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PTSD, OCD, Anxiety ridden Insomniac. Rx'd it all to no avail...


Guest medical.enigma

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Guest medical.enigma

background:

i had a strong bout with religious/ritual OCD ~15 years ago (constant praying, counting, avoiding cracks in the sidewalk...) but overcame it myself before college. i personally believe it was fueled by constant pressure and drive to be the best academically (i'm intelligent enough) and athletically (not genetically large/strong enough, but i got it done and succeeded through constant training and hard work). graduated in the top 5% of my high school class but could not afford my state University of choice and had to settle for the "suitcase school". since my reward disappeared, i just quit applying myself scholastically but graduated in 4 years with a "C" average while working full time and playing collegiate baseball (non-scholarship), but i was much happier.

began my dream job as a police officer and did very well by the numbers, actually too well, if you know what i mean. loved my job, woke up in the morning and said to myself, "dude... i gotta go on duty in an hour... HELL YEAH!" i crossed the mayor and chief of police one day when i refused to drop charges on their golfing buddy (and major cash pony) after i stopped him on traffic and he got out of his escalade and immediately landed a hay maker and we rolled around in the road, stopping traffic for a few minutes. we were 2 miles from the jail and the chief was sitting at home waiting for me on the phone when we arrived... i stood my ground but paid for it with harassment for a year, all until my world flipped upside down:

i stopped a dwi and the occupants all bolted. while i was talking to dispatch, the driver slammed a corona bottle over my head and took possession of my duty weapon. we rolled and fought on the ground for what seemed like hours and he fired two shots six inches from my face, in front of my eyes, right to left. long story short, i won the fight, reclaimed my pistol and fired at the suspect as he attempted to run me over before he fled the scene.

i was blindsided when a friend at the DA's office called that morning to inform me that the mayor and chief's buddy and his lawyer were at the courthouse at 8am attempting to have his charges dismissed... all while i was still on the scene, answering questions and going through the routine of my ordeal. the chief is notified of every officer involved shooting as soon as possible, it appears he notified his friend who was facing assault on a police officer charges as well.

i was suspended w/out pay and indicted for assault with a deadly weapon for firing at the suspect who just attempt to put two bullets in my brain and then run me over. 9 months later, a jury was hung for hours (later interviews said it was 5-1 not guilty) until the one loony cop hater exhausted the rest with his mouth and they were all ready to go home.

my life literally crashed. i lost my job, my home, $40k of savings to support myself through the trial, nearly all my friends and had my face on every news channel damning me for an enormous political nightmare that no one knew about and a crime i did not commit. the suspect who nearly killed me was an illegal alien with a mile long criminal history for everything under the sun but homicide and he went scott free nearly crossing that one off his list.

my college degree was worthless. i had zero money and no friends, save a few who really knew the details and truth of the matter. it took me a year to find a job thanks to my new criminal record, but it's a great one. it's much safer, less political drama and nearly double what i was making working the streets and putting my life on the line. in that time frame i actually lost a few close friends/brother's in arms in the line of duty as well.

this whole mess has left me with PTSD, the bitter taste of betrayal, massive anxiety over the thought of losing my amazing new job (cutbacks have been abundant) because it would be nearly impossible to find anything for a few years to support my family on. the anxiety feels like the first time you ever were locked into your first real BIG roller coaster and you could hear the clicking of the chains and cars as it climbed the first huge drop... no turning back, you're locked in, you're gonna take this ride whether you like it or not... i experience that every day, all day. when i get out of bed, brush my teeth and walk to my truck to head to work, i feel like i've already ran a marathon. heart pounding, sweating, muscles collapsing, just weak. and then i work an eight to sixteen hour day. i don't sleep, at all. if i get an hour a day, that's progress. normally i go 3 days without any sleep (all while working, taking care of the kids and wife) before i can get a good 4-8 hours of sleep in.

