February 24, 2014

Bleh

Woke up feeling crappy today. And moody. And just...bleh. It's not really anything I can put my finger on, except I think that appointment last week and the feelings it brought up have sort of snowballed into old feelings from when I was younger. I know it will pass, but until then I am just trying to keep going. It probably doesn't help that it is all dark, dreary and cold today and that my sleep wasn't the best. Not having a sleep med right now means that my sleep is pretty broken up. Even the cat seems tired because I kept waking up lol....
On the plus side, I nabbed a small bar of dark chocolate today, because choco always cheers me up a bit ;)
I'm sure later today when I get on with TT and we go through the yummy stuff I bring home I'll be much happier. It helps to just be stupid silly on video chat with her and enjoy her company and forget about my worries for awhile :D
-M

February 23, 2014

Did Nothing Of Importance Today...And Rather Enjoyed It!

Sometimes you just have to have a lazy day. Did nothing much at all. Still in my pj's and all ;)

I am starting to read two new books, well three really, simultaneously. One is a Stephen King book that I don't remember the ending to, so I wanted to read it again. The other two are more serious. I like reading up on issues I deal with. I think the more you can educate yourself, the better off you are.

One is the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Sourcebook by Glenn Schiraldi Ph.D.  The other is Understanding Paranoia by Martin Kantor. Both sound equally interesting. I started a notebook to go along with them, to jot down some notes as I read. I like finding more coping skills, therapeutic ideas and just more background on why I am the way I am, if that makes sense.

While PTSD isn't officially listed in my medical files, it was diagnosed by my psychologist, Doc G. He's the only one who could cut through my defenses and get to dig around in what I experienced growing up and he specializes in childhood trauma, abuse and neglect. He's the one I'd like to see at least once next month, to sort of dissect my reaction in my last appointment with the psychiatrist I let go. Anyhow, I'd like to add to what he's taught me by reading these books and doing some more work on my own. I think it will be a good fit, along with the social anxiety group I'm now attending.

I did work just a bit on my journal today. Even printed off some pics to fill in spots I'd had waiting for them. I know I may not get to it tomorrow, so I wanted to work on it while sitting around today. I've sat at my desk so long today... I'm going to end up with 'secretary spread' lol....

Tomorrow is going to be a bit busy. I'm doing some housework earlier in the day and running a few errands (and it's getting colder out again damnit...). In the afternoon it's major grocery day. Always an exciting day around here as I stock up for the better part of the month. Also means a lot of cooking over the next few days...and piccys of what I make as usual. Should be fun!!

Sitting here now, winding down my evening, relaxing on Facetime with my wonder Aussie Bestie and surfing the net, writing and listening to some live Elton. I love when we do this, we hang out on the video chat yet we are both doing our own thing. It's a good thing we both have unlimited bandwidth on our internet or we'd be fucked.... Sometimes we are on all day! Love it though. And spending a bit of time jamming to 80's music and being total bad dancing twats LOL!

-M

February 22, 2014

Been A Weird Week

I had to take a few "mental health days" to kind of sort myself out this week. It's been mostly a good week just with a few crap things thrown in.

It all started when I had to go to ER on Sunday because I was so dizzy and feeling so weak I ended up crawling in my hallway. Wasn't good! Thankfully it wasn't my heart but the ER doc definitely was thinking there was a med interaction going on. That on top of the fact I've shed around fifty pounds in the last year and he thought my body might just be a bit less tolerant to things as well. I did get complimented on my lifestyle changes though. No crazy drugs, no smoking after over a decade at a pack a day or more, eating so much healthier and exercising daily.  The nurses said I did myself a huge favor by not just losing weight but the daily exercise. My stomach is just about 15 inches smaller than it was 14 months ago and I've cut down my risk for serious health issues by doing that alone.

The next afternoon, I saw the newer doctor I've had for around six weeks, Dr. K. after my doctor of close to four years, Dr. B. retired. The first three times I saw this new doctor he seemed fine. He was nice and courteous, listened, told me he was all about improving quality of life, etc. It takes time for me to have confidence in a new doctor, any doctor, but I'd been starting to feel okay about him.

Well. He showed his true colors on Monday afternoon. He was the exact opposite of the doctor I had the first three visits. Like Jekyll and Hyde different. Totally night and day. I had my caseworker with me, which was a huge advantage. If she had not witnessed the entire thing herself, this would be a case of he said/she said and I'm sure I'd be on the losing end. But that is not the case. She was there the entire appointment, sitting right next to me.

