Thursday, April 29, 2010

The doctor is... giving me more pills.

Doctor visit number two. And, shock of all shocks: my bloodwork revealed exactly nothing. The Lyme disease thing was an interesting notion. People in my life kept wanting me to be excited about it - "That's treatable! That would be great!" Well, it's somewhat treatable, and they kept missing that little issue where it would have been in addition to the fibro, not instead of. But the tests came back clean, even the fancy shmancy ones from Stoneybrook. So no answers there, and good riddance to the longest two weeks of worrying in my life. Oh, and I'm not pregnant.

What did show up, though, is that I'm markedly deficient in Vitamin D. I guess it's not so surprising - it's hard to get D through food, I don't go outside when it's hot, and during the winters here in NY the sun isn't even strong enough to make the skin do its cholecalciferol mojo dance. What aggravates me, though, is that back in August when my former doctor ran bloodwork (at the end of the summer, when all should be ripe and plump with D3 loveliness), it showed that I was already running a quart or three low. If I'd known, I would have spent the dark winter months supplementing, not just letting it continue to drop. But hey, why prevent something when we could just wait until I'm actually sick and then medicate? Garrrrr.

He wants me to increase my Topamax - everyone does. That's three doctors now. So I guess the jury's in. It's still a pretty low dose. I just hate increasing anything. He also wants to try me on Prednisone. When I was in his office, I was thinking, why hasn't anyone tried me on this before? When I got back to a computer I figured out why. Ah, yes, it's a corticosteriod.

I've been avoiding the steriods for a long time. They do their jobs well; unfortunately they come with a host of unpleasant side effects, and getting back off of them once you've been taking them for more than about a week becomes very tricky business. Prednisone, specifically, is an immunosuppressant. I hate the sound of that, I truly do. I am aware that my immune system works overtime, that that's part of my problem. But the concept of using chemicals to suppress my immune system makes me more than a little uncomfortable.

As far as I can gather, the drug sort of shuts down the adrenal cortex and then mimics the hormones it produces. These include cortisol, aldosterone, and various androgens. Cortisol (hydrocortisone) is the big player here. Cortisol increases blood sugar, plays a role in metabolism, and, well, suppresses the immune system. Normally it is released in response to stress; I'm thinking the purpose of the pills is to give a controlled dose, rather than the spikes I may be getting from my body's natural production. Actually, there's a good chance that I've been stuck in a sort of permanent (or at least continual) fight-or-flight state since my late teens, so who knows how much of it I'm pumping out - possibly way too much.

It's difficult to try to tease these things out for yourself. The processes of the body are quite complex, and it's been many, many years since I took my course in comparative anatomy of chordates. The bottom line is that I'm scared to deal with a new class of drug, particularly one that works by changing my body chemically so radically. There's also some vanity here: I don't want puffy cheeks. But there's another bottom line. It might help me be functional again - by a certain definition of functional, anyway. If it's between dealing with another pill and having to quit my job, well... anyone offering to pay my rent? So, job it is then.

Basically, I'm hoping for the best.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

I am officially in serious trouble.

This depression has been pushing me down beneath the murk for almost two weeks now. At least I've managed to come to work every day (this week, that is). I thought that once a few of my situations resolved it would lessen, but apparently not.

Yesterday I had the appointment with the new doctor. It wasn't great, but it was fine. Sure it gave me something new to worry about - big deal. I know that, as always, my blood work will come back like a shiny new button, wholly unblemished.

And yesterday when I got home, I found my disc of wedding pictures waiting for me. Unlike the first one (which was supposedly the second), this disc was uncorrupted. So now I have the pictures that I've been waiting for. I can make douchey photographer guy make me my prints and albums, and I can my my own albums like I've been wanting to. I went through all the photos and picked out the ones I like.

But still, no weight has been lifted from my heart. I've just found new things to dwell on. The photos? I just... don't really care. They bring no joy. It is just another chore.

I'm sitting here at working, feeling like I will drown in my sadness. Like I am just going to stop breathing.

But for the money, I could go home and lay comfortably in bed curled around my sadness. But for the money, so many things.

And to think: when I had the time, I squandered it. But then I suppose that is the nature of the beast.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Doctor, doctor...

Saw the new doc this morning. He thinks I have Lyme Disease! That's a new one, for sure. Whatever, it's a blood test, he's running a blood panel anyway of course, and if he's right he is and if he's wrong then the subject goes away. I do have all of the symptoms of it. It just doesn't seem likely, seeing as I live in New York City and spend exactly zero time in the woods.

Though, come to think of it... Jonathan's parents live on the side of a mountain. And we do go visit them. And we do tromp in the woods a bit when we go out there... And they have dogs.

Oh crap.

Well, I'll find out in two weeks or less.

I'm having them check on the pregnancy thing too - just so I can put the final nail in that coffin.

And in conclusion, no Lyme Disease please?

Thank you and goodnight.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Overwhelmed.

Alright, so my last post was a major downer, duh. I am sorry to report that since last Monday, while my depression has, I dunno, fluttered a bit, I still feel like there is a lead weight sitting on my heart. I'm not thinking so much about the wedding anymore, and thankfully people have stopped asking me about it. There are still things to take care of: I haven't designed an announcement yet, and I need to get on that as it's getting a bit late, plus I'm still fighting with my photographer, and I haven't finished writing thank you notes. I tried, actually, but my hand hurt too much and I had to stop after five. Bagh.

