A Work In Progress

A Work In Progress

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

The Fight For My Mental Health

It's been a long 3 months!!  Very long!!   Some of you may be thinking, The Fight for your mental health?  It's not like you are fighting cancer, or diabetes, or heart disease!  What do you mean by "The Fight for My Mental Health"?    If you have ever dealt with a mental illness, you know exactly what I'm referring to!  It is a Fight!  It's a huge fight and it's not a fight for one who backs down easily.  It takes persistence and consistency and never giving up!  I'll give you a run down of the timeline (thus far) of my fight to get better.

March 17th  -  I cried at work.

March 20th - I went to the Dr b/c of my Depression getting worse.  She told me I needed better coping skills and upped my Prozac from 10 mg to 20 mg.

March 25th -  I had a 7 am counseling appointment with my Counselor who taught me Mindfulness.

April 21st - I had an awful crying day at work on the 20th.  i was able to take the 21st off and called my Dr. at 8:15 am on the 21st, to try and get in to be seen.  My Depression was getting much worse, and not better.  My Dr said she could not see me and told me to go to Epworth.  I later found out that Epworth is an inpatient facility only.  Since I was not a harm to myself or to others and was not suicidal, I had to wait till Monday, April 24th, to be seen.  My Dr.. did not offer me any other appointments with other Dr.'s at her practice that Friday.  When i saw my Dr. on Monday the 24th of April, she upped my Prozac from 20 mg to 40 mg.  I was crying uncontrollably and told her I  could not function.   She looked at me with a straight face and said "So you are going back to work tomorrow, right?".  I said "I just told you I cannot function!  No, I cannot go back to work tomorrow.  She offered to write a note.  I told her notes don't work at my place of employment and that I needed FMLA to secure my job.  I was in disbelief, I had always gotten along with her before and had no problems with her, until my depression started acting up.  She had been prescribing my meds for 6 years and not once had I ever had issues severe enough that I went to see her in regards to my depression.  I was not a "cry wolf" type of patient.  She finally agreed to give me 2 weeks of FMLA.  I filed for FMLA, but not for short term disability because I needed to use my vacation time for our mission trip to Ecuador in July.

After, being shocked and very unhappy with how the appointment went with my Dr on the 24th, I made an appointment to see a new Dr. on April 26th.  He was awesome, but most of all because he possessed empathy and understanding in regards to depression.  We set up another appointment for me to see him for a follow-up on Friday, May 5th, before I returned to work on May 8th.  He wanted me to have another week off to see my Counselor and work on getting better, so he gave me another week of FMLA.  I took that unpaid as well.

I went back to work on Monday, May 15th.  I worked the 15th-18th (Mon-Thurs) and by the end of the day on Thursday I was behind on my work and crying.  I was able to take the 19th off of work.  I got in to see my new Dr. on the 20th.  I told him that every time the old Dr upped my Prozac, 3 weeks later, I would be crying uncontrollably.  He believed me and set up a plan for me to be weaned off of the med.  He agreed to up my Seroquel from 200-300 mg.  We also both agreed that it was time for me to apply for short term disability while getting used to new meds and waiting to see a Psych Specialist. My Husband and I decided it was not in my best interest to go out of the country on the mission trip at this time.   When I first saw this Dr. on April 26th, he got me on a referral list for a Psychiatrist.  I called that place on May 18th and found out I was on a waiting list for a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner because that Psychiatrist only saw adolescents and children.  The last time I checked (a few days ago), they will be calling to schedule an appointment with me in the next week or 2, but I probably won't be seen until the end of July/beginning of August.

I had a follow-up appointment with my new Dr on Friday, June 2nd.  I had gained 10 lbs in 2 weeks due to my meds making me crave bad stuff, and me giving in to those cravings.  He advised me to push thru the extreme tiredness and avoid sleeping whenever I was tired.  It's been hard, but I was successful yesterday, and I have been successful today..  I have an appointment on June 27th for blood work to be drawn and then my next follow-up appointment with my Dr is July 6th.  

I  applied for Short Term Disability thru my Employer on May 19th.  Due to a Holiday and some miscommunication between my Dr.s Office and my Employer, my employer just received the needed paperwork from my Dr late on Friday June 2nd.  Today is June 6th and I am still waiting for an answer as ti whether my short term disability will be approved or denied.

During all of this my Husband got a promotion at work.  God is good and is watching out for us.  I am very much at peace right now in regards to my short term disability getting approved or denied.  I don't know what will happen.  Since I was feeling so much peace, I used the concordance in my NLT Bible and I found the following verse: " Submit to God, and you will have peace; then things will go well for you."  Job 22:21.  I can honestly say that I feel that's what I'm doing now, submitting to God.  My health has to come first.  I'm glad my Husband realizes that, and I'm glad we live modestly and live below our means.  I am not worried.

So, there you have it.  This is my saga thus far.  I think the uppage of seroquel and the weaning off of prozac has helped, but I'm still dealing with the side effects of the seroquel, which aren't fun.  

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Thank you to the Friends who have stopped by, called and/or texted, or have sent me well wishes thru my Husband at work, or to me thru FB.  I really appreciate it.  It is nice to be thought of and know that I'm cared for.  God's got this.  I'm not worried.  I just want to get better.  

So there you have it.  That's what I mean by "The Fight For My Mental Health", and it's not over yet.