I don't remember very much of the appointment other than how it made me feel. When I feel something is a threat, I have a bad habit of shutting the world off. I tunnel vision to the nearest object and stop listening, etc. My caseworker documented it all very well though. I'm thankful she did. Her first complaint was that he started discussing my case before we were even in his office and once we went in, he never closed the door. I never even noticed that. He told me I didn't know how to take a blood pressure reading (with an automated cuff no less...), acted as though a patient should never question the meds HE puts a person on (he acted offended that HIS meds were causing me a problem), blamed every symptom on anxiety (even though I've dealt with my anxiety for 25+ years and know what physical symptoms it triggers), yelled at me multiple times and angrily told me to stop talking more than twice, yelled at me for having my symptoms checked, he became offended when I mentioned my GERD had become worse on the Adderall (if you read around, there are a LOT of people with GERD that have their reflux go nuts on stimulants, even coffee) and told me I was making the GERD up (even though I was diagnosed with it years ago and it is highly genetic in my family and I've had problems with it since my early teens), he belittled me for asking questions, called me a liar, insulted me multiple times always starting with...I don't mean to be rude but...and I don't mean to sound mean but...followed by something rude or insulting, contradicted himself by saying we'd wait a couple weeks with just my two older meds and see how I feel but then saying if I don't sleep for a couple nights to call and he'd put me on something else... and the most glaring thing really, that half way through his scolding/yelling/whatever, when I started to completely withdraw and say nothing, he never even noticed it happen right in front of him. My caseworker on the other hand, noticed immediately. How does a psychiatrist not notice that their patient has completely shut themselves off as a protection measure and sits there slowly curling up in the chair, saying nothing and starting into space? What doctor bullies their borderline patient and then sends them home to fend off their impulses from it?

On top of everything else, by the time I got home, my borderline was out in full force. In the last two years I haven't cut, haven't ran out looking for drugs or booze and I haven't smoked in almost two months. In twenty minutes he almost  trainwrecked all my hard work. I had the razor in my hand and everything.  In the end, I texted a friend and went and spent the evening and most of the next day depending on friends and exercise to keep me basically from self destructing. I'm so thankful the people around me are so understanding that way. Even my caseworker watched me like a hawk. It took a few days of exercise, sunlight and venting but I got through it without caving.

It never should have happened though. I'm furious that a doctor would ever trigger me that way. There's no reason any doctor should treat someone like a child, put them down, yell at them or get offended when the patient speaks the truth about how they are feeling. The point of going in is to, as he said in the beginning, improve quality of life, not break the patient or traumatize them. His incessant rant about anxiety was so far off the mark it was amazing. I think he thinks he's some amazing psychiatrist and therapist or something. A therapist he definitely is NOT. That he knows all and the patients, some of who have dealt with their issues long than he's been alive, know nothing about their condition. Looking back, he gave off that vibe you get from bullies and abusers. Was not good at all.

I've since found out that he's been dragged into administration already (he's only taken over Dr. B's caseload within the last two months...) and had quite a few patients complaining. The lady I filed my complaint with up there was so not surprised when I stated his name. And I wasn't surprised that she wasn't surprised. My caseworker filed a complaint as well. We collaborated on writing it out, since I only remember how I felt and she remembered what was said, so that worked out well I think. On Tuesday afternoon I called and fired him as my psychiatrist. I know I should have found a new one first but I have no intention of walking into his office again and putting myself at any kind of risk. It's just not worth it. I've worked so hard to systematically remove negative stressors from my life for this very reason. Fool me once...

So now the hunt is on. I talked by phone to my psychologist, Doc G, and even he had nothing nice to say about this new doctor...at all. He was really unhappy that this doc pushed me into that old survival mode and reminded me if I run into any more impulsive bad ideas to give him a call right away. He also gave me a few names to look into for a new psychiatrist. He knows my personality very very well so I know he'd only give me names of doctors I can handle. Hopefully I find one quickly, I have enough meds for about thirty days. Cross your fingers!