So I still haven't quite figured out what's causing this nasty mood. It came on so suddenly and went through so many dynamic waves that it seems it has to be chemical. There is definitely something hormonal happening - so much so, in fact, that for a good five days there I had half convinced myself that I was pregnant. (I'm not. This has been confirmed by four tests.) I really wanted to find an answer there, even though bearing a child is physically probably one of the worst things I could put myself through. But you see, it's an answer. And it's something that happens to other people. Plenty of them. But... no.

OK. So what then? The only smidgen of an answer I can come up with is that I feel like everything is too much because... well... it is. Putting the wedding together was both emotionally and physically difficult, and then it was a disappointment. I am now married, which though it isn't much of an actual change is a huge thing to wrap my mind around nonetheless. Plus - I'm just sort of trickling this information out, because it's still far away and contingent on many factors coming together - Jonathan and I have pretty much decided to move to New Orleans next year. So that's enormous on more levels than I'd care to count right now.

And then there's the health issues. Tomorrow morning I'm going to see a new doctor, since my old doc won't take my new health insurance and I haven't been too thrilled with him lately anyway. It's always so nervewracking to see new doctors. You just don't know if they'll listen to you, or just try to shove drugs at you, or belittle your pain and other symptoms, or what.

On top of that, on Friday I'm finally having my left two wisdom teeth taken out. The top one has been broken for about eight years. (Yes, you read that correctly.) I'm fairly terrified of the surgery itself - will the gas make me sick? will I feel pain when I'm not supposed to? will there be complications removing the teeth, making everything take much longer? will they have to cut into my jaw? etc, etc, etc. I have to go alone, and somehow get myself home afterward, which I'm just thrilled about let me tell you. Then there's the afterparty: will I heal? will my jaw be sore for days from being cranked open like that? will the sounds haunt me? is the pain in my face and jaw actually from this bad tooth, or is it trigeminal neuralgia? TMJ? some other neurological dysfunction?

All of this, of course, is piled on top of my normal host of utter crap. Constant headache, flaring sciatica because the weather keeps changing, sleeping for shit because of everything I've mentioned so far and just because, plus my IBS has been flaring up. And have I ever mentioned that I hate my job?

So, uh, yeah. I'm depressed, and anxious. I think anyone who was in my position right now and wasn't a bit unhappy could be said to be steeped in some serious denial, no? I'm thinking I have some legitimate things to be worked up over. Maybe there is some chemical component; I don't know, and I'm not sure what I can do about it. It would probably be best if I would stop consuming mass amounts of sugar, but that's really hard to do when I'm feeling this stressed. (Yeah, go ahead and tell me it's not an addiction when I'm practically clawing at my desk jonesing for a peanut chew.)

My fondest hope at the moment is that the new doctor is great, the surgery goes smoothly and I recover quickly, my photographer gets his head out of his ass and does what he's supposed to, and I can just start dealing with my everyday life again. Because frankly, that's more than enough all by its little ol' self.

Monday, April 5, 2010

It just sucks, OK?

I want to go back home and curl up in bed and stay there. The bedroom's so bright though - I'd have to make it darker first.

I don't want to be out here in the world, where people can talk to me, where I'm supposed to be doing things. I want to hide. To disappear. I want to be forgotten. I want to quit this stupid job. Like now, today. "My last day's Friday, unless you'd like me to leave now - I'd be happy to."

I'm really fucking depressed. I can find reasons, but I don't exactly know why. I guess that's the thing with depression though, right? It just... comes. Since the wedding I've been going through a cycle - this sit-in-a-dark-corner-crying state, all the way to a happy, motivated, take-on-the-world go-get-em enthusiasm, and back around again. Back and forth three or four times now at least.

Even when I'm at the high points, though, there are some things that I can't get around, can't put a good face on. The situation with my teeth is highly unpleasant. And I'm stressed about going to a new doctor. But mainly it's the wedding. That's what gets to me most when I'm low like this, and what tends to drag me back into it when I'm up in the clouds. It doesn't help that no one, not even my therapist, will really let me talk about it.

No one will stand for it when you say that your wedding just sucked. It's kind of like when you try to explain that your parents are bad people. They always want to tell you that no, it really can't be that bad. But you know what? Sometimes it is just that bad. Some people are terrible parents who do horrible, fucked up things to their kids and cause irreversible damage. And some people have crappy weddings that, once they're all over with, the bride would rather never think about again. I'm afraid that for me, both of these things are true, and I'm sorry if no one wants to hear it. It's not as if I wouldn't like to change it if I could.

So there you go. The truth is out. I had a stupid, crappy wedding, and thinking about it makes me sad. I'll spend the next five years or so building a fable of what it actually was, so that I can think about it without wanting to cry. I'll spend a lot of mental energy focusing on the 10% of it that was really great, so that the 90% that was shit will get a little hazy. Gosh, it's every girl's dream come true.

Am I bitter? Yeah. Is it attractive? On the contrary, I'm sure it's one of my very worst qualities. But honestly, how the hell am I supposed to feel? Everyone wants to tell me, but oh, now you're married to they guy you love. Yes, I know that. And that part's great. And it would be true if we'd both taken a half day off of work and gone down to city hall to get it done. That's the marriage. I'm talking about the wedding - the wedding which was fucked from start to finish... a fact which is almost definitely my fault.

And now the most pressing question: how the hell am I going to get through work today?