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  • I need help...

    Sorry for all the posts lately...here goes...

    Back in September my uro-gyn put me on Zoloft because she thought a lot of my IC symptoms were due to stress, anxiety and depression. I had resisted being on another antidepressant for awhile because I had been on them in the past for depression with not good results. From age 19 to about 23 I was on SSRIs...the first was Paxil which did nothing for me, then Lexapro which didn't help, but just made me feel really weird...then Effexor which was the biggest mistake ever. The Effexor seemed to be helping me with anxiety, BUT that was only because it mad me have pretty much NO mood most of the time...but when I did have a mood...boy, was it a MOOD...I would just snap and explode. It also made me gain about 30 pounds because I was hungry constantly no matter how much I ate. It also was keeping me up at night because I would twitch and never seemed to get a deep sleep...I'd always wake up and have to pee...the first time in my life...(sometimes I wonder if it was a very early start to my IC). My psychiatrist didn't find any of to be a problem though and kept increasing my dose because I was still depressed, which only made things worse.

    So anyway, you can see why I might not want to be on another med like this...well I eventually went with it and took the Zoloft. It actually helped me with my IC symptoms and pretty fast too...BUT that horrible hunger was back and worse than ever! So I had to switch. So I tried Prozac...it was great...I actually was feeling mostly normal again...I don't know how, but it reduced my frequency. My doctor said the meds affect chemicals in the bowel and bladder as well and was really happy with how well I was doing.

    Then, in December I started noticing my face and tongue were swelling and I didn't know why, so I went to see the NP at my family doctor...she said it was the Prozac, so I stopped it. For awhile I still felt good, so I was hoping I could just go without antidepressants...well I was wrong. Two weeks ago I went to the uro-gyn because I thought I had a UTI and/or a yeast infection because everything was going crazy down there...of course I didn't have either of those things, it was just the Prozac totally leaving my body. She decided to put me on Depakote even though I'm not bi-polar, because it was in a different class of meds that she thought might help me. Since I don't have insurance and Depakote is very expensive, she said they would find me a patient assistance program and get me started...well...I know her office staff and I know they wouldn't do it, but I decided to give them the benefit of the doubt....so I gave them about 4 days and called to see where they were with it and of course they had no idea what I was talking about. So I said ok, I already found one on my own and I'd fax the papers to them because there was a part they had to sign and send in. (I was working all day and couldn't stop in the office to drop them off.)

    Sounds easy enough, but I called to see if they received the fax on the next business day (last Monday) and they didn't know if they did or not and said they'd look and call me back. So Tuesday came and no call...either you have a fax from me or not, its not a hard question. So I called back. No fax. Fine, I said, I will drop off the paperwork, so I did. BUT, over a week had already gone by and I was just getting worse and worse and had no med to take and still had to wait for the paperwork to get done at the office and mailed for the drug company and to get approved and for the med to get from the drug company to my doctor's office. So, I asked if there was an easier way to do this. There are meds in the same class as Depakote on Kroger's $4 list, so I wondered why I couldn't just start on one of those.

    Again, sounds easy enough, but today is Friday (I asked Tuesday) and still no phone call telling me yes or no. So I call. While I'm at work. And now all of a sudden I feel like I'm basically banished from the office. They said they weren't going to do anything for me and I'd have to talk to my family doctor. WHAT??? My family doctor hasn't put me on an antidepressant since back in the day of the Paxil in 2002!! AND my family doctor doesn't treat me for IC...he doesn't even treat IC AT ALL!! I told them he wouldn't put me on anything and they told me to call him anyway. So I did. And I called them back and said he wouldn't put me on anything and he has no openings until April (which is true because he has always been very busy and his NP just left the practice). So I called back to see what they were going to do and they said they'd call me back. Office hours ended for another day and NO CALL! Meanwhile, my mom called them for me and made me an appointment for Monday. So I guess it will be better to just talk to the doctor in person.

    I'm so upset and frustrated. I've had problems with this doctor's staff before. I love the doctor. She's the one that diagnosed my IC when everyone else thought I was crazy and she always takes the time to listen to me. She probably saved my mom's life. But, the problem is unless I go in for an appt, I have to talk to her horrible staff!! And every time I just walk in the door it's $100+ since I have no insurance. So I just paid $200+ for the last appointment and I have to go again Monday for something that could and should have been settled over the phone.

