Tag Archives: anxiety

Long overdue update

This was written a couple of weeks ago, but I just realized it was in drafts.  So, here’s the post with alterations to fit where things are currently.

Last month my wife and I went if for our final attempt at IUI. It was unsuccessful, so we now need to decide what our next steps are, if any. I’d write more on that, but at the moment there are just too many unknowns. We’re both extremely disappointed to say the least.

The job situation has actually remained stable, though I’m picking up some distance with myself and my manager. I’ve put him in a tough spot, so I kind of expect as much. For now they’re honoring the travel every other week, but it’s not sustainable long-term. I’m still looking locally to see what’s out there. If the right thing comes up, I’ll pursue it.

Weight loss continues. As of today I’m 195lb. I’ve not been this low in the better part of 18-20 years. I don’t have a specific goal weight or anything, just mainly a goal of eliminating the gut which is the most common thing with heart disease. It is nice to fit into normal clothes again though. Not so cool that I need to buy all new clothes. A belt can only do so much when going from a 30-40″ waistline to a 32″. My shirts fit like tents now. 45lb so far. Yay me.

At the very beginning of April I started exercising 5-6 days/week, once per day for ~30 minutes. Exercise has consisted almost entirely of running on an elliptical while keeping my heart rate up in the 150-165 range for 20-25 minutes of the workout. As my overall endurance increases I’m just moving faster, but maintaining the heart rate. Here’s what’s changed since starting that:

  • Sleeping better at night. Sleep medications are still necessary some nights, but need for them has reduced by 50-60%.
  • Waking feeling a little more energized.
  • I’ve stopped having anxiety attacks.
  • I no longer come close to having anxiety attacks even when faced with direct triggers.
  • I rarely have suicidal thoughts or imagery. The imagery has been intrusive for the majority of my life. This is the first time they’ve not been present this consistently.
  • I feel better than neutral most days.
  • I feel a sense of well-being about 1/3-1/2 the time as opposed to simply not feeling it at all for years.
  • People have noticed and commented that I look like I’m feeling better than some have ever seen me. Not just physically, but they notice I smile and look relaxed.
  • Since stopping the blood pressure medication I no longer have trouble getting or keeping an erection (I mention this in case this is a problem for someone else and like myself, their doctor failed to mention this as a possibility. It was a nice surprise when literally 36 hours later things worked better than they had in years).
  • I actually have a sex drive again.
  • I actually feel like going out and doing things.
  • I’ve dropped Xanax, Klonopin, Adderall and Rexulti from my daily and as-needed medications.
  • I’ve started catching up on things I’ve neglected for a long, long time.
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A couple of things

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Sorry if the pic bothers anyone. It’s just a relief to see so many more in such a short time. If you’d rather not see it, just comment and I can remove it.

For a long time I’ve called this 30-something guy’s journal – mostly about bipolar II. In less than a month I’ll no longer be in my 30’s and I don’t write mainly about Bipolar II anymore, so I need to come up with a new name for this little space on the net’.

On another note, my wife and I have been trying to conceive based on her fertility tests and we’ve been doing pretty regular checks to see if I have any sperm with the microscope. Tonight was the first night I didn’t need to hunt to see sperm, but they were all dead. I’ve read up on it, and this apparently isn’t unusual. If I were to guess, in the 11 minutes I looked at the slide, I saw well over 200 sperm, which is a huge improvement from a week ago when 20-40 minutes of searching showed only a few. For proper lab testing we need a centrifuge and an incubator. Neither of those items are cost prohibitive. I’ll talk with my wife and see if she’s willing to wait long enough to just decide to go the IVF route to make the extra lab equipment worth the investment. It’d get used after this.

If someone did a tag search and found this blog about having a vasectomy reversal, please feel free to contact me to talk about the process. I did have one of the top surgeons in the country perform mine, even after 18 years of the original vasectomy. I can tall you about recovery times, pain, other things to expect and at least what the cost was for us (it was not covered under insurance and required general anesthesia). I know when I was researching online most of everything I found was very clinical in nature, but didn’t get into the actual reality of the procedure and recovery.

