Saturday, July 21, 2012

The Drug Dealers Won

I saw my psychiatrist this past week. I often have more sleeping problems in the spring/summer, and that is true this year. I have also been especially anxious. The ambien just isn't doing it for me anymore- at least not the half dose that I have been taken recently since I realized that this was the medication that was making my concentration so bad in the mornings. Strange, since when I take a full 10mg of Ambien, I usually wake up feeling amazing. And not sleepy or drowsy. It is just concentration that is off. I can't do my paperwork until about noon. But the 5mg stopped working, and I had started supplementing it with a little klonopin at night, particularly with the anxiety. 

So I though I would ask for Sonata, which has a shorter half-life. Maybe I could take the whole dose, and not feel it the next morning. At least that was my thinking. And I looked it up- it was covered by my insurance, and generic, and only cost about 14 dollars a month anyway.

But my doctor didn't like my suggestion. Perhaps because I sometime have trouble staying asleep, and Sonata is not very good for that. Or perhaps because the Lunesta drug rep had just been in his office. Because I went home with a week's worth of Lunesta samples, and a prescription for Lunesta, along with a card that gives me up to a $50.00 discount each month.

That's right. I wasn't thinking at the time, but Lunesta is still branded. And when I looked it up, it would be costing me $200 a month! It is covered by my insurance, but I have a high deductible plan, so I will be paying the full cost for a while (unfortunately I have high enough medical costs that I do hit my deductible each year). Is that worth it for a sleeping pill?

Well, I thought I would try it. I have the samples. And I like it. I have been able to stop taking any klonopin at night- which means no rebound anxiety during the day. And I have been able to sleep. And no mental fog the next day, no trouble concentrating. And I don't understand why, because its half-life is even longer than Ambien- it should be giving me more trouble in that regard, but it is not.

I am less anxious on Lunesta than on Ambien. No more klonopin. Which is enough reason that I am going to pay the money for it. I suspect Sonota would not have this effect. I was reading that if you take double or triple the dose of Lunesta, it is almost like taking a small dose of Valium- so perhaps I am getting just enough of this effect to sooth me and less of a rebound effect than I would have with the Ambien (and I do get rebound effects from benzo's).

So there may have been good reasons for me to be given this drug- still the drug dealers (sorry, pharmeutical representatives) won. And just when all of my meds had finally gone generic, I am back on a brand name med. Well, I tell myself that the cost will just get me to my deductible that much faster- I'd go through it anyway- and then things won't cost so much. Perhaps after my exam I'll give Sonata a chance- I just don't want to be playing around with meds right now.

I'm rather at peace with meds right now. I know I can't do anything drastic with them until I take my exam in November, so I am not even going to try. And I have also realized that my concentration is not as bad as I had thought- I have periods of time when it is very good. I just can't sustain it. But maybe that, too, will get better.

As I can't make any major med changes for now, I'm not struggling with it. Not  now. That could change in a heartbeat.

I did quit therapy last week. I really didn't feel like I had anything much to talk about, the second week in a row- so I knew it was time. My main hesitation was the fact that I liked herhas a therapist, and she has been helpful, and it is rare that I find a therapist that I like (so I haven't been in therapy much of the past 10 years). But she said that I can always come back.

But then she said something which bothered me. She asked for feedback- was there something that she said, did, or should have done differently?

I should have said, IT IS NOT ALL ABOUT YOU! What I told her was that I didn't have anything to talk about, and wanted to focus on studying- which was the truth.

But someone quitting therapy is in a potentially vulnerable state. It is a personal decision. Don't assume that it is about you. Don't ask what you did wrong. That is unprofessional. This isn't an exit interview.

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