Tag Archives: psychiatrist

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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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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Tightrope Walker

So it’s been a long couple of weeks.

TFCon was the 17-19th, so the week before and the week after I worked four ten hour shifts so I could get Friday through Monday free. I was pretty busy at work and at home, getting ready for my table. I managed to keep things on a pretty even keel throughout the convention (my repeated meltdowns due to stress on the way TO Canada notwithstanding) but when I saw my psychiatrist on the Tuesday I was back to work, I was a bit… manic.

SUPER manic.

I was talking about the whirlwind of events and I was speeding up, jumping from thought to thought, all over the place, and his eyes were getting wide.

“Are you feeling ok?” he finally asked, and that’s when I realized I was definitely not feeling ok. He suggested a raise in my mood stabilizer to help me balance back out, but I wanted to give it a day or two to see if I just settled on my own. I returned to work (because I was working tens) but ended up leaving early because I couldn’t slow down.

I generally don’t sleep well at conventions due to anxiety about the convention itself, plus I always struggle to sleep in unfamiliar places. I was on a pretty comfy futon and I’d remembered my sound machine, so I should’ve slept better, (and at least this year there wasn’t a jackhammer tearing up the sidewalk outside of my friend’s apartment first thing in the morning!) but enh. Overall I think I got about 20 hours of sleep between Thursday night and Monday night, which is not good for my mental state. When I got home on Tuesday, I went right to bed and slept for fifteen hours.

Wednesday night? Five.

By noon on Thursday I was such a disaster I called and asked for the increase in my Lamictal, because now I was rapid cycling; I was manic, exhausted, irritable, and of course, having suicidal thoughts, because those are always lurking around the proverbial corner, waiting to ambush me. Friday was tough, but I pushed through. I had my nephew over Saturday and he stayed the night, and Sunday morning I physically felt like crap because of course, I had to get sick on top of everything. I was feeling a little more sane, but still not great.

All week I’ve been emotionally and physically exhausted. I have a head cold that is slowly traveling south and I am pretty confident it will become bronchitis because I am never lucky enough to *just* get a cold, and I’m still all over the place emotionally. I feel like I’m walking a tightrope all the time, and I’m so anxious. I’m utterly convinced I’m going to be fired right now, and the suicidal thinking is always there in the background, always encouraging me to just give in and listen.

I am so, so glad it is almost the weekend. I just have to survive Friday and then maybe I can sleep for two days and recover a bit.

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Fixed it!

So, aheh, my wordpress has been broken for like, a month.

Turns out it was Ghostery all along, blocking some cookie that made things not work… sometimes I’m really dumb and don’t figure them out very quickly.

Aaaanyway, things have been… dull, I guess is a way of putting it. I’ve settled into about 28 hours/week at Wendy’s, which seems to be keeping me from losing it, for the most part. I work hard, and I’m still applying to jobs, but losing hope and finding solace in my old friend, complete and total apathy.

I managed to miss all of my meds on Monday, so I’ve been on a rollercoaster this week. Tuesday I mostly just felt numb, and ended up going to bed when I got home, overwhelmed by sound. Wednesday I had to go with my mom to an appointment with her therapist which led to an hour and some change of me sobbing and feeling like I was being ganged up on, as if a good sleep cycle and more exercise is going to magically fix me and make me 100% stable, which is what my parents want. I mostly just sat there, curled in a ball and crying uncontrollably. Mom offered to pay for me to attend a few solo sessions with this therapist, but I wasn’t terribly excited at the prospect. Hell, the therapist suggested I keep a “gratitude journal” to help keep me positive, which made me feel like some sort of sullen teenager dealing with fairly routine teen angst, than an adult who is nearly 30 who has watched her entire life implode in less than a year and is continuing to have to tear it down, brick by brick, with no idea where and when to rebuild it. Oh, and the whole “chronic rapid cycling bipolar II disorder, PTSD, and generalized anxiety” thing. Y’know, little things.

