A Crossroads And A Stalemate
So it has taken a good 6 months for 2 of my best doctors to actually put their foot in my others doctors ass to get my treatment straightened out. I started testosterone injections a week ago (2/11/2021) and will be taking them every other week. I have a follow up with my endocrinologist in 3 months to see if we need to increase dosage and see how I'm responding to treatment.
During all this bullshit with my primary care not doing his job properly, It took me in his office practically pleading and damn near in tears about how absolutely terrible I was feeling physically before he actually pulled his head out of his ass and attempted to do something.. He chose to put me on Lexapro 5mg because "I've had other patients with low testosterone and this has helped even it out and bring it up a little bit for them until they could see an endo!" so I walked out of his office begrudgingly and went to Winn Dixie and had it filled, I took it for awhile and honestly didn't notice a hell of a lot of difference. It took the edge off my physical pain but that was it, It pretty much made it where even though most days were hell physically, I could at least make it through the day with a slightly lower chance of collapsing of exhaustion and/or pain.
I have a severe stigma against Medicine, Particularly "Mood Stabilizers", AntiDepressants, Whatever you choose to call them. I have nothing against them in a sense that hey if they work and they make somebody feel better, I'm all for it, Live your best life, I'm glad they work for you. My dad all of my childhood up until I went to EMT school at 19 has tried to push mood stabilizers and I have always declined.. He's pulled some sneaky shit and made me take them without me realizing what they were a few times.. While I was attending EMT school or rather getting ready to start EMT school and pulling all my immunization records my mom was out of town and found a way to be "present" during a consultation with a doctor I was seeing (Whom was his doctor, which I didn't wanna fucking do anyway.) and he opened his fucking cum catch when the doctor asked "Is there anything else bothering you?" and I told the doctor "no.". My dad spoke up with this shit eating grin on his face and proceeds to ask if he can interrupt, I humor him cause I know what he's about to pull and I'm going to put the fear of god in the doctor if he so much as looks my way or thinks about agreeing with my dad. As I planned my dad started spewing a bunch of bullshit to the doctor about me not being happy, i'm depressed, I'm antisocial and don't have a good personality, yada yada yada a bunch of other bullshit to go along with. I'm watching the doctor look at me nervously as he can see I'm starting to boil over in my seat and getting ready to whip somebodys ass, When he abruptly cuts my dad off and tells him this isn't a conversation we should all be having. My dad goes on his typical bullshit for the next several months and even years up until recently about how I should think about mood stabilizers, they're amazing, I'd be a completely different person on them, blah blah blah blah. My dad takes mood stabilizers and is a different person on them vs off of them, Just to give note.
Anyway... Let's bring us up to the last 6 months. I have been through the ringer medically the last 6 months. I've seen my primary, I've been seeing a hematologist for my high white blood count and high platelets count, I have my regular 90 day follow ups with my Neurologist to treat headaches which I've been getting pretty consistently nonstop over the last few months, I've been to a Neurosurgeon to decide if any of what I'm experiencing could be due to a failing shunt. I go through the motions, get poked and prodded, an MRI, CT, the works... They don't believe my shunt is functioning much as it's been in my body for 24 years and hasn't been operated on or messed with in about 15 years. They don't believe the shunt works but believe that due to some enlargement of the ventricles in my brain (Which i've had on and off since they removed the tumor) that my ventricles have started functioning properly and are now doing 98% of the work, compared to maybe working sporadically when I was younger with my condition (which is where the shunt comes into play).
