Antidepressant Woes

When I saw my OBGYN two weeks ago he gave me two weeks worth of samples of the pills he recommended I take pris.tiq, and said to take them before I made up my mind and filled the prescription he wrote out. That’s what I did, and despite the fact that I am still battling somewhat debilitating fatigue, I felt that the benefits outweighed the downsides and dropped the Rx off to get filled. I got an automated call from the pharmacy saying that there was a “problem” with my insurance that they were trying to resolve.

At first I didn’t think anything of this, but after about an hour I called them to find out what the deal was. Simply, my insurance doesn’t cover this drug and it’s $342 for 30 pills. Umm. No. They had sent a preauthorization over to my OBGYN and said after he fills it out it’s up to the insurance company to decide if they’ll cover any of the med, but it could take a while for them to decide and let us know.

At this point it’s 3:00 pm and I have no more pills. I take them before bed, so I needed to figure out a way to get a pill in my mouth before I went to sleep. I tried calling my OBGYN’s office but the receptionist refused to help me. I needed someone to check the cabinet where the samples were to see if there were any more I could snag because the pharmacist said in a serious voice that it would not be a good idea for me to go cold turkey without these after having been on them for a few weeks. But the receptionist wouldn’t check and she also wouldn’t go talk to the nurse. I knew that she herself could not actually touch the meds, I just needed to know if they were even there. My husband was right over by their office right at this time because the college he goes to is over there so I just needed to know if I could send him over to grab some before he went to work. But anyway, she was pretty adamant about not helping me. So I looked up the drug makers website and they did have a copay assistance program you could participate in.

I signed up and called the pharmacy to see how much it would help and they said I would have to come down with the email, that they couldn’t check over the phone. Okay. Fine. I loaded Charlie and I up and waited in line behind everyone getting off work, only to find out that the card was only going to take $100 off, so the drugs would still be $240 a month. Not something I can do, not at all. The pharmacy tech helping me seemed really sympathetic to my problem and started checking how much it would cost to sell me just one or two pills to get me covered until I could get ahold of the nurse at the OBGYN.

$17.00 for ONE. FUCKING. PILL. At this point, I don’t know who to be more frustrated with-the drug maker, the insurance company, the receptionist….I was frustrated with all of them. And starting to get a little panicked. I asked him to go ahead and fill the Rx for the one pill just to tide me over and as I was leaving I left a panicked voicemail for my nurse telling her what was going on.

She called me back a few hours later to say that they had two weeks worth of samples they could give me and hopefully that would be enough to figure out the PA situation. That’s all they have left or she said they would give me more-they gave me almost all of my diclegis when I was pregnant because it was so expensive. They’re so kind (other than the receptionist). She did say the PA could take a while to go through, but if we couldn’t get it worked out there was a generic drug that was fairly comparable to the pris.tiq, that she herself had taken it when HER insurance wouldn’t cover pris.tiq (seriously does ANY insurance pay for it?) and she felt like it would be okay for me.

I’m nervous about it. I’ve heard horror stories about messing with your mental health meds, and it’s taken me a while to even get this used to the side effects of this drug, but at this point all I can do is hope for the best and go by in the morning to pick up my two weeks worth of samples. At this point my OBGYN has given me $342.00 worth of free meds for my mental health and I’m so grateful.

Honestly, the most stressed I’ve been since taking the pris.tiq is today, trying to figure out how to get it paid for. Not cool.

100 Bad Things and 1 Perfect Thing

Tuesday:

MDO drop off was just as horrible as always, except this time like a chump I snuck around to the window that looks in the classroom and peaked in for a few minutes so that I could WATCH my child hysterically cry while she clutches the Barney stuffed animal that she has decided is her MDO security object. Chief was dragging me out of there with my fingers scraping the wall.

Then I got home and moped in bed for a while. Chief went to school. Eventually I got out my Macbook to start working and discovered that it was wet. Wet. Fucking wet. Apparently a cat knocked a glass of water over and my Macbook was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

I opened it up and it was wet. Water down in the keyboard. Of course it was on, and I quickly discovered that the keyboard wasn’t working. Then it shut down and wouldn’t come back up.

I knew this couldn’t be good, but at this point there was nothing I could do but make an appointment with the Geniuses to see how bad. I was told that if it had made it to the logic board (which it probably had since I had not discovered the water for many hours) that it would cost almost as much to fix as purchasing a new one.

