Work is stressing me out, in both my day job and my tutoring positions. The specifics aren’t really important, but I’ll say that I’m actively trying to fight discrimination from the U.S. Government in one case, and asshole-coach-who-has-to-teach-math discrimination in another. I’m the tutor, so I’m naturally caught in the middle…that’s just the way it is. And work is work – it’s tedious, the environment is ridiculous, and the past couple of weeks have been absolute hell as far as workload goes.
I’ve had some disturbing things happen, mentally, that I know are odd (so it’s not like I’m having issues and other people are pointing them out – I’m asking folks around me if they’re noticing stuff, and they’re essentially saying, “Well, I didn’t want to say anything, but…”), and so I was thinking of talking to my Lyme doc about possible low-dose mood stabilizers that won’t take quite so much of a toll on my liver, so that I can not continue with this emotional ridiculousness I’ve been experiencing. I mean, even just getting my hormones straightened out could go a long way.
I’ve been glancing through some of the books he’d assigned me way back when, on cortisol poisoning (happens when you’re stressed all the time, and no one’s accused me of not being high-strung), hormonal issues (specifically, progesterone deficiency with estrogen overload), and fibromyalgia, which pretty much covers all of the above in a very general way because, well, that’s kind of how fibro works, anyway.
In light of me having been clinically diagnosed with Lyme, and having it confirmed that I’ve likely had it since the age of 14, I started thinking about a few things regarding my emotional states and what I’ve been doing to try to combat them.
I’ve been on more than 10 different mood stabilizers over the past 10 years, only to have them either flat-out not work, or have seriously horrible side-effects. The best one I had was Cymbalta, and I’ll tell you right now, it wasn’t enough to keep me from self-injuring while I was engaged, then married, to Wasband (I have pictures as proof…they’re not something someone on mood stabilizers would do to themselves if the drugs are actually working).
Thinking about it a little deeper, I realized that right now, at this time, I’m basically only on downers (blood pressure medication, diazepam, temazepam, and the occasional lortab as far as prescriptions are concerned), and while I’m fatigued, I still always feel on-edge, like there’s something lurking around every corner. I always feel like I’m about to be “caught” doing something, even when I’m just sitting around. I don’t feel guilt – it’s just these physical manifestations.
That’s weird, ya’ll. When you’re on downers, psychological paranoia/anxiety is something that can happen. Your body physically preparing you for attack at all times? Not so common.
So I decided, since I have the resources, to look up some empirical studies on the effectiveness of anti-depressants and other psychoactive drugs on those with Lyme and other tick-borne diseases…particularly focusing on studies of those in the late stages.
Oh, yes, they’re out there. I found one with case study examples spanning race, age, and gender, with examples of different psychological symptoms exhibited by the patients, and what was and wasn’t effective in helping them deal with what is, essentially, a neurological side-effect of having bacteria eating your tasty brain-meat.
Because I’m female, I focused on those, and stayed away from the ones mentioning teenagers and older women, as well as those mentioning the recently-infected. That left me with, basically, two case studies to compare myself to and see if I was just being a nutcase, or if I had something of value to bring up with my doctor.
Well, it turns out that it’s a little bit of both. I didn’t like what I read, because I could relate to it. And this is some Scorsese shit, too, y’all…violent thoughts and urges, emotional instability at really weird times, and feeling like I’m on some weird drug when it happens. I have actual road rage now for the first time in years. The commute to and from work, which is something like 10 minute, gives me fits about 3 days out of the week. I don’t *get* that kind of road rage. I did when I was a teenager, because I was a self-important idiot who felt personally slighted every time someone did something stupid. Now I know that, sometimes, people are just stupid or do stupid things, I’m not exempt, and I usually just move on after a second of being like, “Okay, WTF.”
Again, it feels like a regression. Emotionally, this time, instead of mentally.
And what I’m reading in these studies is that the treatments these folks are on for their emotional problems are the “big guns” as far as depressive disorders are concerned. Lithium, MAOIs, Risperdal, Lamictal…basically, bipolar medication. And why not? I mean, the symptoms are about as textbook bi-polar as you can get.
It’s scary, though, reading that. For lithium, you have to have regular blood tests to make sure you’re not poisoning yourself. I’ve been on Lamictal and Risperdal, and they made my head feel like it was going to explode (and also made me slightly homicidal when I got irritated). I don’t want to get on an MAOI because of all of the restrictions you have to make. Look at an OTC drug some time…heh. MAOIs are pretty much the death knell on taking most cold medications, pain meds, sleep-aids, and even blood pressure meds. They’re serious shit.
So I’m kind of at a loss right now. I need to go back to my regular doctor for my 3-month-hey-you’re-on-controlled-substances visit, and then go to my Lyme doc for my update on the supplements I’ve been taking and talk to him about hormone therapy, but…yeah. This is kind of bothering me.
I know there are folks who read this who have found me through Lyme disease searches – have you personally seen or heard of anything like this? The whole rage-out thing? Because apparently it’s out there, and it’s an issue big enough for several people to at least research it…and not the same group of folks doing multiple papers, either. These are independent groups.
I suppose I’m just going to keep on truckin’ until I figure this out, but it’s a little scary around here right now, which is why you haven’t been hearing much from me, even on Facebook. I mean, how do you say, “I totally wanted to rip my co-worker’s teeth out today for absolutely no reason other than the fact that she annoyed me” without sounding like a psycho? You can’t do it.
I’m not doing anything, to myself or others (of particular interest is to myself, since that’s been an issue in the past), so I’m good for now. I guess I’m trying to weigh my options, because I hate going into office unprepared, and what I’m seeing isn’t encouraging.
One thing I can say without a doubt, though – Forrest has, no shit, been the one steady thing in my life. It absolutely amazes me, given what I’ve been through, that this guy is as patient and understanding as he is, and that he “gets” it. He’s still around. He’s not going anywhere simply because I annoy him, somehow. That continually trips me out, in a good way. I’m damned lucky there.
Now, if I could get this other stuff sorted, I’d be peachy, yes?