[Image shows three spoons on a laptop keyboard. Overlaid is a clipart of torn white notebook paper with a red paper clip. On the top of the paper is a clip art of a pink anatomically correct heart and a brain in various colors. In black text reads “Cardiology and Psychiatry: A Fun Week!”. At the bottom in red text is the url for Thee Crohnie Grace]
On top of my exceedingly busy college schedule, every week seems to add a dash of something else by including a few doctor appointment’s.
This week’s dose of doctor’s appointments included a Cardiology appointment on Wednesday to follow up with my orthostatic pressure and tachycardia issues, and a Psychiatric appointment on Friday to follow up on various things from my behavioral therapy sessions.
Wednesday is the busiest of my college days, It’s almost back to back with Math, Art, and then Bio. From 11am-6pm. I ended up having to leave Art after a half hour to get to my appointment which I thought was at 1:30pm. Upon driving across town to the main hospital where I was told he would be, we discovered he was at their sub-unit today on the other side of town, and that my appointment wasn’t until 2:40pm.
So we drove to my apartment to pick up my stuff for Biology to kill time before heading out to my cardiologist appointment.
Upon getting up to Cardiology, the nurse came in and checked my HR and BP and informed me what I already knew: my BP was low, my HR was high. She said Dr. Ahmed would be in to see me soon and talk about my heart monitor results.
I always get anxious meeting new doctors, I’m afraid they won’t take me seriously, and will write my problems off because of my collection of illnesses. So when Dr. Ahmed came in and I saw he was an older man, I grew more nervous, which doesn’t help my heart rate much. He tested my BP laying versus standing, noticed the drop, then tested my HR laying versus standing and noticed the huge rise. My HR while laying was 98, and while standing went to 182. He commented that he was surprised I hadn’t passed out more often and noted that my heart monitor showed much of the same things, that my heart would spike incredibly when I stood up.
I told him that my primary mentioned POTS and said it had to do with my orthostatic pressure and had mentioned a tilt table test. He said he was going to put me on a low dose beta blocker (Cardevilol) and in a month see me again, if the beta blocker didn’t work he would send me to an Electrophysiologist who would do a tilt table test, and decided if more needed to be done such as a heart ablation or putting in a pace maker, but something needed to be done because he said the strain on my heart was far too great and he worried that if we didn’t get it down.
So with that I went to go pick up my prescription and read up on my new medication. I was a little concerned due to the fact that my blood pressure was already low and beta blockers lower your blood pressure even more. So my grandma became a little worried about that.
Next was my psychiatry trip on Friday, also with a new doctor. I had been seeing a nice lady for my behavioral therapy since February, we had made a lot of progress but there was still a frustrating problem that nothing was helping with: my meltdowns. So after talking to my therapist for some time she decided it would be best to send me to psychiatry to try some new medication since lots of medication in the past has not been helpful.
I got there and had to do the mandatory drug test and what not, and of course it all came back negative. So then they checked my blood pressure and weight and sent me to the waiting room again before my new doctor came to see me. He was younger, and short, just a little taller than I am, and with just a slight accent.
We went back to his office and I tried to determine the best seat. The thing that freaks me out about psychiatry is I’m afraid they try to interpret every action I make, I know they don’t, not really, but it leads me to overthinking everything I say and do.
I sat down next to the book case so I could look at labels, because if I make eye contact with doctors I get intimated and overwhelmed and will likely cry. So I sat down and began to read the titles of all the psychology books. He started asking my questions about my relationships, family and intimate ones, asked about my home life, to describe my meltdowns, and then asked me why I was here.
I told him that to be honest, I didn’t have a lot of issues. I wasn’t super anxious, I wasn’t depressed, I just needed something to help with the meltdowns. So he started asking me about my habits and roommates, and about my latest meltdown after I had been getting onto my roommates about their lack of help cleaning, the constant messes, and them just leaving their stuff where it doesn’t belong. One of my roommates confronted me by yelling at me and the other roommate had been causing problems behind the scenes by not talking to me and just to his boyfriend about me. It led to a massive meltdown as he confronted me and wouldn’t stop yelling at me despite my boyfriend and friend telling him to stop.
After this he started asking me more questions about my personality, if I was perfectionist, asked me about my grades, about my study habits, about how particular I was or if I had a habit of checking things or washing my hands too much, standard “OCD” type questions. When I informed him I did some of those things but I had logical reasons for them, they weren’t a problem. I washed my hands a lot because I don’t like when I touch wet or sticky things, or at the college because there’s a lot of germs and I have a low immune system. I checked the stove and locks a lot because I had a poor memory and didn’t want to leave anything unlocked by accident or leave the stove on and burn the place down.
Yes, some of my mannerisms weren’t considered normal but they were able to be explained. He asked how my friends and roommates felt about my habits. I said they felt I was controlling, and that I can become a “demon” when I start to clean and people try to interfere, that I could be a bit of a hoarder with things not like trash per say but I had a lot of stuffed animals that had no sentimental value but I couldn’t part with when I moved.
He asked me if I had heard of OCD, I said yes it’s obsessive compulsive disorder. I insisted I didn’t have OCD because it wasn’t a huge problem, minus the way some perceived it.
That’s when he said I had an obsessive compulsive personality which is also a disorder that typically the person with OCPD or Anankastic Personality Disorder, don’t see as a problem.
It’s characterized by a “general pattern of concern with orderliness, perfectionism, excessive attention to detail, mental and interpersonal control, and a need to control one’s environment at the expense of flexibility, openness to experience, and efficiency.” (Wiki)
He prescribed a high dose of Celexa and Klonopin for my meltdowns and said he wanted to see me in 6 weeks to see if anything changes.
And with that I was off, and began to do more research on the medicines and also the personality. At first I didn’t realize that it was a disorder until I read more into it and realized just how controlling I can be at times and how my desire to be organized sometimes gets in the way of my productivity. Like my desire to underline and high light all important key points in my school notebooks, but also feeling all things said are equally important so I find myself high lighting everything and focusing more on the order and less on the learning of the material, which was mentioned to me one day in Bio but I paid no attention to.
“Do you ever find yourself focusing so much on organizing that you find yourself not studying the material?” The lady next to me asked a week ago, I rubbed it off and said no, cause I didn’t see anything wrong with highlighting everything and color coordinating all my materials, even if I wasn’t finishing in proper time and not retaining the material cause of the focusing on highlighting and not what was being highlighted.
It’s funny how something I had never heard of clicks so quickly to who I am.
So I went to go fill my prescriptions and go home. Only to get a call that my insurance wasn’t going to cover my hospital entyvio infusions and that I would have to do home infusions and that we owed $50,000 for the last infusion covered. Then went to go pick up my medicine to find the insurance would only cover my liquid Celexa and it would be $62 with coupons for my Klonopin dissolvable tablets. So I guess it will boil down to Grace vs The Insurance Company. Ding Ding. Stay Tuned for next time to see what happens with the insurance.