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Losing control, completely non-functional


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Let's see, life has gone to hell relatively quickly.  My grandpa is in the hospital, his heart and kidneys are failing.  Serious stuff at any age, extremely serious at 93.  He seems remarkably upbeat about all of his health problems, on the last visit his comment was "I'm afraid I just might make it."  This was in between flirting with the nurses and singing in Polish.  I think he just might make it too, at this point in time another year would be spectactular.

Needless to say this touched off all sorts of problems in the anxiety arena.  It sent me in to a tailspin and I went to the walk in clinic for some emergency ativan.  I haven't needed any in 6 months or so.  After the typical song and dane about seeing my gp I was presribed a few pills and went away.

Now, this would all be well and good if I could get in contact with my doctor.  I can't.  Not even a recorded message saying that his office is closed for the next decade or so.  Nothing.  My BP is in no way under control, we were supposed to meet and re-evaluate my topamax dosage after a month on 75mg.

A month has come and gone and I had to go to the walk in clinic to get a refill.  They won't up my dosage because that has to be done by my gp.  Well, I can't get a hold of my fucking gp!  Last night I went in there in a nasty mood that had been going on for several days.  At this point in time I'm hypomanic for 3-4 days followed by a day of either a mixed state or depression then I'm hypo again.  I explain all of this to the doctor on duty.  His advice: up your clonazepam for a few days.

Well, thanks a fucking lot.  That's not going to slow down my cycling and that's not going to keep me functioning and at work.  That's not going to stop my SI.  I don't want to go inpatient at the hospital because I can't afford the time off work, however I've called in sick to work today because I simply can't function.  FUCK!!!

If I can't get in contact with my doctor today I may have to go to the hospital.  I'm calling outpatient services again.  They were less than helpful in the past, but I'm trying to be optimistic.  I don't seem to be having much success in conveying how serious this is.  I'm not overly suicidal at the moment, but this is really getting to me.  I can't, and don't want to, continue like this.  I'm tired, I'm sick of feeling anxious and high and irritable all the fucking time.  I'd like to get some good, continuous sleep.  Am I asking too much?

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Hey there.  So, where is your gp located?  In a clinic?  If you can't get into see him/her can you see another doctor at the same clinic?  Is there a receptionist that can tell you where your doctor is?  I feel your serious pissed-offness.

Of course you're not asking too much.  It does sound like you need a stronger mood stabilizer than just the Topamax though.  You can walk-in at the ER, but I think they make you stay for a few days to mess with meds.

Keep posting so we know you're are not completely jumping out of your skin.  Or if you are jumping out of your skin.  If it gets bad, go wherever someone can help you, ok?

Thinking of you,

JBella

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Wow.  I'm thoroughly confused as to the whereabouts of your doctor.  No one told you anything? You need to speak to someone else as JBella suggested.  Maybe someone else can step you up to the next level of Topamax as scheduled? 75mg is nowhere near the steady state dose needed for most bipolar folk.  I think I've only seen one person here who's on a dose similar.  That's more like a dose for migraines.  I know that they might be hesitant to but your health is what comes first.

Keep persevering,

Karen

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Wow. You are having a very tough time. I second JBella's thoughts on your GP. If the GP works in a group practice, tell the receptionist you have to see another doc _today_. If your GP is a solo doc and is AWOL and you are at your wit's end, then go to your emergency room. If you are hanging in there, try the advice of the walk-in doc (the clonazepam) for the time being and schedule an appointment with a new doc.

Also, long term you may want to consider getting a pdoc to help you with your meds. GPs are good, but not as knowledgeable as pdocs who focus on psychopharmacology. Also, with a pdoc you can usually page them in an emergency, 24-7.

Hang on,

--Weasel

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Alissha:

Are you part of an HMO like Kaiser? If so, you have my sympathies. I know how frustrating that can be. I'm not in an HMO, but my mother is. Sometimes it's fine, other times it can drive you up a wall. I you are in an HMO, my best advice is to get the best primary care physician you can. It took awhile for my mother to do so, but it's made all the difference in the world; not only is her GP a good and caring doc, but she also is not hesitant to refer my mom to specialists. That's how my mom got to see her pdoc, who has been a big help.

If the above is not the situation for you, it still can apply. You need to find a good GP. Besides being accessible (or at least providing a back-up for when they are unavailable), a good GP is also going to be someone who'll be make knowlegable referrals, as well as help you manage your overall health care.

Good luck! Please keep us posted, okay?

revlow 

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Now, this would all be well and good if I could get in contact with my doctor.  I can't.  Not even a recorded message saying that his office is closed for the next decade or so.  Nothing.  My BP is in no way under control, we were supposed to meet and re-evaluate my topamax dosage after a month on 75mg.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

nothing at all?  no receptionist or anything?  do you think that it would be possible for you to maybe physically stop by the office to see what's up?  i'm sorry that you are going through this... especially at a time when you feel unstable and your anxiety is up. 

If I can't get in contact with my doctor today I may have to go to the hospital.  I'm calling outpatient services again.  They were less than helpful in the past, but I'm trying to be optimistic.  I don't seem to be having much success in conveying how serious this is.  I'm not overly suicidal at the moment, but this is really getting to me.  I can't, and don't want to, continue like this.  I'm tired, I'm sick of feeling anxious and high and irritable all the fucking time.  I'd like to get some good, continuous sleep.  Am I asking too much?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

no, you arent asking for too much.  Alissha, you deserve quality care which you are unfortunately not getting.  Try calling outpatient services again.... it can't hurt to make a call, right?  no matter what happens now, it might be in your best interest, if possible, for you to seek out a real pdoc to recieve the proper treatment...

keep us posted as to how you are doing and your progress on docs/meds...

