March 31, 2014

Feeling A Little Better At The Moment

Started this over a week ago, just getting to finishing it now...

I have to say, I wasn't really thinking any med would help my anxiety that's been so severe lately. Didn't really have any expectations. To my surprise... the Neurontin is working.

Yesterday I went in for the social anxiety group I do and afterwards see Dr. K. I was extremely anxious while in group because I knew I was seeing the doc after.

They called Wednesday and told me I could see him after group Thursday, ironic after I wrote out all the issues I'm having and sent it a few hours before they called (not that it arrived that day like I wondered, our post office sends it to a bigger post office for sorting first). It started as one page but ended up being seven typed pages with small font so it wouldn't be more pages. It took a few days to throw it in the mail, but I did. I instantly regretted it and worried over it.

Now I'm glad I did it. I was able to vent about everything and explain why our last appointment went so badly, etc. For me it took a lot of guts to hand it over. It turned out to be a great thing though, and it was extremely theraputic to write. Seeing it on paper made me realize how much I have to work on and how I'm not nearly as far as I thought.

They are putting me in another group, for Borderline Personality Disorder. On one hand I look forward to learning more, because it's an area where I don't really understand it yet. On the other hand, there will be people in there I don't know, and I hate that.

Before the appointment, my therapist that runs the groups, put her arm around me and asked if I needed her to come with. I'm glad she did. I think it made me a bit more comfortable, thought I wasnt so fond of admitting a few things in front of her. The first thing that Dr. K. did was apologize. He said he never meant to make me react the way I did, that it wasn't his intention at all. He also said he was impressed I came back, because he didn't think I would.

We talked about what was the worst right now and how I need to work a lot more on therapy (even if I hate it) and went over the mistakes I made when I crumbled after our last appointment.  He was impressed that even though I broke some of my own rules that I only did the things once and stopped. He told me even though I see it as a failure that I should be proud it wasn't worse.

He asked what kind of meds I'd been on in the past and I laughed because the list is too long for me to remember. I've taken meds on and off since 2002. It's impossible to know what they all tried  me on. Plus, I wasn't very med compliant until the last few years and even then I'd take them for a while and stop for a while.

He put me on Neurontin 300mg twice a day to start. He said he may up it with time but that it has a large window to work with. Now that I've read up on it, I'm glad with the choice he made. SSRI's do nothing very good for me, if anything they make me angry/raging and make me MORE depressed and more likely to self harm. Weird but it is what it is. Instead he chose an anticonvulsant because they are also used off label for bipolar, anxiety and impulse issues. I seem to respond much better to these types of meds for some reason.

So now I'm on Lithium, Lamictal and Neurontin. This combo, for the moment, is not bad at all. The first thing I noticed was my mood coming up and my adrenaline rushes (from anxiety) going down. When I get an anxious thought in my head, many times I get what I can only call an adrenaline surge that speeds through my body, then followed by the regular anxiety symptoms, heavy breathing, pounding/racing heart, shaking hands, rolling stomach, etc. What has happened this last week, is within two full days, those surges are just about completely gone. I still get the other symptoms heavily, but at least I don't get that. It's such a horrible feeling! I can remember always having that rush, sometimes over a dozen or more times in a day.

So at least that is something. If it stays as it is now by the time I see him again (not until May so the med has time to work and I suspect so it's less stressful for me going in there as well maybe?) I'd probably ask him to up it, to see if it simmers down any more physical symptoms. It hasn't done squt for any impulse issues, if anything, I'm a bit MORE impulsive than I was before. I am sleeping better though, so maybe it's helped a bit with racing thoughts? Anxiety I think is a huge culprit in why I have sleep issues. My brain worries non stop and won't STFU at night.

I haven't had any negative side effects (not even foot swelling) other than a bit of nausea and motion sickness here and there, which I never have unless I'm riding a rollercoaster - backwards lol. It is that exact feeling right now when I'm in a car. Or on a swing I've found, which kinda sucks. But if that is the only side effect I have, I'll deal with it. Even if I have to take a motion sickness tablet when on road trips, on rides or while flying. It's definitely is something I can handle. No weight gain either, yay! If anything, it's kinda supressed my appetite a bit, which I can deal with as well.

I've started to get a bit more motivated, I just started back on an exercise routine like I was on last year. Cooking stuff up today and planning out meals, I want to eat five smaller meals a day and drink a lot of water, like I was before. I felt better doing that, staying away from empty carbs and sugary shit. So, we'll see how it goes. Taking all measurements today, but was thrilled my weight is 129. It's a great position to start back at.

TT is doing fabulous, serious really good. It has me motivated and has me feeling like I'm super slack! So now I'm going to draw off her for inspiration. :D The tables have turned woman, they have turned lol. Hoping to catch her online today, it's baseball day in my house so I'll be here aaaaaaaall day. I wasn't much for chatting as I was so down and then started the new med and needed it to adjust some, was a bit tired for a while when I started it (that's mostly gone now) so I haven't done much online other than post a bit here and there on IG/Twitter/FB. So definitely hoping to catch her on Facetime today.

