Some people have more than one chronic illness. Some go hand in hand and others are competely random. And medicating them successfully is a nightmare at times. I’ve been clinically, chronically depressed since the age of 12 when I hit puberty. And went unmedicated and undiagnosed into my late 20s. That’s a long time. And even then, that was just the tip of what was actually happening to me. I didn’t get an initial pain diagnosis until about five years ago. And I had the pain a lot longer than that. I just had an asshole GP who handedme ineffectual drugs and ignored my symptoms. And there are medications and treatments that go along with both of these things, the depression and the pain, that are a delicate juggling act. What’s causing the pain? What brain chemical am I missing that makes me depressed? What came first? The chicken crossing the road or a cross dressing chicken. And how *does* a chicken cross dress? Now I have completely confused myself so we abandon that one and walk away quickly, not making eye contact.
All depression medications are a size 16. And gods help you if you’re petite. Pain management and depression medication is like getting a size 16 top and a size 12 pants to work the first time at the same time. It’s impossible. And then your body chemistry changes. And the things that worked before, don’t now. Want to start all over? Most people don’t. I don’t. I didn’t. I skipped it. Went back to drinking. Let me just say that wasn’t my best idea ever. Wasn’t my worst, but just… It was bad. And the thing is? I am pretty typical in that. Self-medication wasn’t something I made up on my own. And it isn’t something I tried only once. The depression and loss of self lead you down some scary roads. I used to refer to it as “suicide by bar”. But the really great thing? I wasn’t alone.
Not every person in a bar at last call is an unmedicated freak case attempting to fill the hole in their chest with alcohol and self loathing. Some of us just wanted a drink after work and if we got laid, hey! More good for me! For long stretches of time I could supress the feelings, work my ass off, raise my kids and occastionally get laid. But there were long, dark tea times of my soul, too. (Points if you get that one.) And it was during one of those tea times that I decided maybe it was time to try someting else. Let a professional deal with me. Because having a series of very serious thoughts about a bridge embutment right there at the bottom of the ramp on the way home from work? Apparently that shit ain’t normal. I am pretty sure if any of you were my REAL friends you could have told me that and I could have avoided that 16 hours on the ward and sitting next to a chronic masturbator during group therpy. Yeah. I didn’t belong there, but all of the size 16s I had tried made me hate myself. So let’s give someone with letters behind their name a try. (Side note – there is a hilarious story about me and my second psych doc thata came from me havung been married to a head case for years. But that’s for another day. For when I need a good laugh.)
Meds are a balancing act. That not only depend on weight distributed equally, it depends on where you are standing, if the wind is blowing, if it is raining, if the sun is in your eyes, if you’re tired or if you have just tried to fight off 16 duck sized horses. Or one horse sized duck. Heart rate? Blood sugar? Familial tolerance? And this is if you are depressed. If you have anyting thqt goes with it, we are talking about a new balance to go with the old. And as things crop up, and you fight to deal with them your body chemistry changes. I am on a medication that has been a god send for my basic pain issue. I cannot even imagine if it came back. But we knew from the begining that this is a med that will stop working randomly. For no reason, really. I asked if it was a union drug or if it was related to my ex but my doctor has no sense of humor. None.
So the answer is no, they still haven’t worked out my meds. Shit, they still don’t know what all is wrong with me. And no, you don’t get to help. I’m sure I have put all your suggestions down already.
And I think the Stupid Med Question can move into the Why I Hate The Internet post that will be subtitled “Why don’t they call WebMD by its real name? www I Have Cancer dot com.”
Keep helping me think of new things. Pain brain and anxiety are clouding the tubes. I will be interviewing an RN with MS soon as I think some of her story is like mine, and of course, very different as she has a Real Disease and I am “just tired” or “should be grateul for what I *do* have. So stay tuned. I swear I get funnier as time goes on. Just like the whale joke.