Depression and Medication …. its a fun game of tag you are it …

1302_crows

I have been patting myself on the back lately as I seem to be on a good level emotional keel.

2011 was a year with a slow slide downwards, and then an eventual bottom out, that left me weeping and clinging to the edge of sanity with torn and bloodied fingernails.  I’d love to regale you with tales of how I conquered that shit, but that bitch kicked my arse and then came back to poke me in the eye!!!

In 2011, I built a close and totally dependent relationship with a psychiatrist who seemed to understand how to help me.  We worked through a few options of medication until we found the “most right for today” option.

I arrived in his office when I was shaking and jibbering, so he did have rather broken person to fix. I was convinced that there was not enough medication in the universe that would possibly help me.  But I was wrong.  Not the first time, not the last time.

The right medication is pretty unbelievable.  I was in an absolute state, and many of my symptoms had stopped being psychological, and had become physical symptoms.  I had neck and back pain that felt like spasms. I had also been clenching my jaw so hard for so long that my face ached.  I had clenched my jaw so tightly that I had cracked one of my molars.

Depression and medication is a bit of a challenge.

Medication, at some point, makes you feel like you have got a handle on life and that you might try to nurture a pot plant.  At least for some part of the day.

The problem with this buoyant feeling and the twinkle in your eye, is that it makes you feel like you are “alright” and just might be coping.  So the first thing that you do is toss your meds – ‘cos who needs those when you are feeling so damn good!!

Once you are feeling good, with such a good handle on not having an emotional vomit every time you go out for dinner, well then the nest step is to cancel those Dr Psychologist appointments.

First, they are not free.  Secondly, it is an hour of you sitting on a couch talking about shit that you really would rather not think about,  And thirdly, at some point your medical aid runs out and you are coughing up a few thousand, to chat to someone, about shit you don’t want to think about any more, because you feel so damn even keeled!!

So you cancel the crap out of those weekly appointments.  Because now you have the coping mechanisms that only drugs and therapy can make you think you have.

Flush with the extra hours available in your week, and the chance of maybe a few rand saved, you face your new life with a whole new outlook.

Depression, anxiety disorder, panic disorder is no picnic.  I know “depression” is a term that gets bandied around fairly freely – and I am definitely not the one to judge whether someone is having a bad day or is diagnosed with depression.

So here I sit.  Feeling not so bad.

I have cut back on some of my medication. I take a slow release SEROQUEL XR, and an IVEDAL sleeping tablet at night.  I used to take another set of medication during the day, but as time went by I realised I could cope without it, and cut back, as I felt the Seroquel was working well for me on it’s own.

I could probably sleep by myself.   I could probably.  But right now I am reasoning “why take the risk when what I am taking have little to no side effects, and what I am taking works?”

I have cancelled my Dr CBT, and I am feeling all pretty “hey check at me, nearly got this LIFE shit sorted…”

But around the edges, I start to realise that cracks are starting to reveal themselves.  Not big hulking sink-the-titanic cracks, but hair-line fractures.

It’s time I book another “just checking in” session with my psychiatrist and more importantly make an appointment with DR CBT.

And such is the “always there” black dog …… even when you think he has gone away.

On a non-related note, do you know the collective noun for a group of cats, is a pounce of cats?  I love that – my favourite collective noun is a “Murder of Crows” more … I do love collective nouns.  This last paragraph has no relation at all to the last post, but this is sort of how my brain works.

Crazy people need the right meds …. really

No secret that I have some challenges and I have a script.  The script is meant to help me help myself, I guess.

I see a psychologist every week.  We do cognitive behavioral therapy and we slowly work through the way I see the world.

It is all very well to have a quirky outlook on the world, but sometimes it helps to have someone assist you in how you process the information you have got coming in.  Sometimes a chicken crossing a road, is not always just a chicken crossing the road.  On the hand the chicken crossing the road is not a plot against you.  It’s just a chicken crossing the road.

December was December.   January seemed to start way too soon.  Was up and running too fast.  I have been feeling edgy, anxious and a bit “funny” and it has started to climb.  I thought it was a December thing, then a January thing, but now I am wondering it if is February thing.

I started wondering if I am heading for another little “break” and I am not quite ready to go down the rabbit hole so soon, after coming back from the last little trip.

I knew I was not feeling great, I just did not know why.  I was taking my meds.  I was doing my therapy.  I was doing the work.

I made an appointment with my Pill Doctor – first appointment I could get was for today (I booked this in January already.)

I keep my medication in a little tupperware dish.  It keeps everything together, makes it easy to slip in to my bag, or to put in my cupboard away from the kids.  Works well.

I take it with to doctor’s appointments, as if anyone asks, I can open it and say, I take two of these, one of these, and one of these.

They always ask, and I never know the names.  Tupperware in bag a better idea that you think.

Today was no exception.  Pill Doctor obviously knows my script, as he wrote it.  But he started asking to find out whether I was experiencing side effects, and just to touch base on what I was on.

So I go: “I am taking one of these in the morning…”

Dr Pill Doctor: “That’s wrong, you should be taking three Zoloft, not one of the Serdep….”

Me: “When I received this from my chemist I thought it was wrong, so I called back and asked him, and he confirmed that he had given me the correct stuff and the correct dose.  I even took the box back to him and asked again.  He again said that it is correct at one a day of Serdep — I said the grammage did not seem right, but he said it was!”

Dr Pill Doctor: “I am sorry it is wrong, the script I gave and that you were on since June is Zoloft and three of them a day…. so you are on 1/3 of what you are normally on, and have been on since June last year ……”

Moer, I am annoyed/angry/pissed off.

Clearly a taking-your-meds-101 error!

I have been “struggling” since December, and kept wondering what the hang is going on here.  I was desperate to get an appointment with Dr Pill Doctor as I thought maybe he could order a set of blood/hormone tests as clearly there was really something wrong.

Before June 2011 I felt like shit, after clinic and meds and August 2011, I was definitely feeling better. Things were stabilising and I felt like i was getting a better grip on what was going on.

November I saw Pill Doctor we agreed to keep script the same, took script to Chemist.  Chemist said that I should swap the Zoloft for the Serdep.  And that is where it went all a bit very wrong.

Chemist put me on to 50mg and I was on 150mg before.  When I queried it he said that it was correct.  But being me, who feels awkward to put my hand up and say “er, that is wrong…” telling my Chemist that I think he made an error, was not exactly easy.  When he told me twice that he had not made an error, even though I still felt that something not quite right, but I decided that I am clearly wrong, so I nodded, went home, and took my pill.

The problem is that I have not been feeling “quite right.”  My anxiety and stress has started to climb, and I have been looking around for what could possibly be the problem.

I have been convinced that “the slide” is starting again.

I find out today that my chemist is actually an idiot and cannot read a script.  My Pill Doctor wrote the new script out and wrote on it in fairly legible copy DO NOT USE SUBSTITUTES!!

I am glad that my medication has been adjusted and hopefully in about 4 – 6 weeks I will start to feel a bit better, and get back on to the right road.

I am so chipped off that I have been feeling this amount of “breaking” for the last 4 – 6 weeks which has been totally unnecessary and could have gone horribly wrong.

I am so angry that when I said that something was not right, my chemist did not take the time to go back and recheck the script and what he had given me.

I am sure I will see the happy side soon.