Thursday, October 29, 2015
After the echo and a counseling session...
First of all, the echocardiogram. I'd never done that before and didn't really know what to expect. I had to get undressed from the waist up and lay on a bed while covered with a towel. All the while the radiology technician pressed a hand-held wand against my chest looking at various angles of my heart.
My responsibilities were fairly easy. Once I had to move my left arm. Once I had to move from lying on my left side to lying flat on my back. Otherwise, I just kept up my end of the conversation.
I got to hear the blood flow through my heart. I got to hear my heart beat... and I can verify that it is fast. I also got to see the occasional picture of my heart... though I couldn't have told you it was my heart. But if there was ever any question as to whether or not I actually HAVE a heart, the verdict is, I do.
My primary question was when I might expect to hear the results. The tech said that it might not be until my follow-up appointment, which in this case is four weeks away. I guess if I have to wait that long, it's only good news. If there's bad news, I'm sure I'll hear from them sooner. I've heard nothing as of this blog.
As for my counseling session. I didn't request the appointment, my counselor did. I simply agreed to show up. I assumed that he knew this process of changing my meds this quickly would be stressful and he wanted to offer emotional support. The appointment didn't really go that way though.
So I started off with telling him that I'm going to miss the warm fuzzy I felt with Dr. Callaghan, because I didn't feel that with Dr. Woodward, that she was much more clinical, much more mechanical than I'm used to. Whereas I fell in love with Dr. Callaghan the first time I met her, the same wasn't true of Dr. Woodward. (Between you and me, I don't care if I never see Dr. Woodward again and I'm truly going to miss Dr. Callaghan. Just sayin'.)
I told him that I was nervous about changing my meds twice in ten days. I told him I felt like a science experiment last year, trying to figure out what dosage of medicine I should be taking. And here we are doing it again this year. And since my meds just got upped to 120mg in March, I felt like that's probably the dosage I needed in order to avoid emotional crashes.
Ultimately, Robin told me that all patients are science experiments, that this is nothing new. He told me that every doctor is going to treat the physical symptoms before the emotional ones. He didn't seem to understand my real fear. I also think that everyone is concerned about my heart and NO ONE (but me apparently) is concerned about my depression. I'm paying a lot of money and spending a lot of time and energy on mental health care... yet I don't feel like I have an advocate for my depression, for my fear of the next crash. I feel like they're okay with me just crashing again. And I can't get anyone to hear that I'm NOT okay with that plan.
By the time I left, I realized that it doesn't matter what I think. It doesn't matter what I feel. It doesn't matter what I expect. It just doesn't matter. Even though I'm the patient and I have concerns. Even though I'm the one spending the money. Even though I feel like I'm screaming at the top of my lungs that this process scares me. It doesn't matter.
And so what? What difference does it make if they 'hear' me or not? What difference does it make if they don't care? I should just keep doing what they say and let the chips fall where they may. I should trust the process, trust the professionals... even if they don't listen to their patients, which I don't find all that professional. What's the worst that can happen? A crash. I've survived them EVERY.TIME.BEFORE. I'm not looking forward to it. But what difference does it make what I am and what I am not looking forward to. None of my doctors are all that concerned. So maybe I shouldn't be either.
So my Fetzima, which is assumed to be the culprit of my high heart rate, was reduced by 40mg on October 16th, nearly two weeks ago. It was reduced by an additional 40mg again on Tuesday the 27th, only two days ago. So far, there is no change in my heart rate. When I took my blood pressure and heart rate last night, my heart rate was at 100bpm.
The next action item is for me to stop by my doctor's office on Monday to have my heart rate officially done by a professional and report it back to my psychiatrist. If my heart rate is still high, I'm pretty sure I can count on buying yet another smaller dosage of Fetzima. Yea. [sarcasm]