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ProfessorTomoe

Changing Medications (Level of Trust Required)

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Running on the ragged edge of Adderall.  Right now I'm not getting the "you can pay attention" effect, but am getting most of the side effects.  This is to be expected 8 hours after taking it, but it's still a pain in the sitting area.

I'm going to try a cup of tea or two and eat something to see if that helps and if they don't take an Ativan and crash for the day.  

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What do you give to the man who takes everything?

Seriously, I'm on the maximum doses for as many of my antidepressants as I'm aware. I'm on 10mg of Abilify, with a max dose there of 15 mg. That's the only one I'm aware of that I can increase. What else can I do when my antidepressants aren't getting the job done?

Looks like I get to call my psychiatrist in addition to my pain management doctor and (perhaps) my regular doctor tomorrow. This sucks beyond belief.

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Prof, pure speculation, but I think if you could get the various pains under control the depression would lessen.

Which is hardly helpful... in fact it probably doesn't qualify as advice... but it may be comforting.

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20 minutes ago, Don Edwards said:

Prof, pure speculation, but I think if you could get the various pains under control the depression would lessen.

Which is hardly helpful... in fact it probably doesn't qualify as advice... but it may be comforting.

It's appreciated, that's for sure. Unfortunately, my 10-day check-in call tomorrow is not going to be very good for the doctor. I've still got the same burning line of pain along my right back/hip/side/foot line, and my left foot stone bruise pain hasn't improved. I still need to check my lower left back—it hasn't got much exercise due to my depression, so I don't know if it's improved or not.

You see, you've gotta remember that there were a ton of problems listed in the CT myelogram. There's no way he could have hit everything at once, even if he said it was an easy operation, IMHO. Either that, or there's going to be surgery to follow (he did mention that).

It's complicated beyond belief, and when you mix in my steady-state depression plus my new depression over my grandmother, you've got really long division to deal with. :icon_confused:

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30 minutes ago, ProfessorTomoe said:

It's complicated beyond belief, and when you mix in my steady-state depression plus my new depression over my grandmother, you've got really long division to deal with. :icon_confused:

I am nonetheless happier knowing that you have a better doctor this time. I trust he will do the best he can and that over time you will see improvement.

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10:33 a.m. CDT 20170829. I finally resolved my "10-day check-in" call with the pain management people, one day late. Urrgh.

When I called Monday, they asked me something I couldn't understand, I said, "What?", and then they asked me what percentage of relief I received. I told them 10-15%. They said someone would call back. That was at lunch. Put every other thing on hold so I can catch the nurse when she calls back.

No call back. I call at 4:30 p.m.—closed.

I just called them back at about 10am and explained what happened. They asked me again how much relief I got. I answer again. They ask when I would like to come in to see a nurse practitioner about it.

WTF? That's all I waited for yesterday? That's what I put everything else on hold for yesterday? Yup.

/* insert look that could kill here */

I told her that I have an appointment with the doctor on September 6th and said I didn't need two appointments. We ended the call on an "are you sure?" note.

Move on to what was supposed to be step two yesterday: contact my psychiatrist about my antidepressants and the lack of antidepressanting they're doing. I get very lucky—the receptionist is in. I explain the problem. She says she'll pull my chart and give it to my doctor so that he can contact me after lunch.

Now all that remains is for Mrs. Prof to pick up the "magic mouthwash" that I called in a refill for on Friday. The pharmacist didn't get approval for it until midday yesterday.

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6:15 p.m. CDT 20170829. My psychiatrist has yet to call me back. Dear God. Even my psychiatrist is depressing me. I'm frozen in a depressed pile of uselessness at the moment. I'm in hell, and it has frozen over on top of me.

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8 hours ago, ProfessorTomoe said:

6:15 p.m. CDT 20170829. My psychiatrist has yet to call me back. Dear God. Even my psychiatrist is depressing me. I'm frozen in a depressed pile of uselessness at the moment. I'm in hell, and it has frozen over on top of me.

I wish there were something I could say or do to make this all better, to lift this burden from you.  I know it's not that easy with Depression.  Whatever help our support is, please take it.  Know that you are not alone, there are people here who care about you, are rooting for you, and who would truly miss you if you weren't checking in with us, even if it's to vent and grumble and complain.

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1 hour ago, CritterKeeper said:

 vent and grumble and complain

I'm good at those. Tested out of a whole semester of them at UT-Austin.

