Monday, January 23, 2012

I'm Crazy -- It's Official

I don't think it will come as a surprise to anyone who knows me well that I've been struggling.  In fact, it probably won't surprise anyone who reads my blog, is my friend on facebook, or follows me on Twitter.  I wouldn't even be shocked if the mailman knows.  I've tried to fake it but suspect I haven't been doing a very good job.

I have needed to see my doctor for months.  I have been ill.  I have had pains that should be addressed or checked.  I have run out of meds that made my life a little easier.  And I was past due for my annual checkup.  Why didn't I go?  Ironically, because I didn't feel well enough.

I understand that sounds ridiculous.  I didn't go to the doctor because I didn't feel well enough.  But it's the honest truth.

I have been white-knuckling my life.  Holding on with both hands to keep it all from falling apart.  Picking up what I could of those things I dropped.  And trying to smile and say, "No, really, I'm fine."

But I wasn't.  I'm not.  And I finally went to the doctor.

I went because I couldn't get my meds refilled without going.  And because my husband caught me in a moment of meltdown and offered to get me an appointment.

After all the opening fun of being weighed and giving a urine sample, I changed into the lovely gown and drape and waited for the doctor.  My tension was rising as I knew I needed to discuss everything with him.  I needed to give him as complete a list of the mess of my life as possible so we could work together to find a direction.  And I had a written list just to make sure I hit it all.

He came in, we went through the normal review of medical history, and then I asked if I could give him more information.

And I did.  I shared my history of abuse, my struggles with fatigue and pain, and the new things that have come up.  I was as brief as possible.  I fought through tears.  I said what I needed to say.

And do you know what he did?  He listened.  He didn't interrupt.  He didn't rush.  He just listened.  And when I finished he asked a few questions for clarification.  And in that moment I felt like I had a partner, someone who truly wanted to help me.  Someone who saw a person and not a problem.

He didn't have the answers.  I didn't expect him to.  But he still helped.

He performed my physical exam, ordered all the blood tests indicated, gave me new prescriptions for the things I needed, and gently gave me some direction.

He suggested I get back into therapy AND see a psychiatrist.

I was already planning to get back into therapy; I have done so since that appointment.

But I hadn't thought of seeing a psychiatrist.  As he explained, they don't really do therapy anymore.  Mostly they are medication detectives.  They can try different combinations of medications and off-label uses to offer new choices when the basics haven't worked.

I have had many symptoms of low-serotonin for years.  I have tried many medications.  I have had no success.

I am now fighting more symptoms.  They aren't huge in scale but they are numerous.  They are making my life difficult.  I am fighting social phobias which are limiting my participation in the outside world, including church.   I am fighting anxiety which is causing me to isolate and refuse to communicate or spend time with family.  I am fighting an OCD issue -- repetitively spelling in my head (yeah, that is obnoxious and hurts my head and I can't stop).  I am impatient and often rude without having any idea.  When I realize it, but can't stop it, I go back to my room to prevent hurting people.  I have no emotional strength to face anything that isn't going just right.

The inch or two of mud I was walking through has become shin-deep.  The slog of life is much, much harder.  I am trying, but I am struggling.

So, I am eager to jump back on the medication roller coaster and play Russian Roulette with the psychiatrist (in March, which was as soon as I could get an appointment).  Even though I may be setting myself up for disappointment, I am hopeful that we will be able to find something that will help.  Because, honestly, I don't know how much more I can take.  Things have to get better.  They just have to.

To read about my visit to the psychiatrist, go here.


Summer said...

I understand a degree.

And I finally dropped my ego and off to the psych I went....and I was so glad I did.

God is so good, and he is amazing for inventing great minds and medications that CAN and WILL help.

One day you will be past this, and stronger, and God will do mighty things with your story.


Rubye Jack said...

Oh gosh Robin. I relate to everything you say here except for the spelling and if I think too much about that then I'll also be doing it all the time. Not kidding.
I'm lucky I am able to isolate but at the same time I miss people.

If I thought meds could help, I would be there. Lately I've been working on cutting out every single med I take; even the Trazadone which I've taken for 20 years or so. I'm now down to 25mg from 100 and feeling much better. I try to focus on eating right. I know that sounds trivial but I'm giving it a try. It is a very difficult decision and I respect whatever you do. Only you know the depths of your pain and I am just happy to know you're reaching out for help. I like to think as long as we continue to reach out that there is hope.

Hang in there! I care!

Sherri Abendroth said...

so glad to hear that you are going back to the doc and getting meds once again... i know it sucks to take meds, and the journey to finding the right ones, or combination of meds, is a long and sometimes less than fun one... but you are doing something to help yourself... and that is huge! kuddos to your husband... kuddos to you...

Dawnelle said...

Frankly, I'm grateful. Hearing that your life has been spiraling, I'm grateful that a few weeks ago you even WANTED to listen to me and help me. Thanks for giving of your time and precious energy when I needed it!

I know there's not much I can do, but if you think of something, please let me know!

Birdie said...

I don't know what to say. Depression is a bitch. It is so horribly awful.

If it makes you feel any better I count when I get really bad. To 9. Or I count by 9.
1, 2, 3, 5, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9.
It calms me. And it makes me so sad at the same time.

Keep writing and I will keep reading.


Mom Wininger said...

I love you and I wish I could take it all away for you!

Rebecca Jo said...

Being someone who struggles with depression & anxiety myself, I applaud you for stepping into the ring for help. That's the hardest part, i think. Its showing you want to get better!

Sending you well wishes!!!

Blue Cotton Memory said...

So glad your husband helped you, so glad the dr. listened - and so glad you have appointments. Praying they help you find exactly what you need - putting you on a post-it on my bathroom mirror. That's what a dear friend did - she kept me on a post-it on a bathroom mirror to pray for me every day! She was an older woman who passed away 2 years ago - and I miss knowing she prayed for me every day:)

Bre And Drew said...

I think you're strong for admitting you need help, writing about your journey, and trying to be hopeful throughout everything. Good luck with the doctors! Thanks for writing so personally, it's very refreshing and inspiring.

Libby said...

Oh Miss Robin - as the fix it woman it sucks that I can't fix this for you. Your post is hopeful - you've seen your doctor, you're taking your meds, you've made an appointment and more importantly you talking about it and not denying anything. It is my honest belief that it will get better. Sending a big warm Aussie hug your way.

Just Another Person said...

Miss Robin,

You have supported me through your warm comments. and I can feel your pain. I understand the social phobia part that you wrote as mine used to be pretty bad as well. I hope that seeing a psychiatrist will help you this time. I did the combination of weekly psychologist and monthly psychiatrist for a while too, and for me it worked. I had to change psychiatrist a few times to find one that works for me though. I really really hope you feel better.

I hope that you will be able to spend more time with other people. You are such a good person. I really with you the best.

keep fighting.

Naked Mommy said...

Things WILL get better. I'm happy for you that your doctor was so supportive and hope you find a good psychiatrist. I know exactly what you mean about feeling too crappy to get help or help yourself. I've been meaning to make some changes - including starting therapy - since October and it hasn't happened. Lean on your friends, they want to help!! I've felt so much better since I opened up and talked to people. Most people anyways. : )