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Geek

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About Geek

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    living better through chemistry

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  1. Both my pdoc and tdoc use https://doxy.me/ which is a free, HIPAA-compliant telemedicine site. Tech-wise it's okay. I appreciate that I didn't have to download any software or create a login. They sent me a personalized URL. I went to the URL a couple minutes before my appointment, and there's kind of a "waiting room" - and it let them know I was there. When they were ready, they switched things on. The picture was clear and so was the audio, little to no lag. I wore a headset for the sessions, so that the mic wouldn't pick up the audio, but neither of them did that so the software seems to be smart enough to not require a headset. So... tech-wise, it's okay. I hate it though. They both wear glasses when they're doing this, I suppose because they need readers to see the screens - but they don't normally wear glasses in session. Also, these glasses then show reflections of the screens or windows or whatever so it's even harder to see their eyes. I hate that I can't see their whole body. I rarely look at my tdoc's face (I tend to study her shoes), but now there's no choice. And when I try to talk about something hard... I can't feel them in the room. So I'm still alone, and that sucks.
  2. @Catnapper, I am about to start ECT this week, hopefully, for the second time. I live alone too. I intend to get at least the first 6-ish treatments (about 2 weeks) while inpatient. When I did this 4 years ago, I was discharged after 10 days into the care of some friends who then promptly left me alone for the weekend. I was so overwhelmed with a poor memory and self care I went back and got re-admitted for the remainder of the index treatment. Which is not to say your experience will be the same, but don’t be afraid to go IP. It’s a safety thing, if you don’t have the social supports. They can get insurance to cover it because of that. The other thing is even if it has memory impacts like that, the worst will get better very quickly as you reduce the frequency of the treatments. My Pdoc would say, to your fears, that ECT is by far the most effective treatment and the fastest treatment for treatment resistant depression. There’s also some evidence that it can cause some changes that improve response to medications.
  3. Keep lots of lists and use alarms on your phone. A list on the fridge saying what and when you last ate. An alarm (ideally labelled) for when to take meds and which ones. Start doing these things now to develop the discipline to actually use them and not brush off with “in a minute”. Lists are useful because you (or others) can reference them later and see that you did (or didn't) eat, etc. Do you have someone you could call or text with briefly every day? To check in with, to orient you, etc. Also to help you I couldn’t remember what I did the day before. It was worst when I was getting more frequent treatments (2-3x/week). Keeping a journal of how you're feeling and when will be helpful to direct treatment. You won't remember, so write it down. If you have appointments with other doctors (e.g. your outpatient pdoc) while you're getting the index treatment, take a friend and a notebook. Write everything down. Expect to sleep most of the day of treatment. If you have breathing issues and use a rescue inhaler, you may want to use it prior to treatment. That helped me a lot. If you have had anesthetic before, let the docs know what your experience of it was. For example, I got zofran in my IV and a painkiller, because even the small amount of anesthesia was enough to get me vomiting and/or leave me with a horrid headache. Adding this to the IV means it's already working when you wake up. During prep, when they tell you to go pee - make sure you really do empty your bladder. Otherwise you'll be sad later It's really scary. It's okay to be scared. Let the nurses and doctors know that you're scared - even if you're in a kind of assembly line (as is typical at the hospital I had treatments at), they're still caring people. My first time I was so scared I was nearly in tears but then the nice nurse who prepped me came in and held my hand while they put me out.
  4. Weekly pill boxes for each time of day. I fill them on Thursday nights because I see my pdoc on Friday. If I need a refill, I know then. My pharmacy is in the same building as pdoc's office. I currently take meds 4x/day. I try to tie the dosing to routine times. Getting up (take when I use the bathroom after waking in the morning), going to bed, lunch time and when I get home from work. The middle doses are harder to manage with a flexible schedule. I use an alarm on my phone to make sure they happen at the same time every day, no matter if I'm working or not. Like someone else, I hit snooze if I can't take them right then. It takes discipline to not dismiss the alarm. It's worth it. I still miss my meds sometimes. The pill boxes let me know if that's why I feel poorly - or, conversely, if it's not why I feel poorly.
  5. Yup! They're solidly normal I saw that doc later... after a full hour with her, answering really uncomfortable questions, she told me that I tick all the boxes and have all the thought processes of an anorexic, except for the weight part. She wanted to do some metabolic testing to see what's going on... but she was out of network and I had no money. So we still don't know what's going on. The nutritionist she wanted me to see was similarly expensive, and I wasn't ready to do the work so... *shrug* maybe one day. I've also since been diagnosed with PCOS, which may also contribute to difficulty losing weight. My gdoc wants me to try a hormonal IUD for that. I have texture issues with some foods, so I get that in a way. Also... when we met up I will admit I thought some of how you were talking about (or maybe thinking about) food sounded possibly ED? But I'm no expert. I know it's hard to find the balance. Although my balance must include steak
  6. Traditionally, we Canucks would say that as "sorry, eh?"
  7. Geek