Let's fast forward to present present day. I made a comment about 2 weeks ago to my mom about how I was going to quit the Lexapro and she freaked out on me. She told me I can't quit it, blah blah blah, it's not good to just quit, a doctors gotta wean me off of it, so on and so forth. However back when my incompetent cockmonger of a doctor put me on this horse shit drug I specifically asked my doctor and my mother "is this a high enough dose to where, god forbid I don't like it or want to take it, I can quit it cold turkey without major side effects?" To which my primary replied "Yes, but I don't recommend you do that in my professional opinion" and my mom whom replied "If you don't like it or it doesn't work, it's a low enough dose where you can quit it and only have to deal with very minimal withdrawal symptoms." I've felt so shitty the last several months that I honestly don't know what may or may not have been withdraw or just my body in it's current fucked up state just letting me know it's still fucked up. Getting to the point.. My mom came in to say goodnight a little bit ago and hit me with the "Don't get mad, but I want to ask you something" to which my mind automatically goes "Ohh shit, here we go, what the hell could it possibly be now?" She asked me if I stopped taking the Lexapro. I told her yes. She asked me why... I told her because I didn't like taking it and I personally have a stigma against it because my dad and several piece of shit doctors used to try to shove it down my throat all those years when I was young. She got upset and asked me why I quit taking it, to which I told her, I don't have a reason that's goin to satisfy me you other than I'm a grown man, I didn't like taking them because someone was always trying to figuratively force them down my throat most of my younger childhood and that I had no desire to take them long term or try another drug. She proceeds to get pissed off and upset and again asks me "But why!?" to which I go through the whole song and dance. It starts looking like I finally satiated her with my answer and she was going to drop it and then she started on "it's not good for you to always be so worked up and pissed off, it's bad for your health, you're only hurting yourself because you wanna spite your dad and the doctors who have done you wrong" to which I more or less replied "Bingo. I made the decision because I'm an adult and it was MY decision to make. I don't wanna take the meds, I don't have a good reason or what she would consider a good reason why, and my best reason was that I was a grown man, I made the decision, I'm fine living with the side effects until I detox completely and I'm honestly quite perfectly fine being the pessimistic realist I am that sees the world for what it is... I didn't say this next part to her, You're entitled to believe what you believe, and I respect that, As long as you entitle me to have my own belief, and it's my belief that heaven and hell or the equivalent of what you do/don't believe in (I don't personally believe in anything) Doesn't actually exist. Life is nothing but hell and pain. Death is nothing but peace and serenity. Nothing we do in our life really fucking matters. To quote a lyric from a song from FFDP "At the end of the day, We're all just fucking chalk lines on the concrete, drawn only to be washed away and forgotten, I am what I am".
My mom can see my moods better than I can and I'll be honest I've felt myself detoxing from the Lexapro and have been a little bit more like my old self (straight up pessimistic asshole). It upsets my mom and I understand that, I really do.. But she's acting like I was this fantastic happy go lucky joyful person the short time I was on them, and I will admit some days I felt great, other days I felt like hell, I didn't notice a huge improvement while I was on them other than they took the edge off my physical pain which in turn took an edge off my otherwise rough and pissed off exterior. It's not like it was this "Fix all" drug like my primary tried to convince me it was, Which I knew from the get go it wasn't, but figured "hey this guys more or less admitting he's an idiot who doesn't wanna address the issue, so take the prescription and strive towards seeing the Endo and getting his opinion". I do my best to not take my moods out on anybody else they straight up deserve it. I usually get up and walk away from dinner most nights or rush to eat so I can get the fuck away from my grandmother and her bullshit. I feel like my mom has this vision in her head that I was this totally different person on the meds, and I honestly wasn't that different. Sure I was having some pretty decent days, But even on the meds all it took was for my grandmother to start spewing her childish dumbass uneducated bullshit or my dad to act like the borderline retarded burnt out stoner he is and I would roll my eyes, scarf my dinner down, put my plate in the sink, toss the silverware in the sink pissed off and slam in my room to cool down and decompress. The only noticeable difference I felt on the meds was that I felt slightly better and it took the edge off, but if anything all the meds do was make me think before I speak and ultimately bottle more shit up because instead of just blurting something out like I usually would to keep somebody from saying something stupid to me (IE;My dad or gma) I would choose to not say it and just ignore it.
Am I overreacting? Am I being a bad son by refusing to take the meds for the sake that it makes my mom happy? Am I a bad son cause the first time in my life I can stand my ground medically and say no?
It's only been a short while, but have you so far noticed any benefit from the testosterone treatment? Or will it take a little while longer to see the results?
I don't think you're a bad son for refusing to take your meds. Your decision to take them should be based on what's best for you, and not necessarily what will make others around you feel better. I suspect your family just cares about you and sees the medication as a way to help - so it's no surprise that they'd want you to go down that path. That being said what your dad did is absolutely not okay. Making people take medication without their knowledge is horrible and I can understand why you have an aversion to taking mood stabilizers.
