Let live

I read negative comments about this blog last week. First time that has happened for me.

It should have cut me to the quick. It should have ripped my heart to shreds. But I didn’t feel any such pain. My initial instinct was to ask why. Then I thought better of it.

I began blogging to share my experiences. I didn’t want others who may be in similar situations to feel alone. Being in a public forum, people who read this blog are going to form opinions. They have a right to do so. I don’t need to know why. Everyone has their own experiences to draw from. Not everyone, thank goodness, will go through life as I am right now.

I’ve always said, “Live and let live.” Now I know that I actually mean it.

Mental Health Resources National Depression Screening Day

Friday, October 10 is National Depression Screening Day

This year, Friday October 10 will be National Depression Screening Day.

Fifteen years ago this month, the medical school that I was attending at the time was one of the screening sites for National Depression Screening Day. I went for kicks. I mean, I already knew that I was depressed for most of my life, so they weren’t going to tell me anything that I didn’t already know. They gave me a multiple-choice test; I sat down and took the test. Took maybe 15, 20 minutes tops to complete it. The test results were discussed with me right afterward, and it was strongly suggested that I seek professional advice. Okay, THAT part, I didn’t know. Not long afterward, I saw a psychiatrist and was formally diagnosed with major depressive disorder.

Screening sites are located across the country. The cost is FREE. You may also choose to take the screening online.

If you are at all curious, please take an hour out of your busy schedule and get screened.

Effexor Prescription Medications withdrawal

erpps, I did it again

I’ve been feeling crappy all week. Tired, never quite alert, runny nose. Attention span of a gnat. Perpetual constipation is my normal state, but lately I’ve been going sometimes twice a day (which is considered normal, by the way, just isn’t my normal). I thought I was coming down with a cold. Figured I better quit eating stuff that’s been sitting in the refrigerator for more than two weeks. Fall is coming – maybe allergies are kicking in. Maybe my eyes are getting tired faster. I haven’t been sleeping well lately. Should probably get myself to an optometrist for an eye exam. Last time I went I was very close to needing bifocals.

I found some old disposable contact lenses of mine. The prescription is about three years out of date, but I figured for computer work they would be okay. I wore a pair on Thursday for the heck of it. I did fine with them until I went out for dinner. Once I left the house, I made myself seasick every time I turned my head or shifted my eye focus too fast. I even started to get carsick sitting in the back seat. I was fine once we settled in the restaurant and I got some food in me. Started to get queasy during the 5-minute ride home. Immediately took out my contacts when I got home and spent the rest of the evening semi-blind.

YESTERDAY scared the crap out of me.

As usual, I get up and put on the glasses that I usually wear for computer work. I’m tired, slightly foggy in the head, nothing unusual. I go to work on my medical transcription training. I start a timed typing test. I couldn’t make my fingers type the right letters. I’ve been touch-typing since I was a teen-ager. I knew I was making mistakes right and left. Oh, and that drives me NUTS! Finally gave up timed typing and went to a lesson. Just had to copy words and do matching exercises to learn jargon and slang. Couldn’t do it. Fingers would not cooperate. I develop a headache and start feeling nauseated. I must need new glasses for close work. I make a mental note to start saving for bifocals. I give up working on the computer. Even checking email was an arduous task.

The day wears on and the symptoms get worse. My head still hurts. I think it’s a caffeine headache, but coffee doesn’t help. My body feels weary. I figure I must get more sleep. I feel woozy, but not quite dizzy. I change my glasses, then give up wearing any corrective lenses. I still feel awful. I don’t want to throw up, but wish I could so the queasiness would go away. Eating doesn’t help. Tea doesn’t help. Water doesn’t help. I’m standing in the kitchen bent over the center island with my hands on my head trying to squeeze out the pain when I suddenly ask myself – when did you take your last Effexor dose? Dang it! I did it again!

I claw my way up the stairs to my Effexor bottle and take 75 mg. Six hours later, after a nap and some dinner, I’m feeling fine.

Prescription Medications

My heart flips …

Had a good half hour or so of heart palpitations today. That’s when you feel your heart “flutter” or, as in my case, do flip-flops, inside your chest. It was kinda scary. All I was doing was sitting at the computer working. I wasn’t stressed about anything. Checked my radial pulse and it seemed okay. I got myself something to eat, mainly to distract myself. The palpitations went away.

Iago de Otto asked how my withdrawal from treatment is going. It’s going. My last therapy appointment was in April. I have stopped taking Adderall XR in the morning. Since the end of May, I have dropped my daily dosage of Effexor XR from 112.5 mg to 75 mg. I am working on dropping the dose to 37.5 mg, then hopefully get off of it completely by mid-September. I am taking it very slowly with Effexor because I have heard so many horror stories about it’s withdrawal effects on the body.

I don’t know if the heart palpitations have anything to do with coming off of Effexor. It is much more likely that I’ve been drinking too much coffee to replace the Adderall.

I will do some research and write more detailed posts about drug withdrawal and therapy termination in future posts.


I feel old

I just learned that George Michael is on tour celebrating 25 years in the biz.

I was in high school when he was singing with Andrew Ridgely in Wham!

