Sleep study, medication change and other stuff...

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by flutterbee, May 21, 2008.

  1. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    I saw my GP today. First, I have to say that I like my doctor so much. I wish all of you that were unhappy with your doctor could see her.

    She is getting me in with a sleep specialist. I have days where I sleep upwards of 14-16 hours. I'll sleep at night, be up for a couple of hours then nap for 2-5 hours - usually closer to 5. But, I wake up a lot so it's always interrupted. And when I'm awake, I'm thinking about going back to sleep cause I'm alway so freakin' tired.

    Anyway, the sleep specialist she is getting me into is one she really, really likes (can't always use the doctors she really likes because of my insurance). She said he is very passionate about sleep. LOL I told her, good because apparently I am too, lately. :rofl:

    At my suggestion we are switching from lexapro 20mg to nortriptyline (sp?). I will wean off the lexapro for 2 weeks (longer if needed) while simultaneously adding the nortriptyline. I suggested this because nortriptyline is supposed to help with sleep and I really hate the lunesta. My depression has been so well under control for so long now, that while I'm nervous about switching, I'm not horribly worried that I'll slide. If that happens, I'll call the doctor. The only thing I'm concerned about is that she is putting me on 10mg nortriptyline and it looks like the usual adult dosage is 25mg 3 or 4 times a day. I think she's starting me low because I'm so sensitive to medications. We'll see. I see her in a month for a recheck on that.

    My blood pressure and heart rate has been elevated my last few visits. She wrote an rx for a blood pressure cuff with a heart rate monitor and she wants me to check my blood pressure at home periodically so we can see if we need to increase my beta blocker or add back in the ace inhibitor. My BiPolar (BP) was 142/80 and it was never that high before my heart attack and was 147/80-something when I was having my heart attack. Afterwards, it was averaging around 110/78. My resting heart rate was 100 and it should be between 60-80. For a while, it was dropping lower than that and we had to decrease my beta blocker.

    When we were talking about the medication change, I told her that my mind set is so different that I just don't see myself ever getting back to that scary depression I used to have. And then she said...and thought for a moment and said she was thinking of how to phrase it....that she doesn't think we'll ever be able to get me back to how I used to be before all this happened. I told her I understood that. Told her that while I can always have hope, I really have no expectations although I would really like to at least be able to work part time. She agreed, but doesn't think I'll ever be able to do more than work part time. I keep thinking that should upset me, but I guess I've had time to come to that realization and accept it. I don't want to live like this every day. But being able to work part time, get out of the house and feel productive and useful, bring in some income...I can live with that.

    She's hopeful that the new rheumy (appointment on the 29th) will bring more answers. However, she feels more convinced every time she sees me - and felt better that the neuro seconds it - that I have a connective tissue disease and that even if we don't get any more answers from the rheumy she is going to treat (medicate) according to what she believes.

    So, that's that. An overall good visit. I'm going to go nap before the HVAC guy gets here. Wynter's tutor comes tonight and I won't get another chance and I'm so sleepy I could cry.

    Thanks for listening and as always thank you for all the support you all give. Don't know what I'd do without you all. :flowers:
  2. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Hi Heather, I take Nortriptyline for stress relief, migraine prevention, IBS symptoms and sleep. I started at 10 mg in late fall and over a couple of months increased to 30 mg. I'm definitely less stressed, my IBS symptoms have improved and I'm sleeping great (I used to wake up at 3 am and not be able to go back to sleep). But my migraines are still very much there. My neuro told me the migraine dose is between 30 mg and 80 mg so I'm still on the low end, but I'm starting to gain weight (unfortunately, one of the side effects of tricyclics is weight gain) and don't want to go higher. I go back to my neuro on July 1 so I'll see what she wants to do at that point. She had mentioned a trial of Topamax for the migraines so maybe she will add that in.

    I hope Nortriptyline helps you the way it's helped me. I'm glad you had a good visit with your doctor -- she sounds like a keeper.
  3. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    I'm so glad you have a doctor you can trust and that listens to what you say. It makes things a little easier, especially when so much is unknown.

    Here's hoping the sleep study and the new medications can put you on a more reasonable sleep schedule.

  4. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    It's great to have a doctor you really like! I hope the new medication is helpful and that the sleep study helps as well!
  5. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Wow. I want to find a doctor like that. I'd be in heaven to find a doctor like that!

    Sounds like your visit went really well and you've made a plan and put it into place. Awesome. I'll be keeping good thoughts about the medication change. And saying prayers they learn something from the sleep study.

    Woohoo! :redface:

  6. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    SW - I wasn't aware it can help with IBS issues, too. That's really good to know. I wanted to try it because of the sleep issues and headaches. I very rarely get migraines, but I often have thumping headaches. I really don't need any more help with weight gain. :faint: on the other hand, I was always so thin and worried about every little pound and if feeling better means I end up a little heavier (ahem...cough cough) then I'm ok with that. My doctor is worried about it causing dry mouth. I've had a swollen salivary gland for 2 weeks now that keeps getting in the way of my bite - even when I talk some days - and she said that's from a dry mouth...possibly sjogren's syndrome as I also have the very dry eyes.

    I'm nervous about the switch now that evening is here and it's time to take it. I'll just keep my eyes open for any changes. I'm more worried about the lexapro withdrawal because I know I'm going to experience it based on past history. I was taking 20mg. I added the nortriptyline tonight and took 10mg lexapro. I'll do that for a week and then drop down to 5mg lexapro. I have a feeling I'm going to have to drag out the taper a bit.

    I'm so glad I have the GP I do. It's taken years. I hope we get more answers with the rheumy, but if not at least I know my GP will treat me according to my symptoms.

    I haven't heard yet when I see the sleep specialist. But something has to give and soon. I took a two hour nap today. Afterwards, I loaded the dishwasher, watered the flowers, washed the doggie bowls and a couple loads of laundry. Was feeling really good energy wise. Then Wynter's tutor came and we talked for 2 hours and I am absolutely, beyond explaining exhausted.