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07 December 2010

Classes, meds, and memories

A situation report... this post rambles a little, but it's me trying to line up the thoughts in my head.  The past couple of weeks have been a struggle.

I've been missing class a lot since Thanksgiving, staying inside my apartment, generally withdrawing from life. It's not a total, complete withdrawal, but it's dangerously close. I made it to both of my classes today... last night I decided that hell or high water, I was going to get to class today. Getting there was a little rough. While I felt okay when I woke up, as class time got closer I felt worse. I had to coach myself through getting dressed and out the door.

I got to my first class late, which wasn't a terribly big deal. I was able to get my stuff out and catch up with enough notes to get a handle on the lecture even though I'd missed a few minutes. At one point in the lecture, the prof stopped to look for answers from the class, and that always bothers me. If I'm taking notes, I can at least try to focus on what's going on and get it burned into my brain. If no one's talking, I have no notes to take, and that's a really anxious situation. I'd been to bed late, and I'm sure I dozed off during those silent minutes. At the end of the class, though, I felt a little better for having made it to class.

My second class is one building over; I'm generally pretty anxious by the time I get up the hill and into the building. I have discovered that entering the building through a side door, and cutting through a hallway of offices gives me a couple of minutes to settle down before I enter lecture hall. I've written about this class before; it's in a huge lecture hall, it's noisy, it's anxiety causing, it's triggering. The prof in this class gives in-class assignments, so I have to scramble to put away my Livescribe notebook and switch over to normal paper. The desks in this lecture hall are about as big as a mouse pad, which makes things more interesting. And, I think I dozed a little in this class, too. Today's lecture was death by PowerPoint.
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Last week, I ran out of sertraline; my daily dose had been upped from 100mg to 150mg, so I'd been using up the 50mg pills faster. My psychiatrist was supposed to have put in a new prescription for me, so I called the clinic to ask WTF.  Turns out my new prescription order hadn't been sent to to the pharmacy, which is why I hadn't received a package from the VA.  I was able to talk to my psychiatrist, get that straightened out, and pick up the new prescription at the VA Hospital about an hour later.  I didn't miss a dose, so no harm done.  However, it's a good thing that I called to see where my meds were.  If something's not right, it'll get fixed, but as patients we need to make sure we speak up.

For those of you who are keeping score, I'm on 150mg of sertraline, and either 150 or 200mg of trazodone every night before bedtime.  Nom nom nom.

This time of year is hard for me-- so many things have happened as years have wound down.  One of the things I really don't like about the coming of winter is the darkness of shorter days, and the arrival of cold air.  It's not that I hate winter per se, but what the arrival of winter reminds me of.  During my last year being married, the electricity in my house was turned off by the power company.  It's the law here that they have to turn it back on when the temperature is below freezing for a certain amount of time, so eventually it was turned back on-- but that really doesn't matter when it's 33 degrees out and you're sleeping in your clothes under every blanket you own.  (Cold showers in 33 degree air are fun, too.)

I try to keep the heat down in my apartment now, because electricity does cost money and I want to keep my money.  But I don't like being cold.  I'm leaning towards jacking up the thermostat a little to keep it warmer in here.  Warm and cozy is good.  Cold and flashbacks is bad.
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Finally, I've become addicted to Delta Bravo Sierra. Go. Read. Laugh.

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