Sad today

I didn’t wake up with racing thoughts today, but I woke up sad.  I cried in bed several times before finally getting up, asking my husband to hold me to comfort me some through it.

It’s been a really tough couple of months, and the return of the anxiety has been hard to take.

I got through yesterday ok though, I managed to not take any ativan even though I woke up with nausea.  It resolved as the morning went on.

Today, I’m sort of on the edge of anxiety, I can feel it tugging at me in the background.  I know if I had something to do today, something I could do and that was more engaging than some solitary pursuit, I would feel better (emotionally) about the day and have some sort of hope that I won’t be spend the day alone fighting bleak thoughts and fear.  My stomach’s not too upset this AM, but I feel weak, dizzy, and my vision is spotty even just sitting up.  I’m sure my BP is way down.  I don’t even want to check it.  Too depressing.

My GI doctor called back yesterday after a third call.  She wants to do a Ph study and an esophageal manometry test. I explained how the last esophageal manometry test went when I was a teen…i.e. the doctor couldn’t get the probe down my nose because it’s too narrow up in there, so he ended up putting it down my mouth.  I got the distinct impression from my current GI doctor that dropping the probe down my mouth would not be an option.  “We’ll try it…” down the nose, was her comment.  Oh that and take a (whole) ativan before I come in for the procedure.  Um….okayyyyy.  Obviously she doesn’t get that it’s not just a matter of upset, it’s a matter of anatomy (which leads to pain, which leads to upset).

Still beating my head against the wall with trying to get in to a new GI doctor.  Still calling every morning and getting the news that there are no cancellations.  I wonder if I should call later in the day?

A friend is supposed to come over later in the AM for coffee/cards.  I hope that goes ok, I hope I stay well enough to do it.  I really could use the company and distraction.

I was planning on starting/trying the evening primrose oil and flaxseed oil today. I got them Monday to try to help supplement my way out of the essential fatty acid deficiency my labs showed back in June (and that was only one week into the starvation diet I’ve largely been on since then).  I worry about trying them…side effects include upset stomach, abdominal pain, nausea, and diarrhea.  So basically, more of what I already have.  Errrrg.

Advertisements

anxiety better this AM, stomach worse

Yesterday was pretty stressy, no retching at least.  So no ativan.  And I did go out briefly, to the health food store to look for supplements for my essential fatty acid deficiency.  But there was lots of easily upset and concerned, far out of proportion with what was warranted environmentally.

And there was the growing discomfort and nausea.

And there was the GI doctor not calling me back again.  I’m wondering if she’s on vacation.  I would not be at all surprised.

This AM, I woke up with a little bit of that racing stressy thought shit, but I was able to control it more effectively.  Nausea and abdominal pain aside, I actually was in a nice mood this AM.  Slightly less now that I’m up and remembered I have to call the possible new GI doctor’s office in a few hours and go through that whole “cancellation/hopes up” crap, but I’m not majorly down about it.  Just slightly deflated.

Had some juice yesterday, tiny amounts, very diluted (mixed some watermelon juice in with my first liter of water, mixed some spinach juice in with my early afternoon broth).  I am wondering if last night and today’s extra upset stomach is due to that.  I hope not.

a little better yesterday, not sure yet about today

Yesterday, I woke up stressy but managed to get through the day without an ativan.  My general rule is retching from anxiety or too much nausea from general awful GI issues = ativan.  Although right now I’m trying to struggle through the nausea without taking any since I worry that I am having rebound anxiety.  I had tried not taking any benadryl the night before, to see if maybe the benadryl was having some sort of rebound effect in the AM.

It kept creeping up on me yesterday, and I managed to dodge it pretty well.  Either doing deep breathing (not convinced that helps…or that I’m doing it right) or keeping busy.  I took a walk in the AM before it got hot.  Not a long or fast walk, and there were lots of rest breaks on the way, but I wanted to try something new.  I busied my way right into two hours of pain, dizziness, and intense fatigue though by overdoing it cleaning the bathroom.  I went out with my husband to the mall and bed and bath to look for shirts for him (not a lot of luck) and juice containers for me (just bought a juicer).  I was ok in the stores, but riding in the car, between stores and on the way home, I was having anxiety again.