In the meantime, I had a scheduled lunch date with the Captain because she’s going out of town and can’t do our usual Friday night date. While we were eating the MDO director called to talk about how hard Charlie was struggling with MDO. She said that normally they would expect some progress by now but Charlie is pretty unhappy most of the time she’s there. She recommended we either pull her completely and try again when she’s older OR we could go to two days a week to see if coming more frequently might make it seem more normal to her. I opted to do the second option for the month of November to see if it would make a difference, and if it doesn’t then I’ll pull her. I’m not just doing this because I need it for my mental health. At this point it’s way, way harder on me to drop her off and sit in the car and cry every week than it would be to just keep her home, but now that I know she is struggling with this so much I feel like she really needs it-does that make sense?

Once I got off the phone I cried, just a little, in the middle of our regular burrito joint while the Captain looked on helplessly. I texted Chief to call me in between classes. We had already been in communication about the laptop issue and because he is a better person than me he didn’t get mad or yell or anything. He went into fix it mode and started pricing a new one while remaining optimistic that the laptop was salvageable.

Yeah, about that-it’s not. The water was all up in the logic board when I got it to Apple. They couldn’t get it to start up. It’s dead. I’ll be lucky to get any data off of it. Luckily i do have a back up. it is a few months old but it has most of the baby pictures and the rest are on my phone. There’s really nothing else I can think of that I care about on there, so I don’t think I’ll have to pay for any expensive data recovery.

Charlie threw a fit in the Apple Store. She was patient at first but then she was just 100% done with Tuesday and lost her mind. I had to hold her under one arm while trying to talk to the very nice Genius bar guy as onlookers judged me and I gave zero fucks. Zero. Fucks. She calmed down as we were leaving because at that point I could put her down and let her walk out while holding my hand.

Finally I thought I could go home and lick my wounds in peace, but no. No friends. Then I remembered that I had a dog and a cat at the vet for shots/grooming (Dewey’s fur gets matted sometimes) and I needed to pick them up. Halfway there I realized I needed to pee like WHOA. I called Chief and told him I needed to come by his work to use his bathroom before picking up the pets, so we did that and of course getting Charlie out of the car AND seeing daddo meant that she did NOT want to get back in the car, so there was no small amount of crying about that.

Then we get to the vet and they tell me that my basset mix has an ear infection BECAUSE WHY THE FUCK NOT. Ear drops, twice a day. Pay the $360 tab. Run away. Get home and feed the kiddo and start working on my husband’s school computer. Then there’s a knock on the door. It’s my very unfriendly new next door neighbor letting me know that Pepper got out of the fence that we thought we had FINALLY secured. Fucking dog. Luckily she came right up to me though I could tell she was afraid to because she knew she was in the wrong. I never get mad at her when she comes back because as much as I want to, coming back is the right thing to do and I always want her to come back. As much as she drives me crazy, I don’t want her to get hit by a car.

At this point I am just 250% done with the day. Can’t take it anymore, worried worried WORRIED about money and Charlie and everything else. The kid has peanut butter all over her from her dinner and needs a bath, so I get her antibiotics in her and get her into the tub. She plays and loves the water. It’s seriously one of her favorite things, but then I remembered that the MDO teacher gave her a Halloween goody bag that had bubbles in it.

Guys-that was the perfect ending to my horrible day. I blew bubbles and Charlie kept catching them on her wet hands (yay hand eye coordination!) and then freaking out and splashing her hands into the water. Then she would reach up to me with the “MORE!” face. I think I probably used a quarter of the bottle because I didn’t want to tell her no. It was the saving grace I needed and we spent the rest of the night nursing,  cuddling, and reading stories.

As a not bad not good ending to this, I talked to a property manager today. He went by to look at the house and is running comps tonight and said he’d call me tomorrow. He said it does take houses about 4-6 weeks to rent when they’re larger and more expensive. 4-6 weeks is okay. Much longer than that will get scary for me. Cross your fingers-I could use some good luck.

