I'm scheduled for monthly appointments with my psychiatrist, and today marked a month-- so I went in for an appointment today. There's a lot to the saying "once you're in the system, things get easier". I was able to make another appointment for next month before I left, and check on the refills I have left for my medications.
In general, things are so-so. I've been up all night more than once lately, not studying or accomplishing anything, but just not sleeping. It's not that I can't sleep, it's that I don't want to go to bed. I've been dreaming a little more lately-- not every night, and not like you see in the movies, where the veteran wakes up screaming or in a cold sweat (or both). I generally sleep through the story, and then when I wake up in the morning, I remember just enough to feel really out of sorts. My dreams are disturbing. I've also noticed my hands shaking a lot lately; this morning taking a test, my hands were shaking so much I couldn't read the papers I was holding. And finally, I've been really reluctant to leave my apartment lately.
I told my doc about all of these things, and contrary to the idea that the VA does nothing but push meds, she decided to keep me where I am with meds and doses. (A quote from my doc: "I don't want to just give you lots of different kinds of medications. Let's give the current ones some time to work.") My dose of sertraline was recently upped to 150mg, and it's supposed to take a couple of weeks to kick in. The dreams (hell, let's just call them nightmares, they're weird enough) are supposed to be smacked down by the trazodone; the fact that I've had more dreams very recently might be due to the added stress of final exams, so we decided to wait until after finals and see how I'm doing then.
I'll always say this, but it bears repeating-- don't let other people ranting about how screwed up the VA is decide if you should go to a VA hospital or clinic. My experience with the VA has been overwhelmingly positive. Yes, there have been SNAFUs, but they've always been fixed on the spot. Go to the VA for help. They do good work. They'll take good care of you if you let them.