9 months ago my doctor ran some blood tests and found that i had low testosterone (102 where 500 is average). we tried injections, androgel creams, nothing worked. he sent me to a urologist who re-ran some blood work and came to the same conclusion but added that my pituitary gland was not producing it's hormones to trigger the testosterone production. so he scheduled me for an MRI to check for tumors or damage around the pituitary, I had two. negative. my file was then sent to an endocrinologist who called two weeks later to advise me that after going over my file, he couldn't help me, there was no reason to even come into his office. so, that's where i am today, a dead end on all that.

i have been seeing a therapist and a separate (i'm not sure her official title) lady who prescribes medication. i've been on lexapro, cymbalta, and about 5 other drugs i see advertised on tv whose names escape me at the moment, then back to lexapro with buspar added. no change in PTSD symptoms, anxiety or insomnia.

as for the insomnia, i began on ambien cr and it was amazing, really worked well for a while... until it didn't at all. switched to lunesta, then seroquel, then trazadone with melatonin on top. all rubish, didn't even phase me. now, i'm back on the ambien (zolpiedem 10mg) but it takes 30-40mg minimum to even make me feel the slightest drowsy. as an example, i don't drink nearly at all, maybe once a month or three... but i have a big day tomorrow (today?) and had a long week, so i drank a six pack and took 20mg of zolpiedem before racking out for the night and i've been laying here with the tv on mute for 4 hours.

all of this is causing massive amounts of issues in my marriage. partly because my wife just doesn't (and can't possibly) understand what i'm going through. she complains that i'm not taking care of myself because i'm gaining weight and the zolpiedem sometimes makes me sleep eat. she thinks i'm an all out nutcase and that i'm playing the "victim" role rather than just "sucking it up." meanwhile, i'm the sole breadwinner who works 70 hours a weak and sleeps about 8 hours (in that week).

the ONLY thing that seems to make me feel "alive" and happy again is 500mg of Nuvigil in the morning. when i take the Nuvigil, i'm the happiest and friendliest person i have been in my entire life. i am more productive, i get everything done and more, and i still have energy to entertain and bond with my toddler when i get home. to clarify, my sleeping problems have been ongoing for years (since my shooting) but i have only been on the Nuvigil for a few months. the problem is that it's extremely expensive under my insurance (who doesn't cover much) and i don't think i can continue to afford it.

questions:

-what is the difference between Nuvigil and Adderal? i asked my Rx'er but she kinda brushed off the Adderal idea and just moved along the conversation. sometimes i get the feeling that i'm being prescribed meds that might not necessarily fit my needs but are being pushed due to the "big pharm business" and kickbacks or other reasons. Would Adderal benefit me as well or better than the Nuvigil?

-what of the lexapro and buspar? in all the 12 or 15 antidepressant/antianxiety meds i've used over the years, nothing, ABSOLUTELY nothing has helped or gave me even the placebo illusion of change. what else is there? should i just give it all up and save money?

my fears:

i don't want to lose my career, and most importantly my marriage and my precious son over an illness i did not invite. i'm not a heroin junkie. you wouldn't call a child with down-syndrome a "retard" in hate, you wouldn't tell your mother just diagnosed with breast cancer that she's a "freak and you deserve it", you wouldn't tell a homosexual that "god hates fags" to his face. why do people blame, insult and villainize people with psychological illnesses beyond their control? it just amazes me...

well, there's my story in a nutshell. if you care to comment with some advice or suggestions, please do. thanks for your time.

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Oh...my...that is quite the history. You should be proud of yourself for rising above all of that and finding a new job, keeping your family together, then moving forward. I am less sure than are you that you have reached a dead-end.

From my own experience finding and maintaining an adequate medication regime is ongoing: it is not a once-shot but rather an ongoing process.

Best wishes. Indigo

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You've had some adversity. I'm glad you made it through.

If you ask a simple question on the differences between Nuvigil and Adderall in the ADHD forum, you'll likely get the answers you are seeking.

If you have been thru 15 meds for depression w/o success, it might be time to change psychiatrists to get a fresh perspective. I'd definitely keep up with the therapy. It's usually beneficial under all circumstances.

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It might also be time for a psychopharmacologist, who can work more closely with you and with more daring and/or unusual combinations to get you some symptom relief. You might ask your pdoc if they would refer or consult with one for you if you have a good rel.

Anna

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