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About Catnapper

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    Living in the South under Baptist Sharia law

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    North Carolina, U.S.A.
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  1. I"m happy to say this has become a non-issue! The ECT program I've been using is starting back up again, and my next treatment is scheduled for June 12th! I can't wait!!!
  2. Stay tuned for the next chapter, the ECT program is back up and running, and my next treatment will be on June 12th!!! I can't wait, I'm so happy!!!
  3. Finally, some excellent news to report! The ECT program is back in action and my next treatment will be Friday, June 12th. I'm so excited!!! After all the shit I've been through lately, I can make 11 more days, no problem! I never thought I would be so excited to go to the hospital, I can't wait!!! And as an added bonus, I might even get to have the treatment by the pdoc that I have a celebrity crush on!!! It's either him, Andrew Cuomo, or Dr. Fauci, all attractive older men (I'm 60)! I promise I'll behave, but no one sticks on scalp sensors quite like that pdoc does, hahaha!!!! 😄😄😄
  4. I don't know how much more of this I can take. I was in my worst depressive episode ever, and was brought out of the abyss by ECT that started in February. I was supposed to taper down to (probably monthly) maintenance treatments to prevent relapse starting in April. Then the pandemic hit and ECT was stopped due to the danger of having patients coming out from under anesthesia and coughing, which apparently happens to everyone while they're still unconscious. You can't put a mask on someone unconscious, so there's no good solution to keep everyone safe. At any rate, ECT is off the table for the time being. I see my p/tdoc weekly and he's adjusting my cocktail, but it hasn't kicked in yet. Through ECT I had become mostly better, if not all the way well, and was experiencing positive things, and now I'm all the way back down to where I was before I started ECT. It seems cruel that I could have felt so good, and then have it all go away in such a short time. My last ECT treatment was on April 3rd, and today is May 31st. Because I was feeling so much better I went back to work on May 4th, and now I'm falling apart again and have no idea how I'm going to do my job tomorrow (today is Sunday). My job is technical and complicated and challenging even when I'm at my best. I'm already dealing with the stress of being put on a 60 day probation because of my poor performance due to depression right before I had sense enough to take a medical leave of absence. I just feel broken in a million little pieces and my brain doesn't work right anymore and now what the fuck am I supposed to do? My pdoc tells me I'm resilient but this is ridiculous! There is too much pain in my head. To top it all off, I've been going through a huge amount of physical medical issues over the last months: I was already fighting this depressive episode when I had my first knee replacement last September - I was hoping that the knee pain relief would help my head get better. While still recovering from surgery and still on major pain meds I got a stomach bug and became so dehydrated that I became delirious and ended up hospitalized with acute kidney failure. After a few days my kidneys came back on line and I got to go home. As part of the emergency treatment for kidney failure, they pulled all my psych meds, which was basically like pushing me off the edge of the cliff, and put me into this full-blown depressive episode. I went back to work in October as planned, but I was too depressed and flaking out and unable to do my job so started my next medical leave in November instead of December. I had a planned leave set up for December to replace my second knee. The surgery and recovery went well, but the depression was still killing me. Mood-wise I was just getting worse so I started ECT in February and over a couple of months it really helped. About halfway through my two month initial ECT treatment, I tripped and fell and broke my wrist and ended up in the ER. The following week I was back in the ER again because of blood in my urine. Over the next several weeks they did a bunch of tests for possible bladder cancer, which all came back negative, although they did tell me I had some kidney stones, which they said didn't require treatment. About the time the hospital shut down the ECT program in April when I was just finishing up my two month initial treatment, I caught the coronavirus myself, and although I was really sick for a few weeks, I dodged a bullet and didn't get any respiratory symptoms. But I had to wear my wrist cast for a few extra weeks since they wouldn't take it off while I had an active infection. I went back to work on May 4th (working remotely from home), and have been barely hanging in there. Like I said earlier, I'm on a 60 day probation period due to my lack of performance because of heading downhill fast before I took off on medical leave. Last Thursday, May 28th, I ended up in the ER (again!!!) first thing in the morning because I was going through the incredible pain and stomach upset of passing a kidney stone. I sent my boss a picture of my discharge instructions so he wouldn't think I was just laying out of work. I was physically okay again on Friday. It's all just overwhelming me and my mood has totally tanked. I want to quit my job and just drive out west (where I used to live) and maybe that will stop all this pain in my head. But I live alone and really need the paycheck so that doesn't make any sense, although why anything has to make any sense at this point is beyond me. At least quitting would prevent the ignominy of being fired. My pdoc takes great care of me, and I have good friends who love me, and although they know I have a serious mental illness, they don't really understand what that means. It would only scare them to death to know how bad things have gotten, so I won't do that to them, and hopefully I can survive till Wednesday which is when I have my next weekly p/tdoc appointment. This is so hard. I just want the pain to stop. Thank you for being here.