I’m going to the local clinic next weekend to hopefully get my physical health meds taken over locally, and I’m presently psychiatrist and therapist shopping, but I fear I’m going to end up with no therapist as the county doesn’t provide that service, and I get the feeling I’ll get a psychiatrist who will be overworked, underpaid, and not give two shits about me, and who will probably give me a hard time about my klonopin, because that’s what I’ve seen when working in a nonprofit mental health agency. They do NOT like benzos, because they are addictive, and thus giving them to people who are in my boat (read: underpaid/under employed, uninsured, and sick) is frowned upon. We might *gasp* sell them or something! I hate being treated like a drug seeking junkie.

All I want is Chihiro. I can’t even verbalize how much not having her around hurts me, but now more than ever the answer is still no, now that my brother and nephew live here, too. (Did that happen before my unintentional hiatus? Because now my brother and nephew live here, so I am surrounded by a two-year-old and all the joys that come with it. My sound machine and fan are a welcomed solace.)

I can no longer afford to insure my car, so it is now “in storage” (read: parked in the driveway and blocked in by the van) and now I’m walking to work. It’s only about a half mile away, so it’s not too bad, and it’s sort of shut my parents up on the “you need more exercise” front. Though I end up crying on my walk home more often than not, because I’m tired and irrational and road noises when I’m already feeling overwhelmed do NOT help, but the cut through the park is not always safe due to there being very few lights and quite a few very aggressive Canada geese. I have… issues… with large waterfowl.

There is a craft fair nearby on the 23rd that I am working on getting a table at, and mom agreed to help me with it. I’m working on getting some stuff made that’s Christmas/winter themed and not terribly complicated, as I am very, very good at terribly complicated and impractical, and I want stuff that isn’t too expensive and will be easy impulse purchases. Of course, with how I’ve felt this week, nothing’s been done, but hopefully on my next day off, which is Sunday, I can get some work done and not be a total wreck.

TL;DR version: not much has changed, other than my apathy levels are rising like a tide, and missing meds even just for one day SUUUUUUUUUUCKS.

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The more things change, the more they stay the same

So Monday and Tuesday at work were very stressful, as I don’t know very many people and I don’t know the new menu or computer system. I’ve been in the corner of the drive-thru managing money and handing out orders, because that definitely never changes, and taking orders when it’s slow, though about 90% of the time I need help finding something in the system. I managed to not have a panic attack either day though both days I spent a lot of time near tears. I got extra-long breaks to cut down on labor, so I only got 19 hours this whole week so far, but the breaks helped me refocus and gather myself.

Wednesday I watched my nephew, who has learned the magical word “nope.” Not no, nope, which was cute for about .4 seconds until he turned into a little snot about it. He got a couple time-outs over the course of the day when he was telling me nope to things like apologizing for hitting me with one of his toys. That did not fly for me.

Wednesday I also got a call from collections, and discovered that the billing for one of the hospitals I’ve been to, has the same account number for both the hospital visit and the physician (they get billed separately) so I’ve accidentally been paying twice on the physician bill without knowing, and the other one got sent to collections. I set up a payment plan and intend to call the hospital to rant at someone about this billing practice, as it’s asinine, but I was ultra mega polite to the people I talked to at collections and at the hospital billing department, as they were trying to help me figure out what happened.

I went through the rest of my bills and got panicky about the fact that new bills keep wandering in and it still feels like I’m drowning, especially when I had so few hours this week at a whopping $7.40 an hour. I still owe my therapist over $1000, my psychiatrist $120, and my old pharmacy $100, on top of various medical bills, a T-Mobile bill with the $200 cancellation fee tacked on to the $80 monthly charge, and my car, insurance, phone, monthly medication costs, and internet. For a little more stress on the stress sandwich, Chihiro’s teeth are still giving her problems, so the rest might need to be removed as well, as her gums simply won’t heal in front of the questionable canine and her incisors are behaving strangely- either the gums swelled up around them again or two have fallen out.

