Stress Talk #7: Deja Vu

Here we are, number 7 in this series. The last one was right before the new year. I didn’t think I’d do one this week but here we are – first week of 2021 – and I’m already stressed. Surprise, surprise. I almost sleep-walked two nights ago so that’s a sign.

I don’t know if you felt it too but this week had that March-2020 vibe – the spike in COVID, the uncertainly in the country and the world, don’t know what’s next…

Add that with the tens of emails popping in my work inbox every hour and customers calling in every few minutes to complain about invoices, it’s pretty Deja vu.

My health is the biggest culprit for my stress and anxiety this week. I’ve been without my medication since New Year Eve and have not been feeling so well. I feel constantly tired and have a headache. No fever though and none of the obvious signs of IT.

I think whatever I’m feeling might be psychological. Maybe my brain is afraid of the consequences of being without this medication.

I was diagnosed with lupus in 2016 and my rheumatologist put me on a daily dose of 200 mg of hydroxychloroquine. If this medication sounds familiar, that’s because this was claimed to be able to treat and/or prevent IT. A lot of people started taking this medication and decided it’d be a great idea to raise the price so those of us who really needs it would have to pay a lot more to get it.

In June, 2020, my dermatologist, working with my rheumatologist, decided to cut my dosage in half. The new dosage did something to my lupus and blood because in August, when I had my annual health exam, my doctor told me my lupus had gotten worse and my platelets and white blood count levels were low, which resulted in me seeking a hematologist.

A bunch of tests were conducted but nothing was found conclusive. My three doctors – dermatologist, rheumatologist, and hematologist – came together and discussed my situation but I managed to draw the conclusion before them and I asked, “Do you think if this had anything to do with cutting the dosage on my med?”

My rheumatologist scratched his head, “Maybe but it’s inconclusive.”

It was scary times. It took two lab technicians and four pokes to draw two vials of blood. I remember a loud pop and the technician informed me they’ve hit a vein but all it had was air. My veins were laughing, “You can’t get me.”

My dosage was immediately increased back to 200 mg. Unfortunately, my doctor didn’t do it right. She forgot to put notes in my chart and update the prescription. The prescription still read, “take one-half tablet per day” and even with a new prescription, my insurance won’t pay for it and the pharmacy won’t fill it until the 21st.

I don’t know whether I’m experiencing withdraw symptoms or something else. Each moment I feel unwell makes me anxious especially because we’re still in the middle of this darn pandemic and because I’m now without this medication, I am technically immuno-compromised with my lupus. I’ve called my doctor and they said they’d get back to me but that was Tuesday and now it’s Friday. They don’t work on Fridays.

I had been too busy with work that everything else – home, recent events – have to be put on the back burner. I’m glad I have double doctor appointments next Thursday. I shall give them a piece of my mind. For the next few days, I will just have to stay home and try not to interact with anyone.

12 thoughts on “Stress Talk #7: Deja Vu

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