~Ophelia

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Well, I finally got in contact with my gp.  I must have sounded truly awful on the phone because that is the fastest response I have ever gotten.  I got a same day appointment:)

Unfortunately, he is completely unwilling to do anything with my meds.  Nothing at all, not even upping my clonazepam dosage like the walk in doc suggested.  All my gp did was give me a referral to outpatient mental health who will hopefully refer me to a pdoc.  Great.

I called the outpatient people and they told me that the process has changed, *they* will be in contact with me within 24-48 hours, if my application is complete and accurate.  Following this I may be referred to a pdoc after my initial intake.

I'm feeling less riddled with anxiety today, probably because I'm ignoring the gp and have upped my clonazepam for the moment.  I'm going to try to stick it out through the initial intake for outpatient services and impress upon them how vitally important it is that I see someone NOW.  If I become overly suicidal or cross that mental line SI-wise I will go inpatient.  Sometimes I hate our system.

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.5 mgs of Klonopin doesn't even phase me.  I take 1mg twice a day just to function.. I am not telling you at all to up you med,,,, I am just saying that when you get to the Pdoc let him know how low a dose you are taking.. .

I am glad you are a little more calmer today.. Try and keep cool why you are home,, I know this is easier said than done..believe me I have been there.... But I can tell you this... Make them dam Pdocs listen and not just shuffle you along.. If you freak and get loud, even if you dont need to that day,,, they will hear your cry and listen...

Hang in there!! ;)

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Alissha, I'm glad you finally got at least some response even if it was, in my view, a kind of shitty one.  I'm also sorry you're getting a bit of a run around as well but I'm glad that you are managing to keep it together and are aware enough and smart enough to watch for signs and get yourself to an ER if things get worse.  Good for you.  You're really taking your health care into your own hands and that's something we all must do.

Karen

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Do they happen to have emergency service hotline where you are?  It's like

crisis intervention, they evaluate you & refer you to a pdoc or hospitalization.

I hope you get to see someone soon, I know how much it sucks to feel that way.

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I have an initial intake (via phone) schedule with outpatient psych services scheduled for Monday.  I can't believe how long it is going to take to get things going.

The beauty of rapid cycling is that I no longer feel that dysphoric mania- going to jump out of my skin kind of thing.  I'm just feeling blah and mild to moderate depression.  This I can handle, I spent years functioning like this.  I don't like to function in this mood but damn am I good at it.

Of course, my mood may change any moment now but I've got enough clonazepam to last for the next decade or so and I'm going to self medicate (safely) until I can see a psychiatrist.  Not the smartest move but it's the best I can come up with at the moment.  I really want to avoid going inpatient if at all possible.  If I'm not suicidal I'm not checking myself in.  It helps that I live with my partner and he is well aware of what I'm going through and is prepared to drag me to the hospital if need be.

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Alissha, even though things suck right now you seem to be doing great.  Do be safe and careful with the Klonopin.  If you feel at all in danger of doing something dumb call a hotline and tell them.  Do you have a friend who would drive you to hospital if you get in trouble in the middle of the night?  Safety first, dear.  It might feel like an awfully long weekend, but with luck Monday will offer some relief.

In a sick way your GP is probably right to make you go to a pdoc.  But the way he's doing it--leaving you hung out to dry while you're cycling madly--is criminal.  Maybe he didn't realize how long it would take to get in to see a pdoc; maybe he thought that even though you were in trouble you also are functioning, even if you're suffering.  Us high functioning BPs sometimes get the short end of the stick. 

Hang in there, and let us know how it goes.

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Heya Alissha,

My family doc had the experience (and my experience, and the research I brought her) to tentatively dx me and start my rx.

Thank goodess she was comfortable with Lamictal!

It took *forever* to see my first psychiatrist.

And another month to see the guy who's going to follow me.

My/our first therapist SUCKED.  We saw her from July through October.

I'm calling a new one tomorrow.

This is a long-term illness.

We will go through lots of trials.

Hold on, hold out.

--ncc--

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I really can't blame my gp for being uncomfortable handling my mental health issues, this is not his field of specialty and he is smart enough to realize it.  I just wish we had some sort of crisis plan in place for the waiting period.

I had my initial phone intake today.  It turns out my referral was for anxiety.  That doesn't even begin to cover what I have been feeling.  Thankfully I was halfway stable this morning and was able to make the wonderful woman on the other end of the phone clear on what my issues are.  There will be a team  meeting on Wednesday when they will discuss my case and decide what the approriate referrals are.

It's so frustrating that I need help *now* and I'm going to get help sometime in the somewhat near future.  If I weren't so deeply terrified of the inpatient program at the only local hospital I would already be there.

However, when my BPI uncle went inpatient there the other patients were unnerving and poorly supervised.  The doctor failed to diagnose him on his first hospitalization (leading to hospitalization number 2 a year later after my uncle became violent) and it was a huge family drama.  I'm trying to keep things realitively quiet at the moment.

Oh, and I have a blindingly painful migraine that is slooowly receding.  At least the double vision is going away and I can be in light without feeling like angry monkeys with hot pokers are assaulting the left side of my head.  Hey, that's a positive:)

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I am glad to see you will be seeing someone who is in psych.

a brief story.

I had a Pdoc that would fail to show at times. No canellation call, nothing.he would leave you sitting in the hall or in your car crying the rain ..one of the better times.

Then he got alot better, more reliable but his personality is like Jekyl and Hyde.

PLus, he does not work on Mon, so if you have a crisis..too bad. No return call..just lots of excuses from the secretary the next time you see her.

I am calling a new Pdoc tomorrow. Can't get any worse.

I am sure you won't have these problems but it goes to show the medical "Professionals' are not always real smart.

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