Just as a diversion (and because I'm nosy tonight), what did you test out of if you went to college/university? I tested out of Math, Chemistry, and something for the life of me I can't remember (English? History? Must have been one of the two). I also tested out of a semester of Music Theory, something the professor said he hardly ever did. I only got the gumption to try after tying for 1st place in the UIL State Music Theory test earlier that year. If it weren't for my scales, I would have outright won (and tested out of a full semester).

Insert your answer here.
 

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4:40 a.m. CDT 20170830. I woke up freezing cold. No socks and no blanket may have contributed, but I usually sleep that way and I don't have problems. All the light blankets are in the wash, so it's a big towel for me.

BTW, this was after sleeping with my face pointed into the sofa. The sore on my right ear isn't growing, but it's getting to be unbearable to sleep on. I'm calling my primary care doctor tomorrow and setting up an appointment, which will be followed by a reference to yet another specialist (a dermatologist). I can't handle the constant pain any more, even with hydrocodone.

Drinking some of the last of my Teavana Oolong jasmine tea. Gotta find a better source. Preferably for jasmine tea that has the jasmine flowers *in* the mix.

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18 minutes ago, ProfessorTomoe said:

I'm good at those. Tested out of a whole semester of them at UT-Austin.

Just as a diversion (and because I'm nosy tonight), what did you test out of if you went to college/university? I tested out of Math, Chemistry, and something for the life of me I can't remember (English? History? Must have been one of the two). I also tested out of a semester of Music Theory, something the professor said he hardly ever did. I only got the gumption to try after tying for 1st place in the UIL State Music Theory test earlier that year. If it weren't for my scales, I would have outright won (and tested out of a full semester).

Insert your answer here.
 

So, back in 9th grade, early in the year, my English teacher pulled me aside. She told me that the entire last year she had watched me be bored out of my skull during her classes and always do my material perfectly while barely trying. She told me that she had nothing to offer me at the level of English we were supposed to learn and suggested that I for the rest of the year go do my own thing during her classes. She'd let me do the exams normally and all I had to do was to be quiet about it as it was a bit irregular. At the end of the year I passed with top marks. Then we repeated it in 10th grade.

If there was one thing this taught me, it was that self study can be incredibly valuable if it is a subject you are truly interested in. And I loved reading, writing and speaking English. At least in part because so much of the 'great literature' we had to read in Danish was incredibly depressing and dull, and I liked science fiction. By the time I turned 13 (late 7th grade) I had exhausted the sparse Danish science fiction section in the library. So I got hold of a brick of a Heinlein novel my mother had lying around and read it through the brute force method of looking up every word I did not understand, which was about one in three. It took me three months to finish it, but I did it. And as it happened, around the middle of the book the characters started to discuss science fiction writers they loved. Armed with their names I went to the library and had it order books by them written in English (no Danish translations available in most cases, anyway.) During the entirety of 8th grade I barely glanced at my English school material and went directly to what I considered to be the real deal, books by Isaac Asimov, Larry Niven, everything else I could find by Heinlein and even E.E. 'Doc' Smith and his Lensman series.

It was for this reason that I at the start of 9th grade was so far beyond the curriculum that it wasn't even funny. I remain grateful to my teacher that she didn't make me sit through it. At that point it was about as challenging to me as a Richard Scarry book but didn't have even a hundredth of the entertainment value. I mean, at least I would have enjoyed reading a Richard Scarry book.

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31 minutes ago, The Old Hack said:

So, back in 9th grade, early in the year, my English teacher pulled me aside. She told me that the entire last year she had watched me be bored out of my skull during her classes and always do my material perfectly while barely trying. She told me that she had nothing to offer me at the level of English we were supposed to learn and suggested that I for the rest of the year go do my own thing during her classes. She'd let me do the exams normally and all I had to do was to be quiet about it as it was a bit irregular. At the end of the year I passed with top marks. Then we repeated it in 10th grade.

That was my case in kindergarten (big difference, I know, just wait for it). I'd been encouraged to read from as long as I can remember. My parents told me I could read when I was three and read the newspaper when I was four. Introduce Problem: the Houston Independent School District and the Texas school system rules. There was no way that they were going to let me skip over kindergarten, which was basically a half-day day care with drawing crayons and Manila paper. I'd been born too late to start first grade when I needed to (school starts in Aug/Sept here, and I was born in November).

