December 1, 2014

King of the Road, Master of Potholes

Modern medicine.  An endless source of wonder and swelling of pride for human accomplishment.  And also a throbbing, pus filled boil on the anus of my life.


Viibryd has done its job wonderfully.  And I've been faithfully taking it for the last three weeks or so.  I've ramped up to the therapeutic dose of 40 mg, and been there for about the last 10 days.  I'm nearing the end of the sample pack, when it's time to decide if this is the right medication or not.  I think it's got potential.  So, last week I called my doc's office.  Naturally, I didn't get to talk to a human being.  They're busy, being the end of the year and all.  So, I left a message telling them that I thought the new medication was working very well, and wanted to know what they needed from me to start and actual prescription that I could go pick up.  I hung up smiling, and waited.  And waited.

Thursday, the world was closed.  Well, most of the working world at least.  Friday came and went.  No return call.

Today, at a little after 11:15 in the morning, I called again.  Again, no humans were available to take my call, so I left another message asking for a call back.  I stated that I knew I only had a few days left of my medication, and that my insurance company needed prior authorization to cover this new drug.  (Never mind that this is easily the fourth time I've had to do this.  Apparently, they have short memories for what I've pushed down my gullet in the name of sanity and functionality.  Yes, I've taken your big three "first responders".  No, they don't work.  Yes. I need this to function at anything above "if by living, you mean breathing and excreting" levels.)  I know this isn't as simple as a 10 second call to the pharmacy telling them to pour me a bottle of pills to shut me up.  Somebody's got to use their expensive words and a fax machine too.

Here it is after 5:00, and not once has my phone rung today.  Little Bo didn't give me one damn peep in the last 6 hours.  I know the office is open late on Mondays, so I took a stab in the impending dark and called, hoping someone would still be there.  I managed to reach Lisa, at the answering service.  She was a dear.  When I explained to her what was going on, she rang two lines that showed still open at the clinic.  Either someone forgot to sign off for the night, or they're ducking errybody's calls because even she couldn't get through.   So, I left what would amount to the fourth message regarding getting set up to be a member of society who can, I dunno, actually give back instead of hissing at the thought of showering and human contact.  I know.  So bossy, this one, I am.  I said I'm nearly out of my medication, I need to know where to go from here.  Do I need to make arrangements to come in?  What involvement do you need from me.  Can we please get this rolling.  Discontinuation effects are. . . Not something I can have and still meet my metrics at work.  This is more than just not wanting to call a pest back.  This could ripple, and quickly.  Why am I so up in arms?  Well, lemme tell you a little bit about Effexor.  Side-Efectors to those who know this evil.

I went through the DTs from this medical miscreant in 2004.  It was like menopause, only I still menstruated.  For three weeks, I was both freezing cold and dripping with sweat.  I felt like I had a warm stone in my stomach 23 hours a day.  I couldn't focus, I had what are lovingly called "brain zaps" by the crazy community.  It was sweet misery, and in the end, I wasn't able to keep it together enough to remain in the commission sales department where I worked.  I took another job in an hourly area, losing some money, but staying employed.  After about the first 10 days, I couldn't take it anymore.  I was scared to drive, and I didn't live close to my job either.  Plus, public transportation in the area of town here I was living at the time didn't exist.  I finally went and talked to someone about it.  Scoff if you want, but I went to a GNC.  Yeah, the muscle building/weight loss stores in almost every American strip mall.

The clerk who I worked with was familiar with what I was going through.  He recommended drinking as much water as I could without water toxicity, extra hot baths with 2 or more cups of Epsom salts, and taking a soft gel of evening primrose oil each day.  I was so not myself, I did exactly that.  I was tired of not being able to follow more than a 3 word sentence.  I'd done some reading, and the symptoms can last for months.  Later, I would find out that I knew a few people who were on it long after they had stopped needing it simply because they were unable to wean themselves from its grip.  It took me the remainder of the 3 weeks, but I finally did it.  And I refuse to go back.

THAT is why I need this callback.  The difference this time is that I'm not coming off of something that wasn't working, only to flail about in a briny deep of pastel yellow, green, and pink pills.  I have a goal, and ragged teeth.  This will not escape me.  My apologies in advance for those who might be between here and the pharmacy cash register, but mamma needs her productivity and she ain't afraid to throw her weight around.

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