    I've become a "problem" patient. I work in a hospital and have worked in pharmacies, so I know how it is, so I know I'm the one of those patients that all the employees hate and are annoyed by when they call. But I didn't do anything! I'm suffering and not getting any calls returned. That's WHY I'm calling. I'm so upset I don't know what to do. My family doctor's office said I could either come in or be evaluated my a psychiatrist...I don't need a psychiatrist...I need my IC doctor's staff to be courteous to me!!! That's it!!!
    Last edited by LithEruiel; 01-28-2011, 03:10 PM.
    ~Ashley

  • #2
    I am really sorry you are going through this. You need to tell your Dr. exactly everything you have told us here. She needs to know if her staff is not following through with what she wants them to do.

    If they have now decided that they will not prescribe that medication you may not have a choice but to try to find another Dr. who will work with you and what you need to feel better. I hear you on the no insurance situation. It makes it really hard.

    If at any point over the weekend if you feel you just can't handle it anymore, I would try to call the Dr. on call over the weekend and if there is still no help there you may not have a choice but to go to the ER. Hang in there.

    Hugs!
    Jolene

    "Life is what happens when you are making other plans" John Lennon

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    • #3
      Ashley,

      I am so sorry that you are going throught this. Do you think if you tell your Dr on Monday all that has happened and that you really can't afford this maybe she will not charge for the follow up? It is her staff that caused you to have to come back. It seems that the really good Dr's have so many patients it is next to impossible to get them unless it is an appt. I have the same problem with mine. I took depakote for migraines once, it is used for epilepsy too. It broke my pain cycle. I hope she will give you one of the other's that are cheaper. In the future if I were you everytime I went to see her, I would have all the lists of the cheaper drugs with me so you can get her to find one on there that will work. A little too late for this time I know.

      Other than that I really don't have any advice for you. Just know that you are not the only one that goes through these problems. Definately let her know exactly how everything went with the staff. A lot of times Dr's have no idea. I have read if you want to get a break on charges to talk to the Dr in person. The other's are just running a business, the Dr is the one that will have a heart and try and help you.

      Take care over the weekend and let us know how Monday goes for you.
      Sandra
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      • #4
        Thank you both. I looked for another doctor when I had the problem with her staff before and no one would see me as a new patient because I don't have insurance. Once I get insurance though I may look around. I'll tell the doctor all of this and my mom or my gram are going to go with me too. I feel like it gets through better if I bring one of them with me if I have something complicated to talk about, whether its medical or not. I told one of the board members who's a teenager (tooyoung, I believe) that I'm ten years older than her and I STILL feel like I need to bring a family member with me sometimes to be taken seriously.

        I hope she doesn't charge me very much for the appointment. I have the money to pay it, but only because my great-grandmother left me some money when she passed away. If I didn't have that, I don't know how I'd pay for all these appointments and lab bills. What do the people do that don't have that and don't have insurance? I guess they don't go to the doctor...I wish I had that option, but I just can't stand the frequency all the time and I also tend to get infections very easily. I still get worried about money though because I'm definitely burning through this money faster than I'm replacing it since I only work one or two (or sometimes no) days a week. What got me scared was that once I get insurance I know my meds are going to be over $100 a month, which is more than I pay now (I get my Elmiron and Advair for free right now, the rest of them are cheap) and adding Depakote to it would not help. I know I'll be making a lot more money, but that still just scares me and I don't know why.

        I didn't mention that I started taking the Prozac again a few days ago (had some leftover pills). I've been taking it with an antihistamine and so far I haven't had a reaction to it. It hasn't had time to really do anything though (bad or good). It's just crazy I'm taking something I'm allergic too because of these people...
        ~Ashley

        Comment


        • #5
          Ashley, that whole situation just sucks!! And I want you to know that I'm a 46 yr old mom of 2 college kids, but there have been doctors (and their staff, who I agree can be the WORST) that I still feel as though my husband needs to go with me. For some reason when someone else is with you they just treat you differently. If I were you, I would plan on bringing someone with me everytime. It's sad and frustrating that it has to be that way. But, whatever works, right? And I would be SURE she understands exactly what you've been thru every step of the way. I'm very proud of you for not swearing a blue streak!!! I'm not so sure I would've been able to do the same myself!!! Be very careful on the Prozac!! Sometimes 2nd bad reactions can be worse, so watch carefully!! Let me know how it's going!!
          Katie-46 yr old female dx'd with IC after 15 years of symptoms off and on long term antibiotic use, GERD,IBS and now IC diet, gallbladder removed, endometrial ablation w/tubes tied
          Lexapro-20 mg
          Aciphex
          Ambien-as needed
          Percocet-7.5 up to 3 per day as needed
          Valium-10 mg x2 per day
          Phenergan-1 at night
          Prelief w/everything
          Now recovering from acute pancreatitis