So, this is real. This is going to happen. Even if I can’t produce naturally, the surgeon that performed the reversal said as far as production and quality of sperm I may as well be in my 20’s. Extracting it would be less than pleasant, but nothing I’m not willing to endure to move the process forward. This is really happening, and likely within the next year, barring any complications. I’m equally excited about it and terrified at the same time. The terrified part is mostly the reasonable things people that are going to have a first child have. To summarize; I just don’t want to fuck up too much and to be a good father. The other part that scares me though is the crippling depression that I go so very often. I’m high-functioning when I’m depressed and to help with focus I have Adderall which has been a godsend. Out of the group of 20 of my position in the country, only two other perform consistently at my level with errors being extremely rare and missing deadlines being unheard of.

I’ve been researching online again to see if I can find a therapist that we kind of hit it off as far as being a good fit for working together that can allow me Skype sessions when I’m traveling. Our health insurance will cover it, but there’s a specific code that needs to be used and I need to see the therapist in person every so often as well. It’s the suicidal ideation and urge that I need help with. It’s a constant. I’m used to it. I’m in no danger, but it’s a constant thing running through my mind. I feel guilty about it. How shitty would it be to everyone around me if I were to check out early? How shitty would it be for me now that I’m living a life that I never thought possible? Why won’t this constant nagging desire..no..need, go away?

I go through the mental gymnastics centering around that and starting a family. I can live with the depression. It’s tolerable with medications. I’ve no doubt I could endure well into old age. But would having a depressive parent be selfish, even if I’m good at compartmentalizing it? I don;t know.. It’s late and I put in 70 hours this week. There are things I should work on this weekend, but I think I’m going to go do some photography with an old friend. If time allows for work I’ll do it, but I need downtime. I’ve earned it.

A long overdue update

This will contain what may be considered NSFW as it relates to my vasectomy reversal procedure performed not two months ago.

Continue reading A long overdue update

Not coping so well today. I did well at adult stuff – I bought a leaf blower and did yard work. Since this is our first home, this is a new thing. My wife is home, but working on her college project due at midnight, which means I have to leave her be.

Since I’ve not been coping well of late, mainly because of the loneliness of work travel, I’ve managed to find a therapist who’s local that can also do sessions via Skype and insurance will pay for it. I’d of went with her anyway because she seems to be a good fit for me, but that’s a bonus. I’m going to try to meet her for the first time this Thursday as my scheduled appointment out of state cancelled. Otherwise, I see her in a couple of weeks when I’m back in town.

What I need to work with her on is how to cope with the crushing loneliness of travel. I’m someone who needs physical contact. Not so much sexual contact; I can wait until it’s possible for my wife and I to be together in that way. It’s the other aspects. Basically touch and holding/being held. I’ve gone so far as to look into professional cuddlers and checked the areas that I frequent. It’s a possibility, but if I were to guess my wife wouldn’t want my to have anything to do with that, so I’m going to trust my instincts and not hire someone, even though it’s completely non-sexual.

The other thing I need to work on is that we’ve decided to start down the path of having a child. Since I had a vasectomy 18 years ago, the chances of a reversal being successful is a whopping 2%. Since those odds seem pointless, I’ve found a fertility clinic that has other surgical options to extract sperm and do in vitro, or freeze the extracted sperm if time is needed between extraction and fertilization.

So, why therapy over this? I grew up in a horribly abusive home. I literally don’t know how to interact with children. I’m the guy that if you hand a toddler, I hold it at arms length in utter terror. I really, truly, honestly don’t know what to do other that generically “don’t hurt it.” The vasectomy at 22 was because my depressive episodes were so severe that I was certain I’d not make it to 30. I also liked sex. Well, I still do, but that’s beside the point. Either way, I didn’t want to father a child and be the dad who killed himself or was too emotionally absent dealing with their own shit. So.. Yeah. I want to do this. I need guidance.

Lastly I need to talk to someone about the crushing depression that seems to be setting in. I’m not going to harm myself, but the thought of doing so is there every waking moment of every day and the urge is strong beyond words.

Anyway.. I guess that’s all I’ve got. I’ve drank a lot this weekend. Fill a large coffee mug with a couple of types of liquor and no ice, and you have one of my drinks. I’ve had two of those this weekend, and a shot of Diserono this morning with brunch.

Here is is Monday night and I already feel beat. In other news, after talking with the psychiatrist, we’ve decided to double my dose of Lexapro to try to battle the depression that’s seeped in. I’ve been mostly honest with her about how I’ve really been doing, but I should probably come clean about how strong the suicidal ideations are. It’s logically and objectively making sense to me, which isn’t a good thing.

