What version am I on?

Just when I think the reset button on my life has been hit enough, someone starts mashing B! B! B!

For you non-gamers, that means cancel and it’s do-over time.

I’m still on drugs. It is startling and enlightening to be chemically dependent, especially observing the changes the different medications make.

I’m not employed. Damn depression. However, I was comfortable with freelancing, so now I just have to crank it up to 13.

Hanging in there, and not like in a garret.

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The mashed potatoes of medication

My friend Ken tells a story about stopping into a mediocre diner while traveling. When the waitress brought his order, she told him, “The potatoes aren’t very good today, so I gave you extra.”

“Just what I wanted,” he recounts. “Bad food and more of it.”

I couldn’t help thinking of this as I replayed my visit to my doctor, where we danced a salsa for my insurance company’s amusement.

Four weeks earlier, I had been given samples by the same doctor. Within a week, after adjusting to unpleasant side effects, I felt good. Pretty soon I was feeling great, better than I had in … I didn’t even know when.

When I exhausted the samples and went to pick up my prescription, though, the evaluators employed by my health insurance company stepped in.

You don’t have prior authorization, the pharmacist told me. Hogwash, I said. I knew about this requirement and had given the phone number to my doctor’s assistant.

Bwahaha. Silly me for thinking a simple phone call from my doctor’s office would mean anything. No, I was asking for a Tier 3 medication, at the top of the price chart and with no generic. My insurance company would pay for it … after I had tried two other medications and failed to get any results with them.

Are you freakin’ kidding me?

Understand, I long have been of the mind that insurance companies don’t tell you the kind of care you’re allowed to have; they tell you what they’re willing to PAY for. You can have anything you want. You just might not be able to get someone else to pony up for it.

My rational response was biting me in the ass.

Unfortunately, said drug was a whopping $186 a month. Still, I was toying with the notion. In the meantime, my doctor thought there was something else I could try, and I grudgingly agreed to jump through the hoops. By now I had gone four days with no medicine and not only felt the effects of not having it, but was going through the reverse on side effects and getting the stomach pain and insomnia back.

Drug #2 was … OK. I wasn’t miserable. I didn’t have side effects. But I didn’t feel like tackling the whole world, either, like I was starting to feel on drug #1.

I duly reported this to my doctor, thinking he would switch me because, to my way of thinking, I was telling him this was ineffective. His response? “Take twice as much.”

Bad food and more of it?

“Two capsules might not be enough,” he said. “Call me next week. Maybe you need three.”

So, day two of double dosing. I WANT to want to kick the world’s ass … I just need some help to get there.

Tired but not sleepy

I had been having trouble sleeping, often waking in the middle of the night, and Tuesday night was no exception. When the doctor I saw Wednesday said the medicine he wanted to put me on might make me tired, I thought, “Excellent.”
Bwahahahaha! Be careful what you wish for.
I woke up around 2 a.m. and could not get back to sleep. The cruel reality struck me: I was tired, but not sleepy.
That afternoon, I examined the list of possible side effects. They included insomnia, tiredness and sleepiness. I was two for three.
Things remained that way for two more nights. Finally, Sunday morning I slept until 5 a.m. That’s not to say I didn’t wake any beforehand, but it wasn’t until 5 a.m. that I was pretty well awake. Still, I managed to doze a bit even after that.
Hopes for an alert day were dashed soon after breakfast. An afternoon nap was a necessity. By 9 p.m., I was tired again.
But not yet sleepy.