    Questions Thread

    I'll have a big dry erase calendar that shows the whole year. It will get hung on my cube wall. Branded with the logo of the company I work for. I'll mark it up with days I'm off, and major days relating to my project(s). Do you continue any <insert holiday of your choice> traditions from your childhood and what are they?
  8. My new gdoc recently recommended I consider a hormonal IUD. She says it would help with my PCOS-related irregular periods - and that lots of people with them end up with no period. I can't say I'm opposed to no period. I also get pretty bad PMDD some months, so that would be helpful too I guess? I don't need birth control. But... shrug. Does anyone have one of these? The Planned Parenthood website listed like 4 different ones that last anywhere from 3-7 years. How do you choose? Did it hurt getting it placed? I am really not excited about shoving something up my cervix. I have trouble with just a speculum. 😓
  9. I have recently had this conversation with my Tdoc! A couple of times. She would say this: Thinking about what your Tdoc would say or do or recommend in a given situation is called internalizing them, and it's the goal/a good thing. Thinking about your Tdoc between sessions in general - wanting to see him, tell him about how things are going - that's normal too. Your Tdoc is an important part of your life. Thinking about wanting to hang out with your Tdoc as friends, wanting your Tdoc to be your parent, and/or feeling sexually attracted to your Tdoc is also normal. There's nothing wrong with the thoughts, and again, kind of indicate you're making progress in some ways. It only becomes inappropriate if you or he act on those thoughts. It's a good idea to try to talk about these thoughts with your Tdoc, to address/analyze the unmet need behind them.
  10. Wondering how you’re doing. Like @jarn I take gabapentin for anxiety. It does seem to help, mostly with the kind of constant underlying panic. I take 600mg at breakfast & lunch, then 1200mg when I get home from work (so it can help reduce post-work anxiety enough to sleep).
  11. Early 30s here. Never been in a relationship. I want to be - desperately, sometimes. But depression, social anxiety, and almost non-existent self esteem get in the way. I can't even figure out how to do face-to-face friendships, so... No advice. Just commiseration.
  12. I've been taking gabapentin for anxiety for a little while. I titrated up to 600mg 2x/day (breakfast & lunch), and 1200mg when I get home from work in the evenings. The effect, for me, is subtle. But I do have less overwhelming anxiety on a daily basis and I have an easier time settling down for sleep at night. Less dread about the upcoming day.
  13. Cheese - what if they can help? What if they can get the messages from the universe to tone down? Or confirm to husband how bad is bad? Worried about you. Phones suck, I totally agree. But it sounds like you're in a lot of pain and overwhelmed and maybe you can try to pull together just a few seconds of being really brave to initiate the phone call that might help change things.
  14. jarn, it sounds like for all that he's conservative, your new pdoc is responsive and that's good. I'm really glad you have Toby, too. Happy thanksgiving. Keep us updated.
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