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AMYGDALAR CONFUSION

(for those who don’t know, the amygdala is the part of your brain that stores memories based on emotional impact, and is also responsible for a lot of emotional responses.  River Tam’s is on overdrive, for you fellow geeks.  you’re welcome.)

Man, I hate going to the doctor.

I’ve been conditioned, over the years of being treated like I was ignorant, just plain stupid, or crazy, to just basically be in fight or flight mode until the damned visit is over, so that I can escape to the pharmacy with the prize I was tortured in order to receive.  Yes, I realize that that statement makes me look like a drug-seeker, but I’m talking about things like antibiotics and birth control, not pain killers (not until recently, anyway).

Clearly, for someone who is as sick as I am, this is not a good thing.  And I HAVE been working on it, but I’ve also had to switch doctors twice in the past few years (as well as call in several specialists) because my current condition is as frustrating to them as it is to me, so they take it out on me.  I can guess their motivation, but it doesn’t matter, really.

My current doctor’s office was really great when I began going there, as had been the others, and I promised myself I would loosen up and tell them everything so that they were in the know and, thus, better able to help me.

This has resulted in me being on a ton of medication that happens to react in weird ways to add symptoms to what is already a pretty messed up condition.

As a “for instance”, I was put on a small dose of Zoloft a couple of months ago to combat what had become a constant state of anxiety.  Blood pressure medication is keeping that whole mess in check, but even with low blood pressure, the rapid heart rate and other physical symptoms (omg cortisol and adrenaline fail) were becoming too much to bear.  So, you know, I started taking the Zoloft.

As an aside, I’ve been on a lower therapeutic dose of Lortab for the past, uh…well, almost a year, I guess.  Basically, I take it on an as-needed basis, but always at least once per day (at night) to help me sleep through my hip and back being assholes (physically impossible?  nay!).  The last time my prescription was called in, the number of pills was quite a bit lower than I’m used to, so I was a little pissy, because my perception there was that I was being called a drug-seeker.  One pill per day ONLY, by the way, is not doable.  And I don’t have an addictive personality.  I sincerely wonder if some of you can imagine how high my pain tolerance is right now…heh.  This whole tangent is actually relevant, by the way.

So my life has kind of sucked as of late.  You know…the past two years.  I met a guy I thought was awesome and married him, found out otherwise, was unemployed and stressed out, illness got worse, blahblahblah, and now I’m having money issues and am trying to find a job with what’s basically one stupid-sounding limitation:  I can’t stand for extended periods.  It sounds stupid until you’re the one dealing with it.  Then?  Your job-search range is cut by more than half.  It blows horse nuts.

HOWEVER, I can logically look at it and know WHY things aren’t going well.  I don’t feel well, so of course I’m going to be disappointed more easily.  The economy just isn’t that great, and I haven’t worked in over a year, so employers may not look at my resume and see someone they want to hire for the positions I’m interested in…it happens.  As far as my health goes, there’s pretty much nothing I can do except cater to my pain and try not to do anything stupid while I wait to figure out a solution.  I have an appointment with a Lyme specialist to either officially confirm my diagnosis, or push me in the direction of an MRI machine (you don’t mess with seizures, yo), so I’ve got a plan, and I’m following through, despite other setbacks.

There’s this other part of my brain, though…we all have it…that’s just kind of negative.  When I’m at my best, and feeling really good, it points out a stupid little flaw and brings me down a notch.  It’s what keeps me from being completely narcissistic, normally.

Lately, however, it’s become completely bat-shit crazy.

Whereas a minor setback used to be met with disappointment, maybe some tears, and then a regrouping and do-over, lately it’s been responded to thusly by my Bug Brain:  “Well, that didn’t work.  You might as well kill yourself.  Your life sucks, anyway.”

Now, Logical Brain is like, “Where the fuck did THAT come from?”, and I’m not even thinking of scenarios or possibilities.  There’s just that stupid thought…that suicide is an actual solution…and it’s bugging the ever-loving crap out of me.  I have no plans…no scenarios pop into my head.  It’s literally just like a verbal thought, like someone’s whispering it into my ear after looking over my shoulder.

So back to the doctor’s office.

I brought this up, along with some other concerns, and it was suggested that I switch up my meds a bit (yeah, I’m probably going to be stranger than usual for a couple of weeks), and then my doctor strongly suggested I see a shrink.

No shit, lady.  I’ll get right on that when I can afford it (or when I find a good solution for low-income issues).

So she’s looking at me like I’m going to choke her with my purse strap, because I started the inevitable crying that always happens when I’m discussing my problems at length, then she leaves the room, saying she left her prescription pad elsewhere and needed to fetch it.  She was gone for nearly 20 minutes.  I thought for sure that she was calling the cops and reporting a suicide threat or something, so naturally I was having a bit of a freak-out.

When she returned, she not only had her prescription pad, she had a bag of samples, ready to try to wean me off of some of my meds and balance out the bad side effects of three meds with just ONE med ?(as in, replacing them).  Color me impressed, yo.

THEN she went on to write me the actual Lortab prescription to match the “1 to 4 per day” instructions on the bottle.  Yeah, that’s right…she looked at me like I was nuts, then gave me a slip of paper that allowed me to get 120 Lortab from my pharmacy.

I don’t know whether to be irritated at the initial reception (I could actually SEE her try not to roll her eyes), flattered at the faith in my ability to keep myself alive by not taking a shitload of narcotics, or insulted at the “holy god this chick is nuts” attitude I got before she left the room for an extended period.

Like, seriously.  I have no idea how to respond, emotionally.

So…yeah.  I guess I’ll take a nap?  That seems to fix a lot of things.

3 comments to AMYGDALAR CONFUSION

  • my journey was/is a bit different, but the medical community does seem to be globally predisposed to dismiss the truly sick/injured a bit too abruptly.

    you’re not alone, there are others like us out there fighting medical mediocrity all over the place.

    hang in there

    • “Medical mediocrity” seems to be all the rage.

      And thanks. Also, I’m *really* sorry to hear about Bear’s troubles. :-( I hope something can be done, if only to keep him comfortable.

  • Lexapro gave me the suicidal thoughts thing. Interesting that she gave you the crazy reaction and then wrote you the scripts anyway. Hmm.
    I have a very high tolerance for pain medication. Every time I see someone new, I have to convince them that I’m not there to try and get pills. It’s just that what they want to give me doesn’t work. Here, see I have half a bottle of those expiring right now. If I was a pill head, they’d be gone.