So, one day, I find myself pulled out of kindergarten, day care, and everything I'd known, and tossed over to a tiny private school (SoHo Private School & Day Care) in the city of South Houston. (Yes, there is a city called "South Houston." It's between Pasadena and regular Houston.) After some wacky hijinx (another story), I got called over to a couple of teachers who were watching the kiddiewinkies watch their morning cartoons. One of them handed me a newspaper, pointed to a section, and said, "Read that." Her jaw dropped when I read it. She said thanks and sent me back to the cartoon gang.

I don't know how much longer it was before I was ushered into a small, one-room, private first grade (fully accredited) with a bunch of about a dozen or slightly more kids looking at me strangely. I was told I would report there from every morning from then on, and that Mrs. Binford would be my first grade teacher. It was a proper first grade, too—I actually learned math, more advanced grammar, and other things way beyond what I would have "learned" from kindergarten.

The following year I transferred to a 2nd grade class at South Shaver Elementary school in the Pasadena independent School District.

That's how my parents got me around the problem of being born 3 months too late to start first grade. Learning-wise, I consider it a boost. Developmental-wise, I consider it a bit of a drawback. I was a year younger than everyone else in my classes, so I didn't pick up on social cues until it was too late. I was therefore dubbed the school nerd, starting around 4th grade and running up until my senior year of high school (although not as bad as high school started—I'd switched school paths and went to a "rival" high school from those who picked on me).

My advice: have kids between February and July. They won't have to put up with the crap I did in exchange for the accelerated learning.

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4 hours ago, ProfessorTomoe said:

Just as a diversion (and because I'm nosy tonight), what did you test out of if you went to college/university?

Hmm, I know I tested out of the Rhetoric requirement, and I passed a couple of AP classes/tests.  I didn't know enough French to skip taking a language entirely, but they did start me out a few semesters in.  I'd already taken Calc I in high school, so I wound up taking a Calculus of Multiple Variables done on the program Mathematica back when it was still in its early days.  Calculus is definitely a lot easier to understand when you can see the darn graphs and how they change right away instead of after plotting all those points.

4 hours ago, The Old Hack said:

So, back in 9th grade, early in the year, my English teacher pulled me aside. She told me that the entire last year she had watched me be bored out of my skull during her classes and always do my material perfectly while barely trying. She told me that she had nothing to offer me at the level of English we were supposed to learn and suggested that I for the rest of the year go do my own thing during her classes. She'd let me do the exams normally and all I had to do was to be quiet about it as it was a bit irregular. At the end of the year I passed with top marks. Then we repeated it in 10th grade.

I had something similar happen in sixth grade.  Our math teacher gave a Geometry test, and two of us got an A, two of us got a C, and the entire rest of the class flunked it.  So, he had to take the class (the most advanced of the threee tracks, mind you) back through the material at what I thought of as "an even slower snail's pace."  He decided to let the four of us take ourselves and our textbooks to the empty classroom-slash-meeting room next door, and as long as we turned in the homework he assigned us, and passed any quizzes he gave us, we could do whatever we liked most days.  Often playing D&D.  Occasionally he'd provide something else to do, like a kit for using sticks and corner pieces to make various geometric figures, most of which we knew as D&D dice.  If the room was occupied, we'd hang out in the back of his classroom, usually using the computer there to play the rudimentary games available at the time.

Oddly enough, the other three who passed were named William, Billy, and Will.

4 hours ago, The Old Hack said:

It was for this reason that I at the start of 9th grade was so far beyond the curriculum that it wasn't even funny. I remain grateful to my teacher that she didn't make me sit through it. At that point it was about as challenging to me as a Richard Scarry book but didn't have even a hundredth of the entertainment value. I mean, at least I would have enjoyed reading a Richard Scarry book.

We had these SRA Reading Cards in first grade.  You read the card, and answered the questions, and you'd get that card number marked off on the chart on the wall in the corner where the cards were.  Well, about five of us, through a combination of finding the cards easy and getting into a competitive spirit, finished off the box, moved on to the second grade set of cards, and were well into the third grade set by the end of the year.  They had to add extra rows to the chart for us, but they never tried to hold us back!

 

The only time I sort of skipped an actual grade was starting high school.  The high school was a laboratory school, although most of the laboratory type stuff had petered out before we got there (although a couple of classrooms still had half-silvered mirrors for observing classes without disturbing them, so far as I know they weren't used).  We had to take the SSAT to get in, a sort of junior version of the SAT, and there was a "suggested donation" for parents who could afford it to make, although unlike tuition, it was not required.  It was located on the University campus, so given all these factors, naturally it had a lot of professors' kids.  Total nerd school, which was so much better than being stuck in regular school. 

