Tuesday, February 22, 2011

My new doctor can suck it

I’ve been having anxiety issues for a month or two now. The move is a little more than four months away so I think I’m just freaking out about that, but it has also been triggered by my menial-yet-sometimes-high-stress job and during the preparations for my grandma’s funeral. I get this tightness in my chest, feel like I can’t catch a deep enough breath, my entire body tenses up, and sometimes I have trouble going to sleep (like the night I was still awake when the husband got up for work at 5am). I had these issues once before, two years ago during my last semester of college. The same symptoms brought on by similar things - upcoming move, job and school stress, awful asshole drum playing neighbor. I had a fantastic doctor I saw pretty regularly and he prescribed Xanax, which worked really well for me. After I graduated and moved, the things triggering the anxiety went away, so I stopped taking it. So obviously, now that I need it again, I have no prescription.

Which brings us to today. I went to my appointment on base and described what I said above to the doctor’s assistant. Then the doctor came in. I was expecting my usual (cute male) doctor that I had seen during my last two (unrelated) appointments, but had a new doctor instead. She pretty much sat down, told me she didn’t like Xanax, had me make an appointment for a behavioral health consultation and wrote a prescription for Paxil. By the time I picked up the prescription, read the info on it and started describing the visit to the husband, I was in tears. I really do not like the sound of the potential side effects from Paxil (among them weight gain, sexual side effects, thoughts of suicide. Yeah, no thank you). I explicitly told them I had the same problem before and what I was previously prescribed had worked for me. I couldn't really give a fuck less that this doctor I'd never seen before today doesn't like it. Instead of making me feel better, as I hoped a trip to the doctor would do, this entire episode pretty much gave me an afternoon long anxiety attack. If you can't tell, I'm still quite wound up about it.

So I was not sure what to do, but a friendly phone call helped immensely. I've decided not to take this new RX. I have too many reservations and have already heard a terrible review of it from a friend. My current plan is to call the office tomorrow, speak to a nurse, and tell them (in much nicer language than I just used) how I feel. Hopefully there is another doctor I can see, who may value MY opinion of how to treat MY condition based on MY personal experience. This is my first time batting against the military healthcare bureaucracy, though I've heard many horror stories, so to say I'm intimidated (and thus anxious) is an understatement. In the meantime, I'm going to go try to breathe.

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