need advice about doctor's appointment

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rosamptx
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 26
   Posted 9/5/2006 2:51 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi.
 
Recently I was started on Lamictal 25mg once a day to be increased to 50mg twice a day (I think) and also put on Ativan 1mg twice a day as needed by a general doctor.
 
This Thursday I have an appointment with a psychiatrist and am confused, because my head feels cloudy and I tend to doubt my own thoughts; therefore, I don't really know what is real and how do I describe what I'm feeling when I'm not sure of what I feel.
 
Also, as a recovering addict, I was told not to mention to the doctor that I am a recovering addict because then they would not prescribe anything for the panic and anxiety.  I've had the Ativan for almost 2 weeks and don't take them unless needed plus I tend to break them in half so as to not take more than I need.  I'm concerned because if I'm not honest then how can I be treated effectively, yet for the last two years as soon as I mention to a doctor that I'm a recovering addict but am having panic attacks and miserable anxiety with very visual hand and body tremors, they tell me they can't prescribe anything.
 
Anyway, my question is, how can I relay what I'm feeling and thinking if I'm not sure what is real?
 
Rosa

Ellie 1
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 1291
   Posted 9/5/2006 3:11 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Rosa
I'm really not sure what to tell you. Instinct says be honest with the pdoc but I do see how you feel about being without basic treatment because of your past drug use. I would go with the truth and hope for the best.
How long have you been clean? My neighbor was a recovering user and was still prescribed Klonopin. Maybe it just depends on how long it's been since you've used. No guarantees though, thats just a guess.
Good luck hon
Let us know how it works out.
Ellie
Good judgement comes from experience and alot of that comes from bad judgement.
 
Unknown
 
 
 


CounterClockwise
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 1529
   Posted 9/5/2006 3:21 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Rosa,

I was just about to recommend that you tell your psychiatrist everything -- including why you've not told him/her before -- when it struck me that it's just possible that there's a legal issue here -- i.e. it's encoded in law that docs must respond in this way. I'm not saying there is -- I really don't know, but someone might be able to clarify this before you make your decision. -- You might also try asking this in the a-p and depression forums if nobody her is sure one way or the other.

I think the key to how to play things at your session is to be honest about not being sure what's real and about the cloudiness. This may well be early (and temporary) side-effects of upping the Lamictal dosage, which your pdoc can the reassure you about -- or it may be something that means he/she adjusts your meds. Above all, don't worry about what you can and can't say on this score -- especially if you tell your pdoc that you're not sure about thoughts: it's a pdoc's job to unravel the case history and symptoms and all of this is useful info for him/her.

Take care hun.

Rosie x
********************

People are not like fish: they do not work well battered.

When I'm not in my right mind, my left mind gets pretty crowded...

********************

 
Co-Moderator, Bipolar Forum


NiteScribe
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 27
   Posted 9/5/2006 4:33 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Rosa,

Just a suggestion but you might wish to check out Lamictal’s web site or Psychiatry 24/7.com

http://www.lamictal.com/bipolar/patient/tools_for_bipolar_disorder.html

If you poop around in there you can find their mood charts. For me, it’s an easy means of keeping daily track of the things my doc would be interested in knowing. The charts that I use came from Psychiatry 24/7.com and I redid them to include the excessive amounts of espresso, and cigarettes that I consume. Naturally my doctor’s day is diminished a bit by my not following his suggestions exactly, but what the heck, why should I be the only one that is miserable when I see him. Also, when I’ve been overdoing the pain medication, I hate to give the charts to my doctor. I know he’ll spot that, so they tend to keep me somewhat more honest than I might otherwise be. I believe the charts are helpful for me because I most often can’t remember crap when I’m in the doctor’s office. Good luck to you….

rosamptx
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 26
   Posted 9/5/2006 8:10 PM (GMT -7)   
Thank you all for responding.

I've been on the Lamictal about 12 days. In that time I've slept a lot some days, was very hyper one day, then crying a few hours later, then the next day full of rage (which is very unlike me) that lasted two days and the rest of the time, I can't seem to leave my apartment, when I do I feel like I'm going to hyperventilate and just feel mentally drained. I guess that's why I'm so confused, cause I can't seem to decide what the heck I'm feeling, oh yeah, and then there's the times where I feel nothing at all.

I've been clean from crack cocaine for just over two years. I took up crack when I was living with this guy that was an addict unbeknown to me, I decided to come off all my meds which at that time included Neurontin 900mg TID, Buspar 30mg TID, Topamax 100mg BID, Effexor XR BID, Seroquel 50mg at bedtime, Restoril at bedtime, Xanax TID, Vicodin and Inderal. I had been on those for a year, needless to say, a year I remember little about. Fooled around with crack for about 9 months.

I had ECT (electric shock therapy) in March 2004; nine sessions and that seemed to help as well as moving from Florida to a little town in Texas.

Anyway, I'm rambling. Thanks again for the advice, I'm going to look into the charts maybe that will help me make some sense out of what is going on with me.

Rosa

CounterClockwise
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 1529
   Posted 9/6/2006 4:18 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Rosa,

From what you say, it does sound like what you've experienced may just be those early temporary side effects of the new meds, but certainly something to check with your doc.

You've done a great job staying clean -- massive congratulations for that. I'm only sorry you got dragged into that scene to begin with. Hugs to you.

Does your current psychiatrist know you've had ECT treatments in the past and that they helped. That's all good info for him/her.

