Damn. I was so looking forward to getting all that nonsense I talked about yesterday out of the way, and I got a call just as I was leaving for my doctor appointment this morning. Seems he’d been called to an emergency surgery and needed to reschedule. So it’s been put off till Friday morning, and all I can think of is, I put makeup on for this??
There’s a story there. I usually do wear at least some mascara, but my allergies have been so bad this summer that my eyes almost continually water and itch, which is not conducive to wearing eye makeup. So I’ve gone without, except for job interviews and doctor appointments. And I’ve gotten used to it. It’s not like I’m a raving beauty even on my best days, and with all the eye-rubbing that goes on, the mascara smears and makes me look like a raccoon. I don’t know why it’s so important to get all dolled up to go to the doctor—maybe it’s just a vestige of the old days, when a woman with any self-respect at all would primp and perfume before an appointment of almost any kind—but I still do it.
Which reminds me: this is the longest I’ve ever gone without seeing Dr. Awesomesauce. Ten weeks, to be exact, and my next appointment isn’t until Monday. With the exception of that brief hiccup in June, I haven’t needed to go in, and that is surely a sign of progress. It wasn’t so very long ago that even monthly visits weren’t really enough; thankfully he is so responsive to telephone calls or I’d have needed more frequent visits than that. And to think there was even a time when I was seeing him every two weeks…..yes, boys and girls, there’s been a LOT of improvement here.
Seriously, it was once unthinkable that I could go more than a few weeks without a med change or a therapy session. Stability was only a concept, a goal to aim for but impossible to achieve for any length of time. I’d last a couple of months, get to believing I had this thing licked, and wham! another episode would slam into me with the force of a hurricane. Last fall I felt so good that I went into denial mode, thinking that my issues were merely existential, and was rewarded with a one-two punch of full-blown mania followed swiftly by a crash into depression.
I know better now. Whenever I get to fantasizing about coming off medications, I remind myself that they are what’s keeping me steady—I can’t do it on my own. Maybe someday I’ll be able to get along on fewer meds, but for now, the combination I’m on is exactly right for me. It still feels like a lot of meds, and it is, but the doses aren’t excessive and it’s become obvious—even to me!—that I need every single one of them to function.
Yes, it’s tough waiting for the other shoe to drop, because I know it will at some point. There will be another mood episode, and another one after that. But thanks to Will’s cancer and our precarious living situation, I’m learning to stay in the present and not to worry too much about the future. It doesn’t do any good, and it doesn’t change a thing; all it does is make me anxious and irritable. All that matters is that today I’m stable, and today that’s good enough.