Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Anxiety Assessment

I had my follow-up appointment with the new psychiatrist last week. My first appointment with her was about a month ago, when she put me on Celexa again and added Klonopin for sleep. Anxiety has been MUCH improved since starting the medication, thank goodness. Haven't had any of those horrible panicky episodes (I wouldn't really call them full-blown panic attacks, but close) in weeks—and in October/November they were happening at least once or twice a day. I no longer have that constant nervous feeling in my gut, I'm no longer perpetually nauseated with dread, and I no longer burst into tears ten times a day because I'm so freaking AFRAID of...what? I don't even remember.

So that's all good. Dr. C, the new psychiatrist, had a resident working with her on the day of my appointment....and while I like Dr. C, I did not particularly appreciate being blindsided by that. Ugh I understand that new doctors need training and experience etc., and I understand there is a shortage of psychiatrists, and I'm very grateful that this person was going into the field....but I really dislike having to talk about things that are already hard to talk about TWICE within the space of twenty minutes. Dr. C came and got me from the waiting room, then as we were heading back to the office she asked if I minded meeting with the resident first. Given that we were basically standing outside the resident's office, it didn't feel like I could say no. So I said yes, spoke with the resident for ten minutes, resident went to report back to Dr. C, then I got called into Dr. C's office where I repeated everything I just said (and, presumably, that the resident had just repeated). As I said, UGH. Anyway, it wasn't the end of the world; just irritating. I told them how I was definitely doing better anxiety-wise than I had been, which was probably partly Celexa and partly just circumstance (end of semester, holidays, getting to spend stress-free time at home with Mama and Papa Bear). And I told her about how I had only used the Klonopin once or twice for sleep, and it seemed to work but I was nervous about taking it more often.

Upon some probing Dr. C got me to admit that yes, I do still get somewhat anxious and am anticipating an uptick with the start of the semester (the spring will be far crazier than the fall was). So she urged me to up the dose from 20 to 40mg, at which I of course balked because...I don't know why, just because. Weight gain. Other vague unknowable potential side effects. Not liking drugs. Weight gain. I DON'T KNOW. She assured me over and over again that Celexa does NOT cause weight gain, that there are plenty of psych meds that do cause weight gain but Celexa isn't one of them. Trying hard to trust her on that. (And maybe I really should because this morning, I worked up the courage to step on the scale and check my weight for the first time in a few months.... and whaddya know, I'm down about five pounds. Body, you are a never ending source of mystery and intrigue.)

ANYWAY, after some back and forth, Dr. C and I compromised on the dose—I'll go up to 30mg for a few weeks, then check back in once the semester has gotten going and we'll reassess from there. I feel okay with that for now, mostly because I feel much more okay about life in general, and am yet again blown away by the magical powers of medication. Argh yes fine you can all point and yell I TOLDJA SO. FINE.

I leave town for a conference tomorrow and am pretty impressed with how not stressed I am about it. This will be the first real conference for which I've had to actually travel, present a paper, schmooze with important people, etc. and so far I'm taking it in stride. But never fear: Klonopin has already been packed.

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