The charts are a great idea -- thanks for pointing them out Nite -- completely slipped my mind!! They help a lot of people with tracking what's going on and are invaluable to psychs in monitoring your moods.

Take care hun,

Rosie


********************

People are not like fish: they do not work well battered.

When I'm not in my right mind, my left mind gets pretty crowded...

********************

 
Co-Moderator, Bipolar Forum

Post Edited (CounterClockwise) : 9/8/2006 12:06:58 PM (GMT-6)


rosamptx
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 26
   Posted 9/6/2006 7:52 AM (GMT -7)   
Morning,
This is my first appointment with this new doctor. I moved here about 3 months ago and haven't been working, but I can't stand it anymore and feel like I won't be able to get back to work until I do get regulated on meds.

Since I have no insurance the appointment is $235.00 for the first visit, so I want to make it a good one.

Hope everyone has a calm and peaceful happy day. Thanks again for the responses.

Rosa

CounterClockwise
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 1529
   Posted 9/6/2006 10:36 AM (GMT -7)   

Hi Rosa,

Wow, cost can be really high for you guys in the USA -- I know our National Health Service in the UK can be a bit of a delayed process for help, but at least it's free!It occured to me that a couple of people in the a-p forum have had similar problems -- mostly to do with the cost of meds, but I think costs in general are an issue.

There are a couple of threads there with good info on possible sources of financial help with this:

http://www.healingwell.com/community/default.aspx?f=9&m=586397
http://www.healingwell.com/community/default.aspx?f=9&m=578617

Hope these are useful to you.

Rosie x


********************

People are not like fish: they do not work well battered.

When I'm not in my right mind, my left mind gets pretty crowded...

********************

 
Co-Moderator, Bipolar Forum


rosamptx
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 26
   Posted 9/6/2006 11:16 AM (GMT -7)   
I checked out http://www.themedicineprogram.com/links.html and it does offer some good options. My boyfriend/fiance signed me up for TogetherRxAccess.com and some of the medications for bipolar and anxiety, plus many more offer discounts.

Thank you for the help.

I feel much better about the appointment tomorrow. I'll just take an Ativan before leaving the house so I don't panic about being outside the apartment.

Wish me luck.

Rosa

CounterClockwise
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 1529
   Posted 9/6/2006 11:40 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Rosa,

That's great -- get all the help you can on this hun -- wish more people knew about the different lines of support out there and were able to take advantage of them. Good on your bf -- I salute him!

Masses of good luck wishes to you Rosa -- and good wishes in general. You're really putting some thought into how to get the most out of your treatment and that's a hugely positive sign that you are ready to help yourself on the road to recovery: I really admire you for that.

Rosie x
********************

People are not like fish: they do not work well battered.

When I'm not in my right mind, my left mind gets pretty crowded...

********************

 
Co-Moderator, Bipolar Forum


rosamptx
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 26
   Posted 9/8/2006 7:41 AM (GMT -7)   
Thank you Roxie.
 
The appointment went well, although I felt like a babbling idiot.  She asked how my day was, well, I answered, I have been calm, angry, forgetful, crying, happy and that was just this morning.
 
She put me on Wellbutrin XL once a day, Lamictal 50mg once a day for the next 4 weeks, Ativan 1mg for anxiety, and Ambien for sleep.
 
As she's explaining the meds, I'm looking at her like a deer staring at headlights, absolutely no clue what she was saying.  She was nice, she repeated it many times.
 
She also gave me a sample of Lamictal which is a 35 day supply (saved me about $135.00) and also a coupon thingy for the Wellbutrin XL that gave me 14 free pills, plus told me about "Stay on Track" that you sign up for and they send you a $10.00 check each month for your prescription for 6 months.
 
All and all, it was costly but if it works I will be able to get a job and start living again.
 
This site is great.  Makes me feel like I'm doing something to help myself without having to try to read tons of reports published by big companies that state statistics, but not from people who experience the symptoms.
 
It's relieving to know, I'm not alone.
 
Thanks,
Rosa

Ellie 1
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 1291
   Posted 9/8/2006 10:37 AM (GMT -7)   
It's wonderful that your appointment went so well. It will take a little while for the meds to get to a therepeudic dosage in your system, but worth the wait. Ativan is effective immediately though.
Hope you have many good days ahead,
Ellie
Good judgement comes from experience and alot of that comes from bad judgement.
 
You just have to accept that some days you're the pigeon, and some days you're the statue. 
 


CounterClockwise
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 1529
   Posted 9/8/2006 11:17 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Rosa,

Wow, finding good pdocs seems to be catching! That's you and Kimberly (harukakimiko) both with new pdocs and both hitting the jackpot with them! -- Congratulations! -- It really does make such a difference -- having someone who really listens, who knows how important it is at times to repeat information (bipolar can really knock your ability to concentrate), *and* takes account of the financial side too -- this is all so important.

I'm so glad this site is helping you. -- I agree, it's great to have the resources that everybody brings -- information and experience -- not to mention the community of knowing that you're not on your own. -- And you're really *not* alone. It's great to have you here too. :)

Rosie x

P.S. Loved your "I have a bipolar disorder because...?" contributions! -- Married in a morning -- blimey! Nobody could make this stuff up, could they?! x
********************

People are not like fish: they do not work well battered.

When I'm not in my right mind, my left mind gets pretty crowded...

********************

 
Co-Moderator, Bipolar Forum

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