My only lingering worry now, is about others I know that have been assigned to him. And those I don't know too. Dr. B. was very soft spoken, calming, caring and had so much actual experience with patients that he really knew what he was doing. That's why so many of us who are more sensitive or have been through abuse, were seeing him. I find it terrible that, all those people have now been put with this type of doctor. I think at some point, something is going to go wrong. One of them will go home and seriously injure or freak out, will end up on the unit or go the other route and whop the guy in the face or something. It's only a matter of time. He's playing with people's heads and their safety. But I don't think he gets that at all. Too wrapped up in his new doctor status and ego. Even Doc G talked about how this guy's ego is a huge complaint, amongst colleagues already.  Kinda wonder if he realizes any of it??

Anyhow, now that this is off my chest... Hope everyone else has had a better week!

-M

February 12, 2014

Continuing On From Yesterday...

There really isn't a whole lot going on right now. I just have so much to get caught up on, that it's sort of trumping everything else at the moment. I started a photography page on Facebook for my stuff. I uploaded quite a bit into photo albums off the bat, now I add a pic or folder occasionally. It's nice to have a bit of an online portfolio of sorts.

Instagram is sort of that way, but I have such a mix of photography, exercise stuff, food and things I've made, funnies, stuff about mental health, Elton, Bondi Rescue, etc. So it doesn't make the best portfolio. But have been pretty addicted to it and met some great people on there.

Lets see....

In late January, on a whim, I donated blood. I hadn't in almost two decades, a lot of it now was because I figured with my meds I couldn't donate. Turns out I can! There's only a few specific medications that will disqualify you and they are ones, that if you are taking them, donating blood wouldn't be a good idea due to whatever condition you are suffering from. There wasn't too many people there since I went right as the blood drive started, I was thankful for that. It didn't take all that long and everyone was great. They sure took a lot of blood!! Between the unit they took and all the test tubes, I was like jeez! I'm not that big of a person lol.

Afterwards, while I was sitting at the recovery area and having a cookie and juice, the lady next to me passed out cold and I had to catch her to keep her from hitting the floor. The lady who watches over everyone after they donate, rang a bell and everyone showed up in less than two seconds. This poor woman woke up on the floor, with someone holding her legs in the air and another putting ice packs on her abdomen. It took her a couple minutes to really come out of it and then she was like... "Am I on the floor??" Her next response was something like "Oh for fuck's sake, I've never passed out before!!" The church where they were doing the blood drive is her regular church so she was reaaaaaally embarrassed lol. At least she was sitting and didn't pass out standing up. Would have been a hard fall.

It was a really good feeling to donate, I'm so glad I got over my worries about how many people would be there, etc and just did it. Hopefully, I'll have the opportunity to do it again.

Me doing a little meditation while donating:
One of my photos made it into the paper again here in town. I love when that happens, even though it is a small paper. This time it was from the winter storm we had last week. Nothing like the storms I used to experience in the Upper Midwest, but just over five inches was enough to stop this small Mississippi Valley town in it's track for half a day. They were forecasting double what we got, everyone was happy we didn't get more than we did!

My pic is at the top of the page, looking out into the street after it really started snowing heavily:
Been cooking up a storm as usual lately. Trying to eat as much as possible at home and not go out so much anymore. It helps me keep my weight down as I work towards losing the last ten pounds or so and it helps my ADHD some to not have so many color dyes and preservatives. Pinterest and Instagram have been wonderful for food ideas. I cooked up a whole ton of food late last month and froze it in containers, same with chopping a lot of veggies and freezing them for later use.  I have my own version of little frozen dinners :D

My cooking spree a couple weeks ago:

Well, that's about it for now, just trying to stay busy and get things completed ;)
-M

PS: I still haven't had a cigarette since 12/22/13... whoohoo :D

Sorry So Pink!

It was time to change it up again, but I didn't feel like scouring the net to find a complicated theme/template. Instead I'm using this one (did tweak it just a bit). Sorry it's SO pink...but I'm craving springtime and pinks and purples, etc. Are we there yet?!? So over winter!
-M

February 11, 2014

New Doc, New Meds, Finally Starting To Focus Better, No Smokes! :D

Oh I know, it's been forever since I wrote in here again. I definitely blame it on the ADHD...

