Thursday, November 13, 2008

Life Stressors

I have been hearing interminent voices and seeing things out of the corner of my eye that are not really there. I have also been hearing a lot of doublespeak, which is what I call it when someone says something for real, and I hear both the thing they are really saying, as well as something I interpret as an encoded message meant for me, that they are NOT really saying, but which I hear nonetheless. I mentioned to my doctor last week that this has occured with basically every antipsychotic I have taken, at some point. The psychotic symptoms always seem to sneak back in. Right now I am on a dosage of Seroquel that is higher than the recommended highest dose, and I am still having these problems. I told my doctor I do not want to change medications right now, because I am afraid of what will happen in the interim, and I also don't know that it would make much difference to go on another new medication, since I seem to have this same problem on all of them.

My therapist looked back into my chart yesterday and noticed that when I was on injections of Risperdal I did not complain much about hearing voices (though,, I know I still had them on ocassion back then). She thought that perhaps this was indicative of some physical problem which is stopping me from correctly metabolizing the medications I take by mouth, and that the injections may have worked better because they put the medication directly into my bloodstream. We discussed some old issues that we have discussed many times, like the possibility that I have Celiac Disease. I have Sjogren's Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, slight hypothyroidism, and obviously since you're reading this you know I have Schizophrenia. All of these problems combined could indicated Celiac Disease - along with gastrointestinal problems and the fact that enamel is missing from my front teeth. I first looked into Celiac probably 12 years ago, but I have never, to my knowledge, actually been tested for it.

Being that I was physically very sick for years before I was diagnosed with Schizophrenia, and because I was in and out of doctors' offices getting differing opinions all the time for years, I now absolutely hate going to see any doctor for anything. I especially hate going to doctors about physical problems, because, in my experience, as soon as a doctor learns you have a history of a psychiatric disorder, they stop believing anything you have to say about your physical health. Perhaps this is why, according to federally funded research, people with Schizophrenia die on an average of 25 years earlier than people without Schizophrenia. It has become very obvious to me over the years that, especially with a history of psychosis, doctors do not tend to take the mentally ill people who see them as real people who have working brains and the very real possibility of a very real physical illness that is not psychosomatic in nature. Therefore, I hate going to see doctors about physical problems. I went through many years of being treated like a hypochondriac, and I got tired of that a long, long time ago, so I don't even go, now, to my rheumatologist who diagnosed me with Sjogren's Syndrome. I haven't seen her in a year, and I was supposed to be continually seeing her and taking medications for Sjogren's.

I stopped going to my eye doctor about my vision problems which are caused by Sjogren's as well. I stopped bothering with another doctor after my repeated infections came back every time I saw her and she did not manage to help me with them. I did not go for my bone density test when I broke my ankle last year and was told I have Osteoporosis even though I am only 33 years old - and was 32 then. Osteoporosis is yet another illness that is common amongst people with Celiac Disease. So I guess it is logical that I actually should see the Rheumatologist again, make sure my thyroid is in check (which - with my ongoing weight issues and fatigue and depression, I am sure it is not) and ask about getting tested for Celiac. Surely, she would order the test, but I just have not bothered to go see her and ask for it.

I feel sort of like I manage the most stress I can handle at all times. When it comes to looking at "extra" problelms - things that are not matters of daily survival, I tend to neglect them, especially when I'm having trouble managing my symptoms like hearing voices and thinking about suicide. I simply focus on what must be done, and leave what also should be done resting by the wayside. I think this is how I have learned to cope, and I'm not entirely sure it is a bad, or even unhealthy method of coping. It is my way, and it is the only way I have. But I might have to try to change this to get some other issues taken care of, whether they are matters of daily survival or not. I have started doing that, by cleaning my apartment and decorating it more than I ever have before in the two years I have lived there. I have taken care of the flea problem in my apartment as well as I can. I manage to get to work every day on time (usually). I try not to eat too much junk food (usually, but not always successfully).

Now I have to start working on some of those other, persistent problems that only get worse the longer I ignore them. I need to return to physical therapy for the Fibromyalgia and Osteoporosis. I need to get on some medication for Osteoporosis, and I need to make sure my thyroid trouble is being appropriately addressed. I need to be back on Salagen for the Sjogren's, and I have at least 10 dental cavities, per the last visit I had at dentist office, which was about a year ago - and probably more (this is a bi-product of the Sjogren's Syndrome). I need to get back on a regular exercise routine as well, or I am never going to lose this weight. I get tired just thinking about all this stuff, and trying to manage it along with my job feels like too much work. But I have to do it, and if I can't manage my own life myself, obviuosly nobody is going to do it for me, and things are just going to get worse. I thought maybe if I wrote about some of these issues here, it would help me to face them head-on, and deal with them like I need to. We shall see if this works.

2 comments:

Rooster Press said...

Hi. Sounds like you're suffering with thyroid and osteoporosis problems. There may be hope. Here's some articles related to osteoporosis that may help http://www.newrinkles.com/index.php/archive/osteopenia-osteoporosis-and-rheumatoid-arthritis/ and http://www.newrinkles.com/index.php/archive/ways-to-avoid-osteoporosis-what-to-do-and-what-not-to-do/ and http://www.newrinkles.com/index.php/archive/phosphorus-foods/ Hope they help!

Wanderer62 said...

Hi Jen,

I think you're doing really well, in fact, I think you're making progress. I am very sorry to hear that you have so many health problems at such a young age, but I think, in time, you will begin to address what you need to address. I, too, put off dealing with physical problems thinking I can only deal with some stuff, but not all of the stuff that needs to be dealt with. It may sound corny, but take it one day at a time and keep hope alive. That's what I try to do.

Kate

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