June 24, 2010

Depression update

Although I am still as deeply depressed, I have taken some steps in both directions (including some back into bed).

I contacted my former shrink, who called me immediately and offered to speak with Dr G about anti-depressants. I guess I will hear the results when I see him today and find out about yesterday's scan.

The CT scan required me to drink a bottle of barium solution, then get my port accessed, then drink another bottle of barium solution. Sometime in the midst of being accessed, I vomited up a portion of the barium. The taste was awful, my stress level is sky-high, I had a hot flash and the nurse couldn't quite get the needle in the right place in the port. POOF -- vomit. The nurse then walked me back to the radiology department and confirmed for them that I had indeed vomited and should not drink the second bottle of barium.

From there the scan went smoothly and was over quickly. I asked for a place to lie down for a few minutes and was given a pillow and blanket to soothe me. I practiced my yoga breathing for a while and then was able to meet a friend for lunch.

Lunch was just the opposite of what Dr G has requested in terms of low carb diet. I wanted something gentle on my upset tummy and what could be more bland than noodles with alfredo sauce? I wasn't hungry but forced myself to eat anyway. L and I took a short walk in the sunshine and I went home to crash.

I tried to contact Pacificare Mental Health and get a referral to a psychiatrist who specializes in chronic illness, but was again thwarted. There is only one such doctor contracted in the entire city of Seattle. The one who didn't return my call from Monday. The Pacificare "care advocate" offered me an appointment with someone in Bellevue, but I explained that I have so many medical appointments already, I didn't have the time or energy to drive to Bellevue once a week.

As soon as possible, I wrapped my arm, put on the plastic orthopedic gizmo, took a milligram of Ativan, got undressed and into bed. I got up occasionally, once to take a call from my primary care doc. She insisted that I call her office today and get in to see one of her colleagues while she is on vacation. So on Friday I have rearranged my schedule to see yet another doctor who can hopefully assess my situation properly and begin prescribing me the right medication to treat this depression.

I also contacted my naturopath to get his take on this situation. A friend from my online support group mentioned that when you wear fabric (scarves, hats) over your bald head, you prevent any UV light from reaching your pineal gland. I must ask him about this.

So far it's not affecting me to eat only two meals a day. Skipping dinner three days in a row has not impacted my weight or made me particularly hungry in the morning. I will eat because I know I have to, not because I want food.

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