In early January, Dr. B., my doctor of almost four years retired after decades and decades as a psychiatrist. He worked so hard and had such a huge caseload and I think it was just time. He is currently traveling back in his home country and I hope he's loving every minute of it ;)

Because of this, his caseload was split between two new doctors to our clinic. At first I didn't know who to choose, so I asked the therapist who runs the groups I attend, what she thought. She's been my therapist on and off for a few years, so she knows me well enough. She recommended Doc K, because he was nice, down to earth, up on all the newest info and very very smart about meds & mental health disorders. So, I took her advice and picked him.

Now I'm glad I did. I'm not a fan of change, so I was definitely stressed before I went in, but I had a caseworker who went with me. Partly to keep me calmer and partly to make sure I didn't forget the things I wanted to say. Turned out he was just as described. Really smart, down to earth and had me at ease within minutes.

The first thing we decided to tackle was sleep. I'd been sleeping terrible for quite some time and had been relying on OTC sleep aids again to get at least some sleep. Problem was they left me super groggy in the mornings. We talked over using Trazodone and at first I had issues with it. It was the sleep med I was on when the fire happened and I had a hard time waking up, the neighbor almost kicked my door in. I was on 100mg of it at the time. Based on my worries, we decided on 50 mg, but only take half of one and if that's enough, that's great. He wanted to see me back in two weeks to see how that was going, then move on to the next biggest issue.

25mg of Trazodone ended up being perfect. Enough to help me sleep but not too hard I can't wake up. I've found I'm averaging maybe seven hours of sleep and feeling rested when I get up.  He was happy to hear it when I came back in. I think it takes less now because I'm smaller than I used to be. I used to be fifty pounds heavier. Nowadays I just don't need as much of certain meds.

The next thing we needed to tackle was the ADHD. It was getting to the point where it was really hindering many aspects of my life. I'd gone two years with no meds for it and it just wasn't working out at all. I tried to make a list, of things that were bothering me pertaining to focus, concentration, task completion, impulsiveness, etc. I wanted a list to track if my symptoms got any better or not. He said the goal was not to fix it all, just start moving the needle in the right direction.

My List (for the ADHD type issues)
-Mind wandering all the time
-Start a hundred tasks, finish none of them
-Can't read past the first or second paragraph of a boring book, yet can read one I like in a day or two tops.
-Talking too fast and way too much
-Talking over people... I hate this one as much as the one listed before it. I feel like a little kid with her hand up, bouncing up and down, waiting to blurt out what I have to say and caving and not waiting my turn.
-Impulse control over things like cigarettes, money, etc. I know I can't afford but I all of a sudden grab my coat and out the door I go to buy something.
-Set things down while my mind is wandering, then can't find it because all I remember is what I was thinking about. Really shits me and happens a few times a day. Grrrrrr.
-Can't find something that is literally right in front of me. I have friends that have seen it happen and are like...hello...it's right there lol...
-Distracted extremely easily by car noises, people talking, the internet, anything really.
-Losing time (it's what I call it). Basically I'm doing something I need to get done, then decide to check Facebook, then go from one thing to another online in a trance and before I know it, it's hours later and I haven't finished what I wanted to get done.
-I get really bored even though I have so many many things I need to do.
-My handwriting. It's been....atrocious. Chicken scratch. Even I can barely read it. My teachers used to complain to no end about this, among other things. (When I'm on meds for ADHD, interestingly enough, my handwriting improves quite dramatically and is very tidy and readable)

Other issues still to look into after this:
-Social Anxiety is really bad again, sometimes I don't leave the house for weeks. Have a hard time going into busy places or just places with strangers.
-Paranoia/Anxiety about every bad thing that could happen, happening. Constantly worrying. I think this was hurting my sleep before as well, I'd sit and ruminate over stuff for hours like it was on a loop.
-Checking....been doing it more again. Is the stove off? Am I sure? I need to check it again. Did I lock the door? Did I put the chain on? Let me check one more time. Did I unplug the charger, maybe I should check the mailbox again, did I unplug the hair straightener, and on and on.

This really isn't any more horrible than it usually is, maybe just a bit more, enough to annoy myself... So we'll see how it goes. I've been in a social anxiety group for over a month now and I mostly like it. It's very small, only four of us, which is why I think I've stuck with this group longer than I have the others. I'm not convinced my anxiety will get much better but I like learning about it and examining the way it affects me.

Night med is kicking in, so I'm going to head off. Sorry this is kind of a boring read! I'll try to post tomorrow to catch up a bit on other things.

-M