Last night, by a few hours before bedtime I was feeling fine anxiety-wise.  I was not feeling fine gut and headache-wise but, well, at least it wasn’t everything.  I didn’t take any benadryl again, so we’ll see how that goes today.  I woke up stressy as hell today, but did the deep breathing in bed.  I managed to work my way down after doing that for what felt like forever.  And I even got up before my husband today, which is something I haven’t done practically since this started.

My juicer came yesterday.  I’m excited to try, slowly, some juice today. I was going to start with watermelon, very watered down watermelon.

Same

Woke up today the same as yesterday AM.

I had gotten through yesterday ok though.  Not great, but I made it without taking more ativan after the 0.5 mg in the AM.  No retching after that first round, prior to the ativan.  And I was fine last night, except for the massive headache and the super low blood pressure again (71/forty something).  So we’re back to that pattern.

Today, I woke up stressy.  My husband asked what the focus of the anxiety is in the AM.  It’s hard to say, it’s less concrete than it had been…I’m hoping that is a good sign.  Less concrete and so far, (oh god please let it not progress) less severe.  But in general, it’s about health, and my food intake, which is abysmal.  I’m barely making 900 calories a day, and that comes entirely from supplemental shakes, and I’m still having upper GI motility issues even just with those.  So that is the general focal point of my anxiety when I wake up, that and fearing the day will be another bad one.  I try to use positive self talk during these morning moments, but there’s only so far that’ll take you when your body and brain are just totally jacked up.

So I got up at about 6:30 after being awake but drowsy for at least an hour, still super sleepy, but paradoxically amped up, and increasingly so as the morning wore on.  Despite having the muscle tension in my arms and shoulders (which I feel as an unpleasant warmth), I didn’t take any ativan.  I managed to make it until 10:00, then the retching started, just out of nowhere.  It’s different this time from last, in that I’m not consciously having deeply disturbing thoughts when this happens now.  It’s more of a bodily sensation and a general feeling of difficult to check concern and worry (who can blame me at this point).  I did my deep breathing, relaxation, read for a while, all that helped I suppose, but my BP was still high (for me), showing that I was still clearly stressed.  Then, when I was up and in the kitchen, I think I had just thought that I should drink another half a shake, and then the gagging started…then the retching.

Hence the 0.5 Ativan shortly after, at around 10:00.

I wish I knew what kept this in check for the last few weeks.  I know I had been taking ativan on and off for nausea during that time, but I wasn’t waking up all stressed to the max, and I was often making it until early afternoon before the nausea hit me hard.  So I can’t say that it was the ativan that was keeping this in check during that time.

I’m still wondering if this is some kind of rebound/withdrawal from the Lyrica.  I know I wasn’t on it for long, but it had quite an impact on me and this started back up after I had taken it for three days then stopped it (after the week and a half to two week hiatus, it started a day or two after I stopped the lyrica).  If it is that, then I have reason to hope that it will perhaps go away again soon.  I really hope so.

Today, I’m trying to decide if I should go out with my husband to a get together at a co-worker’s (husband’s co-worker) house.  It’s supposed to be bloody hot and we don’t know these people well enough to know how well they host…i.e. can they accommodate someone who needs to stay cool or who will get sick and possibly pass out?  But I prefer the idea of doing something today to another day of sitting inside trying to find ways to keep busy and keep focused on something other than my rotten health.  So I may try it.  We’ll see.  I still have a few hours to decide.

Oh, and my GI doctor, who I paged yesterday like she asked me to…she didn’t call back.  Again.

getting bad again

I woke up with racing stressy thoughts again today.  This is getting bad again.  I hadn’t taken an ativan since the 0.5 mg I took yesterday morning, and managed to get through the day ok, not great.  Had some bad spots, but ok.  Today, it’s only 7 and I’ve already had to take one.  I had the muscle spasms in my neck, shoulders, and arms that heralds my anxiety, then the retching started.

I’m so disappointed that this is back.  I had really thought I turned the corner on it.

rebound or relapse?

The anxiety is officially back.  It’s not terrible yet, but it’s there and it sucks.  I struggled yesterday to avoid taking any Ativan…I had been off it for a while, and had not had anxiety.  But the possible gastritis two weeks ago brought nausea, so I took it again at about 0.5 mg once or twice a day for a few days.  Then I started the Lyrica, and I stopped it again for a few days.  Then the lyrica brought nausea, so I started back on it at 0.5 mg once or twice a day.  The anxiety started a day or two after I stopped the lyrica, and I’m wondering if this is some kind of rebound from the lyrica.

