I am sitting here watching one of my favorite shows, Downton Abbey.
Since I’ve been gone so long, here are some updates about what is going on with me.
Last week, on Wednesday, I went to the ER. I was feeling so dizzy, lightheaded, and excessively exhausted. I had blurry vision/spots in my vision. I also felt so foggy-brained and almost confused/disoriented. It had been going on for three or four days. I called the doctor’s office to speak to a nurse and they said I should go to the hospital. I’ve had a few attacks like that before. It’s really weird. Of course they didn’t know what was wrong with me, except to discuss MS with me a little bit based on my symptoms (and how it’s happened before) and on my other nerve problems. I have previously had an MRI for that in Colorado, to look for evidence of MS, about a year ago. I know it should probably be repeated because sometimes you can’t see things for several years on an imaging scan. I really liked the ER doctor. I actually almost always like ER doctors. I think they have such a better attitude because their job is so much more interesting than an office doctor’s( who’s probably so bored because all they see is strep throat 10 times a day). And for the ER doctor, that translates into an enthusiasm for their work that you don’t find in offices. Has anyone else ever noticed that?
Then I went to see my regular doctor the next day and she really focused on the anxiety aspect in my life. And she referred me back to neurology, to whom I am reluctant to go back because of bad experiences I have had with Kaiser neurology down here.
Do I feel like I could have MS? Yes. And not just because I am a hypochondriac or because I’m scared about it (actually it doesn’t scare me too much, it would be a relief to find out any diagnosis at this point). My symptoms match up, and the ER doctor is the third doctor who has mentioned it to me. It’s not knowing what’s going on that scares AND FRUSTRATES me. I just want to know what’s wrong with me, and I feel like when I actually get into the doctor’s office they don’t give me enough time to explain all my symptoms and they just dismiss me right away. Then I just get so anxious and tongue-tied and I just leave crying. Really don’t think they’re doing their job. The last guy just focused on the ulnar neuropathy in my arm without examining me or asking about any of my other symptoms and when I tried to bring them up he literally stared at me and totally ignored my questions, even acted like I was overstepping my boundaries. I just sometimes feel like they mention things but don’t give me a clear-cut opinion. Like I had a rheumatologist very quickly diagnose me with fibromyalgia two years ago, of which I have most all of the symptoms, but he just diagnosed me and put it in my chart and never really discussed much with me. It’s like I think it’s a very real possibility I have that, but at the same time I don’t know if I should believe that because he just threw it out so nonchalantly.
Anyway, as for the anxiety… I am really starting to feel a lot of problems with that again. It’s almost different than normal worrying anxiety. It’s more like a raw fear type of thing, like real FEAR. Classic panic attack symptoms, except that instead of the normal physical panic attack symptoms I get, I’m starting to get the psychological part where I feel a fear that I’m dying more than I’m going crazy. But what if I really am going crazy and it’s not just panic?? So scary! A lot of those thoughts come from the foggy brained/trouble concentrating/out of it feeling. I just feel so strange physically and mentally. Definitely depressed.
I really need to make some changes in my life and I know what a lot of them are, and for the first time in YEARS I feel really committed to doing them and more powerful that I can. Today I had a terrible day, but I know I can do this tomorrow and just keep that scary feeling I had in the ER in my mind and use that as fuel to take care of myself.
- My primary care doctor discussed with me that I should try taking an antidepressant again, an SNRI this time instead of an SSRI. I absolutely hate trying new medicines. I get panic attacks about it and it almost defeats the whole purpose of taking the medicine. But I really think I’m going to give this a try. They I’m proud of myself because I set up an appointment with the psychiatrist today so I at least have somebody to check in with about medication management and then I won’t feel so scared. I just pray, pray that who I see will be kind and compassionate, actually care about me as a person and be on my team. Please God, I need that.
- I am really, really starting to see how much my terrible diet affects me. Profoundly even. Realizing that gives me so much motivation to change, especially to work on eating WAY less sugar, more protein, and more regular meals. All I can say is that my body is so extremely sensitive to stimuli. I have a true biological, clinical anxiety disorder and caffeine and sugar just send the adrenaline response in my body through the roof. I am completely and utterly sick of it. I feel so good when I eat things like almonds, salads, regular dinners, not getting too hungry, etc. I am working on all of those things, but I am sick of just thinking about it and halfway working on it. I’m just going to do it tomorrow and be patient with it. I can’t be perfect at it but I’m no longer going to let that be an excuse to not try. Just to be able to say I did better at it and that I took care of myself at the end of each day reduced so much fear and self-anger. I don’t want to be scared about that stuff and how it affects my health anymore.
I was planning to take this pharmacy technician course starting at the beginning of March, but I had to drop it because there’s no way I can get there on the bus. Separate issue but I am concerned I am developing some agoraphobic tendencies since I developed the limitations with walking from my nerve disorder. It is definitely scary to take a bus somewhere and then get lost and not be able to walk to the other stop you’re supposed to be at! I’m so afraid of that happening again. Anyways, I was pretty disappointed about that falling through, but realized that I can take the pharmacy technician certification exam without taking a class! I had no idea. If I pass that, I can apply to become a registered pharmacy technician. I really, really don’t think I need to take a class since I have a Bachelor’s degree in Biology (with a minor in Biomedical Sciences) and have worked in a hospital before. Plus learning about medications and biochemistry is my hobby. There might just be some things I need to brush up on that I can study in a practice exam book. So I need to plan on doing that and then apply for my registration with the state of California and then apply for jobs and hope for the rest. That’s kind of the one job that I feel would be both interesting to me and doable with a few disability accommodations. For now I just want to do better at taking care of myself each day and fighting & actually making changes. I still have other things to do: wedding planning, packing for our move in a few weeks (we’re moving into a townhouse with a little yard! Yay!!!), pretty soon working as the scheduler/customer service person for B’s new side business, and doing all the things around the house that I KNOW are worthwhile and that are my contribution to the team.
It feels so good to blog again and to get all of this out. It gives me a lot of comfort. Hope I still have some readers out there to connect with!