19 December 2009

Outpatient Therapy-Day 25 (Wednesday 16 December AM)

My group therapy session today did not go as well as I had hoped. I am feeling more depressed these last few days, since Saturday, but I did not realize how much until it was my turn to share. As I was going through my daily check-in sheet, when I got down to the section marked “current stressors,” I had written that I was facing huge financial burdens due to all the medical bills coming in and that I still had to find the extra money to support buying another car. As I was talking about this, the tears just started rolling down my face. I hate crying, especially in front of other people, but I could not keep up my fa├žade. I was not even sure what the catalyst was of my recent downturn of my mental status, but as I was sharing this, it became apparent to me that my money issues must have been playing a good part of my increased depression. Of course, there was no real tool to deal with these emotions—anything I tried was fruitless. My bills were not going away and there was nothing I could do about it. The latter concept should have given me a clue as how to handle this situation—to accept it at face value and deal with it. But, how can you deal with knowing you have much more outgo that income?

Just to add to my worry and anxiety, today is the last day of my short-term disability. Both my group therapist and my psychiatrist have submitted extension requests, but when I called the third-party vendor that administers disability claims, I was told that the decision would be rendered tomorrow, my first day back to work. I am definitely not ready to face that stress. I left a voicemail for my manager indicating that, while tomorrow is supposed to be my first day back, I was unable to return and that the claim decision would be made tomorrow. I indicated that if the extension is denied, I would like to take my remaining vacation days through the end of the year (I had 14 days still coming to me, and while I was going to be using up 10 of those days, I would end up losing the other four as my company does not allow someone to carry over any vacation days). Then I sent him an email saying the same thing. If they do deny the extension and my manager does not go along with my vacation request I will risk losing my job according to the FMLA rules—I would no longer be protected by the federal guidelines imposed by FMLA. Why can’t the disability group make their decision by the end of today to give me a heads up as to what I should do about tomorrow in case I do not get a reply from my manager? My psychiatrist submitted his request along with the supporting documents on Monday, two days ago. They have previously decided with paperwork only submitted 24 hours ahead of time. Why did they need 72 hours this time?

I also have to go by my GP’s office right after group to get my third round of those iron infusions. I am not looking forward to that considering how many times they had to stick me Monday just to find a vein. I also had that weird reaction when I got home, but when I reported that to the clinical specialist yesterday, she looked up the reported side effects. While feeling tired was one, feeling that extremely tired along with the muscle fatigue and feeling bone-chilled made me think that something did not add up. I do not want to get the same reaction again this afternoon. I am worried in case these side effects start appearing while I am driving home. To be on the safe side, I put a tablet of Provigil in the pill container that I always carry with me. I just hope they can find a vein much easier today. I still have bruises from Monday’s attempts.©2009

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