  5. I've thought about this a little more and realize it wouldn't be a good idea to have him reciprocate and tell me what's bothering him, as others have pointed out here. I don't have any need to know his personal business. I think what's more important and within reasonable boundaries is to occasionally find out some basic things about him, or about his earlier research work. I've asked questions in the past along the lines of "What was your favorite subject in school?" or "What kind of music do you like?" I stay away from anything personal or political or religious, but a little bit of understanding about his interests makes him seem more human to me, and less like I'm talking into a void. But I only ask questions every once in a while, and we don't talk about them for very long.
  6. Yes, it seems odd to me, too. And what makes it more strange to me is that although my regular p/tdoc knows me really well and it would be impossible to replicate our relationship, ECT treatment is a 3-D physical medical procedure with just 5 - 10 minutes spent talking to the pdoc ahead of the procedure. There are three pdocs that rotate in and out, so from my perspective it's much more akin to a heart or kidney problem.
  7. Thank you all for your replies and sharing your experiences. I brought the subject up in this week's therapy and we talked about it for a little while. At some level I think I will always feel a certain amount of guilt for sharing the darkest part of my being with him without reciprocating. He has literally saved my life, and still is, and at the risk of using all these worn-out phrases and sounding like a Hallmark movie, I'll never be able to repay him. In my rational mind I realize that on some level this is a business relationship and I'm paying for the services of a trained professional, but still to me, rightly or wrongly, it's a lot more than that. My p/tdoc acknowledged my feelings as he always does, and said that he's glad to be able to help me and that it's rewarding for him to see his patients get better. I asked what was the longest time he's treated someone, and he said he's had some patients stay with him since he moved to this area about 12 years ago. He said that having long-term relationships with some of his patients is one of the most satisfying parts of his job. This all ties into one of the issues I'm working on with him, which is my ability (or lack thereof) to accept help when it's available. I'm lucky to have found him. One of the few goods things I've experienced during the quarantine is that during our telemedicine appointments, I've gotten to see his two cats in person (more or less). In our last appointment the cat walked by close to the camera, and then her tail blocked the camera a few times, which was a nice break and lightened the mood a bit.
  8. I'm having weekly meetings with my boss and the HR rep, and today's didn't go very well. It seems funny that earlier in the week I was optimistic. Today I feel like I'm getting set up to be fired. My boss had really detailed notes of how in his view l prioritized my work incorrectly, and I don't entirely disagree with him. Since I've started slipping back downhill, I can feel my concentration leaving me. ECT was working really well for me, but has been temporarily stopped due to the coronavirus. My regular pdoc has added Viibryd to my cocktail, and I'm hoping it kicks in soon. I found out today that another big project run by one of my coworkers will probably be cancelled. If/when that happens, I'll probably be out the door as they'll have to cut someone, and now there's documented evidence that I'm at the top of the list. I'll be 61 in June, and I really wish I could just retire, but I can't afford to yet. I'm sick of all this stress!
  9. I have been going to the same p/tdoc for over three years now, and although I have had some pdocs for longer, I've never had much luck with therapy so never have had such a long-term relationship with a therapist. In retrospect, this is the first meaningful relationship I've ever had with a therapist. I'm 60, and had my first psychiatric treatment (of any kind) when I was 40. I had two tdocs early on for about one year each, but I gave up on therapy since it didn't seem to help. I have consistently been under the care of a pdoc since 40, although there have been multiple pdocs due to moving and pdoc retirements. Now that I've been talking with this p/tdoc for all this time, it occurs to me what a strange relationship it is. He arguably knows me better than anyone else, although if you add up three years of one hour sessions, it's not really that long of a time. I care for him very deeply, although not in an erotic way, and the deeper our relationship grows, the stranger it seems that it's so one-sided. I know a few basics about him - he's married, doesn't have kids, is a music lover, etc., but I never have (and never will) see how he acts around other people, know his opinions on what's going on in the world, know what kind of problems he's having, or any of the rest of his life. He continues to take excellent care of me, and I thank him for it often. Our relationship is just as it's supposed to be by the rule book, but on some level it's disturbing to me to tell him all my darkest problems and not reciprocate by hearing about his. Have you had this feeling about your tdoc, and how have you dealt with it?