As a bracelet given to me by a friend says "You were given this life because you are strong enough to live it".  With God and Jonathan on my side, I can and will come out of this stronger!

Peace, Love, and Joy to you All!



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Tuesday, May 30, 2017

I Just Want to Feel Like Myself Again

Yes, parts of J-La-Sta come out every now and then.  Just bits and pieces of my goofiness, usually around Jonathan, who is one of the only people I see these days, since i am off of work.  I used to think it would be cool to be off of work for a while. But this is not how I imagined it.  Dr. Appointments, Counseling Appointments,  getting used to strong meds that make me so so tired, but not knowing if I'm even on the right ones yet.   Waiting and waiting and waiting some more to get in to see a Nurse Practitioner (Psychiatrist).  Not feeling like doing much of anything. Having a horrible memory, and not being able to talk right, ie say what I want to say.  I can't safely drive myself long distances due to the effects the meds are having on me. Jonathan says I sleep a lot, although I do make myself get up and go to bed at basically the same times every day.   I have little to no energy.  Plus, I'm still waiting to see if my short term disability from work has been approved, which adds more stress to my life.   Then the bills that are piling up from said appointments..  Yes, I'm blessed to have great insurance and I'm thankful I chose the PPO plan for the last year it's being offered.  I've already met my deductible, and it's a very low deductible comparatively.  I'm bummed that we are not going on the Mission Trip to Ecuador because we felt the Lord prodding us not to go due the current state of my mental health.  Then on top of this I worry about the serious health conditions of close loved ones.  Yes, I know God is in control, but you would worry too, trust me!  If you were in my shoes and didn't worry at all, you wouldn't be human.  Just sayin!

We all have our crosses in life to bear.  Mine just happens to be depression.  Yes I've tried it all and no, essential oils won't take it all magically away and removing sugar from my diet won't magically take it away, etc etc etc.  There is no easy fix.  I have dealt with depression since I was 16 years old.  Actually, I can even remember having it as a small child.

I was off of work for 3 weeks and went back for 4 days and couldn't handle it.  I need to be able to function at 100 percent and I wasn't there yet.  These meds are kicking my butt and I only had 1 med change at the time.  This is my 5th full week off of work.  I have worked there for 9 years.  I have worried about losing my job, but you know what?  I work to live.  I don't live to work.  If there is anything this most recent bout of depression has taught me, is that I put my job way ahead of where it should have been in the list of my priorities.  I put it above my health, above my trust in God, etc.  It has caused me to re-evaluate my priorities and I want my life to show what my priorities are.  If my Family needs me I will be there.  Work is not, nor should it be my first priority.  I want my life to show that my priorities are 1.  God.  2.  Jonathan  2.5 (half joking) Mookie  3. Family  4.  Work.  God will provide for my needs.  Jonathan and I live below our means.  Jonathan was recently blessed with a promotion at work.  We can live on his income and survive just fine.  We just wouldn't be able to bless others and travel like we love to do.

I am Jennifer Stanley, a Loved Daughter of the King.  I am not Jennifer Stanley, Technical Assistant.  My worth does not come from my job.  But you know what, I was letting my worth come from my job before this bout of depression.  I based my worth on my performance.  So maybe, just maybe, God is using this to teach me to not hold on so tightly to my job, to make me Trust that God will provide for me and that I have Jonathan now.  I'm no longer all alone in this world.  I don't know what the future holds, but God promises to take care of me.

When I first pulled up FB this Afternoon, I saw this right away:

"I want you to face adversity with confidence and firm determination. Because I am with you and the Holy Spirit lives in you, you have everything you need to be bold. Cowardliness is not of My kingdom. When you are feeling overwhelmed by your circumstances, remember who you are—a child of the eternal King! Invite Me into the very circumstances that are intimidating you, and let the Light of My powerful Presence strengthen you. When you choose to live courageously, I am pleased. And I respond by strengthening your heart, thus increasing your valor." —Jesus Today by Sarah Young, p. 338
"Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart, all you who hope in the Lord." —Psalm 31:24 NKJV

God knew I needed to read this.  I am going to live courageously, no matter what my depressed feelings tell me, and no matter what happens with my job.  God will strengthen me and He will provide for me as he always has.

So Friends, I pray that this has given you some encouragement as well.  Life isn't easy..  We all have our crosses in life to bear.  If the grass looks greener on the other side, chances are it's not.....it only looks that way.  Not everyone opens their heart and soul like I do, but I pride myself in being real.

So, like Jonathan keeps telling me, my job right now is to get myself better.   That's it.  That's my job.  Whether I get paid for it or not.  

Thank you to my Friends who have been there to support me!  It is much appreciated!  Thank you for being His hands and feet to me.  Thank you to Jonathan for dealing with me the past few months.  I know it hasn't been easy and that this is the worse my depression has been since we've been married (almost 6 years).
To my co-workers, I hope to be back sooner, rather than later.  If you would, say a prayer that a Psychiatrist appointment would magically open up, that would help! :-)

I'm thankful for an Awesome MD who has empathy and wants to help me and knows I am trying to get better.

Most of all, Thank you to God for providing for my every need and for placing people into my life at just the right time, especially my sweet 4 legged baby, Mookie, who loves me unconditionally and follows me everywhere. 

Thanks for listening everyone!  I'll continue to keep you updated on my progress.