Tag Archives: medications

Going to the doctor is always *so* much fun.

So I had a manic episode Wednesday night/Thursday morning, likely from a combination of work stress and waaaay too much caffeine.  I finally passed out around 7:00 Thursday morning, after calling (emailing) in FMLA.  Been a month and a half since my last FMLA day, and I think I just went home early that day.  I really am doing better overall.  But it worked out, kinda, as I already had an appointment to see my primary care doctor today.  I hadn’t remembered to tell my boss or HR about it and was wondering how to sneak out of work for about two hours. >_>

So the main reason for going is I wanted to switch birth control brands to the one my insurance covers for free, instead of paying a $25 copay.  I’ve been duking it out with my insurance for a while, over multiple things.

It is always awkward, being checked in. Thankfully, the nurses accept my polite “No, thank you” to being weighed, though I have requested they flag my chart somehow so they know not to even ask, as it is very triggering for me and likely is for other people as well.  For some reason it doesn’t bother me when my psychiatrist does it, but he does it himself, never comments on it, and I know he’s watching for changes due to my psychiatric drugs, which makes it actually a medical necessity, as often weight change is the first sign that something’s not right with my meds, or my overall mental status.

Then came the fun part, where I explain what I need, and asked if there was any way I could also get an IUD put in, or a tubal ligation, as I have no plans to have kids, and launched into my list of why it is A Very Bad Idea for me to actually birth children anyway, as with my current medications, by the time I would realize I was pregnant, very irreparable damage would’ve been done to the kid’s brain.  Not to mention the horrible genetics I’d be passing down.  (And with my new boyfriend, *his* genetics are equally awful, so the poor hypothetical kid would never have a chance.)  She didn’t think my insurance would do both an IUD and hormonal birth control, but they might consider a tubal, as I am now 31 and now magically able to really decide what I want for my reproductive future.  Maybe.  I don’t know if it’ll be covered, of course, but she said she’d be happy to make a referral to a surgeon.  I’ll have to call my insurance and see what they would be willing to consider.  I’d rather go the IUD route than actual surgery, but either way, I just want that extra layer of backup, y’know?

I actually made my doctor cry, though, when I started in on my It’s A Bad Idea schpiel and she could see my overall level of frustration.  She’s really nice, I like her quite a bit, and felt badly when she got choked up.

Oh, the best part of my visit?  As I have been out of birth control for three weeks, and had *protected* sex about two weeks ago (I’m not an idiot) I still had to do a pregnancy test before she could actually prescribe me birth control.  As much as I knew it was a veeery low chance, I was still nervous.  She was happy with the negative, especially given how adamant I am about not having kids, and she prescribed it.

Of course, then the pharmacy discovered that while I had the correct *brand,* the little numbers after it were wrong, so the brand I switched to *still* wasn’t free.  Gotta call my doctor’s office AGAIN tomorrow to correct that.  (It’s supposed to be Junel Fe 1/20 and she’d written for like, Junel Fe 28 or something.  I couldn’t tell you what those numbers mean if my life depended on it.)

Seriously, someone shoot me.  At least my pharmacist found my pent-up-rage ranting against my insurance company funny, and she agreed with my frustration, as insurance companies rarely send formularies to pharmacies so they don’t know what is covered, either.  She appreciated my frustration with how the birth control formulary I received- that had to be mailed to me, as it wasn’t even listed on my insurance company’s website- only listed the brand names they covered.  No chemical information whatsoever.  So I had to do my own research to match the brand they’ll cover with the chemical formula I am presently prescribed, that works juuust fine, thank you.  Evidently the ACA only requires the insurances cover one brand of each compound, rather than just, y’know, paying for all of them.  UNIVERSAL PAYOR SYSTEM, PEOPLE.  IT IS A THING THAT WORKS IN QUITE A FEW OTHER PLACES VERY NICELY.  If only America wasn’t positively allergic to anything that smacks of socialism/communism, we’d have nice things, AND save money, and this last month of absolute nonsense of trying to change and fill a prescription wouldn’t have happened.

I also remembered to stop at a lab on the way home to get bloodwork done that I’ve been forgetting since February, too.  I was just full of medical compliance today.

…And did I remember to mention I have a boyfriend?  That’s a topic for another post. XD

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Hello, September.

You vile, vile month with no redeeming qualities.

Seasonal downswing ahoy!

