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People of the medical profession: take note January 26, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Danielle Brigance @ 8:53 pm
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Let me start out by saying that I did not go to medical school. The only medical things I know are the things that have effected me in some way and I have heavily researched.
Let me also say that I have PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome.)

Around September 2008 I became overwhelmed with life in general. I had gone through 3 miscarriages and felt that I was never going to have a successful pregnancy. My husband and I decided that we would take a break from trying to get pregnant. It had taken a toll on our relationship and we knew we needed time to concentrate on us. Since I knew we were taking a break from trying to get pregnant I went to see my PCP (primary care physician) about depression. I had an overwhelming urge to stay in bed all day every day. On days when I did get out of bed and go to work I counted down the hours until I got home. As soon as I got home I went straight to bed. Not necessarily to sleep, just to be by myself. That was when I started the journey of anti-depressants.
Pill #1: anti-depressant
Towards the end of my pregnancy with Lexi my blood pressure got out of control. That’s why I ended up on hospital bedrest. They thought my bp would even out after I had Lexi, but it never did.
Pill #2: blood pressure medicine
In the process of finding a new PCP I had bloodwork done. My thyroid level came back wonky. Said, dr called me to say in 6 months he would have it retested. 6 months didn’t work for me. I know hypothyroidism can be a side effect of PCOS. I called my ob/gyn who had bloodwork done and found that in fact my levels were still wonky.
Pill #3: thyroid medicine
Pill #4: birth control

I have had trouble sleeping for a long time. I remember having to take Tylenol PM while I was still living with my parents…around 2004? When I started taking anti-depressants I asked for something to help me sleep also. I was prescribed Ambien, no questions asked. When I had trouble sleeping during my pregnancy my ob/gyn prescribed me Ambien, no questions asked. When Lexi came home from the hospital I didn’t need anything to help me sleep. She was waking up every few hours to eat, and I needed to be able to wake up and take care of her. And by the time bedtime rolled around I was exhausted. Now that she’s almost 9 months old and sleeping for approximately 12 hours straight at night, I am having a really hard time sleeping. After she goes to sleep around 8:30 I start “winding down.” For me, it’s a process. There is no just go to bed and lay my head on the pillow and fall asleep. I go lay down betwen 9 and 10…fall asleep around 12 or later. Then, get up when Lexi gets up.

Fast forward to today:
Go to a new dr. He asks me the routine questions of when I go to bed and when I wake up. Well, there’s not really an answer for that because I fall asleep whenever I finally fall asleep, and I get up when Lexi gets up. I need to be able to fall asleep at a decent time because I never know when she’s going to wake up in the morning. He proceeds to tell me that he believes I am in fact getting enough sleep. Maybe I should set my alarm for 6 AM every morning and after a few days I’ll be tired enough to fall asleep. That I don’t sleep because I’m depressed. That I need to change the hours I’m trying to sleep.
Nothing was accomplished by going to see him. I understand that you can become chemically dependent on Ambien and other sleep-aids. I understand that he’s a dr. and I’m not. What I don’t understand is how the advice he gave me makes no logical sense. Did he think before he spoke? Did he know that I would leave there practically in tears because I was so frustrated? I’m tired of feeling like no one is listening to me. I’m tired of feeling like I’m a crazy person. But, most of all, I’m just tired.

Not that any medical professionals read my blog, but if they do:
Please think about your patient’s feelings. Please don’t treat people as if they are stupid. Please know that some people do know a lot about their conditions and the medications they are taking. Please don’t think that all people are drug-seekers who are just looking for a high. Some people really need the medications they come to you and ask for. Maybe they did a lot of research about their symptoms and think they have found something that could help. It is not at all polite to treat them as if they are stupid.