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minikin

Minikin's Journal

Routine Ramblings of an Occasionally Interesting Housewife


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Adventures in Health
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minikin
I went to the doctor this morning.

I have this weird fuzzy chain of associations that I'm meandering into taking full responsibility for myself. I've had quite reasonable success in the "try this medicine and get back to me if you don't get well" approach to American medicine all my life. Well, since I left the care of the military, that is. They always tested for bacteria before handing out the antibiotics -- that eventually changed to writing the scrip and telling you to stop taking it if the results were negative, which just seems like a bad idea.

Anyhoo, I've had years with my current PCP who hands out scrips like candy for stuff I'm already an expert patient on. Respiratory, urinary -- I know when I need the good stuff. There's almost this implied assumption that if I thought I needed to come, I needed the meds. Whatever.

And now there's my mind. I haven't been writing about this, much. I'm not an expert about this, and well, my emotions affect my thinking, and all of it just feels so subjective. My mom was carted off to the hospital screaming about being the beast, recognizing every face in every car they passed, and was eventually diagnosed manic depressive, when they still called it that. She's been taking lithium since 1977 and I like to describe myself as my Mom, on lithium. (It's mostly to point out how it totally didn't zombie-fy her.)

I've been a cry-baby since I was allergic to my formula. Crying when you're sad is normal, right? But somehow in recent years it became so easy and so common and so completely unexplainable that it seemed out of control and something to treat. Shit came down and my strongest source of support decided I was too dependent on him and needed help, but not him, whatever. So, my take on everything was the crying. Imagine my surprise when Flar's total presentation to the OB/Gyn (hey, craziness comes with female aging, right?) was that "anything could set me off" and that I was always angry.

That doctor, who sees me once a year to feel me up; who took me off the pill, and a year later set a note to my doctor about the BP, since it was still up... Yeah, that doctor threw the boxes of Lexapro at me, with the let's see if this helps approach. Now, which parts of the changes in me were drugs, and which parts were having to rely on everyone except Camel? Hell, the first thing that comes to mind to my Sweetness, when I still occasionally weep about Camel, is worry that I should ever get back with him, and thus turn my back on everybody else. Like the former could ever really even happen. But I keep reminding myself that it could only ever happen if it didn't cause the latter.

And I still miss him so much that it hurts.

Cue the talk therapy. Oh yeah, I could have just taken that up last summer with the totally need to get over him goal. But I'm not that simple. It's taken the pill-pad doctor in Brazil wanting to make sure I'm "seeing someone" it's taken still laying awake nights crying it's taken crying during sex it's taken still fighting with Flar and him having the ingenuousness to say "I thought you were better."

I'm not better. Or that different really.

So I finally dragged myself to see someone. Got the recommendation from Spydielives after getting so much third hand support from just being about to read about her own struggles that sometimes mirror my own.

Stuff I've been able to keep inside, keep from "getting to me" is coming out again, and I honestly don't really like it, but I keep hearing it's what's good for me. So, the talking.

Beyond that, she encouraged me to ask my doctor for hormone level testing and thyroid, to see if there are physical causes to address.

My BP meds are due, so I went in and finally talked to my PCP - the doctor I see most often, after all, about some at least, of what's going on. He wanted to see where my potassium levels are anyway, cause he prescribed potassium with the diuretic, but it's a low-loss style of Diurectic, so I may even have elevated potassium. Apparently it takes a few months before testing shows what's going on.

When I went in for the BP originally, my PCP encouraged me to exercise, and recommended the South Beach diet, as I am also high risk for Type II Diabetes. My OB/Gyn told Flar to drag me to exercise if he had to, that it was vital to make the pills work.

And, in the summer, I started swimming. But since I got back from Brazil, I haven't been in the pool, and now bowling is over, so I really need to start back into regular exercising.

Right, so last time I saw my PCP, I asked for BP meds and got those plus a diet and exercise order.

This time, he talked to me about how much sleep I get. If you could write out sleep on pad, he'd have done it. He recommended that I schedule naps if I have to, to get my eight hours -- he said that I can't make it up on the weekends.

So I got blood drawn this morning (fasting, by coincidence) for a Comp oh, erg, I've already forgotten the rest of the name for that, I took it to mean Comprehensive General, and it included things like blood glucose and sodium and potassium... and for THX, which I'm figuring means thyroid here, and not a sound system. ;) And I got my allergy shot, and the nurse says I've lost 3 pounds since my last appointment. Cool.

Then I drove to school with Tigger's dress shoes, which he forgot to wear, picked up my paycheck and then some groceries.

I need to make some mini-quiches so I EAT on mornings like this.

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A complete blood workup is a good way to rule out lots of physical reasons - everything from salt imbalances to hormonal problems.

I still have a partial every six months (used to be three but I have been good with my diet and exercise) to make sure nothing gets out of whack with all the meds I take.

Talk therapy can take a long time, or a short time, depending on the desired results. If it is "I just want to get past this" then it usually isn't long. If the goal is the more general "I want to feel better" then I think you have to find out why you are not feeling good in the first place.

That is the hard part, even if there is a chemical/physical component in play. It is amazing what kind of effect just the years of hearing other peoples' reactions to our own pain can have on us, let alone the pain itself we suffered. [Did that make sense?]

*Hugs* in any event. The bravest thing is taking the step forward and saying "I deserve to feel better."

Man I feel for you, you've really had a rough year. I'm proud of you for not making excuses, or placing blame, but searching for results and answers to make things better. I wish you much luck in your quest as I know you've been searching for results for awhile now.

Kept thinking about this entry, but not getting around to responding due to my own insanity...and I'm not certain what to say. I want to be supportive, and I think it's great that you want to take responsibility for yourself. But that makes it sound like you weren't before, and I don't think that's entirely true; either.
I really wonder if I should be medicated, or in some sort of therapy (but I had such horrible results the last time that I'm afraid) I hope you find whatever works best for you - as in makes YOU happiest with yourself - not what Flar or anyone else likes best.
And I think it's perfectly reasonable that you still cry for Camel - but I cry all the time over anything; so what do I know!
I'm hoping that something will happen soon to allow me to come out there for a little while. It would be wonderful to see you, and to give you big huggles in person!

love you

Thank you. I do hope I get to see you sometime. If you don't get out here before June, maybe you'd be able to make the shorter trip to LA to meet up with us while we're on our Big Train Adventure.

Love you!

Just a note to say I've been missing seeing you on AIM and such.

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