Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Doctors, doctors everywhere

I'm going to see my doctor this afternoon, for two big issues.

First, I think I have high/borderline high blood pressure. My mom & sister both have high BP problems, and I am nothing if not my mother's daughter. She had to get glasses at age 40 after having perfect vision her whole life; I had to get glasses when I turned 38 (I'm such an overachiever & had to beat her on that one). She's been on BP meds for years & years, she thinks since her early 40s; I've been having headaches for months (which was the symptom that caused her to go to the doctor way back when) and I finally took my BP at Walmart yesterday. The first time it was 140/81 & the second time it was 131/93. So it's up there. It's time to get it addressed officially. I'm tired of these headaches & I'd really like to avoid having a stroke.

Second, I'm going to ask to see a psychiatrist. My emotional state is completely bizarre lately. I increased my depression med back in January, but what I've been going through lately isn't just depression. It's panic attacks, crying for no reason, horribly awful thoughts that come from nowhere. I can be completely UP for a few days--like last week I had some really really good days & felt wonderful--but then am in the basement again. But it's not the basement--it's the deep dark wet root cellar.

These aren't my normal ups & downs, which I've *always* gone through. They are more extreme. And I'm getting to the point where I can't function properly. I've got to get my head fixed now, before things get worse.

Partly I think it's situational. Seen the market lately? But we are doing OK right now & I'm letting go of my fear & worry on a daily basis, and asking God to fill me with love & peace. And He is. So it's not just situational. It's chemical. And I need help.

**Edit** Just got back from the doctor. He put me on a low dose (5 mg) of a BP med to see if it helps with the headaches. My bottom number was consistently 90 while I was there. And I explained how I've been feeling after having my anti-depressant increased & he said that it's possible for anxiety to be amplified in some people on the medicine I am taking. Which makes complete sense--the extremes started about when the increased dose would be nice & solidly established in my system. So we are switching my med to a different one completely & I don't have to see a psychiatrist at this point. I feel relieved to learn that I'm not suffering a total mental breakdown & the medicine is likely responsible for what I've been feeling. A few weeks from now, I hope I'm on a more even keel. **End Edit**

And the other Doctor's issue is with Sophie. This is all good news. He diagnosed her with attention deficit ADHD & we started her on medicine Friday. She is experiencing several side affects but they aren't horrible & so far she's dealing with them OK. She is, thankfully, responding positively so far to what it's supposed to do for her--give her focus & attention. I've noticed a difference at home already. Her teacher is going to give me daily updates on how she's doing in class, as well.

We are also going to take her to the St Louis Children's Hospital in about a month (as soon as they can get us in, but the nurse said it should be close to the end of March) for her dizzy spells. Our pediatrician thinks it's in the migraine realm, but agrees that we need more specialized doctors to confirm that they are migraine, since if they are, then they are extremely atypical.

I'm so thankful we live in a time when doctors can help all of us with these health issues. I'm praying things go well, on all fronts.


LG said...

The two great things you've got going for you if it IS BP is that you exercise and you watch what you eat. I don't know what your mother is like but I really doubt she is a runner like you. :-) Some BP can't be handled with just diet and exercise but at least there are options out there.

Given what you do and the way the economy is, of course it makes sense for you to be stressed out. I'm glad you're taking care of yourself.

I'm really glad to hear the good news about Sophie! Let us know what's going on if you feel like it.

Jill said...

Oh girl, I knew you were going through a rough patch but had no idea it was this bad! I'm so glad you are taking control and doing something about it. I hope it all gets better for you!!

And yay for Sophie!! Hopefully she'll get the treatment she needs!!

Sounds like things are at least heading in a positive direction. :)

MCM Mama said...

Glad you got some answers about your issues. Hope you feel much better quickly.

Fingers crossed on finding some answers for Sophie. Glad the ADHD meds are helping!

Cindy...154 said...

I am glad you got your meds taken care of. The deep dark wet root cellar...I love that one!!! Been down there more than I care to mention. I got excited when I saw you may come to St. Louis. that's where I am from. Let me know if you come and if you want I'd come meet you for coffee. I hope the medicine goes good for Sophie, too. I know things have been hard with the market being what it is - but you are hanging in there and taking care of the important stuff. Hope the BP settles down, too!!

Cindy...154 said...

PS I am considering going back to the crack diet.. or at least something close to it..

LG said...

I'm glad you got your meds corrected and I'm grateful that you have a doctor that took the time to really look AT you and what's going on (meds, etc.). It would have been very easy for him to just do very little. I hope it works out!

Vickie said...

glad to hear that you had good response on your meds concerns! I totally understand about the impact of wrong meds. It took (I think) 6 tries for me.

Does St Louis have better facility than Vanderbilt? or geared more toward her specialty needs? I don't know about either system - here people tend to go to Indy or Cleveland. Although the last several people that went to Indy (Riley) with kids - were NOT happy.

Doc Manette said...

Sounds like a productive two docs appt's (yours and Sophie's)
Glad doc reassurred you that your current meds may be causing the anxiety attacks. I hope you begin to feel better soon.

Laura N said...

Thanks gang!

Vickie, Sophie's doctor likes the neurology dept at St Louis better than any others around. He said Riley is a great hospital, but their neurology dept has horribly high turnover & is next to impossible to get into (6 months or longer). If we can't get into StL soon, we'll try Vanderbilt. But so far it looks like it will only be about a month & we'll get to go to StL. It's a very easy drive to StL, too, so that makes me happy. And I know my way around StL better than Nashville. And Cindy lives in StL so I might get to meet her, which would be cool. Those obviously aren't reasons to choose a hospital--just bonuses on where he's decided she should go.