I myself have been on antidepressants, and initially I was very hesitant to take them. The first ones I tried did nothing, and I stopped them without medical supervision. A little while later I tried a different combination which had an effect. At one point I tried again to stop these without supervision and experienced significant withdrawal symptoms, but then decided to continue taking them under medical supervision. I continued taking them for a number of years and only came off them fairly recently - this time with supervision. Now, I don't want to give you medical advice because I'm not a doctor but I can at least share some of my experiences and what I've learned. If you do go back on medication, and if/when you come off them again, I would actually recommend coming off with supervision; it's not a guarantee that something will go wrong doing it yourself, but there's also no guarantee that everything will be fine either. I think it is best to do it with your doctor just in case. If you don't mind me asking, why did you decide to come off without supervision? I'm not judging, as I've attempted the same twice before.
When you were in EMT school were you an adult? And if so, how was your dad able to attend the session? I'm a little confused as to how this might work wherever you live, where I am it generally requires the permission of the adult patient if someone else wants to listen in on a session. Did he pressure you into brining him along?
It doesn't sound like you're getting along with your doctor all that well. Again I'm not sure of how things work where you are, or what your financial situation is or how that impacts your medical care, but would it be possible to find another doctor? I've had doctors and psychologists that I didn't click well with in the past, and in retrospect it would have been better for me to seek out others much sooner. It's unfortunate that the actions of those around you have made you distrustful of medication. I'm not saying it's a panacea, or that you should/should not take anything - that's a conversation I'm not qualified to have - but it can be useful. Sometimes it may take a while to find something that works, whether that be medication or something else, and having a medical professional who is understanding and responsive is an integral part in finding what you need. After what your dad did to you in the past, and the way he made you feel, I think it would be a shame for him to have additionally affected you in such a way so as to make you close off a possibly useful avenue of help.
I think (from what little that I know) that a lot of the conflict is stemming from the fact that people, including yourself, want you to get better but disagree as to the methods. There seems to be a mutual frustration going on where you're annoyed at the persistence of your parents and their suggestions, and they seem to be frustrated with the way you want to go about it. Ultimately the are wrong in thinking they can control you into doing what they want; especially your father. That doesn't mean their suggestions are necessarily right, although they're not necessarily wrong either (well, forcing you medication is but hopefully you can get the gist of what I'm trying to say). When I had issues with my family, a major issue was the modes of thinking I was engaged in which prevented me from accepting valid ways to receive help, but on the other side of things my family was unable to comprehend some of my feelings and the fact that some things really did not work for me.
Do you think there's a chance that sitting down with your family and talking things out might be at least somewhat helpful? It might be helpful for everyone to introspectively state what their motivations are, and what they think the effects of their actions have been/will be. Then you can all state how you perceive the motivations and effects of others. It's possible that there is a disconnect between the effects one person thinks they are having, and the way it is perceived by everyone else. Some of you might be acting under the possibly false belief that everyone else might understand your motivations, when in fact your own true motivations might differ from their perception. This possible disconnect between what the individual thinks, and what others believe the individual thinks, could be contributing to some of the conflict.
I've only had one dose so far, a bottles worth, which rounds out to about 2.5cc's which isn't a huge dose by any means, I'll be honest I'm not expecting magic and I understand it's going to take several doses and even tweaking of doses before I'm completely on the right path to raising my testosterone level and getting it evened out where it stays at a satisfactory level for my age. However I do feel overall better now that I'm actually getting the medicine I need (testosterone) to get me feeling better. It may be a mental thing but I've only had one dose and I have found a night and day difference in how I'm feeling physically after taking it and can't wait to see what the results are a few weeks/months down the road as I continue to help it build up back in my system.
I honestly don't know how my dad was able to attend/sit in during the consultation with his doctor all those years ago. I honestly think it's because he probably talked a bunch of bullshit when he was seeing this particular doctor and they got chummy to the point where my dad was able to weasel his way into sitting into my consultations with this guy the few short times I seen him before I told him and my dad to get bent and to let me handle shit my own way. This doctor, not surprisingly or maybe surprisingly quit practicing shortly after I had seen him those few times I seen him all those years ago and may even have suffered license revocation. So who knows what kind of fly by night piece of shit this guy really was.
We have long since moved back home and I now have my own team of doctors that only see me and that they and myself are the only ones handling my treatment and continued care for my health and long term issues like my brain tumor damage treatment aftermath. Unless it's a consultation with my neurosurgeon or something important during a 90 day check up with my Neurologist or Neurosurgeon, I don't let anybody even ride with me, let alone come in with me, and now thanks to Covid that's helped immensely with not allowing anybody but me in with my doctors.