Though I am hoping my recent increase in Lamictal (up to 300 from 250) after my manic spell when I got back from TFCon will negate the effects a bit.  It’s starting to show on campus; folks are getting squirrely as they always do when the seasons change.  And the holidays are always THE. WORST.  My residents generally have poor or nonexistant relationships with their family, so the family holidays of Thanksgiving and Christmas are particularly painful.  I try to keep them busy as hell with other things as a distraction, but I can’t occupy all of their time.  Those feelings will be there, in the background, just like they are for me.

At least Halloween comes first, and someone thought it was a good idea to give me an Oriental Trading catalogue.  BWAHAHAHA ALL THE HALLOWEEN STUFF WILL BE MIIIIINE!  I will have the most kick-ass party!

I love Halloween.  And I really do love fall, once it’s actually, y’know, fall.  It’s the transition period (read: GODAWFUL SEPTEMBER I HATE YOU) that is awful.

In other news, some of my hair is purple.  I dyed a section green for my Rhinox costume at TFcon, transitioned to cyan as a middle color, and have finally made it to my target color of purple.  It took two bleachings and three dye sessions to get the blue down to a manageable amount and the purple to the shade I wanted, but damn, it’s worth it!

And now there will be a VIP on campus tomorrow so of course I will be in hiding.  Unnatural hair coloring is such a faux pas in the more srs bsns portions of the mental health world, so while my boss is cool with it, I don’t want to make us look bad.  Though my clothing for dress-up purposes take advantage of the purple to match my outfit. ^_^

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Checklists

So in case you couldn’t tell, last Thursday was pretty damn bad.  I was a disaster most of the day.  Thankfully, Chihiro was right there with me the whole time, sitting on me and purring constantly.  Around five, I finally started to feel it lifting.  I was in one of those places where I didn’t really even have words- I couldn’t talk without sobbing.  I wanted to call people for support but I am pretty sure someone would’ve called the police to have a wellness check done on me, as I don’t think I could’ve held up a conversation if my life depended on it.  I had my Chihiro, though, and things were… ok.

After managing to drag myself out of my chair and do a few things, I posted this to facebook:

Self-care I have managed in the last 48 hours:
-I took off work FMLA today in order to take care of myself since I was in a very dark place and didn’t feel like being certed involuntarily by a coworker
-I have taken all of my medication
-This was aboout 72 hours ago, but I have changed pharmacies to the Walgreen’s right up the road- as much as it hurts to not support a small independent pharmacy, the shipping costs plus the repeated late packages due to they putting on a signature order (despite my repeated pleas not to) have led to me missing doses of medication at least 6 times in the last couple months, along with stretching my already thin budget. As someone who prides herself on her medication compliance, as I know it makes a HUGE difference, which I’ve felt lately. Now I know if I forget to order a refill, I can go get it with very little hassle.
-I have eaten several meals with fruits and vegetables in them that were not soup (since I’m out) and have been meals I cooked by hand (and I am contemplating a potato with broccoli right now, that sounds good)
-I have stayed hydrated and avoided caffeine all day
-I have showered, and plan to brush my teeth before bed, after eating another meal
-I got 4-5 hours of sleep last night/this morning, and have stayed up the rest of the day so I can go to bed at a normal time to make sure my sleep rhythm is ok
-I have fed and watered the cat, cleaned her litterbox, watered plants on my porch, and fed and watered the sparrow horde (plus one cardinal and my darling woodpecker that visits me a lot)
-I have packed up and mailed a jewelry order
-I have reached out to friends even though the brainweasels didn’t want me to, to let them know I am hurting but I am ok, and tell them what is going on in my head and asked for support.
-I have stalwartly ignored the urge to check my gmail, which my work email forwards to, to prevent triggers. Work can wait until I get there tomorrow, and I *will* get there tomorrow
-And if I don’t get there tomorrow, I will call my psychiatrist first thing and park myself in his office until I can be seen, so he can assess whether or not I should go to the hospital. I feel like I’ll be ok now, though
-I have written a blog post to get the worst of this out of my head
-I have cried and not felt ashamed

All of this was made possible by the amazing Chihiro, who hasn’t left my side since I got home from work yesterday in the throes of this cycle. She backed off when I got up and engaged in a lot of these self-care activities, but she has been following me around the apartment and stayed within about ten feet at all times.

Listing these accomplishments makes me feel stronger than I’ve felt all day. I hope to achieve tackling my dishes later and packing breakfast and lunch for tomorrow, but if I don’t achieve those goals, I plan to be kind to myself about them.

It helped tremendously.  I’m going to start doing that when things are dark in my headspace, because having a list of small accomplishments helps.  One of my friends responded:

I’m so proud of you! Wasn’t long ago that it’d be a good day to do just 1 thing on that list, and look at what all you accomplished! You truly are an inspiration 🙂

It is a pretty long list, considering how dark things had been earlier in the day and over the previous night.  I still feel good about it.