If only I could win the lottery without actually playing, or some wealthy benefactor showed up and wanted to get my debts caught up and my car paid off, that’d be great. I’m stressed about living here, because I know it stresses out my parents, particularly my stepdad, and I keep being reminded that this is a temporary situation and I will have to get an apartment at some point. Because I am so very happy to be here, with the vast majority of my belongings in a storage unit that I’m now paranoid about, and my cat in another state. Yup. Nothing makes me happier than feeling completely useless and hopeless and being reminded that my present state is temporary. I’m worried that I will do something wrong and find myself sitting in a homeless shelter because my parents couldn’t deal with me anymore.

I gladly disappeared once mom got home and tried to relax, but I got all worked up about working on Thursday, feeling like a failure, feeling like I would be better off dead, and stressing over my bills and wanting to keep my credit score from ending up completely in the toilet. Some employers even check THAT now, so I just feel completely boxed in from every direction, and the walls are closing in. I ended up staying awake all night, and just broke down crying around 4 AM. My mom and stepdad both came in when they heard me crying and talked to me, though they’re not exactly good at being reassuring, as a lot of it was “well, you don’t have much of a choice, so pull yourself up by your bootstraps and deal.” There was also some “well, you keep missing group,” because I completely forgot about it Wednesday, and thus have missed it three weeks in a row for various reasons. Mom scolded me about it and my frustration at needing therapy and it not being available was met with a “you just have to deal with what you can get.” Mom did point out that I am doing much better than I was when I first got here, but she sounded very disappointed when she called me to see if I was going to make it to work today, which made me feel awesome again.

I ended up calling in to my first shift because I was just too wiped out and also having akathesia, likely from switching brands of wellbutrin. That seems to happen whenever the pharmacy switches it up for a day or two, and then it’s okay. Just takes a bit of benedryl, which isn’t exactly conducive to being conscious. I did make it to my second shift and while my face was still super puffy from crying, and one of the managers who’s known me forever was concerned at that, but I did okay and didn’t end up needing any of the klonopin in my pocket.

I’m hoping to pick up more hours this weekend, as I’m not scheduled Friday, Saturday, or Sunday, and I’d go up north if I had any idea of I work Monday or not. I probably do. It’s the opening weekend of Faire, and I’m so broke it’s not even funny, so I can’t go down for a couple of days as much as I’d love to, either. I’ll just work on jewelry and job applications, I guess, and try to rest, and pick up hours if they call me and ask me to come in. No matter what, I just feel like a failure all around, but I have no real choice but to keep moving forward, even if it’s at a snail’s pace. I’m trying to remember the encouragement graphic I saw that said something like “Optimism is taking one step forward and two steps back, and thinking of it as a cha-cha.” I just need to learn how to cha-cha more effectively, because damn I suck at it right now.

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I’m having trouble processing this

So Thursday night/Friday morning I had a bit of a mixed… something- anxiety and agitation and racing thoughts- and couldn’t sleep, so around 4:30 I bundled up and went downstairs to wait for mom to get up. She did, and I was hoping to talk to her, get some things out of my head.

I’m well aware that mom has a lot on her mind, with my sister’s wedding in a month and my brother’s marriage falling apart, so I’ve been put on the back burner. But I figured, it’s 5 AM, maybe I can get a little of her time?

I was pretty much shut down. I told her about my anxiety about getting everything switched to up here, and my worry about how my stepdad is going to nitpick and tear me to pieces so I want to have as much done as I can so there’s less to criticize. Her answer was to stop worrying about it and just keep going, after I’d said that it’s frustrating that I’m being told to rest and recover but also get all these extremely anxiety-producing things done in a relatively quick manner.

I then brought up the idea of family therapy, which both my therapist and psychiatrist recommended. Mom again seemed pretty disinterested, saying “we’re just going to do this for six months, get you back on your feet again, and you’ll be fine.”

“But… I will still be sick then, too, and we have at least a couple decades left to deal with each other, so I thought it might be useful, to help us all process where we’re each coming from a bit better.”

Mom just gave me this look. “Right now, all I have the energy for is to make sure everyone is clothed, warm, and fed. I don’t care about anything else.”