I am old.

Take me back in time maybe I can forget
Turn a different corner and we never would have met

A Different Corner Lyrics

Medications Prescription Medications Self-development Therapy

A whole new life

Today will mark the beginning of a new chapter in the life of Psych Patient, MD.

I withdrew from therapy, and I am going to wean myself off of all of my medications.

I have also undergone a few of the most stressful life changes a person can endure.

This ought to be a roller coaster of a ride.

Please don’t try this at home.

Family Relationships

Love and Money

Daddy cut off my allowance. Daddy don’t love me no more.

Talked to my therapist about this last night. My therapist told me that it is okay to feel hurt over this, so I guess it’s okay to write about it.

My father has been extremely patient and generous with me since I left the world of medicine. I don’t like being dependent on my father for money, yet I still dragged my feet as far as becoming financially independent. A few months ago, I asked my father for money to pay for an online course in medical transcription. I told him I would have a job within 6 months and be able to pay my own living expenses. He said okay.

I have kept him up to date with my progress in the course. He knows that I have not yet finished the course. I called him two weeks ago. After a minute and a half of one-word answers to my questions, he hung up. He has since been in New York City on business, but I have not heard from him. I expect that I never will.

Now, I knew the day would come when my father would stop financial support. At 42, I am way too old for an allowance. I guess I thought that he would at least be man enough to come right out and say so rather than simply hang up on me.

My father shows his love with money. When he talks about how much he loves his family, it’s always about the financial support he has provided. My father worked hard all of his life to provide for the family. He has very specific hopes and dreams for his family. None of us have met his expectations. It wasn’t for a lack of trying. Lord knows that each of us have done our best to please that man. We just don’t measure up to the standard he set. No matter what we do, we never will.

Earlier I mentioned that I have been dragging my feet on finding a job. I think I figured out why. I shattered my father’s dreams by not finishing my medical training and going into practice. But I knew in my heart that if my dad helped me financially, he still loved me. To me, financial support IS love.

So I can’t pay the rent, can’t pay for medications. Heck, I didn’t even pay my therapist last night. But what bothers me most? Daddy doesn’t love me anymore.

Health Insurance Virtual Doctor Visits

Virtual Doctor Visits

I’m listening to talk radio this morning. I find out that one health insurance company is testing a system where you go online, give your symptoms, and get a response from a medical doctor. You are charged your normal co-pay for this virtual visit.

These virtual visits are meant to enhance medical care. No more taking off work to go sit in a doctor’s office for a couple of hours to see the doctor for 15 minutes. No more pulling the kids out of school for a day to see the doctor. No more phone tag with the doctor’s office with questions.

These virtual medical visits will also make employers, who foot the majority of health insurance cost, happy because it will cut down on lost work time. Schools won’t lose money because of absent students. And the health insurance company collects the co-pay that normally goes to the doctor.

Nothing was mentioned about mental health visits. That is probably because, for the purpose of health insurance, mental health is not considered a medical problem and is therefore a separate category unto itself. But that is a rant for another post.

Now, callers to the radio program brought up the following potential problems with these virtual doctor visits.

  • privacy issues – Your medical record is confidential information. Where is the information from these virtual visits going to end up?
  • incidental findings – How often have you gone to see the doctor for one thing and, during the visit, had the doctor notice something else that should be cause for concern?

What do you think?

Adeline Yen Mah Meme

Book meme

Here is an interesting and fun meme that I found as I was cruising my favorite blogs.

These are the rules:

  1. Look up page 123 in the nearest book to you at the time.
  2. Find the fifth sentence and write it down.
  3. Then write down the three sentences that follow.
  4. Tag other bloggers.

I wasn’t specifically “tagged” by Two Write Hands to participate. I wasn’t specifically excluded either though!

The book nearest to me, that is not a textbook or a manual, is Falling Leaves by Adeline Yen Mah (no relation to me, as far as I know). I don’t remember when I got it, but I had to wipe a thick layer of dust off of the cover, and the bookmark is at page 114. Damned ADHD.

“I think that is admirable, sir. I wish we had religious tolerance in China. Unfortunately, we only have barbaric intolerance. I hate to inconvenience the kitchen staff but it is against my religion to eat certain foods.”

Scintillating, isn’t it? I’ll have to start reading the book again to find out what that’s all about.

What do you read (or halfway read)? Consider yourself tagged.

Communication Family Relationships

Letter to my mother

Hi Mommy,

How are you? Are you warm enough with the clothes we sent you? Daddy sent more money today for you and Susan. I hope you have enough, and that you are happy.

I have thought a lot about you over the past seven years. I never thought that we had much in common. Then I remembered that you left your mother in China when you were young. You did not have her to talk to when you got married, or had babies, or had problems with Daddy. It’s too late for me to have a baby, but I don’t have you to talk to for all that other “woman” stuff that you were going to tell me about after I got married. I don’t have my mommy for my adult life, just like you didn’t.

It was very brave of you to leave your home and your country to come to the United States, not knowing what the future held for you. I never thought about that while you were alive. I realize now that I did not get my courage and determination from Daddy. It came from you.

I miss you.