I have melancholia!
I don’t have anxiety!
I have hysteria!!
Man, back in the early 20th Century they knew how to name things!!
In any case, I have passed through my recent depression and anxiety storm. Not easily, of course, as they never give up without a fight, do they?
I wound up being off work for five weeks. During that time I spoke to many GPs and saw a psychiatrist (I can never spell the word correctly the first time. It’s a total block in my spelling centres.) I had a very long, over an hour, consultation with the psychiatrist, which is miraculous. You’re usually lucky to get 20 minutes!
Anyway, she listened to my entire history and to all the things that have been happening in the last 2 – 3 years. Things like the estrangement from my mother, my step mother’s death, COVID (bloody hell COVID), getting COVID, being diagnosed with sarcoidosis, and my dad dying. Her exact words were “That’s a lot!” And she was right.
She was also really happy about the meds I was on. GPs had already told me that they couldn’t increase any of my meds, as if they did it could cause something called a serotonin syndrome. It’s a condition that is caused by too much serotonin in your system. Too much of that usually very useful chemical: –
“causes signs and symptoms that can range from mild (shivering and diarrhea) to severe (muscle rigidity, fever and seizures). Severe serotonin syndrome can cause death if not treated.”(Mayo Clinic Online, https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/serotonin-syndrome/symptoms-causes/syc-20354758, retrieved 12th October 2023)
So not a good thing. Maybe I shouldn’t have it tattooed on my back with dopamine? 😀
Anyway, increasing my meds, any of my meds, was not an option. As I said, the psychiatrist was really happy with the meds and the doses I was on. Her conclusion? Nothing to do but get through it.
Sounds like kind of crappy advice from a doctor who specialises in this sort of thing, yeah? Except it was actually what I needed to hear. I wasn’t instantly no longer depressed or anxious, but at least I knew I was doing everything I could to get through it. Or was I?
See, the other thing that lovely psychiatrist said was that I had never really worked through my sarcoidosis diagnosis. (‘Scuse the rhyme.) She could tell, and she was right, that I am the kind of person who doesn’t just say ‘oh okay, I have that’ but that I am the kind of person who says ‘Huh, what is that?” And starts investigating, and I hadn’t done that with the sarcoidosis. I have no idea why but she was right. I never had.
Now, currently, my sarcoidosis is very mild. Even when I flare it is nothing more than a slightly harder cough and exhaustion, which, of course, could be fibromyalgia (which is another word I can never spell). And day to day is nothing more than an almost constant throat clearing cough. Not even constant, actually. Occasional. So I dismissed it as no big deal.
Except it is a big deal. It’s a life changing, possibly life limiting condition that I will have for the rest of my life. On top of my Fibromyalgia, Arthritis and Type 2 Diabetes. I used to have a trifecta. Now I have a quartet!
So I start looking more into sarcoidosis and started to feel mentally better. I started acting mentally better, which my husband noticed almost immediately. I started knitting more, spending time in my home office *finally* tidying it up, (it’s horrible, it really is, FEMA will fly over any day and declare it a disaster area) and went back to the GP for *something* to let me sleep.
Because that was also a big issue. Bad sleep. As in can’t fall asleep before 12, awake at least once a night (getting older is hell) to pee, not falling back to sleep after that for at least an hour and then up at 7, at least during the school year.
All of the sleep aids I’d been given, which included Ambien among others, made it impossible for me to function the next day. I was offered melatonin but the one time I took it I woke up with a very bad headache. The GP gently suggested that might have been something else and that I should try it again. So I have been,
And it’s been working. At least to some extent. I definitely fall asleep faster. I usually wake up at least once a night for the toilet (see above, aging) but I do fall back to sleep almost instantly. I’ve even woken up a couple of times just before the alarm went off!
So I’m back to work this week and have actually been in my office three of the four days I worked. I worked from home one day, which is totally okay with my boss and my company. I got lots done in the office and I came home from work nearly every day not totally exhausted! Wednesday I had to even tell myself to stop because I felt like I was raring to go and knew that I would pay for that later.
I also realised, as I started to feel better, that I’d been feeling rotten for more than a few months. Probably from before I caught COVID, which I consider the point of Everything Going To Hell. Why I, or even Simon, never realised it is beyond me.
So, here’s today’s Tee’s Tip of The Day:
If you can’t seem to do what you used to do? Figure out why that is. And don’t assume it’s just because of all of your current conditions. Could be a new one! Could be a worsening one! Try to find out, mmm’kay?
And learn how to spell psychiatrist and fibromyalgia without using autocorrect!