Meds, the Old House, Sick Kids, and MDO

Digestive issues have ironed out which is good. Chief and I both agree that I’m much more level. The worries are still there, but like today I was worried about the old house and getting it ready for renting, and instead of fretting over it I just got out of bed and said to Chief that we needed to go over there and start getting the stuff that’s left and take pictures of the furniture we want to sell (already sold a set of barstools and have leads on a rocking chair and cabinet tomorrow!) The old me would have just worried it to death but I’m trying to be optimistic about this. I didn’t want to rent it, but I did some research and it looks like we’ll make so much that I don’t mind paying 10% to a property manager so that I don’t have to do the legwork and deal with any potentially unsavory eviction issues.

So, anyway, that diverged into a discussion of the house but it was a good example of my brain on antidepressants vs my brain without. The problem is this fatigue. It is real and heavy and sometimes overwhelming. I have never yawned so deeply I don’t think. Like I don’t remember being this tired when Charlie was born. I’m still just trying to push through on it. Yesterday I took a nap at 9:00 am. I had only been awake for two hours and was that tired. My kid sleeps through the night. I can’t even imagine how tired I would be if she didn’t.

In other news, Charlie is on her first course of antibiotics. We took her to the doctor last Monday because she had been sick for 12 days. I try not to rush her to the doctor for everything but once we went past 10 days I figured it was worth a check. At the time the doctor said that some of these viruses are really long lasting and the symptoms can stretch 3-4 weeks, but that she did have fluid behind her ears and they were both red. However, she was not exhibiting symptoms of an ear infection at that time, so she called in amox.icillin but said she would prefer we watch and wait before giving it, as antibiotics are so overly prescribed right now and a lot of times these minor infection will clear up on their own.

So that’s what I did. Tuesday and Wednesday passed fairly uneventfully, but Wednesday night Charlie was hysterical at bedtime. She did NOT want to lay down. I tried everything-nursing, rocking, five minute checks. She finally fell asleep but it was an hour of me going in and out and her just crying. She had been given advil and she wasn’t acted like anything actually hurt, so I didn’t really know what to think, but she did bang her head against the side of the crib which really freaked me out. Then Thursday night she did the same thing, and I ended up successfully rocking her to almost asleep and was able to lay her down after that. Then, as I was sitting in my room an hour later it occurred to me to look up the head banging. Bam. Clear sign of an ear infection, especially when paired with fussiness and a cold.

Damnit. Cue a slight amount of panicking that we had progressed to a full on infection for several days that wasn’t being treated. We started the amox the next morning and now (Monday) she seems to be feeling much better. She HATES the meds, but we have six more days unfortunately. If chief isn’t there to hold her arms down I have to swaddle her in a towel to get it down her throat. I really hate doing it. Especially in the morning when she is SO happy.

Mothers Day Out is a battle. She’s still going one day a week and it’s not getting better yet. The first week she did great. The second week she cried intermittently. The third week she cried the entire time and didn’t eat. I’m hoping this was partly because of feeling bad. Tomorrow is week four. I didn’t go to her drop off last week because it was the day of great stomach distress and I’m dreading dropping her off tomorrow. Week two she ran after me SOBBING. That was hard. Really really hard. It makes me want to throw in the towel but if I do that now how much harder is it going to be in a year when she does preschool every day and I go back to work? And also, selfishly, I really like my Tuesday mornings. I can have lunch with friends and lay in bed watching TV and NAP. OMG the naps guys. I’m such a better mom for it by Tuesday afternoon. She cries every time I pick her up. She does cuddle with the teachers and likes being rocked by them, so that’s a small consolation, but I just hate the idea of her crying for five hours while I’m laying in bed watching talk shows. It IS going to get better, right?

I have made a huge mistake

Coincidentally I started making a daily smoothie with benefiber added right when I started the antidepressant. Mainly I was just trying to be healthier and up my fiber intake.

Yesterday we had to take Charlie to a last minute doctors appointment and I didn’t have time to make my smoothie, so I just skipped it and had lunch. After lunch I was feeling a little sick but thought it was the heat, because it’s really warm here. We went to the fair last night and I didn’t eat much. Then when we got home I started to hurt all over and feel so nauseous.

After suffering from this all night I woke up and took a zofran leftover from pregnancy. Well, friends, that was a mistake. Because the issue is that I am having severe constipation from my antidepressant and the benefiber was helping keep it under control.

