November 01, 2018, 6:06 P.M.
I have not posted anything for a while; too much stress and fuss and rush and I can either live life or write about it, no time for both. But let's try and play a little catch-up.
Well, not gonna lie--I have been feeling very anxious and depressed and--I can say it here, I guess--entertaining suicidal notions. Yes, I'll be okay. No, I don't intend to kill myself. This is the common reality of my life since at least the age of nine--I know how to deal with me by now. But sometimes the only real anxiety reliever is the comfort of knowing I have the power to make it all stop.
And I went to the doctor for it. (Well--the PA.)My mistake was letting them know about one particular symptom that gave them something to run with. (Not the suicidal ideation. I'm not stupid, and it ain't my first rodeo.) That was the heart palpitations.
And it's a funny thing about stress & anxiety-induced heart palpitations...when somebody tells you that you have to have a test that's going to take over three grand out of your wallet...well, they get worse!
I booked an appointment for it at the hospital, but after doing a little Googling, I was getting into a lather about the cost. So I decided to call the hospital and get an estimate. Hell, doctors do it, so can I, right? Well, they ran it with my insurance info and the PPO discount, and my estimated out-of-pocket for the professional and technical components of a "2-D Doppler Echocardiogram with Color Flow" and a "30-day Event Monitor" was $3,013.00. Yeah, that made my heart skip a beat.
But thank goodness, I know a gal who knows a guy. And was able to get the echocardiogram done on the cheap. How cheap, you ask? How does "only 10% of what the hospital" is asking sound? Oh, and this sonographer and his handy little portable ultrasound MAKE HOUSE CALLS.
I called him on Monday, he came to my house and did the test on Wednesday afternoon, and he sends it to a cardiologist to get the reading, and that guy faxes it to my doctor, and all that costs $275.00.
I still have to go through the hospital for the monitor (got an appointment for it on the 9th), but the major portion of the cost, by far, was going to be for the echocardiogram.
And, although he can't tell me too much, since he isn't a doctor, the sonographer was able to tell me that I have a "boring heart". Which is the best kind of heart to have--at least from a medical standpoint! And I have "thin septums", which is indicative of good blood pressure, and he could tell I didn't smoke, because of the lack of congestion.
All of which is tending to confirm what I suspected--the problem isn't my heart.
I did manage to get my thyroid levels ruled out as a cause--they ran those and my TSH and T4 numbers are both in a very good place. And I convinced him to start slow with the anxiety, and give me something to help with sleep first, before jumping into another psych med. So now, all three of us are on Trazodone--me, Spouse, and the dog. It seems to be helping with the sleep, which in turn is helping with the stress. My progression is always stress-->insomnia-->anxiety-->depression, so I want to attack it from the beginning, instead of waiting till the end.
He was also able to tell me that the Zoloft dose for anxiety and panic disorder is much lower than the dose for depression, and since it did help with my anxiety when I was on it before, it could be worthwhile to try it again, but at a dose that would have less likelihood of causing the side-effects I experienced the last time (25mg vs. 100mg)
As to the root cause--well, I'd like to be able to be lofty and noble and declare myself heartsick over the state of the world. And that certainly is a part of the problem. But mostly? Like over 90%? It's my horrible f--king job. Toxic co-workers, management that ranges from merely ineffectual to absolutely evil, stagnation in the work, the software, the business, and my freaking SOUL.
But I can't leave till they throw me out--I need the salary they pay me. I need the medical benefits--such as they are. And other benefits--what's left of them. As bad as it has gotten for us, it hasn't kept pace with how bad it is on the outside, so I have to stick it. No choice.
And Spouse, as we well know, is no rock to lean on. His initial reaction to anything like my medical issue is to get all pissy what he's going to miss out on if I spend money on healthcare. You'd think it was him that made the majority of the income, wouldn't you?
Really, that's been what has been keeping me occupied (and preoccupied) the last few weeks. I wish I could recount some fun adventures and hijinks, but it has been a bit grim. One highlight, though, was an unexpected call from my good friend D, who was doing some volunteer work in the office park one day. She took me out for lunch, and gave me a wonderful birthday present-- two bars of marvelous verbena-scented soap from a 600-year old apothecary in Firenze. Such a delight to see her, I wish we could do it more often.
Well, fall is here with a vengeance, Halloween has come and gone, and the clocks turn back this weekend, so I will have to fight all that much harder to keep my spirits up. I do hate winter so very much. Sigh.
"The Emily Emmins Papers" (1907), by Carolyn Wells. A light read about a spinster (age uncertain) and her trip to London. I've also been popping in and out of Talboys for the comfort of happily wedded Lord & Lady Peter, which is a balm for my troubled soul. "Busman's Honeymoon" will forever be my home remedy for the blues.
Listening: Spin Doctors, Toad the Wet Sprocket, Soul Asylum, Vertical Horizon. I'm in a very mid-nineties mood, music-wise.
Inked Up: Pilot VP medium with Pelikan 4001 Royal Blue, Bexley 10th Anniversary custom italic with R&K Solferino, Pelikan Stola III medium with Sailor Apricot, Conklin Duragraph fine with Pelikan 4001 Brilliant Brown.