So I went to my doctor yesterday. Dad was meant to come with me but he was late because he went to the old address that he has in his address book at work. Which is funny because my psychiatrist has been there for six years but oh well.
After my episode on Tuesday night, Dad sent my doctor a fax detailing what had happened, concluding with the statement that, in his professional opinion as a doctor, I was on too much seroquel.
She asked me if I was still drinking a lot and I said I was. She said that, in her opinion as a psychiatrist who has dealt with many problem drinkers on seroquel before, my Dad’s conclusion was incorrect. What he described, she said, sounded like delirium brought on by alcohol withdrawal, compounded by seroquel on top.
I’m on 50mg of seroquel at night. By accidentally doubling it I had taken 100. That is a lot for me but, as she explained, not a high dose of sedatives at all. That alone wouldn’t account for the sleepwalking.
She asked me I if was getting any other symptoms of alcohol dependence like shaking. I said I wasn’t, but that I felt anxious on days where I wasn’t drinking. And when I do drink, I can’t stop at one. So I thought that I would have to so something that I have been putting off but now I feel like I’m out of options – go on antabuse, the drug that makes you violently ill when you drink. She said that if I’m going to do that we need to talk to Dad about it because to take a step like that you need family support.
At which point my Dad entered, apologising profusely for being late. She reiterated what she had told me about her diagnosis of my episode. He shot an accusatory look at me and asked if that meant I had been drinking at home. She said no, I was experiencing withdrawals from drinking heavily at Pea’s place the night before.
We talked to Dad about me going on antabuse and he was a little taken aback but agreed that I needed to take that step to stay sober. She said that taking this drug meant that I was committing to six months of sobriety, and laid out the facts – I can’t start it until 48 hours after my last drink, and I can’t start drinking until 7 days after to stop it. And if I do drink while on it, the effects are life threatening.
Because taking this drug is such a big commitment she made me sign a contract stating that I understood the nature of this drug and the ramifications of drinking on it. That’s a new one – never had to sign anything for any of my meds.
My doctor ended the appointment by telling me to come back in three weeks and telling me that if anything goes wrong, she could get me in that day if need be. She thanked my Dad for his involvement and told me I was welcome to bring any of my family members to my appointments, including my mum (I’m not sure I’m ready for that.)
Afterwards Dad and I went for lunch at the pub on the corner of the street my psychiatrist’s office is on and I had the most amazing burger (huge beef patty, crispy bacon, American cheese, onion rings, pickles, barbecue sauce and ranch dressing.) Dad was joking that I should have one last drink but I wanted to start antabuse the next night. I couldn’t start it that night as I had been drinking the night before.
Well, that’s all for now. I will be back to talk about my experiences when I start taking the antabuse.