I have a confession: I have a crush on Brent. It didn’t happen immediately – it was probably a few months in, after I handed him my notes of my symptoms between appointments and he whispered that it felt like he was cheating on a test. He said it was weird, because he was actually the kid others cheated off of, when he took a 12th grade level math class as an 8th grader.
Unfortunately, this means that no matter how frustrated I get with him, I don’t want to find someone different to prescribe my medication. I’d miss seeing him. I’d miss being asked if I have superpowers and shaking my head and saying, “I wish.”
When my mood was up and not in a pleasant way, I started a mood chart inspired by The Color-Band Mood Chart. The difference was that I did mine on a calendar of the year, so I’d be able to see if there was a pattern to how I felt on particular days of the week. I assigned colors for severely depressed, mildly depressed, stable, hypomanic, manic, mildly mixed, and severely mixed. It turned out that even going back all the way to the beginning of the year (by reading my journal entries) I never needed to use the manic or severely mixed colors.
There were long expanses earlier in the year where I fluctuated through stable, mildly depressed, and severely depressed for months at a time. In the past few months, however, my mood has been bouncing all over the place. I used Ride the Wave through the past week and a half, and managed to make it to my appointment with Brent. However…
My appointment was scheduled for 4 pm, right after my appointment with Sadie. She intended to write her note to Brent during the appointment, for him to read before I entered his office. That didn’t work out. As I was waiting for my appointment, having rushed in from a work meeting with 7 minutes to spare, I heard my name being called from the opposite side of the waiting room. I ignored it the first time, given that it’s a common name and I wasn’t expecting to be called from over there. The second time, I turned around and it was Brent. He asked if I had a second.
I followed him to his office, saying he had 7 minutes. Of course he wanted to squeeze me into those 7 minutes – if he saw me then, he’d be able to leave early. 7 minutes was not enough time. I was feeling panicked about the idea that I might be late for my appointment with Sadie, and didn’t have the courage to debate with him. Before I even handed over my notes and mood chart I said, “You have to change something or I’m going to end up in inpatient.” Well, he did change something…
Over the course of this year, my med changes have included increasing Wellbutrin from 300 mg to 450 mg (in April, when I’d been depressed for a couple of months) and decreasing Latuda from 60 mg to 40 mg (in August, when I’d been complaining that it made me sleep too much). The choices he gave me today were “increase Latuda or decrease Wellbutrin”. I feel pretty strongly about the Latuda, so opted to decrease Wellbutrin back to 300 mg a day.
I had also mentioned ongoing anxiety. I’ve been taking 10 mg of BuSpar 3 times a day for about a year and a half, and the anxiety is not nearly as crippling as it was before I started taking it, but it was pointed out by Sierra yesterday that she could still see that I was anxious during group and while talking with her individually that day. Brent asked if I was taking the BuSpar and if it was helping. I explained that it helps some, and he didn’t make any change to try addressing the lingering anxiety. He said to come back in a month. I got back to the waiting room exactly on time for my appointment with Sadie.
Sadie was not thrilled by how this appointment went – that she didn’t get a chance to give her input, that he made such a minor change, that he didn’t want to see me sooner than a month from now. I didn’t say it to her, but came home feeling positive that I’m going to end up in inpatient before that month is up. I want to have faith that the change will help, but I honestly don’t see how decreasing the antidepressant that pulled me out of suicidal despair is going to miraculously fix the fact that my moods have been like a yo-yo for three months.