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Oh, for the love of…

*Insert lots and lots of curse words here*

I can’t even really figure out how to articulate my frustration at how I feel right now.

I have been getting my meds mailed to me by a small independent pharmacy back in the small town my parents live. However, they changed their policies about mailing things to require a signature, and my postal carrier seems to enjoy not leaving those little “I tried to deliver to you but you weren’t home” slips in my mailbox until the third attempt, so I have to take time away from work to go to the post office that is of course in the opposite direction of work to pick it up myself, because now it’s three days past when I was supposed to have my meds and it’d be another two if I signed the slip and put it back in the box. Not to mention when I did that the first time, it languished, ignored, in my mailbox for two days before I went to give someone an earful at the post office.

I demanded that my pharmacy stop doing that, and after a few tries they managed to get the hint, until my last shipment of meds. Even though I want to support it, because small town businesses are important, my mental health has been seriously suffering due to multiple missed doses of various meds over the last couple of months. This time, I missed out on some of my recently increased Lamictal. I finally went to the Walgreen’s that is around the corner, because I know that even if I forget to fill my prescription until the last second, I can get it filled and pick it up right away.

I am pretty sure I missed 200 mg of my 300 mg Lamictal prescription on Tuesday. I had been waiting for a refill of the 200s, so I had been substituting in two of the 100s until it arrived, but I can’t remember if I’d added them that night, and based on the hell in my head right now? I’m pretty damn sure I missed it.

Wednesday was increasingly a nightmare as the day dragged on, and I spiraled farther into a dark, dark cycle of thinking. I called in around 5 am Thursday morning, and finally managed to go to sleep somewhere between 8-9 am. I was up again at 1 pm for a return to the emotional abuse of the day before. As I write this, I’m waiting for it to be a reasonable bedtime before I go let myself sleep so I don’t get my circadian rhythm completely borked. I am really struggling. (Italicized statements are the words echoing in my head that I am trying desperately to not believe.)

I am barely letting myself eat, barely letting myself sleep, and hating myself the whole while, and the tiny rational part of me is trying to encourage some healthier behaviors even as it’s shoved further into a corner by the darkness. All of the usual arguments aren’t working- I know I wouldn’t treat a kid or my best friend this way, but I’m neither of those things so who cares.  My family would miss me, I’m sure of it, but the part of my brain that insists on telling me I’m a pathetic burden is louder right now. I bought a toy for my nephew to hold over myself as leverage; I need to stick around to give it to him.

I’m sitting here sobbing and the voices are still telling me you’re pathetic and being ridiculous. Who cares? Even the people that do care wouldn’t if they really knew you, if they really knew how much of a disappointment you are. If they knew what you’ve done and how many ways you’ve failed.

I’m a sham, trying so hard to pretend I’m normal when I’m so damaged and broken. I keep reaching out to people and hoping I can hold on to them before my weakness disgusts them, I’m too weak and needy, I’m going to scare them away. After all, I can’t even keep a boyfriend because my mental illness makes their boners sad. Primus help me, but I hope I can survive this with my psyche intact.

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Meh, life.

So I’m still struggling with regulating a bit, and still mighty frustrated over my stupid health insurance. I need to file the appeal but I don’t even know where to start. How much information do I have to give before someone somewhere feels sorry enough for me that they approve the appeal and do something? It costs $50 to get my psychiatrist to do paperwork, so as much as I’d like to get a note from him, I don’t think I can honestly afford it. I could probably send copies of all my FMLA paperwork, I’m sure work will let me make copies of that, maybe that would be sufficient proof that I’m disabled and need some help. I’ve got stacks and stacks of receipts for meds, as I save all of them, and I can get statements from my insurance of all of my appointments and the copays required at the rate I’m actually supposed to be paying.

I wish the Affordable Care Act took one’s disabilities into consideration, instead of just going by income. So then the Marketplace would adjust your assistance based on how many meds and specialists you require to manage your health. Or maybe they could do it a bit more like food stamps, and take your overall life expenses into consideration as well. (Although no government program takes student loans into consideration, and those? Those are definitely part of why I’m poor.)

