still having doubts

Last week when i was poorly, i went to see the nurse practitioner who is my PCP [primary care provider].  She knows my T as they share the office space.  After i apparently failed to explain my reasoning behind quitting my pmeds. she asked me if i was still seeing him.  In a moment of unusual sharing i said “yes, but it seems like all i’m doing is paying him to talk to me.”  She replied, “well, isn’t that the point?”

I don’t know.  Is that the point, the only point?  I’m still not sure what therapy is about or what is supposed to be accomplished.  I have left therapy sessions MANY times, with different therapists, wondering what the hell  i was doing.  Sometimes, i’m convinced that i’m failing at therapy because i’m not getting anything out of it    Other times, i believe it’s all my T’s fault because they suck and i just haven’t found a “good” one.

 

Changing therapists has usually come as a result of a hospitalization and on the advice of my soon-to-be-history treatment team.  “You need someone more trauma focused.”  Well, ok, fine but what is that supposed to look like?  How is that going to be different?

 

I’ve had 4 therapists in the last 9 years and have never felt i understood the concept of therapy with any of them.  I’ve been with my current T for 5 years and he’s a nice fellow and all but usually after asking me how my week was, we spend the time chatting aboutgodknowswhat.  It doesn’t feel therapeutic.  It feels like paying for someone to be my friend who can’t be my friend.  To be fair, i don’t want him pounding me with questions about my childhood with every breath but some experience-based guided questioning would help me.  I don’t know what would help me to discuss.  Isn’t that his role?

 

Certainly, i could find another therapist and try again.  After 5 years, it feels a bit like a relationship that hasn’t grown or deepened.  But how do i judge something that seems vague and arbitrary.  Does therapy have goals, something measurable to help me judge success or failure, a list i can check off?  I need guidance and once again i feel lost and adrift, afraid to stay and afraid to go.

Doc

 

 

a bit better

I sat down to write this blog post after taking my latest dose of naproxen for a headache i’ve had for the past week.  I complain about or note issues here, i would also like to  try and give improvements equal time – if they exist.

 

My episode of vertigo, new to me, is getting better.  Now i set off the spins only if i look to my right and upward, movements i can avoid if i think first.  My headache is somewhat better.  I have stopped taking the meclizine because i couldn’t function on it.  Long, restless “naps” on the couch, sweating then freezing, and an unwillingness to provide the care my dear dog requires/deserves.  When i saw my PCP last week she believed my vertigo and headache were due to my recent wean off of all my psych meds.  I found i couldn’t argue the point because my head hurt.  Plus, she might be right.

 

Last week i received my first epidural to address the sciatic pain in my left hip and leg.  It took about 4 days, but i am in much less discomfort now when i sleep and walk.   The interventional radiologist said he was “treating the MRI” by injecting the L5S1 disc space when my symptoms suggested a slightly higher lesion [L3-4].  I am also scheduled for a contrast/analgesic injection into my left hip in about a week, but given my current relief, i am considering cancelling the procedure.  I’ll give it a few more days before i decide.

 

I also failed miserably to advocate for myself last week with my PCP.   I was potentially exposed to the rabies virus when i handled a dead raccoon baby.  Bad move, i know.   Dr. Laura and i both felt a booster of my rabies vaccine would be prudent but when i asked my PCP about it she dismissed the idea stating she did not believe my exposure constituted a real risk for contracting the virus.  I knew in my head, as i sat in front of her, that that was not what i wanted.  But doubt crept in, and along with my pounding headache, i retreated.  And i hate myself for it.  I SUCK.  On some level, i heard myself say “when i’m dead she’ll regret dismissing me”.  My self-destructive impulses remain  intact.

 

So, for now, i hope my hypomania – squashed by my recent physical ailments – returns and allows me to continue to live the life i left behind so many depressing years ago.   I want to believe that i have my true self back and will not be forced back into that nothingness again.  I want to remain psych drug free and sober.

Doc

 

 

 

 

 

My continued trek to death

Today i shall whine.

2017 has been filled, so far, with too many doctor appts. and the onset of too many issues. Whine, whine.

I am 60 years old now and not oblivious to the fact that i’m going to die of something. The questions seems to be what and when and do i care. Short of suicide, my manner of death could get wildly out of my control. At any time.

This week, my tormentors have been primarily neurological in nature.

I gradually noticed this past half year that my sleep was ragged and painful due to pain in my left leg. I made a presumptive diagnosis of sciatica, saw my ortho. guy, got the lumbar spine MRI, and can now see a left-sided L5S1 disc herniation. Nailed it! Thankfully, i have no back pain only sciatica. But.. how and when?

Dr Backbone has sent me off for “evaluation and treatment” [epidural steroid/analgesic injection] at a nearby spine and pain center. I called them Friday and have an appt. tomorrow – Monday. Nice. There is also a plan for a fluoroscopic-guided steroid/contrast injection of my left hip because i suspect i also have arthritis. “Both diagnostic and therapeutic.” Long needles in my future. I may take the pain center up on their offer for IV sedation – why suffer?