Or if it’s just a relapse.  Or if it’s a dose tolerance/interdose withdrawal/rebound anxiety from the ativan.  I didn’t think I had been taking it too much, and I had gone a whole week without it prior to the gastritis…then went 4 or 5 days without it, then started again when I discontinued the lyrica and had the nausea (Saturday).  But I’ve kept it to 0.5 mg since then, and never more than twice a day.

This is very frustrating.  I don’t want to end up addicted to ativan, I’ve read that you can end up with pretty bad rebound anxiety from that, and the “rebound” includes when your body builds up a tolerance to it and your blood level dips between doses.

If this is rebound from the lyrica, then I should be able to either stick it out, maybe take the ativan very sparingly and judiciously over the next few days and it will lessen and pass, I hope.  If it’s some kind of rebound or dose tolerance from the ativan, then I’m just kind of screwed because I do need the ativan for nausea right now, so I can’t totally stop taking it right now.  And if it’s a relapse, I’m screwed because it means that I’ll be stuck taking escalating doses of ativan to help control it since I can’t tolerate the other meds we’ve tried for it.

In the meantime, I am trying to get in to see the potential new GI doctor.  I’ll be calling today to see if they had any cancellations.  Wish me luck.

Update:  no cancellations.  Trying not to be too bummed out about that.  I’ll try again tomorrow.  It’s all I can do.

from bad to worse

I had to cut my visit with my friend short yesterday on account of intense nausea.

Not to mention anxiety.  it’s not as bad as it was, but it’s creeping up and that disturbs me.  I know this is triggered by the difficulties managing my GI symptoms and diet, and the concerns about having to wait so long to see someone new.  I tell myself that I can hang on, that I’m strong, and that it’ll get better but it’s hard.

I called the potential new GI back yesterday (through nausea-gritted teeth) and asked if they had a cancellation list.  No, they told me, but it’s ok to call every morning and see if there have been any cancellations that day.  “Are you sure I won’t be a major pain in your ass if I do that?” I asked.  They assured me that I would not.

I didn’t call today because it’s supposed to be ungodly hot out today and I need to rest from yesterday.  I decided today will be a rest, rehydrate, and try to “eat” more than 600 calories.  I set my phone timer so that I can drink a half a shake every hour, if I keep it up I should get in about 4 shakes today (I have to stop “eating” by 6:30 or the reflux is terrible).

But tomorrow,  I am going to call.  I printed out my reports, I have my hopefully soon to be former GI doctor’s notes from last year (not from this year but I can get them if the new guy wants to take me on as a patient).  I feel like so much is at stake here.  At the urging of an online friend from a patient forum over at Inspire, I tried looking into the motility specialist at another of the B.A.T.H.s in town.  Well, actually what I did was call my insurance to see what I would be charged if I saw someone at the other BATH that is out of my “preferred network” (more on that in a sec) and found out that for pretty much every procedure a GI doctor would do, I would have to pay $150.  Only an ultrasound, plain x-ray, and lab testing would involve no out of pocket costs.  So endoscopy?  $150.  Ph testing?  $150.  Esophageal manometry?  $150.  Great.  I can’t afford that.

I have “good” insurance.  If my current GI doctor did any of these tests, I would have no out of pocket costs.  That’s because my current GI doctor is in the “preferred network”.  The “preferred network” exists because my insurance is through my husband’s employer, which happens to be a monster health network that comprises two of the better known BATHs in the city and several smaller hospitals to the north and west of the city (but not to the south, oh no….never down here.  The proximal southern suburbs of the big old historic city are not wealthy like the proximal western suburbs – as for the north, I’m not sure what that’s about but the monster health network managed to worm their way in up there but not down here).  Anyhow, my husband is a researcher in a lab that is part of one of the hospitals in the monster health network, and as such, he can only choose an insurance plan that has this “preferred network” shit, where you pay a lot less for going to doctors and facilities in the monster health network.

Sounds just fine, although certainly nicer if you don’t live south of the city, except that I have to see what I call “very special specialists”, and these are hard to find.  Some of them just don’t exist in the monster health network, for example, they have no autonomic neurologists in their network. They had one guy who was just starting out, but his mother got sick and he took an indefinite leave to take care of her.  The monster health network has exactly TWO motilty specialists, both at the same practice.  I see one (my current and hopefully soon to be former GI doctor), and have tried to transfer to the other but was denied that privilege by the office management.

