Monday, January 24, 2011

The Doctor

So I mentioned that I had a doctor's appointment last week. It was a very frustrating experience. To start with, I had the appointment scheduled for weds with the female nurse practitioner. Alann came home Tuesday night and said "I switched my days off with someone. I'm working tomorrow and off Thursday, is that a problem?" Um, yeah a little. So I had to call and reschedule for Thursday. I could take the kids, but I figured I would have a less stressful time if I went by myself. Wednesday night we had a huge snowstorm. About 9 inches. In the morning, as I was trying to take a nap because the kids had been up a lot the night before, the doctor's office called to tell me the CNP wouldn't be in because of the weather, but the Doctor was in because he had a truck. So I agreed to see the male doctor instead of the female nurse practitioner. I took Alann's truck so I wouldn't have to deal with the van. I made snow angels in the driveway with the truck. It got stuck and I had to shovel the snow out so I could get out. I made it out and to the appointment. I got there early because the roads were better than I was expecting. It was quite bright and sunny so the snow was melting off the roads pretty well, and it had been plowed too. So I fill out my paperwork and get called back. The nurse was pretty nice. She asked what the problem was and I said well I'm tired a lot and she asked a little about my history and I mentioned I had a two year old and a 8 month old and she laughed and said "well that's why you are tired!" So the doctor comes in. He's older- probably late 50s or older from the looks of him. I know that wisdom comes with age, but for doctors, I prefer someone with about 10 years experience. I figure that way, they have the experience, but they are also studying more of the up-to-date stuff. I know doctors are supposed to keep up with the new research and information and stuff, but how many really do? He is also wearing jeans, ratty old sneakers, and a sweatshirt. When I described him to Alann, he said "oh a country doctor." I guess....Anyway, he asks why I came in and I said "well, I'm tired all the time, and I'm worried about Postpartum depression." He asks about the baby and if I've seen my OB, and I tell him that we moved recently and I don't have an ob. And then he writes me a prescription for an anti-depressant, tells me the nurse will draw blood "to check for anemia and stuff", and leaves. I was a little disappointed to say the least. I was hoping to get a little more diagnosis, be asked a few more questions. I want to know for sure what something is before I take a medicine for it. I feel like if I had seen the nurse, I may have had a better session, just because I expect women doctors to be more talkative. I'm sure that is a great mis-representation, but that's my expectation. I also don't really want to take a RX. I was hoping for a more natural something. Or really, at least more than two questions to diagnose. I feel like because I brought it up, he immediately just went straight to "she wants a RX". Then I had issues with walgreens not wanting to fill the rx because medicaid denied it, and the doctor's office told me to just go to walmart because it is only $4 there and pay out of pocket. So that's what we did. I'm really not totally content with the outcome. I filled the Rx, and have been taking it, but it makes me feel like crap. I'm nauseous and tired, possibly more than before, and I have a headache, and can't sleep well. (And I did take a pregnancy test, so I know it isn't that! These are all listed side effects.) I feel like I may be a little less short with the kiddos, but Alann was home Saturday and is usually home early on Sundays, so that takes some of the pressure off. It's when I am home with kids all day by myself and he comes home and is working for Mike that really gets to me because it is just me, all day. I also did some research on depression and found some vitamin recommendations, so I'm taking those too. Vitamins are safe to use with the Rx, so I felt like I could do that easily. If this headache doesn't go away tomorrow, I'm thinking of making another appointment. I want to try to get to the bottom of my tired problem, not just have it written off. I know tired or fatigue is a symptom of depression, but I guess maybe I didn't make it clear that I had two issues I wanted help with. I got a call back about my test results, and my blood work came back fine, but I'm still not sure what they checked. I really felt brushed off. The office is mostly for medicaid and uninsured patients, so I'm sure they are focused on getting people out as quickly as possible. I'm not really sure what to do. I would rather see the female nurse, but I feel like if I call back, I'll be told to see the old guy again. I can try to find a new doctor somewhere else, but that means switching my PCP with medicaid. I don't mind going farther for my doctor. I want someone in town for the kids because I see their doc A LOT. I don't mind going 30 minutes or so out for my doctor, because hopefully, I won't see them that often. So I guess this is just a big long post saying "no real news" or "no real resolutions".
Now, I'm sure some one out there is wondering why I mentioned PPD. My baby is 8 months old. How can I have PPD? Well, it's anytime during baby's first year actually. But, it may not be PPD. That's what I was hoping to get resolved. It could be PPD. It could be seasonal affective disorder (aka winter blues or SAD), it could just be the doldrums, it could just be that I'm an awful mom and hate my kids (but I don't think it's that). Or it could be a new one to me- premenstrual dismorphic disorder (PMDD). Basically, it's PMS on steroids, and involves more depressive symptoms. I read about it in my parents magazine a few months ago. It was a side-note to an article about yelling. This was about the same time that I got fed up with Claire and got the audiologist recommendation and the speech therapy stuff. I realized I was yelling a lot and irritated a lot right before my period started, so that side-note really hit a cue for me. I watched myself and took notes and realized that it really was worse before then. I was really irritable the week before. But then it started getting worse. I was more irritated more often. So I don't know if this is PPD or PMDD or SAD. It started right when things got cold and snowy. And I know that I get cranky in the winter in MO. I've never been diagnosed with SAD, but have definitely had symptoms of it every winter I've lived here. I was hoping it would be different this time. But I just can't deal with the fact that I am a sun-loving child of the southwest, and MO doesn't have enough sunlight for me during the winter. We get maybe a day of sun for every 4 days of clouds. UT wasn't like that. We would get huge snow storms but the rest of the time was clear (when it wasn't inversion anyway). I try to appreciate the sun when I have it, and bask in it when I can, but there is only so much basking that can happen when it is single-digit temperature outside. So I am hoping this will clear up and I can get off the Rx soon, assuming I stay on it. We will see if these side effects go away or not. A headache all day does not make mommy much happier.


Teene said...

I say if it makes you feel like crap, get off of it. Side affects like that don't seem worth the "help". I'll email you some other stuff. Love you!

Shannon said...

Bummer. I'm sorry you're struggling. It sucks. That doctor sounds awful too! It is your health and you have a right to see whoever you want. You should call back and see if you can get an appointment with the female NP. I had my first counseling session yesterday and it was good. Not a whole lot of new information, but it helped just to talk to someone and have my feelings validated you know?

I am hoping to avoid taking a RX anti-depressant by exercising more and learning some "time-out" meditation and relaxation techniques that I can squeeze into my day when I lose my temper or get anxious. I hope that you get it figured out so you can get it to be better! In the meantime I'm sending big hugs your way!

Debbie said...

MO can be bad because of the overcast days and the cold. I'm like Teene ... I wouldn't take the anti-depressant. It could be a mix of having the kids keep you busy and up all night, plus the cold, plus the overcast days, plus PMS ... I would call the office again and talk to the Nurse Practioner ... she might have some good suggestions for you and not pull out the RX. We'll keep you in our prayers and see if there's anything else that we can do.