Monday, March 30, 2015


If you feel compelled to be an active participant in your healthcare and treatment, you probably want to know what the Heck doctors are prescribing you and what the Hell it will do to you.  And, you probably have done a lot of medical-related internet research.  I have.  I read message boards where patients talk to each other, and some that include medical professional in the discussion.  I have read articles, and books.  I have collected studies and trials and read the reports.  I research from every angle.  

I have found a treatment through buried archives of trials, that is just barely mentioned by national sites dedicated to the treatment of PMDD (if at all), which show 80% success rates when administered.  It's just not labeled by the FDA, so you will never hear about it unless you dig in real deep and you ask.  Now, that doesn't mean it will work for me.  I was just surprised to that I hadn't heard about it before.  I actually found it because it kept coming up as a treatment for hormonal acne, and I kept thinking that hormonal acne usually comes with PMS, so maybe they could be treated... the same?  I don't know...  But I was right...

Actually, when I asked about Spironolactone as a possibility, the resident doctor (to be referred to as doctor lady) seemed confused and said it wasn't a common treatment for PMDD, and She instead suggested that what I had was MDD, exacerbated by the menstrual cycle, and if SSRIs weren't working, I needed to be referred by to my psychiatrist.  I said, "No.  Nope."  She then said if I did have PMDD, what they would have to do is induce menopause with the medication Lupron.  (My research showed Lupron could be potentially, extremely dangerous).  I was in a luteal state, but I did calmly listen to this ridiculously drastic first line of treatment, which she also told me was very bad in many ways-- Induced menopause that is.

I stared blankly at her, at best.  Sam said as she was talking, he was thinking, "Oh, shit.  This is not going to go well for this doctor lady."  But I was tired, you know.   I just looked at her, and said, "No.  Nope.  That's not what has to be done.  Nope."  She then seemed nervous and went to get the real Doctor, not a resident Doctor (you may take offense, student doctors. I'm just saying it how it is).  The experienced, fully educated doctor knew about spironolactone as a treatment and talked about Yasmin having similar components as Spironolactone.  First, and most important, she came in with a look on her face that said, "I know you feel horrible and I want to help," which is not the look I got from "doctor lady."  She said it's difficult to treat, and we really ought to try Yasmin, if I was willing. I was willing to try a treatment suggested by an experienced doctor. She didn't look overly hopeful, and wasn't even encouraging, completely.  She did say, "I'm so sorry you are suffering from this, and I hope this first try works for us.  It has worked for some of my patients." 

Yasmin is approved as being a successful treatment option for PMDD, I hadn't tried it yet, and so that's what I was prescribed.   Yasmin is a birth control pill, and Spironolactone is actually considered a diuretic.  I don't need birth control, although I was on ortho-tricyclen in the past, which seemed to jive with my body okay.  But... it didn't stop the onset of PMDD... that pain train was already full speed on the tracks to this body.  So how does any of that make any sense?  Birth control to regulate hormones: I get that part.  BC pill similar to a diuretic?  What?  

The difference between Yasmin and the other birth control pills on the market is that drospirenone is unlike other progestins that have been available in bc pills. Drospirenone is a close chemical cousin of spironolactone (ALDACTONE),  that causes the body to retain potassium. Spironolactone is known as a potassium sparing diuretic, and because of its diuretic properties Drospirenone can increase potassium to a dangerous level if not properly monitored.   Dangerous means it can kill ya and stuff.  I didn't know that.  

But I didn't have many options.  I wanted something to work.  I saw doctors who were focusing in on PMDD and not the whole shitshow that is my brain, and I wanted them to help me.  I took the Yasmin.  It wasn't good.  It just didn't go well.  As I've written in the past, PMDD for me was clockwork.  Here's a clear picture of the first day, through texts to Sam:   
"Hey, what's up?"

Nothing.  Just saying hi.  Trying not to crash.

"I feel ya
You have not been able to sleep well"

That's true.

I am crashing.  Brain nausea. 

Body temp seems to rise.  My head and face feel hot. 

