Psycho-Babble Medication | about biological treatments | Framed
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Re: Specifics:

Posted by jerrympls on May 20, 2004, at 21:41:13

In reply to Specifics: jerrympls, posted by Racer on May 20, 2004, at 19:55:07

I'm in Minneapolis. I am insured and can see a private pdoc - I think - but there's a 3-4 month wait - apparently everyone in MN is crazy. I was accepted into the Vegal Nerve Stimulator Phase II study. The University of Minnesota was one of a dozen sites nationwide that was involved. They went through 10 years of my medical records. The whole acceptance thing took 6 months. Finally, I was accepted - one of 250 in the US to have this implant surgically implanted in my chest that had wires tunneling up under my skin to my neck where it attached to the Vegal nerve. The thought was that by sending small electrical pulses via this highwya to the brain would help the treatment resistant depression. (It was originally developed for epilepsy - see Anyway, long story short after a year with this in me - being seen by top research pdocs weekly who ALSO adjusted my meds - I/we decided it wasn't working - nor would it. So I had it removed.

My depression worsened and last summer I finally admitted myself into the hospital where, again I was seen by a team of great doctors and med students. I was in for 2 weeks to flush out my meds and to start on Nardil. At first it worked great. After a couple months it wass horror again. I gained so much weight, missed work, had serious health problems. However, by being in the hospital, I was granted access into the outpatient clinic which - apparently - wasn't taking anyone anymore it was so busy. The downside was that I would be seen by a 4th year psych resident who would then confir with an attending psych and recommend med changes, etc.

At least I was being seen weekly and I knew the attending docs were excellent. They even opened up to my idea of augmenting my meds with opiates. They said to me "We've gone over your case - it's a tough one - you've been on everything, ECT, etc and we think that we need to hit as many receptors as we can because we think your depression has something to do with your endogenous opioid system." So they added Vicodin to help me over the holidays and while I was "detoxing" from the Nardil. Well, detoxing from the Nardil almost killed me - or shall I say almost made me kill myself it was so horrible. However, I lasted through it. When I came back from visiting my parents over Xmas, I saw my doc and she was still all for opiates and reassued me they would stick with them to see if they continued to help.

Then, earlier this year they decided they wanted me on a long-acting opiate without Tylenol involved. My "choices" were Oxycontin or the Fentenyl transdermal patch. I chose Oxycontin because I knew it would help because I had been on it before. So the day came when they got approval to start the treatment and to my surprise had decided for me that they'd try the patch instead - this decision coming from the attending doc whom I had never met. So I went along with it. It didn't work.

Finally about a month ago I met with the attending doc and my (resident) doc. We - or actually she (the attending) talked to me about my case for 2 hours - starting off with "We're not going to continue with anymore opiate therapy." No reasons. Just no. She went on to ask me a lot of questions and basically said that there wasn't anyting else to try and that maybe "this isn't the best place for you to be seen." She didn't allow me to question or speak because she just kept talking. She didn't offer to find me another suitable doc or anything. She then recommended gastric bypass surgery as a fix for the weight gain associated with the various meds they had me on. I froze in horror - what?!!?? I was in complete shock. Her final statements were something to the effect of "you should only be seen once a month with only one med change at a time if any chnage at all." Then it was over - she had to go. I left and almost killed myself that night.

That's when I started to give up. I saw my doc again today - furious at her because she greeted me with "Hurry up! I only have 15 minutes today!" I said at the end of the appointment "Our next appointment will be 60 minutes so I can respond to what you and the attending doc said to me." She agreed.

I hate this city. "Minnesota Nice" is truely a myth. Minnesota Passive-Aggressive is more like it. It's a horrible place to live unless you grew up here - otheriwse you're not let into friendship circles. I gave up on a social life here long ago.

I am now on Effexor (for the 4th time), valium, Seroquel, Ambien and concerta. I'm able to work - but have no motivation and have accepted a meager living. I work, come home, watch TV, sleep, then repeat. I put on my daily workplace mask and barely make it through each day.

Yes, I have seen other psychiatrists before my current one - they all told me there's nothing left for me, so I should get used to living the rest of my life like this.

I'm not into religion, but I do think god is cruel. What scares me the most is that this med combination has given me the most courage compared to the past 12 years of treatments to actually feel like planning and following through with suicide. I see myself as having a terminal illness.

If you want a list of all the meds I've taken - all at theraputic dosages for more than 4 weeks - don't waste your time - I've been on them all PLUS years of therapy.

Is compassion dead?

Anyway - there you go......specifics.

thanks for listening




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