The school had a Subfreshman class, which covered 7th and 8th grades in one year.  Judging from 6th grade, that wouldn't be hard to do. You could enter after 6th grade, but if you didn't get in then, for whatever reason including not applying then, you could also enter after 7th grade.  Two of the kids in the SRA Reading Card race were in the class behind me because of this.  :-)

When I got into undergrad, it would have been possible for me to pack in the classes and get done in three years.  In fact, I knew of people who were pretty much forced to graduate early because they'd gotten the required credits and the school wanted to bring down their average to make up for all the fifth and sixth year undergrads in programs like Engineering.  However, my second year my thyroid quit on me, and I'd had to drop one Chemistry lab class to be able to catch up on the other classes and continue in the Biology Honors program.  I decided nope, I'd already skipped one year, I really didn't want to hurry through undergrad, so I very carefully didn't make up that one laboratory class until the last semester.

Turns out the Biology Honors program required so many hours of Chemistry that I could not only get a minor, not only a double-major, but a whole second Bachelor's degree if I just took that lab class and about three other specific hours, and brought my total up to 18 hours that last semester via any other classes I wanted.  I took Weightlifting, which turned out to be something I was actually good at, lifting in the same range as most of the guys in class.  I took Child Psychology and Abnormal Psychology.  I looked to see if I could find a class on basket weaving or somesuch, just to be able to say I'd taken it, but in the end other stuff was more interesting anyways.  I got my full four years of undergrad, got a two-for-one special on the degrees, and got into Vet school handily, and I and a few other first year vet students weren't even legal to drink until several months in (which didn't stop the Dean from hosting a welcome tent party with beer).

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7:16 p.m. CDT 20170830. I fell and I couldn't get up. Again.

I can't believe it. The day was going so well. Loudmouth had come out of his cubby-hole and was touring the kitchen and computer room. I'd just finished off a peach and maple syrup yogurt. I was trying to get Loudmouth to use the horizontal scratcher Baker loves so much, but he wasn't going for it. I decided to try and pick him up and put him on it, but he slipped out of my grasp. I lost my balance, went down on my knees, and rolled onto my butt.

Well, crap. At least nothing broke that I know of. However, no matter how hard I tried, I just did not have the combination of leg strength and knee pain tolerance to get myself off the floor.

It was a 15 minute crawl minimum to get into the living room where the nearest phone was located. I called Mrs. Prof. Her response? "You're joking." Same as last time. Fortunately, she was at the pet adoption center and made it here in about 15 minutes, but she was in a big rush-hurry-quick to get me back up on my feet. I told her that'd be fine if she didn't mind me breaking a big toe again. We eventually argued it out and, with the help of plenty of sofa pillows which I couldn't have reached, got me back up on my feet. She darted back up to the PAC.

Flip over to the "Loudmouth's Journey Inside" thread for the rest of the story.

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11:24 p.m. CDT 20170830. Craphelldamnandabunchofotherfourletterwords. When you are on 60mg a day of hydrocodone, things aren't supposed to hurt unless you've done something to them.

Something in the area of my right big toe metatarsal hurts. I've done something to it. :angry:

I'm probably going to have to have an X-ray of my foot done tomorrow. I was going to my primary doctor anyway to get a referral to a dermatologist for the spot on my right ear. Now I've got something else to discuss in addition, most likely due to the fall I had (see above).

I am officially a fall risk. I can no longer take care of myself reliably. I don't know what we're going to do about it. All I know is that it's as embarrassing as hell.

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2 hours ago, ProfessorTomoe said:

11:24 p.m. CDT 20170830. Craphelldamnandabunchofotherfourletterwords. When you are on 60mg a day of hydrocodone, things aren't supposed to hurt unless you've done something to them.

Something in the area of my right big toe metatarsal hurts. I've done something to it. :angry:

I'm probably going to have to have an X-ray of my foot done tomorrow. I was going to my primary doctor anyway to get a referral to a dermatologist for the spot on my right ear. Now I've got something else to discuss in addition, most likely due to the fall I had (see above).

I am officially a fall risk. I can no longer take care of myself reliably. I don't know what we're going to do about it. All I know is that it's as embarrassing as hell.

*sigh* One damn thing after another. Let us hope it was nothing too serious that happened.