I start to detach, go numb, I feel sick to my stomach, then...

... I feel agitated, like I've lost something very important, or missed a critical deadline...

 It is so drastic.  So intense it doesn't seem real.  I feel like I should be able to wipe it off my skin, like it's just on the surface.

But it's inside me.  And I know that, too. 

Just putting sour cream into a bowl feels like a struggle.  When the kids ask me for something, I feel like I'm going to cry, throw up.  I feel numb, like my hands aren't attached to my body.
I put all the clothes on the bed, to put away.  Now I want to scream at my earlier-today-self, "what were you thinking!?  You never finish anything and now you're trapped. It's everywhere, stuff is everywhere, and I can't make it go away.  

I could open the door, throw them out onto the deck and not care.  I could pretend they never existed.  

Then I want to not exist.  Now I'm staring at this phone, not seeing words I'm typing, and just knowing when I put it down, I'll go even more blank and numb.  Stare at nothing.  See nothing.  I don't feel anything.  But I know I'm scared. 

The "change" always started around 3:30-4:00 pm.  It was marked and disturbing.  It even got worse at the evening progressed.  I might have "hallucinations," a panic attack, or crazy brain nausea that left me laying on the floor crying... But I knew what was coming.  My crazy was a scheduled crazy.  It was reliable. When I started Yamin, I went from at least knowing what was coming at me, to a fluky freak show.  Yes, I'm used to feeling terrible--being in a bad way, still trying to function--so I could handle it.  I've been doing it for five years.  And, the Yasmin didn't cause a new feeling of depression, it was just the same...  It just bothered me more because it was not happening on a schedule that I could rely on.  I then began to realize I was feeling pretty damn bad most days of the entire months, with no relief.  I did some crazy things while taking that pill that I don't want to write about in detail.  I'll just say, The Night of Scissors and Fire.

Despite all that, I stayed on Yasmin, to give it the time the doctors said it might take to start "working." Then I had to stop it.  I had to.  It felt worse than ever.  I was scared it would make me stuck that way if I took it too long.  

It didn't stick.  After being off Yasmin for about 10 days, now, I'm so back on track--the crazy track, but I know where it's taking me, and when.  I have a little itinerary.  9:00 am:  Wake up groggy and body aches.  10:00-3:30:  Get stuff done, or your entire day is toast!  3:30-9:00 pm:  See above.  And all that lasts for twelve days, and then I feel more like myself again.  

You know, I have been diagnosed with ADD, PMDD, MDD (Major Depressive Disorder)--some people tell me I have PTSD--but I can handle all of it, if I know what to expect.  I research the heck out of everything I can find related to my special-psycho-alphabet.  I want to know.  I want to know as much as I can.  

So, this was a boring post, but sometimes I feel like I'm so damn smart, I ought to tell you actual stuff, and not just my feelings.  If you have PMDD, I really wouldn't recommend Yasmin unless you are married to a firefighter and live in a padded house with no sharp objects... anywhere...

Monday, March 16, 2015

Hanging on a Telephone Wire.

Lying is like a knife stuck through a major artery: I want to pull it out, but I know I could bleed to death if I do. The blade is sealing off the flow, and keeping me alive... even though it should kill me.  

Before the past five years of my life, I think I could count the downright dishonest lies I had ever told on one hand.  I remember the childhood ones very clearly, and the guilt that ate away at me until I told the truth. 

Not that any lies are okay,  But, I think we all lie a little every day:  
      "I would love to play My Little Ponies," is really, "No, I would not love to play My Little Ponies, but I love you so I'll do it, gosh darn it."  
     "A tornado in your Sim City!  That's terrible!"  I can say that with such gusto that I startle my son-- who just reported the inclement cyber weather--into drastic Sim saving actions.
     I always say I'm okay.  Even when I'm not.  
We lie so others don't worry.  We lie to protect other peoples' feelings.  We don't tell the truth because we're scared.  

It's easier to lie, sometimes, than to tell the truth. And that's the truth of it all.

So... When does it hurt more to keep the knife in,  than pull it out and start administering to the wound?