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Rough night

So on Monday and Tuesday, which are presently my weekend, I was all kinds of productive. I got my entire to-do list tackled, and I started working on my costume design for TFCon. I got very excited, to the point of getting hypomanic about it…. which led to a panic attack and no sleep spiral. I called in to work around 5 am as I still had not managed to sleep (or stop panicking) and said I had a stomach bug. I slept most of the day and feel better now, though I want to cry, and possibly panic some more over things. I am worried about money, about getting debt paid off as fast as my parents want me to… So much worry. And it’s been over a year that I’ve had any kind of medical oversight. I have an appointment next week to meet with a guy about getting health insurance in place, so while that is MORE money going out, at least I might be able to start seeing the doctors I need to see again.

There is a possibility that I might get a promotion at work. I’m excited and nervous and mostly just feeling scared, because things are happening so fast.

I am basically one big ball of anxiety today and I am not terribly happy about it. :/

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I didn’t think being underemployed and living at home could be quite this… busy.

I only work about 30 hours at Wendy’s, as much more than that stresses me out, and rather than the solitude of myself and a cat (or myself, a cat, a roommate and a dog) I now live with my parents, their dog, my brother, and his two-year-old son. I am far, far busier than I ever expected to be, with impromptu babysitting often taking up large chunks of my time, along with crafting- especially for Christmas.

I gave a local holiday craft bazaar a shot and it sucked. I only brought in $40. The table itself was $20, and I spent more than $40 in supplies in anticipation. The stuff I made is at the consignment shop. I’ll be checking in on it tomorrow, actually, after work. I can get paid for the previous month’s sales after the 15th. I’m not sure if I had any sales in November or if they’ve been in December, but still, actually making money on the pieces I spent a lot of time working on, would be nice. Last time I checked I had sold one piece, and that was weeks ago, and all of my stuff was displayed right by the register or on mannequins to hopefully inspire impulse buys. I was the only local artist who did any holiday-centric pieces, so I got to cash in on the impulse-section real estate. (That, and she really likes my work, as it is the only stuff that ends up on the mannequins. I am totally okay with this.)

In amazing news, I went exactly two months without a single sick day! Which I then promptly broke the very next day by catching the stomach bug that’s going around at Wendy’s. I wasn’t too symptomatic in the morning so I went TO work, and then got sent home later when the stomach pains turned into the much more delightful symptoms of a stomach flu. I have not gone two months without a sick day in years. I honestly don’t remember the last time I did such a thing. And even with missing a couple hours last week, I still hit my targeted 28 hours for the week, adding to the 35 I managed the week before when I picked up a close. Psychologically, I’m feeling pretty good. I am not attending any groups as I was finally kicked out of the other one for being horrifically inconsistent with showing up, and the only other group locally is at a really weird time that is not compatible with my work schedule AT ALL, and as my car is presently not insured, going out of town for groups is a bit out of reach right now… not to mention I really, really don’t get much out of groups. I’m still taking my meds, of course, but otherwise, my psychological health is kind of on the back burner… and not really thinking about it that hard seems to be helping a bit. It’s easy enough to get wrapped up in one’s health conditions, after all; getting too caught up in my bipolar disorder was making me symptomatic too, I think.

That, and I’m frankly too tired to think about it. Work is very physically taxing, and letting my mind rest quite a bit. The biggest challenges I face during the day is remaining polite and nice when people are being horrible to me, and keeping up with the pace all day when it’s particularly crazy. (I do not like Gospel Nights. I will have to tell you about Gospel Nights.) When I leave, while I might feel aggravated it’s easily grumbled out and a nice hot shower and some food cures most ills, and painkillers can help with how much my feet and back hurt. I don’t have to bring problems home. Now that things are going better with the one manager that was giving me so many problems, I am not a nervous wreck at work (well, not too often; today I was, but in my defense, it was Gospel Night.) I don’t have paperwork, or particularly vexing challenges to puzzle over. I do a lot of cleaning, and cleaning is very zen-like for me. My coworkers think I’m nuts for how much I clean, but I figure if my hands are busy, time goes faster, and I take a lot of pride in having a clean dining room for customers. I burn a lot of physical energy at work, but not a whole lot of mental energy. I feel more capable of a challenge now than I have in ages.

After the holiday, I plan to start looking back in Cincinnati and other places to find a new job. I can’t do what I love here; I miss case management a lot. I want to get to grad school, I want to take classes in ASL (I have now taken orders in Sign three times, and felt like an idiot, but learning a new language is fun) and possibly become an interpreter, or a therapist, or a therapist who is fluent in ASL, which is probably a niche that might actually lead to something resembling an income. I want to be able to drive my car again. I miss my cat. I miss my friends, I miss my city. I just want to get back in the game. I feel a lot better, and I think a professional job will be something I can handle again.

I also definitely need to get back into blogging daily. I’ll see what I can do.

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