So, I took four co.lace this morning and drank a glass of juice with benefiber. This afternoon and I still wasn’t feeling better. I haven’t eaten a thing today-just chugging water. I finally gave in and got some du.lcolax from the store and took two. And it started working, probably in combination with everything else. And now I’m reading some pretty terrifying online reviews that have me nervous for the hours ahead.

Suffice it to say, my evening will be spent in the bathroom and my husband has had to take a night off of work.

Antidepressants, Week one

It’s been almost a week since I started taking antidepressants for the first time to treat my PPD/PPA.

I think things are better. I tried to sit and think about it today, and I do feel like I’ve had much less anxiety this past week, and I haven’t cried any since the day I got the diagnosis (which i did cry about). Sometimes I feel a little muted, like a color that isn’t as vibrant anymore, and I know that sounds bad, but most of the time it feels better than being so manic and stressed all the time, even if my highs are a little less high than they were before.

Unfortunately though, it’s not perfect. The medicine makes me tired. I started out taking it at night and the first few nights what would happen is that I would wake up VERY easily and very early and not be able to fall back asleep. I woke feeling rested even though I had only slept 4-5 hours. Normally I would be exhausted and go right back to sleep OR have an anxiety episode and worry all morning. Instead what it had me doing was getting up and going to work or working around the house. I showed up at the law firm a little before 6:00 am one day. What this meant was that by mid afternoon I was exhausted and ready for bed. So i switched and starting taking it at night. The first night I had really weird and disturbingly violent dreams, but luckily that has so far been isolated. However, I’m now feeling a low-mid grade fatigue all day instead of a heavy, heavy fatigue late afternoon.

I’m going to try drinking coffee to see if that’ll help beat it, because so far it’s the only side effect and if that’s it then I feel like I’m getting off easy. Unfortunately with raising a toddler, it’s a difficult side effect to live with. I was hardcore yawing by 10:00 am this morning and Charlie even slept late, meaning I got a full eight hours last night.

So if I had to give week one a grade, I would say it’s an A-/B+.

Appointment Deets

All in all, it went pretty smoothly. He had me sit in his office instead of an exam room which felt more comfortable. The birth control pills were a no-brainer, he asked me what i wanted BCP wise and I said the mini pill since I was still breastfeeding. He said it’s a good choice, especially since I’ve been having second thoughts about using birth control in the first place, because it works when taken correctly and I can stop it pretty easily if I want to, so he called that in for me.

Then we got to the meat of the matter. I told him I was struggling with anxiety. He asked me to tell him more, so of course I started to cry, so he prompted me with some questions: worse at night or during the day? Worse at night for sure, but definitely having issues functioning during the day as well. Triggered by anything in particular? Difficult days with the baby, being tired, being spread too thin. Etc, etc.

He told me that it’s very normal and that it happens to a lot of folks who don’t see it coming. He said he has a lot of moms who don’t have any issues at first who then sort of spiral downward into anxiety and depression and not even realize what’s happening. And BTW-he definitely thinks I have anxiety, but also that I’m depressed. And when he said it it was like a lightbulb went off, and sort of like a weight was lifted but a new one was put on.

I am depressed. I’m depressed about not working full time in a library even though I know it was my choice and that overall it’s been the right choice for my family. I’m depressed about my infertility and whether or not I’ll ever have another baby. I’m depressed about the old house. I’m depressed about Charlie growing up. I’m depressed about my body. I’m depressed about my family troubles.

So, he prescribed me pristiq and gave me two weeks of samples to try first. He said if it doesn’t work he can prescribe me something else and that we have lots of options we can try. He said this was safe for breastfeeding and would be fine if I wanted to get pregnant on it. It’s a class C but they have found no real ill effects on babies or mothers who have taken it.

And fortunately he said it should help with my nervous eating habits. And let me tell you, I’ve put on a lot of weight according to the scale today.

I’m nervous about it. He did say that seratonin based drugs just help level out the highs and lows. He said he has been on them before and they help make the little things not turn into a big huge deal in your mind, but on the other hand they take away some of the highness of the high points. But they’re safer than the benzodiazepenes and he said they’re easier to come off of and adjust.

I’ll continue to update you on how I feel as the medicine starts to work. It’s supposed to take a few weeks to really kick in. Nervously hopeful is how I’m feeling today. And a little sad, to be honest.