Other than that, working on cleaning/spring cleaning. I hate what depression and no focus does to my house, finances, body, friends, etc. My brother comes down in like THREE weeks, so I must get this shit done now. I don't want to wait until two days before and freak out lol. Not this time!!

Hope everyone is well
-M

PS: I also need to do a blog post about how I do up the workouts and food, I have it on my list, but haven't had a chance yet. I will in the next few days though, as I finish planning it out. 

March 11, 2014

Exercise, Dying My Hair, Getting Back On Track

Things are slowly looking up in my mind. My mood has been very slowly lifting, day by day. I'm more positive than I was a few weeks ago for sure.

I think some of it is sunlight. We've finally had some stellar weather here, in the 60's and 70's and the sun has come out for the ride as well. I've had to force myself to get out, but I know how important it is so I've been trying really hard. I went for two walks yesterday, that were fun and with friends and fast paced. Ended up walking 7.6 kilometers by the end of the day. I didn't even realize it was so far until I found a free app where you can map out your walks afterwards. I was surprised!

I thought I'd be fairly sore today, since I've done so little exercise in the last few weeks (more like a month or two honestly...) but I'm not sore at all. My knee and hip were a little sore yesterday evening (the usual for me with longer cardio) but by today they were just fine. Today I'd like to get out for a walk again, not as far, but a couple miles/kilometers would be good. It's going to get cold/rainy/possibly snowy tomorrow, so I need to seize the day and get my ass back out there.

Not just yet though, I'm sitting here typing this while some highlights set in my hair. Next month I'd like to go in and have my favorite hair stylist do the real deal, the nice highlights that look fantastic and last until it grows out, but for now this works for me. My natural hair color is that dirty dishwater blonde that I haaaaaaaaaaaate so much. I haven't had a dye job I think since last summer, so the top half of my hair is that dark dirty color, while the ends are still lighter. For now I just did strips of highlights on the top layer, of my hair, just to lighten it up a bit. Definitely did light blonde, since if I keep walking a lot this spring it would eventually lighten on it's own anyhow. I noticed in Australia it was lighter on it's own with all the sunlight (though I did help it along with a dye job and the old surfer trick of streaks of lemon juice (from actual chunks of lemon served with our fish and chips at the fish shop across from Bondi Beach), though I don't recommend it, it was hell on my hair even though it worked....

I've set up my next goal workout wise, I'd like to hit 120 pounds by the end of May, but more important I want to be really fit at 120. I didn't lose that much muscle this last month or more, which surprised me quite a bit. I'm also right at 131 pounds after not working out so long, which surprised me a lot, but I have still been eating fairly healthy so maybe I shouldn't be so surprised. Thankful I'm starting at 131 and not 179 (my doc said in my chart they clocked me in at 179.6 in December 2012, I thought it was 176...) like the first time around.

I also decided to see that Dr. K again, but I'm going to lay down a few ground rules as soon as I step into his office. He's a really smart doc (almost twenty years in collect including general surgeon) so I think he could be very helpful, he just has to lose the attitude and be more empathetic. I get the fact he was thrown into a hot mess, from school the all us nutballs here lol. I've heard he's been dealing with everything from drug seekers, to women making extra appointments because he's cute, to complicated cases with no easy answers. It's probably a lot to take in all at once. But he needs to have more patience and not get stressed at his patients too. Maybe some of that comes with time? He acknowledged to administration that they didn't prepare him much for the realities of his new job as a psychiatrist and they are working very hard to fix it. So, I'll give him another chance, but I'm going to make it clear, it's one chance. He pulls what he did last time and I'm done. A little respectfulness should not be too much to ask for.

I called Monday to set up the appointment and the secretary said I can't get in until something like April 18th, which I'm assuming means since I'm technically not on his service that I've been bumped to basically being a new patient. I really don't think that is fair, since I've been going to that clinic way longer than the secretary has even been there.... I told her I'll be out of meds by the 18th of March and asked what I'm supposed to do after that, since it would be a terrible idea for now that I essentially would be cut off my meds suddenly and left to fight this by myself for a month. Her answer? "I'm sorry..."  That was it lol!  In the end, I called my pharmacy and asked them to put in a request to the clinic and see if it makes it to Dr. K. and he refills them. Must have worked because I got a call yesterday evening that my meds were ready. I'm very thankful he did this for me, I'm sure he realized what would happen if my meds are stopped suddenly.

So all is good for now on that front. I did ask to be put on a waiting list at the clinic, I'm hoping that will come up sooner than mid April, but I'm not sure. Crossing my fingers though!

Since I was depressed for quite a while, I have a shit ton of stuff to do in my house. It's literally a fucking disaster in here. I'm taking my caseworker's advice and just doing one tiny area at a time in a room I pick out and just slowly work my way around the room. So we'll see how it goes.

Ahhh, gotta go, hair dye should be done!

Hope anyone reading this is doing well. And TT, I'd like to get you online today, I think you need it too (hugsssssss)
-M