MYTHS, FALLACIES AND MOST THERAPISTS WITHOUT A CLUE 72

My Very Own Hair With New Hairdo! Love it!
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{Amazingly not obvious to me at the time — physical and mental damage continued undiminished ─ I was drowning in so many non-life threatening ailments that I was overwhelmed, mentally numb. Why were all these events happening to me? I still had a loaded revolver, from my Gaylord days, in my night stand and yet never considered using it ─ shows how oblivious I was to what was occurring or I would have ended my distress at some point during this period.}

Then a series of events turned on a light bulb in my head: I was laying in a hospital bed staring, mindlessly, at the off-white ceiling tiles when in walked the V.A.’s chief residence doctor followed by a gaggle of familiar-faced floor docs ─ each with note-pad in hand. He looked at the chart hanging from the end of my bed for all of two minutes before announcing “Over medicated”. Off they went to the next bed. Maybe, I thought, maybe they would take action to help me. But no changes were made in my medications in ensuring days, none. So what were those floor docs dutifully scribbling on their pads?

First chance, after I came home, was to make an appointment with my primary care doc two weeks later. “Look, Julian, she said, you have seen half a dozen specialists. There is nothing more I can do. After all you’re 90”. No way, not acceptable I thought, I’d switch primaries.

Soon after I received a letter from the VA ─ had an appointment scheduled for an EED. What the hell was that? Turned out that it was a procedure attaching wires to the scalp to measure impulses or something. Report came back: “Over medicated”. A confirmation! Damn, why hasn’t someone reacted to the residence doctor’s diagnosis? Back to the new primary doc to find out how to cut back. “No idea” she said.” Thought back to a PhD of something or other who was on the Board of the Delta Society with me years ago (Delta is the group that brought animals like dogs, horses and dolphins into the mental health cure arena; service dogs to those in need of help and so much more.). Though we had veterinarians and other professionals on the Board too, she often referred to doctors disparaging as “MDiems” An old cliche: What do you call a person who graduates at the bottom of their class at the worst rated medical school in the Country? “Doctor”, of course. Excuse me but at that time in my life I had a low opinion of practicing doctors.

Okay, I decided, will do it myself. Cut dosage of some from three times a day to two, once daily to one-half. After two weeks I reduced more. For those meds that were already down to small amounts with no discernible changes in my health I then cut out completely. My symptoms, like fainting, didn’t get worse ─ but vastly improved! Within two months hallucinations and blackouts were gone! Still was only sleeping couple hours at night as the VA docs insisted on giving me anti-depressants (Require less paperwork than narcotics.). So what about the patient’s needs? A local non-VA doc ordered sedative-hypnotics, that’s sleeping pills, for me. Oh joy. Now getting sleep in spurts of two to three hours at a time but added up to at least six by end of night. First time in years! Could I get addicted to them? At my age – so what?

So, by being proactive medication-wise I had wiped out many of the symptoms and just maybe the actual ailments that had made me so miserable!  I’m sure that I’m confusing the reader at this point. The various pains and discomfort from the further degenerating of the neck and spine were still with me as were the occasional flair up in my GI track. But I was clearing up the rest of my complaints, as enumerated above, that were evidently caused by over medication.  Don’t want to give an impression that one can cut their medications haphazardly. I read the literature that comes with each prescription, looking especially for directions that indicate that said medication should only be used for limited days or weeks whereas I was put on them for an indefinite period. Those were the first ones I began to cut back to zero. I didn’t cut out a full dose regimen to nothing over night; but, rather, gradually reduce intervals and dosage. I found a few required reversing — particular ailments started to flair up again. For those I increased amounts back to almost the original dose and then reduced at a later date ─ may have to do with interaction with other pills that needed to be eliminated first. Pharmacists are supposed to police one’s dosage but unless you specifically ask, I think they rely on patients reading the, usually, three-page fine-print descriptions.  Not giving advice but only recounting my own experience ─ you’re on your own. True, my actions could have ended in total disaster, but it could have, would have but didn’t.

The above long narrative was not written to denigrate doctors ─ other than warn the reader to question doctors if not comfortable with a diagnosis, even get a second opinion. Also good idea to read the literature that comes with medication to verify that the side effects are worth the risk. A recent example: After eye surgery for cataracts a “non-VA care” doctor with a great reputation prescribed a medication that arrived as a pill rather than the expected eye drops. Reading the literature accompanying it warned of possible serious, life-threatening side effects. WOW! Found out it was the doctor’s error! Further, as mentioned above, were they meant to be used for only a limited time? One caveat: if you have a life-threatening malady don’t try to be your own doctor ─ get a second or third opinion first.

No, the point of the above long but true account was, from my own experience, to illustrate how quickly one’s health can deteriorate ─ out of control ─ often without realizing that that your life just might be ending. That “heads-up” a cross dresser so badly needs may not be forthcoming! I urge that you create a game plan now to anticipate all the scenarios, the available options before you have to enter one of the doors described above.

Now, am I following my own advice? Have I eliminated all evidence of cross dressing ─ clothes, makeup, boudoir table, perfume, “personal products” and anything else of a feminine nature? After all at 91 and living alone wouldn’t that be the smart thing to do? Nope. Betting on physically being able to do all those things before my remains take that long journey back to Washington. Doesn’t make any sense but you CDs understand why I’m procrastinating even if I won’t admit it to myself..

Good luck. God Bless!

See developing revelations in the next post – Epilogue.

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