Monday, April 11, 2016

I asked for help today.

I asked for help today. As hard as it was to pick up the phone and dial up my former psychiatrist after so many years, I did so. I have carried on for over three months since my initial surgery going up and down and up and down… and then the downs became longer and the brain fog became thicker.

While the fog may be primarily due to all of the medications and anesthetics and sedatives, it’s taken on a more familiar tint of gray that I know well. There isn’t much for me to “talk about” however I know when the chemistry in my system becomes darker and uneven. All there is now is to figure out which medication won’t mess with my QT interval and cause more cardiac issues (even going on an antidepressant becomes an adventure, now, see?)

I know that this is one more step in the road, and that it will be okay. I am not in a severely deep, dark place – and for that I’m grateful. I felt that I was on that bumpy, slippery cobblestone road, though. I’m sure that hormonal variances have assisted in the deepening gloom, but I’m not going to “wait and see” anymore. This is a hard enough journey – and I miss my mind. I miss finding humor in just about anything, although I still do laugh at ridiculousness. There was an episode I just watched of Downton Abbey which made me giggle for awhile. It was then that I realized that I didn’t recognize my own chuckle anymore.

My goal is to stop this in its tracks before it goes any further. I am quite aware that I’m not the only patient in the world who experiences these darker moments, and I’m blessed to have recognized the signs. I can only hope that this chapter will assist more out there who realize that it’s perfectly fine to pick up the phone and get back to "normal." Or, if you’re also a Super Mutant, as normal as possible.

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Friday, April 8, 2016

Brain fog

“You do know there is a chance that you won’t be able to return to work as a nurse.”

That is what my physician told me at a follow-up visit a few days ago. I appreciate this. I appreciate his matter-of-factness and his ability to be up front with me. While I clarified with him that I may not be able to return in the capacity that I’m accustomed to, I still thank him for being one of the few who have the balls to tell it like it is. I see so many physicians say, “Oh, you’ll be right back to where you were.” I may not be, and that is something that I am in full realization of.

I was still getting my mind back from my December surgery, when I was given at least 8 mg of Versed and 2 mcg of Fentanyl for my TEE/cath a couple of weeks ago. I often wonder if I’ll ever get my sharpness back. With the added threat of “pumphead” that I wrote about a couple of months ago, this is my main concern. It’s frustrating not being able to come up with a word that I use every day. I’ve had to ask family and friends, “Hey what’s that word that means this and that?” I have lists all over the house of things that I am supposed to do, and then I promptly forget about the list. I’ve missed telephone conferences because I didn’t have them written down in my calendar… but I’ll forget to check the calendar.

I was also asked by my Doc if I’ve experienced concerning depression. I admitted that I’ve had my tough moments but I’ve always been able to find my way out. I know that I have resources for if, or when, I need them, and I’m not shy about asking for help. I also know that any potential anti-depressant use may cause further cardiac problems depending on the drug class. This foggy brain has a lot to do with all of this. While I’m frustrated with my physical limitations, I’m even more frustrated with the additional mental limitations.

That’s where I am right now.

I’ll be fine, I will.

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