He’s Fired and I Re-Hired

Last Wednesday I saw my psychiatrist, the one I’ve been meaning to fire. I went in and new exactly what I was going to say: treat my depression or else, and take me off a medication that puts me at higher risk for cardiac events.  Things do not start off well.  He asks me how I’m doing and I tell him that I’m not well.  He says I can’t be that bad since I’m smiling and that’s the first time he’s seen me smiling.  (Depressed people don’t smile?)  I told him I’ve been “faking it until I make it.”  He didn’t understand.  What isn’t there to understand?  I put on a happy face so I don’t look so sad and grumpy when out in public.  I then got as specific as I could.  I wanted things to stop.  I didn’t want to die, I just wanted everything in the world and everything around me to stop.  It was hard for me to give an example, but I gave the one that’s been bothering me most.  Physical pain.  When I said this, I was again dismissed and was told I’m not depressed due to bipolar depression, I am depressed because my pain is making me depressed.  I always thought my pain increased while being depressed, and I’m being ignored.

I’m asking for help and I wasn’t getting it.  I was told I needed to go on pain medications (opiates) because an antidepressant medication wouldn’t help me.  I explained why I didn’t want to be on medication for pain and my reasons were dismissed.  Besides side effects of constipation and lethargy, I was addicted to them years ago.  I haven’t had any since April, and for the first four months of this year, I was taking them constantly.  I went from 5mg every 8 hours to 10mg every 4 hours.  I became dependent on them.  I hated how they made me feel.  My mom would “feed” them to me to make me shut up.  I would fall asleep.  Even recently, I’ve wanted to take one.  I have a strong support system and when I had that feeling and I was desperate to take the pain away, I talked to my support system and they reminded me why “one” would be a bad idea.

I was being dismissed.  Great.  I didn’t think I would get the treatment I needed, which is why I came into the appointment knowing that it would be my last, effectively “firing” my psychiatrist.  I talked about how even though my mania has been managed very well, I didn’t want to be on a medication that put me at higher risk for cardiovascular events.  He said this wasn’t true, but I’m going to believe a pharmacist and the black box warning on the medication over this doctor who seems to be clueless.  He asked me what I proposed.  I told him.  He obliged, to my surprise, to FINALLY put me on my treatment plan that had been working well for me before the whole “stuck in bed” period of time.

YES.  It’s about damn time.

Before the appointment was over I let it slip that I moved and would be making my follow-up appointment with the other clinic, seeing a different doctor.  My psychiatrist said he would be sad to not see me any longer.  He said he’s seen a great improvement in my mood (??) and would miss dealing with a strong individual who goes after what they want.  Well, yes.  I’ve been doing that for the past few months and I guess it took that long for him to take me seriously?  I’ve been asking for this treatment since day one and have been given every excuse why he wouldn’t help me.

Don’t back down.  Pick your battles.  (There have been many of them.)  It’s why I thank my mom for teaching me such a great life lesson.

Solace

Things have gotten a bit better for me.  A major concern with a job change would be the lapse in health insurance.  It was decided to pay out of pocket for COBRA for myself only, which would result in no lapse of coverage and be cheaper than buying a short-term plan from the marketplace.  I was worried about finding a way to afford my insulin and anti-psychotic (which, I did the math, is $40.76 a pill).  Now that the worry about how to pay for my medications and doctor visits is no longer an issue, I feel a sense of relief and the majority of my anxiety is gone.

The spouse was invited over to his former co-worker’s house to watch UFC on Saturday night.  I took a long nap during the day so I would be able to stay awake the entire night.  We decided to order BBQ for pick-up, but the traffic for the theme park was at a stand still.  I moved 250 feet in traffic in about 30 minutes, decided to “screw it,” found a gap in traffic and made it to the house.  I then called in a pizza order for delivery, but was quoted two hours, so I decided to not be lazy and went to pick it up.  I had Alfredo pasta with chicken, mushrooms, and broccoli.  The side salad was also delicious and I forgot how good the house-made blue cheese dressing is!  The host was very nice, offering me a beer and marijuana, which I declined because it’s probably not the best choice to make while in the middle of applying for a job within the county/police department.  Guys are gross.  But that’s OK because I felt like I fit in.  I tried holding a conversation with someone’s wife and it was about shoes, shopping, and spa day.  I couldn’t care less about any of those things.  And I heard many stories about my spouse at his old work and OH MY GOSH, that boy needs to think before he speaks!  Of course, he says the stories are embellished, but I already know about the sausage-dick jokes, so I’m sure the stories are not too far off from the truth.

I had my psychiatrist appointment this morning.  The new doctor was a lot more welcoming.  I am apprehensive about completely coming off my current medication and going to a single medication to treat manic episodes only, but I trust their decision based upon them going through my complete history.  The doctor genuinely believes I’ve been in a low mood due to the major life events that have happened within the past two weeks, and that my manic episodes are mixed, is a good sign that this new treatment might work well for me.  I will have the added benefit of it being inexpensive and less possibility of weight gain and diabetic side-effects.

Last thing, I think this drive to the new work might kill me.  I’m going to need to find something to do, if not work, until the move because this new drive can suck it.  Still looking: which is the worst intersection on this commute?  I’ve never looked forward to moving, until now.

Depression Is My Friend

I drove 700 miles over two days last week.  I have never seen my spouse work so hard as I did the while on the coast of North Carolina. While I went into town for a bite to eat and to escape the heat, I received a call that he had gotten a job offer. We had the discussion about if he should accept or not. I listened to him and his reasons for wanting the change.

The next day he went into work and it was clear that nobody was thankful for what he had done the day before.  He put in his two week notice and there is nothing his current company can do for him that will convince him to stay.  (Besides asking for a larger raise, but that ship has probably sailed.)  It’s interesting how everyone is sad to see him go but management couldn’t care less because they see him as a number and didn’t fight for him to stay.  I know, for a fact, that shit will hit the fan when he’s gone because he’s the only one that gets stuff finished.

I haven’t been having a great week.  I’m constantly sad and there’s nothing, besides medication, that can be done to make me feel better.  The last week was especially bad because I woke up on Sunday morning to find our second fur baby, Oreo, dead.  I woke up early on Sunday morning and I knew she wouldn’t make it through the night.  I didn’t want to believe it.  I wanted to say goodbye to her one last time but when I saw her mouth hanging open I lost it.  I’m doing everything I can to not think about Oreo, but it’s extremely difficult.  I see shadows moving and I think it’s her walking toward me but it’s the other cat.

I’ve been handed a lot of crap over the past month.  I’ve dealt with my feelings.  I can move on, but there’s that depression that lingers.  It’s the “I don’t give a crap” type of depression because I haven’t been taking care of myself.  I can barely do things I need to do, and I don’t want to do things I used to enjoy.  I explained to an acquaintance that I refuse to open up to anyone “new,” that I don’t have that one “best friend” since my best friend is on the autism scale and she can’t really relate to serious things I want to talk about.