Which leaves me very much shut out of getting the help I need.

I woke up this morning with the anxious chatter in my head again.  This is the second day of that, I hadn’t had this for a few weeks and I really thought it was over.  But I guess not. I think for a while, I’m just going to be extra susceptible to excessive anxiety during stress.  Unfortunate, to say the least.

Hopless

I’m feeling a little hopeless. I called a GI doctor I am thinking of switching to yesterday, I had called a few weeks ago and made an appointment, the first I could get when I was sure I could get a ride….in October.  Yesterday, I called to see if I could get in sooner (I’ll pay for the taxi at this point) and the soonest they could get me in is late September.

I’m feeling trapped with my current GI doctor, someone I increasingly distrust to take care of me and manage my symptoms.  For the first time in a few weeks, I’m having a return of that feeling of dread and hopelessness…

I don’t like it at all.

I’m trying to remind myself that there is a cause for this feeling right now, unlike how it was in June.  Right now, I’m down because of the doctor situation, and because I continue to lose weight, feel awful, and I have a muzzy-headed GI doctor calling the shots (questionable shots here too) at a critical time…a time which is dragging on and on.  I need to find some way to come to grips with this so it doesn’t consume me.  It’s hard.

Oh and did I mention my therapist is on vacation this week (again!?)?  Yeah.  Of course.

I’m hoping to get out today, even just for a short visit with a friend.  I think sitting around the house is not good.  It’s tough though, because most days I do feel very bad, and getting out when you feel bad is hard.  But I’m going to try.  I need to take care of my mental health as well as my physical.

Got through

Got through yesterday.  I felt pretty bad, physically but did great emotionally.  My stomach was better too (so some support for the idea that the mirtazipine was a no go on account of unexpected stomach side effects), until I decided to slurp down too much soup all at once for dinner.  Yesterday was hot, hottest day we’ve had so far this season.  And my head was swimmy.  Dizzy, headachy, and the occasional blast of blue flickering flashes.  I think I spent the day with a mild migraine.

Well, I’ll take a mild migraine over a king sized freakout/meltdown.

Today, it’s therapy and primary care.

Tomorrow, my husband’s going out after work, so I’ll be alone all day and most of the evening.  That’ll be interesting.  If I’m feeling ok, I’ll try to go out.  Hard to plan to drive somewhere when you don’t know if you’re going to be too dizzy/migrainey though.  Once I have on migraine, the next is often right around the corner, especially in the summertime.  I have a friend who says he can come over for coffee Tuesday, so that’ll be a short interlude in an otherwise lonely day if I can’t get out.

This being physically sick was shitty enough.  Having the mental health stuff on top of it is just too much.

Anxious Sunday

Went without the mirtazipine last night.  And I’m trying to forgo the ativan today.  It’s going to be tough.  I woke up stressy and anxious, and it’s just lingering.  Usually, it fades for a time in the AM after I get up (if it’s there….it had been a constant but had faded this past week) then resurges again in the late morning/early afternoon.  Today, it was there when I woke up and it’s remained and built since I’ve been up.  I’m very disappointed.  I doubt it’s a lack of mirtazipine, it’s not supposed to have psych effects this quickly.  If anything, it’s probably just a lack of general sedation that’s affecting me right now.  The mirtazipine truly is very sedating, especially this early on and at this low dose (it has a funny response curve, apparently at lower doses, the antihistamine/sedating effects are stronger…go figure).

So I’m down that this is happening today.  Today, my husband is going to pick up my good friend’s teenaged daughter from camp and we’ll have her at my house until her grandparents come at some point (this afternoon?) to pick her up on their way to Canada.  I’m stressing about my husband driving the hour up a busy highway, stressing about what I’ll do to entertain a teen, stressing about whether her grandparents will come in to visit, whether they’ll have all their pets with them (I believe they usually take the whole menagerie up to Canada with them) and where they will stay if my friend’s parents come in to visit (it’s supposed to be the hottest day of the year so far today, highs in the 90s, not ok weather to leave pets in a car).  So stress stress stress and anxious anxious anxious.

Got this song in my head….