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Totally just confessed to my psych nurse via fax

I realize that there are a lot of people with serious mental illness that go to this office (one of the doctors basically specializes in severe mood disorders, and this psych nurse writes papers for academic journals talking about thought disorders - basically, in her case, the psychotic stuff rather than dementia, etc.)  But I kind of suspect that I’m way above the usual level of “weird patient” for this particular staff anyway.

Does anyone else fax their doctors?

I actually really recommend faxing doctors, etc., BTW, if you can’t bear to call them or visit (or if they don’t let you leave messages after hours.) It gets there much faster, they almost always have a specific process for handling “patient correspondence,” and you can fax stuff for free from here if you need to, so it’s just as easy as email and you can put in an image with your signature to prove you sent it if you’re as obsessive about that kind of thing as I am.  Also, doctors in general just like faxes - they think it’s much more secure (from a privacy standpoint) than email, and it’s almost always more clear than a voicemail message.  They fax each other all the time.  My psych nurse and the doctor she replaced won’t accept emails even from other providers, no matter how many releases I’ll sign - the only one in the office that takes them is the doctor who does mood disorders, and this is probably half of why my therapist adores her and wishes I’d move to her from the psych nurse.  Actually, my regular doctor also adores her - she’s kind of a legend in the community.  But my regular doctor doesn’t take emails from patients - don’t know if she emails other providers.  Every last one of them takes faxes, in any case.

Most notably, about a year and a half ago I faxed an extended break-up letter to D, the DBT therapist I really dislike only in part because I hate DBT - she’s the one who taught me why I hate it, so yeah.  I told my support group about this a few weeks back, and now they all think I’m kind of insane, which it usually takes something really weird to do given that everyone in the room has a diagnosis of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, etc. - and I’m almost the only one who’s never had an actual proper suicide attempt or been fully hospitalized, so I also have a higher bar to get over with this crowd.

Filed under doctor mental illness medicine fax yes they actually still have fax machines I use the one at work about ten times a week mostly for medical stuff weirdly enough insurance companies like faxes too for that matter so do banks boring industries live in 1983 it appears this surprises me more than it really ought to actually

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Not looking forward to my appointment with my psych nurse on Wednesday.

Because I have to tell her:

  • I ran out of the Cymbalta 30s that she gave me (she gave me two big bags of boxes of samples, and it was ultimately about 10 days less than what I needed,) so I skipped a day thinking I could do my old 60s every other day and that is not working and so I’m back up to 60 tomorrow because this entire day (starting about 36 hours after my last dose of 30) was absolutely awful, including virtually every single symptom of SSRI discontinuation syndrome.  It’s mostly gone now - or at least so much better I don’t feel completely crappy - about 11 hours after my dose of 60.
  • I did not increase my Lamictal XR to 225.  Being in the ER, having days of incredibly awful nausea, etc., just completely put me off trying to deal with it.

Some of the reasons this is not something I’m looking forward to:

  • I was the one who really wanted to go up on the Lamictal (because I think it will help more than adding a fourth anti-depressant,)
  • I could have called to ask for more samples of the 30s but didn’t,
  • I could have really asked her to write an actual script for the 30s but didn’t, and 
  • I didn’t consult with her (including sending a fax, etc.,) before making these decisions (mostly because her office staff is really incompetent, but also because they weren’t “decisions” so much as “oh crap I can’t do this,” and “oh crap I don’t have these meds and I’m supposed to have done such-and-such with my dose,” etc.,) which bothers me because
  • I am always Miss Talk To Your Doctor Before Doing Things Like This, and that’s because
  • You’re supposed to talk to your flipping doctor before doing things like this!

I am only a little bit less annoyed with myself because I kept (semi-rationally) saying to myself that there must be more boxes with sample 30s of the Cymbalta and that I just wasn’t focused enough while looking for them (ER visit, intense vertigo, etc.) and was going to very very seriously take care of that this weekend.  And because my primary care physician, therapist, ER nurse, and several other medical types all know about the Lamictal part of it at least.

I will be much less annoyed with myself if I totally do a good job actually honestly telling her about it.  I’m seriously considering faxing her office, actually, with a confession about it, just to be absolutely certain I tell her.

(This kind of thing is one of the reasons my primary care doctor isn’t thrilled with my psych nurse right now - I’m arguably much too disorganized to be handed plastic bags full of sample boxes, instead of an actual script being sent automatically to the mail-order pharmacy and arriving in a single bottle which I have been trained to immediately take upstairs and put in the medicine box for the next time I do a round of pill sorting.  Heck, I’m only 90% certain I didn’t actually tell her I was going to lay off the Lamictal increase; my memory hasn’t been playing nicely with all these other symptoms.)

Filed under Cymbalta Lamictal medication mental illness medicine honesty SSRI discontinuation syndrome

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World Mental Health Day: Separate But Equal (PsychCentral)

In some of the same ways, mental health care in America suffers from the same “separate but equal” in our healthcare system. Mental health treatment is conducted in a parallel system that is often disconnected from regular medical treatment.

Because of this, patient care suffers.

I believe it’s time to lead a revolution in mental health care in America.

Filed under MIAW Mental Illness Awareness Week World Mental Health Day WMHD mental health health healthcare mental disorder mental illness medicine

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I’m in!

I have a piece of cast iron sitting on my stove with water in it to ensure that I’ll make this quick (this kind of hostage-taking is necessary to keep me on schedule.)  I’m doing the longitudinal study!  It lasts 10 years, not 5, and I’ll pretty much break even or be slightly on the side of “spending money” rather than “making money,” but whatever.  I’m scheduled to be in Ann Arbor on the 9th.  First time I’ll have been there since I was about 11 years old.  There’s going to be a blood draw (boo) but I warned them I’m a hard stick and tend to pass out, so they should be ready.

They also, by the way, let me call them instead of the other way around, which is good for my social anxiety issues since I never answer the phone.  And there’s free parking, which is sweet given that I’m going to have to get a hotel room.  ^_^  Anyway, off to making dinner with me.

(Is anyone else curious to see whether somebody has used the tag “trypanophobia” on Tumblr before?)

Filed under research bipolar longitudinal study medicine psychiatric genetics trypanophobia

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I walk funny.

On the very long list of things that should have given my parents and doctors a head’s up that Demeter isn’t just kind of goofy but actually has, like, brain issues, is the fact that I walk funny.

This is actually a common thing in ADHD (and a bunch of other developmental disorders.)  I was a toe walker continuously - to this day I have to remember to walk heel-to-toe and if I’m the least bit excited or nervous or distracted I don’t.  I had to teach myself to swing my arms when I walk when I was in my late teens.  I also walk much, much faster than most people do - even though I’m quite a bit overweight, and am pretty darned scared of people, I can zip through a crowd at a fair or a theme park and leave everyone else in my party wondering how it was possible (and how long it’ll take me to notice that they’re not with me anymore.)  As long as it’s not a straight run in open country, I have a decided, and totally unintentional, advantage.  The fact that I wobble and am actually landing on a different place on each foot each time I take a step is, well, secondary (you should see what happens to my shoes.)

Anyway.  If you also walk funny, don’t feel bad.  It’s actually a thing; you’re totally not alone.

Filed under adhd medicine psychology gait neurology weirdly normal