Antidepressants

It was so nice to spend time as a little family unit yesterday on the picture-perfect spring Saturday. We spent time outside and inside, talking, laughing, doing chores and housework, taking care of Comet, and having fun. I took a serious fall on Friday, so I was a bit hobbled with pain, but was able to find plenty to do to stay productive, distracted, and happy.

Comet continues to improve. The range of motion achievable when performing the passive range of motion (PROM) exercises on her knee with the repaired ACL has increased significantly and she’s tolerating manipulation and ambulation better. Her spirits are high; she is as sweet, lovable, and spunky as ever. It makes my heart feel like it’s wrapped in a beautiful hug after reuniting with a long-lost friend. She is sleeping through the night as well. I know there are still many milestones left in the rehabilitation process, all of which must occur in due time and not rushed, but I feel a major relief that we’ve already cleared some of the biggest hurdles along the path with favorable results. Our dog is a trooper and we are eternally grateful for the help we’ve received, especially from my mom, in making this surgical repair a realized possibility for our girl. I think it’s true that when you don’t have children, a pet can absolutely fill the nurturing space in your heart. Comet is like our eight-year-old daughter. It may sound like a you-have-no-idea-what-you’re-talking-about, love-for-a-dog-cannot-compare-to-a-real-kid, and maybe that’s fair and true, but who’s to judge how much someone loves and to whom. Comet is a deeply valued part of our family.

Comet’s needs and her care have taken center stage in my life, thoughts, and writing this week, although other things happened. The other most notable event of the week was my long-awaited medication consultation with the psychiatrist. The first thing she said to me after exchanging our names was, “I reviewed your chart and intake paperwork and wow, you’ve been waiting a long time to see me!” She didn’t relay this in a way that sounded arrogant or disrespectful; she sounded generally apologetic that I’ve had to wait so long. That resonated well with me and validated my pent-up frustration about the slow process. She started on a good foot; first impressions are important. From there, we had a productive conversation. I did an unusually good job articulating my mental health history, current complaints, and pharmacological concerns. I felt that she listened well and was respectful and receptive to my ideas. In the end, she prescribed a low dose of an antidepressant and asked to see me back in three weeks to assess how it’s working. I was honest with her and confessed that I may decide not to take it or that I prefer to try a different medicine after I’ve done more research and consulted my mom who prescribes these medications for a living. Not only do I trust her professional experience and knowledge, but I am more likely to buy into one of her suggestions since she knows my psychological and physical health problems since we talk openly all the time.

I did choose to fill the prescription but I have yet to take it. I’m not anywhere close to deciding yet, partly because I’ve been so preoccupied since my appointment with Comet. I’m certainly in no rush to start any medication since I’m stable right now and in a relatively decent emotional place. I’m not sure I’ll have even tried the medicine by my three-week follow-up, but the psychiatrist said we can just use that appointment time to talk more about options. I really like that she’s not rushing or pressuring me into any decisions or changes. That alone works wonders for earning my trust and confidence.

I’m glad to have another day with Ben and Comet today before the work week. It’s a big week for me in the sense that I have a dual colonoscopy/endoscopy Tuesday and an appointment with the foot surgeon. I’m dreading both, but they are important stepping stones on this path of trying to get my health issues figured out and addressed more effectively. I think I’m getting better at expressing myself with the doctors and advocating for my needs. It’s a slow process. At least I’m finally moving in the right direction.

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