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On 8/30/2017 at 5:25 AM, ProfessorTomoe said:

I'm good at those. Tested out of a whole semester of them at UT-Austin.

Just as a diversion (and because I'm nosy tonight), what did you test out of if you went to college/university? I tested out of Math, Chemistry, and something for the life of me I can't remember (English? History? Must have been one of the two). I also tested out of a semester of Music Theory, something the professor said he hardly ever did. I only got the gumption to try after tying for 1st place in the UIL State Music Theory test earlier that year. If it weren't for my scales, I would have outright won (and tested out of a full semester).

Insert your answer here.
 

Lezzee, I should be able to remember this, since I'm still at university.

I tested out of Physics I, Calculus II, all the Chemistry courses that an ME/EE needs to take, most of my English courses, Econ I, and all History credits.  (I took a LOT of AP courses).

 

Music Theory, you say?  Which instrument was your first?

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4 hours ago, Yzjdriel said:

Music Theory, you say?  Which instrument was your first?

Bass clarinet in junior high school. It would have been tenor sax if the dumb arse director knew how to recognize that the low key pad was bent on the horn. Anyway, 3 years of bass clarinet, then bassoon and percussion in high school, then things kind of exploded from there in college, drum corps, and afterward.

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12:33 p.m. CDT 20170831. At least my toe isn't broken. That's the good part of my doctor visit today. Just a painful sprain. No big deal there.

As for the lesion on my ear, he's referred me to a person he claims is a good dermatologist (I begged him not to get me into another Spine Team Texas situation). He'll do a biopsy and, if necessary, perform something called Mohs surgery to remove the lesion. All I know is that the damned thing hurts and I want it off.

My primary doctor also upped my dose of Abilify to 15mg from 10mg. It's waiting at the pharmacy for me. I'm waiting for my damned psychiatrist to call me back. I've been trying to reach him for three days now, and I haven't heard a word from him. This patient's patience wears thin.

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13 minutes ago, ProfessorTomoe said:

Bass clarinet in junior high school. It would have been tenor sax if the dumb arse director knew how to recognize that the low key pad was bent on the horn. Anyway, 3 years of bass clarinet, then bassoon and percussion in high school, then things kind of exploded from there in college, drum corps, and afterward.

Nice!  I started with clarinet myself and branched out into the rest of the woodwinds in 8-12th grade.

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4 hours ago, Yzjdriel said:

Nice!  I started with clarinet myself and branched out into the rest of the woodwinds in 8-12th grade.

Cool. I was never able to master the flute beyond method class in college. At least I figured out where it's supposed to go in the orchestra. ;)

More details here.

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10:16 p.m. CDT 20170831. Had a rather nasty event happen a little under two hours ago. I felt like I was trying to crawl out of my skin, and it wasn't even close to hydrocodone dosage time. Mrs. Prof told me to take my other pills, including the new 15mg Abilify dose. It helped. No idea why the attack was triggered.

I took my hydrocodone about 15 minutes early (BTW, my PCP reinforced Baylor Scott & White's orders to take all 60mg of my prescribed dose). I'm still having the same pains and waiting for my Sept. 6th appointment with the pain specialist.

Still didn't hear from my psychiatrist today. For his sake, I hope he's stuck in Houston. I'm not a camper of the happy type.

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On 8/31/2017 at 6:19 AM, ProfessorTomoe said:

 Now Mrs. Prof wants me to use my cane all the time, inside and outside the house.

Gotta say, I'm with her on this one.  I'd be working on making sure the paths are wide enough for your walker to get through, too, and using that as much as possible.  It really is safer than a cane when it comes to falls, from what I've seen with both parents and with friends with surgeries and/or disabilities.

23 hours ago, Yzjdriel said:

Nice!  I started with clarinet myself and branched out into the rest of the woodwinds in 8-12th grade.

I took piano from an early age, but too much playing classical pieces and not enough learning how to improv.  Tried flute, but despite everyone's promises I would, I never got past the headache stage and finally gave up.  Took guitar in college, enjoyed it, but it fell by the wayside during vet school.

I recently did a "ukulele summit" which inspired me to buy one, haven't had enough chance to play it so far but seems a good compromise, much easier to carry around and can do the famous four chords on it.  ;-)

13 hours ago, ProfessorTomoe said:

Still didn't hear from my psychiatrist today. For his sake, I hope he's stuck in Houston. I'm not a camper of the happy type.

You'd think they'd at least have the receptionists tell people if that were the case.

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