Like I said I don't have a good reason for stopping the Lexapro, It's my own bad experience with doctors in the past and I guess as I mentioned you could say I'm doing it to be on the spiteful said, Which probably comes off as super childish. I just don't want to be somebody who is forever destined to have to take something to make myself feel "good" the rest of my life after my dad breaking my trust pulling what he did all those years ago.
I'm sorry to hear that you've had to go through so much, but I'm glad that you finally seem to be on the right track - hopefully you continue to see benefits from the testosterone treatment. Are you feeling positive about your continuing treatment? I imagine your previous experiences might have made you doubtful about the future, but hopefully with the proper treatment, and a team of doctors free from the influence of your family, this will help raise your spirits.
Have your parents cooled off a bit since you mentioned coming off the Lexapro? I get not wanting to take something for the rest of your life to make you 'feel good', I just thought it might be a good idea to give some perspective from someone else who has gone down that path - but ultimately you need to find what works best for you. Do you talk to your parents much?
Hope you are doing well
I'm a couple doses into my testosterone treatment. They've got me on a 6 month treatment plan with re-evaluation in 90 days to check my levels and see if they need to increase the dose. I take about 2.5cc's every other week. They have made a noticeable difference so far, Nothing immaculate or amazing, but I can feel and see the noticeable physical changes in myself where I'm not completely miserable and struggling to make it through the day or having the full body aches and discomfort I was having prior getting on the testosterone. Still not a huge improvement by any means, but even the slightest difference is fine with me for now until I get further into treatment.
My dad has no idea im on Lexapro nor that I had quit taking it. My mom was up my ass for a few extra days and I told her I would consider taking it again, but I wouldn't make any promises, which she seemed okay with. I think I made it 3-4 days past that conversation with her where my body ached so bad and it felt like every last one of my bones had an extremely tense pounding heartbeat where I ultimately just shook my head, swallowed my pride, and started taking the lexapro again. I can't say that the Lexapro is what caused that intense pain throughout my body, But it was unlike a pain I had felt prior to that and didn't even match the pain/discomfort/exhaustion my whole body had been feeling due to my testosterone being tanked.
My dad and I have a very damaged and strained relationship, It's a lot better now that I'm older than it was when I was growing up, but we just don't have a lot in common and I would never feel comfortable sitting there and actually having any sort of "deep" or personal conversation with him, especially about my feelings, seeing as how he's acted any time in the past. The doctors have him on Paxil and it does wonders for him, but I think it works a little too well and I'm not sure I want that level of alteration to my personality or who I am. I know this probably sounds painfully stupid, but if Im going to have to take these things I don't want to be a drone, I don't want to be a zombie, and I don't want to be this super happhy giddy happy go lucky person, It's not who I am. Do I want to be happy? Sure. but not so happy that I lose myself and who I am.
My mom always has been and always will be my biggest support system, She's been by my side through everything I've been through and is the one who seems to push, encourage, and root for me the most. We have a pretty solid relationship and we are extremely close, We talk a lot but I even feel a bit of hesitance being completely open and vulnerable with her. I don't know why.. I give myself all these excuses how I'm only going to hurt her feelings if I'm completely open, honest, and blunt about how I'm feeling about things or that I'm going to disappoint her, or completely damage the relationship we do have together. Which I'm kind of damaging it in a way by not being completely open and honest with her, but I'm really struggling with being completely open, honest, and vulnerable with her.
Withdrawal isn’t fun :/ I’m not recommending you stay on, or come off, the medication but if you did want to come off in the future you can ask your doctor to help wean you off. If you suddenly stop you can get some pretty nasty side effects like what you described. On the note about medication making you too happy, if you did start to loose who you were then couldn’t you stop? Or are you afraid you won’t want to stop and then won’t be able to go back?
It’s a shame your father has harmed your relationship, but ultimately that’s on him. At least things aren’t as bad as they once were, that might be the best you can hope for - and at least you have your mother there for you.
I think you’ve identified a serious problem: you’re worried that being honest with your mum will damage the relationship, but you think that not being honest is damaging it now. Why do you think being honesty would harm your relationship with her? Do you think she’d look down on you?
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