Faulty Coping Mechanisms

Sometimes (and this should come as a surprise to no one)…I make mistakes.

I knew, all through last week and most of the week before, that I was starting to run low on my medications. I put off sending in the refill request, because my new insurance card hadn’t come in the mail yet. Last Thursday morning, I took the last pills I had. My insurance card still hadn’t come, but I didn’t really have a choice; I put in the refill request.

Unfortunately, my insurance card continued to not show up, and the pharmacy didn’t get going on the refill right away, and I was feeling very overwhelmed and low on spoons and doing a terrible job of expressing to my partner what was happening, and, long story short, I had no meds over the weekend.

I’ve been on the same duo of medications for six years. There have been times when I’ve run out of one or the other (never both at once), or missed a day, but neither of those things have happened often, and neither have happened at all in probably two years. I had no idea what to expect. I assumed that I had a day or two, at least, before it really started working its way out of my system, but beyond that? Not a clue.

I felt increasingly off as the weekend progressed. I finally told my partner what was happening on Sunday. Monday morning I overslept  (in part because it was stormy and so dark outside that I think my brain decided it couldn’t possibly be day, and I turned off all but my last alarm in my sleep), which meant that I was already not in the best place when I got to work. A few hours into my day, I realized I was feeling pretty shaky. I started sweating profusely. My head hurt. It gradually dawned on me that the withdrawal had finally hit.

I logged into my pharmacy’s online portal and saw that the one medication that was most likely causing the worst of the withdrawals had been filled, and my old insurance had covered it (I’d forgotten that I submitted a refill request when I got a reminder email from the pharmacy a month prior, then realized that, because I only take half a pill per day, I didn’t actually need it yet, and had never picked it up). I decided I’d head to the pharmacy after work and at least pick that one up.

I ended up leaving work around lunchtime, because I realized that the withdrawal symptoms were only going to get worse, and headed straight to the pharmacy, feeling increasingly desperate.

As it turned out, even though I didn’t have my new insurance information, I was able to use a clinic discount to get my other medication at a reasonable price as well. I tried not to beat myself up too much as I headed home with the medications I probably could have picked up over the weekend, before things got out of hand.

Thankfully, in the midst of getting my brain back on track, I’ve had plenty of folks around to help me keep moving. A friend invited me to join a weekly roleplaying game, which meant I got to spend a good chunk of Monday and Tuesday coming up with character ideas. Tuesday evening was the game, and there’s nothing quite like several hours of collaborative storytelling to get you out of your own head. Work has been especially busy, which has been challenging, but has also provided a really good gauge of how quickly my mental state is improving – I felt so much more capable of focusing and getting work done yesterday than I did on Monday, which was encouraging.

I’m still waiting for my insurance card to show up, but now HR is aware that there’s a problem and is working on rectifying it. I’m making myself a list of appointments I need to schedule when it finally gets here (and I’m hoping it comes before the appointment I have scheduled for this weekend). Finding a therapist to help me work through some of the underlying emotional things that are siphoning off my supply of spoons is at the top of the list. I am not letting myself get back into the position I was in at the beginning of the week every again, if I can help it.

Here’s to finding new and more reliably effective coping mechanisms.

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