come home again. My anxiety says that they'll get upset with me if I send him. The rest of me says that aside from a bit of a cough, Cuddle Bear is pretty much fine. I'm probably going to discuss it with Beloved. Because I'm not thinking quite clearly right now.

This adjustment to medication business is ... not fun. I'm no longer so depressed that I feel like I'm going to cry at the drop of a hat or feeling utterly numb, but I'm not at 'normal' yet either. I still am struggling with this eerie sense of depersonalization that comes with this stuff. I feel like I'm half dissociated and I am really not enjoying it. I can't manage to feel warm at all. I'm presently wearing a thermal undershirt and a hoodie. I'm about to grab a shawl. I feel like I'm freezing and it is about 70 in the apartment right now. I know this is not normal.

I'm still anxious. I have been trying to keep myself busy so that I am not sitting here perseverating over all the possible things that could go wrong right now. I have not been very successful, though I do have two very lovely washcloths now, a new wooden beaded mala, and Beloved's sweater is just about on point. I don't have much energy. I don't have much appetite either. I'm beginning to think that perhaps I am still feeling depressed, it is just not quite as severe.

I've been drinking tea like it is going out of style. I made a pitcher of iced tea this afternoon that I will be having at dinner time. I don't know if the kids are going to want any. It is peach iced tea, so if they don't like it I'll have no qualms about finishing it off. My head hurts. I don't know if it is because I've been grinding my teeth, aura symptoms of a migraine, or if it is my medication. For all I know, it could be low blood sugar too.

I've only been eating about a cup of food at mealtimes, at best. Tonight, I anticipate eating about half of a pork chop and some veggies for dinner. I know this isn't good for me. I'm pretty sure that I've lost some weight over the last week of this nonsense. A part of me is worried about this becoming a thing and my almost-eating disorder coming back into the picture. When I brought up my worries about this, it was like when I brought up my worries about the hypomanic symptoms, I got brushed off and told not to be so anxious about it.

A part of me says I should just let it go. It says that I should just stop trying to manage all of this shit and 'trust the doctors.' Regardless of the fact that trusting these people to have my best interests at the forefront of their minds resulted in major problems in the past. Another part of me says I should just stop caring so much about this because I'm not going to be taken seriously by anyone anyhow. I've got the dual strikes against me of being female and having mental illness.

Then there is that part of me that just doesn't stop. It says that I am going to go forward and make shit happen, even if I have to march through Helheim to do it. It says that I should continue to press to get proper treatment of my condition. It says that I should get up everyday to take care of the things I need to do and meet my responsibilities. It says that I should force the world to my will. Because there is no other option.

Fortunately, that is the part that usually wins out.

Wednesday, March 09, 2016

Me vs Health Establishment: Round n+1

I posted about this on FB yesterday. I've had a little time to calm down from incandescent rage that I was literally shaking with when it hit. I don't know what to do right now. I really don't know what to say or do. I know that my monthly meeting with my psychiatric provider didn't start well when I was basically kink shamed for wearing my collar. (Because obviously I'd wear it only for attention or to shock people, right?) I wore it because I had been super anxious for about a week now. Wearing the collar makes me feel safe, secure, and loved.

I started out wearing a necklace that was collar like. It was very light weight and after a while, I could't feel it. I gradually switched to heavier necklaces before I got to the two necklaces that are public friendly collars and the leather one. The one that I had made (pink band of tunisian crochet superwash wool with an o ring in the center and button closure at the back) soon became hard for me to focus on because the anxiety was encouraging me to dissociate. So, I put on the chain collar necklace. It worked a little better but I kept having lots of ... discomfort and upset. So, I finally put on the leather one.

A huge amount of the anxiety that had been troubling me was... not lifted so much as diminished because it was easier for me to feel the collar's presence on my neck. It also helped that the rings on it jangled a little bit as I was moving, which helped provide something of an auditory cue that it was there. The two things worked together to help me stay 'embodied' and focused on the present, in addition to all the warm fuzzies that are associated with the collar.

So, I was somewhat disappointed when my psychiatric provider took one look at the collar and said 'That's not you.' I revealed that it is indeed a facet of myself, simply one that I keep quiet. She scoffed and gave a somewhat sarcastic 'Ok.' Looking back, that really set the tone for the rest of the session. We had our discussion about my symptoms. She focused on trying to figure out what I was 'reacting to' in being depressed right now. I got very ... frustrated with that line of discussion.

I said very bluntly "I have been depressed since November. Something needs to change." She started to try to talk me into sticking with the medications I was on at the time when I reiterated that it wasn't working and something needed changed. This was when it became apparent that I have been on pretty much every SSRI on the market and acclimated to them all as she reviewed my history. That was because the one she suggested at first, I flatly declined with the statement that the last time I was on it, I wound up in the hospital for suicidal thoughts.

So, she has me now on an SSNRI. I voiced my concern about how I am bipolar and I was worried that my medication may cause me to have a full blown manic episode or suicidal depression. She pooh-poohed my concerns and then told me that in the records, I had a diagnosis of unipolar depression with pyschotic features. I... I got angry. She presented it as though she did not change the diagnosis. And I am inclined to believe her. I don't think psychiatric nurses have the credentials to diagnosis.

I tried explaining that I have the symptoms of bipolar and I essentially got brushed off. The appointment ended with my basically shutting down emotionally and her not noticing. I find myself wondering if the collar is going to come up in my therapy session in two weeks. I don't know what to do right now. A part of me is furious because I am again in a position where I need to defend my diagnosis and justify my needs to the psychiatric professional I am working with. I have never had this problem at any of the hospitals I have gone into. Just with this damn clinic.

And the anxiety is crippling when I am not dissociating due to it. I have problems with being in the position where I have to justify my need for medical care. I think it is tied to the fact that I had health problems as a kid that my parents decided not to address because they decided that I had to by lying to them. Only to discover between 25 to 30 years later that all the things I was complaining about were legit problems. But, when I get sick and I need help, I get terrified that the people around me are not going to believe me and decide that I am a hypochondriac. I get fucking twisted up into knots over the idea that they're going to deem me an attention whore and dismiss me.

So, this has jumped onto the pile of general anxiety that I was struggling with over the last week. I started the new medication today. I've started seeing some side effects. I have a lower appetite than usual. My mood is not up much but my energy levels keep going up as the day goes on. If I go into one of my hypomanic states, I am going to call my psychiatric care provider and say something to the effect of 'see, this is a legit thing.' If it turns into something beyond that, I will take what measures I need to.

But, knowing that I haven't been getting treated for what I have makes me angry. I feel like there would be less chaos in my life if I was on the right medication. I worry that I am not going to get it because I have a hard time remember what happens in these different mental states. When I'm depressed, I literally can't remember shit. When I am hypomanic, I don't have the attention span to recall stuff and think I'm normal. It only becomes apparent to me if I am having difficulty because of my temper being screwed up. The wonky sleep doesn't get noticed until afterwards.

But, when I go into my psych appointments, I have problems remembering stuff outside of the mood I a m in at the time. And most of the time, I am depressed.