The next day

Today I headed out to Doc’s for a very unusual Sunday appointment because of yesterday’s events. I could hardly speak when I arrived, and I thought he just started the neurofeedback right away. Later, I learned that we actually had a bit of a session before neurofeedback, but I don’t recall it.

After the neurofeedback session was done he said this to me, “We need to talk about getting you on some meds.”

My brain just shut down when he said this as this is a rare psychiatrist who is very cautious about meds, and his eternal preference is to try a number of alternatives before turning to meds. In fact, when I originally came to him over a year ago I was on a mega dose of Lexapro, 40mg, with Xanax .25 as a PRN. There had been attempts by other clinicians to add Seroquel, Abilify, and Minipress, but those attempts were met with side effects that made all of those ventures short-lived. With Doc, I eventually got off of Lexapro, and I only have the Xanax as a PRN. I’ve considered this a victory, especially since I attribute part of my weight gain to this massive dose of Lexapro that I was on for 4 years.

But there we were with real talk of meds that I needed to consider. He prescribed Inderal for management of my PTSD symptoms and panic. I didn’t argue since he does not prescribe meds lightly. He also asked me to start taking the homeopathic stuff he recommended to me months ago.

At the end of the session he said this to me, “Honestly, I was frightened for you last night because it was Belle that was speaking to me on the phone. She’s never called me, and that really had me concerned for you.”

I became acutely aware that Doc’s actions yesterday and today kept me out of the hospital. Not only that, but they were far more helpful than any acute psychiatric hospital stay would be for me. The proof is in the pudding in that I was able to go grocery shopping after breakfast for the Thanksgiving pie I have to make on Wednesday night. I was even able to clean out my pantry, and make a simple dinner this evening. It was ass expensive to see him today, and I see my savings dwindling with neurofeedback sessions that insurance does not cover, but I am not complaining. No, sirreee, I am not. I may wind up broke after all of this, but it’s better than dead, and it’s better than completely undone.

Doc asked me to go eat something before I drove the 27 miles back home. He recommended a lovely restaurant in town, and they had this unique dish on the menu called shakshuka, basically baked eggs in a spicy tomato sauce.

That dish was just what the soul needed. There was also a chocolate croissant at the end of the meal that was unnecessary, but I let myself be indulgent with Letty. She likes sweets, and I still wanted to linger. Last night, I never would have guessed that I would be happily eating baked eggs with english breakfast tea and challah bread a mere 12 hours after I felt like the bottom of my world fell out from under me.


The dark

You’re fumbling around in the dark, and you can’t find your way out of this place. This place that feels like it’s pulling you back, and keeping you from the rest of the world. No matter how hard you try you can’t shake the dark. You can’t wish it away, and you can’t work it away. It is there, like the air around you. There is no escape.

Your stomach asks for a real meal, but you are seemingly glued to the couch. You even made the effort and bought provisions for sweet potato soup: sweet potatoes, coconut milk, ginger, lime, and coriander. You grabbed fresh bread at the bakery, and, in a moment of planning for any scenario, you grabbed a container of ready-to-heat poblano corn chowder soup just in case you can’t make the sweet potato soup.

But, no, you walk in, and have no energy. You succumb to the couch, against your desire, but there you are. You want that soup and that bread. Alas, you bought some sweet and salty popcorn, and you manage to pull that out in order to eat something. Pathetically, it wasn’t hard since the shopping bag is right by the couch, the place it landed when you fell into the couch upon arrival home.

The phone rings and it’s Doc. He asks if you can make it to Monday. You just cry. He gives up his Sunday morning to see you tomorrow at 10 am in his office. He suggests a session of neurofeedback, and you agree. You don’t tell him that you were looking up some of the better psychiatric hospitals on the east coast, but, somehow, you know he knows that it’s not good.

PTSD is damn expensive

I’ve gained my bearings back, for which I m very grateful. It’s a good thing because I’ve received some news that needs my attention. Doc told me that the insurance company will not pay for my neurofeedback sessions. So, if I want to continue them I will have to pay for them out of pocket. FYI everyone, neurofeedback is seen as experimental for PTSD by insurance companies in the United States.

I am not sure that I can afford the extra charge for the neurofeedback sessions, but they have been tremendously helpful to me. I’m considering taking a loan out on my pension to do this. It’s a very reasonable interest rate, but in the back of my mind I was going to take out such a loan as a down payment on a house.

I know I’ve talked about the travails of considering purchasing a home. I’ve done the math, and if I can come up with a down payment it would be cheaper for me to pay a mortgage. But all my medical expenses have precluded me from saving for such a thing. That is why my fallback was a loan against my pension.

Things could be a lot worse for me. I know this. At least I have a pension fund from which I can take a loan. Still though, all of these medical expenses put me further behind where I want to be in my life.

I’m pondering what to do. I’m even considering a second job. The things we do for mental health …