          Currents treatments that help somewhat:
          Heating pad
          Hot baths
          Ice
          Being VERY still while lying down with legs elevated

          Comment


          • #6
            Thanks Katie! I'm usually fine with this doctor by myself...she's very nice, patient, etc. I guess at least if someone comes with me though I'd have a "witness". My Gram was with me when I went before and they tried to charge me $600 for an office visit and we were like WHAT? and they said, oh no, they made a mistake and changed it to $100 something. But later I got a $600 bill and they wouldn't believe me that they changed it and basically yelled at me about it. I ended up having to e-mail the doctor through the hospital's system to get it worked out. I thought about doing that again yesterday, but since I got the appointment so soon, I figured that'd be a better option. I don't want her to think I'm going to e-mail her alllll the time.
            ~Ashley

            Comment


            • #7
              I understand

              But make sure your Gram knows everything that has gone on with her staff and then try to convey to the doctor how much you appreciate HER help, but you have had SO much trouble with her staff that it's causing you even more problems than you already have!!! A good doctor will listen to even complaints about their staff and try to get it fixed. There just is no good excuse for your treatment!!! Makes ME want to go with you, (I'm in kind of a "mood" lately), lol!!! Good luck and I'm glad you've got an appt soon!!!
              Katie-46 yr old female dx'd with IC after 15 years of symptoms off and on long term antibiotic use, GERD,IBS and now IC diet, gallbladder removed, endometrial ablation w/tubes tied
              Lexapro-20 mg
              Aciphex
              Ambien-as needed
              Percocet-7.5 up to 3 per day as needed
              Valium-10 mg x2 per day
              Phenergan-1 at night
              Prelief w/everything
              Now recovering from acute pancreatitis

              Currents treatments that help somewhat:
              Heating pad
              Hot baths
              Ice
              Being VERY still while lying down with legs elevated

              Comment


              • #8
                You've already received some very good advice. I hope the visit goes well.

                Sending encouraging hugs,
                Donna
                Stay safe


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                • #9
                  Thank you so much Katie and Donna!
                  ~Ashley

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Well, I went to the appointment today and I don't feel any better. My mom went with me. She said that she doesn't want to put me on another SSRI, which I knew and that the other meds I suggested weren't used for this (but I looked it up ?) She said my Depakote pt assistance form was done and they'd send it, but she said that that's out of her normal range of things she prescribes and that most general practice doctors prescribe. She said if I stay on it when I get insurance I'll have to see a psychiatrist. That really upset me. The only reason I agreed to take these meds at all is because she thought they would help my IC...most psychiatrists aren't going to know anything about IC. The only good thing about the appointment is that I got a note to get out of jury duty (hopefully). I paid $75 for this visit.

                    My frequency is so bad right now I don't feel like I can do anything. I need to start going to yoga again, but I haven't even felt well enough to. It used to make me feel good at least while I was doing it and now I feel just as bad as usual when I go. I don't know what to do anymore.
                    ~Ashley

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Sorry for your troubles, Ashley. Unfortunately it seems when we agree to take pscyh meds, (regardless the reason), sometimes a ball gets rolling that is often hard to stop and ends up going places we didn't expect it to and rather it not go.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Well, I did go to yoga tonight and I'm feeling better. I think this flare is definitely from stress. I HATE the class I'm in right now (Critical Care) and I'm still upset about my appointment today.
                        ~Ashley

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I'm so sorry you had such a crap day. I don't understand doctors. I guess I never will. I'm glad you went to yoga though! And I'm sure some of this flare IS from stress!! Who wouldn't be stressed given what you've been going thru!!! I hope things settle down for you soon, sweetie!!
                          Katie-46 yr old female dx'd with IC after 15 years of symptoms off and on long term antibiotic use, GERD,IBS and now IC diet, gallbladder removed, endometrial ablation w/tubes tied
                          Lexapro-20 mg
                          Aciphex
                          Ambien-as needed
                          Percocet-7.5 up to 3 per day as needed
                          Valium-10 mg x2 per day
                          Phenergan-1 at night
                          Prelief w/everything
                          Now recovering from acute pancreatitis

                          Currents treatments that help somewhat:
                          Heating pad
                          Hot baths
                          Ice
                          Being VERY still while lying down with legs elevated

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Thanks so much! I really need to go to yoga regularly again. It's terrible to get so stressed that I stop doing something I know helps me.
                            ~Ashley

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