Self Expression Magazine

Update, Post Doctor’s Visit

Posted on the 14 March 2013 by Gray Eyed Athena @grayeyedowl

The sweet nurse showed me to my room and showed me how to curl up on the exam table, tucking my coat in around me.  She squeezed my arm and told me the doctor was running late but that I could close my eyes for a little bit while I waited.

I curled into myself on the table, paper crinkling beneath my cardboard skin, and I cried.

I cried while thinking “how did you manage to mess this up, too?  EVERYONE can sleep.  Everyone.  You can’t.  You are doing everything wrong, so very very wrong.  You are broken and a failure.  Figure it out.  What are you doing wrong.  How are you screwing this up, too.”

My doctor is fixated on my diagnosis of Bipolar II.  She’s like a dog with a bone.  I don’t think I actually have Bipolar; I think that one doctor made a hasty assumption at a time in my life when just about any psychiatric diagnosis would have fit… I was in the biggest crisis of my life, struggling to deal with the fallout of my sexual assault.  It’s not fair to have that bipolar diagnosis follow me around like a felony, stuck to my chart and my record forever.

My PCP said that this sleep issue could be due to a bipolar “flare” but I feel like I’ve always had trouble sleeping AND I don’t think I’m bipolar.  My mom put it in perspective by saying that this PCP is new to me and all she sees is the diagnosis and for all she knows it’s legitimate.

She gave me a 4 night prescription for Ativan, a powerful drug from the benzo family with strong addictive properties.  At least I know I’ll get four nights of sleep.  She is also pressuring me to see a psychiatrist, despite my incessant reminders that I do not want to be on drugs.  Her final recommendation was to see a therapist with a background in sleep disorders, and I’m not sure if that means she wants me to stop seeing Robert?  I don’t think a person should see two therapists at once…

Above all else, I cannot gain weight.  Yes, sleep is important because I feel like I can face whatever strange issues of my psyche are thrown at me as long as I’m well-rested, but I can never face being overweight.  I simply refuse.

Also, my blood tests were back and I still have elevated bilirubin levels, leading her to believe that I have Gilbert’s Syndrome, a mostly benign (but still uncomfortable) issue of the liver.  People with Gilberts experience exhaustion, unexplained itching, and abdominal pain (check, check, check).  On the plus side, people with Gilberts have a decreased risk of heart disease.

Either way, all I want to do is make it through yoga tonight without falling over, pop my Ativan and go to sleep for a long time.


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