I didn’t bother with telling her I’m feeling suicidal today, and that I don’t think I’ll be able to manage to go drive to pick up my brother and nephew so we can have my nephew here for the weekend. I’m on the back burner and it’s pretty clear that my illness stopped being a priority a while ago… not that it ever really was one in the first place. The only time it seems to matter is when it’s inconveniencing someone else, and then I just need to get a grip and do what needs to be done.

I don’t want to get out of bed today.

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Not quite dead yet…

But good lord I feel mostly dead. The last week was physically and emotionally draining in ways I can’t even begin to fathom or explain. It pretty much went like this:

Tuesday:
-Have a complete sobbing breakdown
-Started calling around to get doctor appointments and vet appointments
-Started looking for someone to foster Chihiro
-Cry some more

Wednesday:
-Get labwork done in the morning to check my thyroid
-Hold Chihiro and sob, make another tearful plea to my parents to let me keep her
-Contemplate suicide
-Ask my sister to go with so I won’t do something stupid when driving back
-Take Chihiro to the vet
-Take Chihiro to the friend in Indianapolis who is fostering her
-Get driven home by my sister because I am numb
-Have another complete sobbing breakdown as soon as I got home and Chihiro doesn’t meet me at the door

Thursday:
-Sleep most of the day because two days of sobbing is exhausting
-See my therapist, cry some more
-Buy things I need for moving, like bins, duct tape, and a 200 foot roll of bubble wrap
-Go out to dinner with my former roommate

Friday:
-Pack everything I own, starting at seven AM and not stopping until 11 PM
-Have intermittent panic attacks as the day goes on
-Got lunch at First Watch to say goodbye to the staff there whom I love
-Get electric sorted out, get internet sorted out, return the internet boxes
-See my psychiatrist, cry some more

Saturday:
-Start at seven again, finish packing
-Sister came over around 9, we take down curtains and she gleefully spackles holes
-Parents arrive at 10 with the moving truck
-Some kind gentleman that lives in the neighborhood offers to help haul things, much to all of our relief (we gave him $40 and thanked him about a billion times)
-Finish at noon with the loading of the truck and sweeping the floor, and I go turn in all of my keys
-Caravan to my sister’s where we all take showers, I leave my car there because I am too tired to drive it to Michigan safely
-Ride back with my mom and have a conversation about my illness and how things are going to work with living there for about five hours
-Upon arriving back in Michigan, we unload the truck into the storage unit, and unload everything into the house that was intended to be there

Sunday:
-How am I conscious?
-Sat out and enjoyed the sunshine with my mom and sister
-Did laundry so I have clothing; the rest of my clothes are in bags in the shed because my parents are a bit paranoid about bedbugs (can’t blame them) so I have to take them all to the laundromat to get them dried soon
-Shuffle belongings between my room and the bedroom grandkids sleep in until I figure out what can fit where
-Took a shower, put on fresh clothes, and took a three hour nap
-Had dinner with the family
-FINALLY GOT THE INTERNET TO WORK
-Sleep. Definitely more sleep.

I’m theoretically returning to Cincinnati with my sister tomorrow to get my car and drive it back up, but I might just wait two weeks until my sister and her fiancee come up to visit, and then ride down with them at that time to pick it up. I’m just exhausted in every way, and I don’t think going to Cincinnati right now will make for a safe drive back up. We’ll see how I feel after another day of rest, but mostly I feel blarg.

I’ve gotten choked up a few times but I haven’t had a full-on breakdown yet since getting here. I don’t think it’s completely sank in yet, especially given that I found out I was moving Tuesday, so my entire world has been uprooted and shoved into a 10×10 storage unit for the most part. A lot of my furniture was thrown out. All I have here at the house is my clothing (most of which is in the shed), my jewelry and some of my accessories, my electronics, a bin of beading materials that comprises 95% of the stuff I use on a regular basis, and filing stuff, as I need to get working on my disability claim and sort through SO MANY PAPERS. That, and two orchids and a spider plant. Everything else is locked in a storage unit.

And I just feel numb about it all.

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