  10. This post could go in a few different forums, but I put it here in the hopes to get more views. It has to do with switching ECT providers temporarily because my initial ECT provider has shut down due to the coronavirus. I have found another program nearby that's still operating, so as a courtesy and because I like to keep everything in the open, I asked both my regular pdoc and my ECT pdoc if they thought it would be a problem if I went to the new place for treatment until the old ECT place opens back up. They both agreed that I was free to choose my treatment providers. My regular pdoc didn't think it was a good idea because as he said, "Too many cooks spoil the soup". However, he has given me the required referral to the new program and sent over my records. He's okay with doing an initial consultation with a new ECT doctor, although he's not thrilled with me starting the actual physical treatment there and then returning to the old program. The actual physical ECT treatment is tweaked on a regular basis depending on the patient's response, so there's a possibility that a new program could switch things around quite a bit. The ECT pdoc never really answered the question and said she has never been in a situation where she has had a patient start with their program, switch to a different program temporarily, and then return. Her recommendation was to follow the advice of my regular pdoc because he knows me the best. The more I have thought about the call with the ECT pdoc, the more I have wondered why her response wasn't something like, "We're thrilled that ECT has helped you, and we're sorry our program is temporarily shut down, but we're happy to coordinate with a new provider and will welcome you back for further treatment once our program resumes treatment." Although I have spoken with the coordinator at the new place, I haven't talked with any of their doctors yet, so it's possible the new ECT pdoc may refuse to treat me and this could become a non-issue, but in the meantime I'm trying to understand my existing doctors' reasoning. Do you think it's unreasonable for me to expect that both my regular pdoc and the ECT pdoc would support me in an attempt to continue treatment that is clearly beneficial to me?
  11. Thank you all for your replies. After a few more meetings at work (remotely), I feel better about my situation. Since I was off on medical leave at the end of last year, I didn't complete the employee part of my performance evaluation, so I got the worst possible rating, which resulted in zero bonus for me. My boss and I met last week (without HR) to do our belated end-of-year review, and set goals for this year. Our meeting went a lot better than I expected, and he said (and I believe him, he's a good guy), that if he'd known a bad rating would have resulted in zero bonus, he would have spoken up for me. Since I got a good mid-year evaluation last year, I said I didn't think it was right that I should get no bonus at all, and my boss agreed, and agreed to bring it up with HR. That left me feeling a lot better about things, because I assume if they were going through all this just to check off all the procedural boxes before they fire me, the meetings would be as short as possible and my boss would have no interest in pursuing my bonus. They may still fire me, or course, and if they decide to do furloughs or layoffs, I'm sure I'll be at the top of the list, but whatever, I can't worry about it anymore. It just stresses me out, and as the old saying goes, those who worry suffer twice. As far as FMLA, I used up last year's (it's good for 12 weeks), and have already used up this year's allotment as well. I spoke with an employment lawyer last year and her take on things was that because it's "employment at will", I don't stand much of a chance if they cut me loose, and the best I could hope for would be an enhanced severance package. So for now, that also falls under things that I'm going to try like hell not to worry about. I just finished week three of work after returning from my medical leave, and I'm doing okay, and managing to keep up. Hopefully I can resume maintenance ECT in the near future, and in the meantime my pdoc, who I also see weekly for therapy, has added Viibryd to my cocktail. I'm very thankful I have a job at all at this point, both because of the current economic situation and my past (lack of) performance. And I'm really glad I have this board to come and sort things out to prevent me from getting trapped only in my head.
  12. I'm glad you finally got your appointments sorted out. Everyone here is dealing with enough problems as it is without having all these changes to how you see your doctor thrown in on top of everything else!
  13. An amazing story! Just being out of the sight of land freaks me out (have been on two cruises), so I can't imagine being out there solo with no landmarks!
  14. Thanks, all, for your replies. Viibryd it is, and I took my first 10 mg pill earlier today. I woke up in the middle of the night Thursday/early Friday morning, and would have offed myself if I could have summoned the energy to get out of bed. I called my pdoc and left a message Friday morning, the last word of which was, "Help." He's great about calling back so I talked to him that afternoon and started on Viibryd today. I'm not suicidal anymore, at least at this moment, and I hope the Viibryd works. My pdoc also does therapy, so it is a relief to know that I will talk to him again on Wednesday afternoon. (It's Sunday night right now.)
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