Here's how my Monday went.

Bad news: The only follow up appointment I could get with the psychiatrist was at 10am, which is about two hours before I'm normally awake, never mind coherent. I did manage to stumble down there, after about half a gram of caffeine.

Good news: I got a doctor who listened to me! It helps that the main sign of JHS is being able to bend things like fingers backwards, which I can do on command. (The pinkies, I find, impress people a lot.) I gave her a bunch of research papers and explained that I was going through psych services because if you come in complaining of things like 'migraine' and 'panic attack' and you don't have weird thyroid levels or obvious drugs in your blood, they throw you at the mental health people and thereafter no one else will talk to you. She thought I made enough sense that she apologized for throwing me back at the general medicine people (NO NO THAT'S TOTALLY OKAY) because she thought I should be handling most of this through a GP. For the moment, she thought my idea of beta-blockers sounded sensible and gave me a small bottle of low-dose propranolol.

Bad news: I got to test the propranolol a lot sooner than I expected, because while I was away running errands and handling medical issues brought on by colossal stress, our landlady was taping another nasty letter to the door. Pay a large amount of money we do not have by the 14th or be out by the 31st. No partial payments accepted. I'm not 100% sure she can do that according to local eviction law, but I'm not a lawyer, so I don't know. Words of encouragement, pictures of fluffy kittens, or just lots of fucking money to miss.arabella.flynn@gmail.com.

Good news: Propranolol does indeed stop panic attacks dead. The physical symptoms of an overflow of adrenaline are what bother me, and making my various systems insensitive to adrenaline makes the bothering stop.

Bad news: Propranolol also stops me dead. I get the whirlies, I gray out when I stand up, and I developed a sort of croupy cough. The last one is alarming; propranolol is contraindicated for anyone with a history of asthma -- which so far as I know, I don't have -- because it's a bronchoconstrictor and tends to make fluid accumulate. I'm under orders to discontinue immediately if that happens, which suits me fine, because not being able to walk around under my own power or breathe right strikes me as much more worrying as just being incredibly sleepy. That was on half of the smallest tablets available, so beta-blockers join the long list of things that I tell medical personnel I shouldn't have.

Good news: My symptoms weren't so bad I had to go to urgent care to pester someone into giving me albuterol or steroids, because God only knows what that would have done to my crazy mutant metabolism. Laying on the sofa, alternating between propping my head up so I could breathe better and propping my feet up so my head would stop spinning, sufficed to keep me from dying. I tried some caffeine to boost my blood pressure, in the hopes that it might stop the dizziness, but no dice.

Bad news: The stuff took six fucking hours to wear off substantially, which if you're paying attention, is even longer than things that make me annoyingly stupid, like Xanax and Benadryl. I had to call out of a rehearsal because the T stop, my house, the performance space, and the city of Somerville in general, involve a lot of stairs, and that would have been a bad idea. I was running my lines by myself, and I couldn't get through them without coughing, either. Everything else I have that helps with anxiety and panic is classed as some sort of sedative and shouldn't be combined with things that already make me dizzy, which basically meant that I had to lie there and feel lousy and stressed out until the beta-blockers wended their way out of my system.

Good news: Comedy Central is still determined to run every episode of The Daily Show that Jon Stewart has ever hosted, so at least I had something to lie there and stare at that didn't make me want to throw things at the TV.

Bad news: Nobody wants to hear me ramble on for pages about political satirists.

So, in conclusion, fuck everything right now.

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