Because Us Am NOT INSANE!*
I saw the Brain Doctor today. He was youngish and rumpled and bespectacled and goateed, like he'd come from Central Casting. He listened to my two main reasons for visiting him (1. My Other Doctor Is A Noodlehead; 2. J'ai faim toujours) and asked a few careful questions.
When he'd established that My Other Doctor had upped the dosage of my antidepressants without first checking six other things, and that MOD had decided I was bipolar on the basis of a misread chart, his polite and careful questioning gave way to an enormous eyeroll. The hunger side effect of Effexor was one he hadn't seen before personally, but one he wouldn't be surprised by. The sleepiness thing made him nod and jot a couple of notes down on a pad. Then he made the following recommendations:
1. I am not bipolar. I think I said something like "Well, *duh*" at that point.
2. That I taper the dose of Effexor I'm taking very, very slowly and carefully (the story of the missed-dose side-effects made him sit up and say "Woh." Just like that.) and supplement if necessary with Wellbutrin.
3. That I get various levels of various things tested, like my thyroid level. I suspect I'm not hypothyroid, but he wants to rule it out anyhow. If it turns out I'm not hypothyroid but I still want to try augmenting the Effexor with thyroid hormone, we can give it a shot. He assures me there's precedent for this. Um, okay. I'm more inclined to trust him than Mister Doctor You're Bipolar.
4. That if I hate the Effexor taper or the Wellbutrin augmentation or anything else about the process, I call him right away and let him know so he can do some hand-waving and dose-adjusting and we'll go from there.
I'm inclined to be optomistic. First off, the guy may be a brain doctor with a schwanky office in a nice part of town, but he's a bit off-kilter. He broke off in the middle of an explanation of something-or-other to do a double-take at the window and then say, "It's *raining*" in a disappointed voice, as though I'd turned down a plate of his own home-made cookies. "It wasn't supposed to do *that*," he persisted. I liked that immediately.
Second, he's more than willing to entertain the idea that I might be super-duper sensitive to the brain chemicals I'm ingesting and therefore ought to be able to taper them the way I feel is fit.
Third, The Eyeroll. I knew there was some eye-roll-deserving stuff going on with Other Doctor, but I didn't realize how eye-rolly it really was.
Fourth, his reaction to my description of my family was, "So...you're all a little weird, right?" Right.
So I begin tapering Effexor from 150 to 75 tonight. (Cue suspenseful music.) (Note: I will be doing this very, very, very slowly and carefully. Don't anybody fret.)
I can't thank you guys enough. The first time I posted about being a nutcase, more people than I thought read the blog came out of the woodwork to offer support and advice. The second time, when I asked specifically for help and ideas, you guys burned up the email and the comment boxes helping me out.
It's touching and heartening to know that people are so open to advising even poor-to-middlin' writers. I'll keep updates coming.
*These obscure references brought to you by Jo's Obscure Reference and Piano-Tuning Service.