Friday, i woke with a moderate headache. Saturday, it took me several tries to get out of bed due to severe dizziness and nausea. Yea. I rode the couch and floor all day, much to the disappointment of my hyperactive dog, and concluded i have vertigo. Etiology unclear, likely benign paroxysmal positional vertigo. A quick internal survey ruled out TIA/stroke so i tried to read and apply one of the home remedies for re-positioning tiny stones i may have knocked out of position on Thursday night at the Ricky Scaggs concert. Get down tonight.

I found i couldn’t remember one position change to the next and lifting my head to read the next instruction set off the spins and retching , so i gave up and made an appt. to see my primary care provider on Tuesday. Another fucking appt. I may seem ungrateful for the access and speed with which i have been offered help, but i’m not. I’m just whining.

I will admit that i also considered rabies as the cause of my dizziness and headache. Because… about a week ago Blue brought me a newly dead raccoon pup during one of our walks. About 6-7 weeks old, no external signs of trauma and well nourished Cute as hell actually. I, being curious and wanting to see if it was still warm ie: newly dead because Blue HAD killed it, did a quick exam including an oral exam. But it was already cooling and she hadn’t been gone that long. She’s current on her rabies vaccination, mine is overdue. But, reason returned and i decided i would probably be more cognitively impaired if i had rabies so i stopped thinking about striped beasts. [Raccoons and zebras.]

Today, Sunday, i feel a little better, less dizzy and less nauseous. I am better at holding my head and neck still, but the vertigo is still with me. I am going to see if driving the truck is an option as Blue NEEDS a walk and i need to find out if i can get myself to my Monday and Tuesday appts. without calling on my busy sister to take me. But, i will if i have to. Whine.

Doc

Grandiosity

Who, me? Surely not.

I have read and pondered the diagnostic criteria for bipolar disorder many times and have never found that grandiosity describes me.

Today, my therapist made a comment that he was surprised i had an awareness or understanding that the upcoming weekend showers have anything to do with the tropical system currently in the southern U.S. Really?? Then from somewhere came the words…”I am all knowing. I have skills of which you have no idea.” His reply – ” Well i haven’t seen evidence of that these past few years.” To which i told him to fuck himself.

I was only half joking. He seemed to take it well. [Ha ha, have a nice week, etc.]

But i’m left wondering where the fuck did this come from? I can’t say i don’t occasionally think and believe i can do most anything i want but i do not express these fleeting fantasies and in time, they fade. So, I was surprised to hear these thoughts spoken aloud. Is it grandiose to feel intelligent and capable? Is it just a symptom?

Doc

5-HT

“1’s and 0’s – all the things that computers do are just 1’s and 0’s.” So my therapist reminded me today.

He made the comment after i told him about my disappointment or sadness or realization that all human feelings are just chemical in nature. Happiness, joy, love – everything is a molecule fitting into it’s receptor. Same reason for the bad things.

Being in the midst of my first prolonged and therefore, undeniable hypomanic episode, i recognize that i, personally, had nothing to do with it’s onset. I could feel the molecule[s] entering my blood and brain, just like a bong hit or a crystalline line. And i seemingly have no control over dosing or duration.

I KNOW we humans are electrochemical beings but, for some reason, today i feel diminished as a human and more like my favorite artificial life form – Data.

Doc

Going to a concert

Today I bought a ticket to a Ricky Skaggs concert on June 22nd. I love me some bluegrass.
It’s 3rd row back, center, in the premium beach seating. The venue is a resort and spa on the Chesapeake Bay. When i was a kid, it was the fishing dock, a restaurant and a little amusement park with a ferris wheel. Oh, and there was a built-in pool. Since it is right on the bay, we could sit on the water’s edge and ALWAYS find shark’s teeth. Inexpensive fun for a family on a budget. It’s all fancy, schmancy nowadays and i’m not really sure how to get there.
I’ll Google it and make a test run.

Over the years, i have been surprised with the talent this little county in southern maryland has attracted. I saw Lynard Skynard here with around 500 other folks! Quite a few watchable artists have been thru but i was usually too depressed to give a rat’s ass.

But, not this time. I will be there and it will be lovely. Doc

I wonder…

I wrote here recently about my plan to wean off my psych meds. I informed my pdoc of these plans and asked him to write down a weaning schedule, which he did, begrudgingly.

So far, so good. I’m off hydroxyzine and will be off wellbutrin in another week. Today, i looked online for some recommended weaning plans for trazodone and found several that advise decreasing the dose by 10% each month. After some very precise calculations, i arrived at around a year – as i take 450mg each night. My pdocs schedule would have me completely weaned in 5 weeks.

I also read a great many patient experiences with trazodone withdrawal. A lot of them had a BAD time of it.

Soooo… i got to wondering if my pdoc purposely shortened my wean so that i would have a horrible withdrawal and come crawling back to him with my brains scrambled and in need of his help. [“I tried to tell you so.”]

I know how this sounds. Am i being paranoid or am i onto something? Doc