I know there’s more than this.. Than existing, I mean. It’s not as bad as it can get, but I see that coming in the coming in the near future. Every time I think I know how bad it can get, it seems to surprise me by finding a new low. I’ve been self-medicating with alcohol some nights, which I really shouldn’t do, aside from the obvious, but even for health reasons alone. It’s not a regular thing, at least. I hadn’t had a drink in a couple of weeks, and tonight I’ve only had some. Not even enough to get a buzz.

I’m conflicted about telling my wife how I’m really doing. I owe her that much.. For the hell I’ve put her through with my mental illness, I owe her that much. On the other hand, for what I’ve put her though, I feel I owe it to her to keep it to myself. I’ve burdened her with this too much as it stands.. I don’t know what the hell to do to be honest. Part of me thinks I should leave so that she can find someone else that’s in a much better disposition than me. I know that’s the depression talking, but it’s how I feel either way. To be frank, if it weren’t for her, as cliche as it sounds, I’d not be here at this point. The lows have hit bad enough that I’d not just think about giving up, but would have, or would act on it. I couldn’t do that to her. Other people, yes, but not her. So, I have to figure out a way to push through. Since I have to push though, then I need to figure out a way to make that less miserable. Right now, chemically is about the only option that I see. It’s that, or ECT, or TMS, or Katamine, or whatever else is out there. All of which I could try, some of which would likely cost me my job, which would enter in a whole host of other fucked up problems that would likely make me even more depressed which wouldn’t be good for anyone.

I’ve spent countless hours trying to figure out if what’s going on with me is psychological or chemical. When I look at the world, I think there’s a mix of good and bad in the world. I don’t know what the balance is, but objectively, I think there’s considerably more good in the world than bad, but the bad gets most of the attention so it seems worse than it is. Overall, I am optimistic about most things. If what I experience is indeed mostly chemical, then it stands to reason that there will be breakthroughs within my lifetime that would offer relief. Approaching 40, barring anything unexpected, dare I hold on to hope that some relief can be found within a reasonable time in the next 35-50 years? Will I be so far gone into darkness that I’d even know how to handle being good, much less just ok? I don’t know.. My mind isn’t in a good place tonight. I’ll probably watch a show or something and then go to sleep. That seems to reset my mind pretty well.

Fuck me, this shit gets old..

Still alive, of sorts

So, here I sit at a client site waiting for some necessary paperwork to be able to finish up my installation here. I’ve been waiting for the better part of 3 hours and have called about 12 people to get this info with no luck. The IT staff that I’ve been sharing space with just went for lunch, so I have a moment to update my blog.

As I mentioned in my last post, I’ve not been doing well at all. Work stress is a major contributor, or in technical terms as it relates to Bipolar, it’s triggering me. Regardless, I’ve wracked my brain to find a way to come up with some balance that has me home more along the lines of what I had signed up for with travel (40-50%) rather than the usual 70-75%. Aside from being away, it’s also draining. Long days, long layovers in the airport, constant flight delays and cancellations, etc. What I’ve decided to do is be gone 4 days every other week. Red eye it out at 6:00am from the airport near me (30 minute drive from home), which means I need to leave my house no later than 5:00am, be clean shaven, business dress and all of my stuff needed for such trips. Do a half day the first day in the city that the staff gives me the most problems, then a full day with them on Tuesday. Tuesday night, fly out late getting into Pittsburgh at midnight, provided things run on time, get settled into my hotel room around 1:00am, catch a little sleep and be at the office or customer location at 9:00am. Another full day in Pittsburgh, then fly home arriving at midnight (again, if everything runs on time), get up and be at my office (40 minute drive) or a client location that’s anywhere from 30 minutes away to 2 1/2 hours. That’s going to be my life every other week starting August 10th. Next week I’m Pittsburgh all week, then Ohio the next after a full day of cardio examination, then New York for 3 days, followed by 4 days off. I swear.. I need some amphetamines just to get through each day..

Anyway, working with the psychiatrist on the not doing so great part. She’s started me on some med called Latuda, that I’ve never heard of, but 3 days in, it might be working. I only feel really shitty today, which is an upgrade from the last couple days. So, that’s it, in a nutshell.