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The psychiatrist’s office ordered a whole slew of lab tests on me. I knew the urine test was coming, but the 6 blood tests? Surprise! The other surprise? This code on the top of the sheet: V58.69.

Of course, I turned to Google, and immediately found a great post on what the code means – “long term (current) use of medication.” Another diagnosis, in other words. Well, yeah, I’ve been on psychoactive meds without a break for 13 years, and on-and-off for 7 before that. So what?

It drives home a very clear point, which I’ve known but choose not to think about: I’m dependent on meds. I can’t function well enough without them to survive, much less achieve the things I’ve accomplished. Early on, I really resented this – that’s why there were 7 years of off-and-on. Eventually I came to realize that if taking a few pills is all I have to do to be a contributing member of society, it really isn’t that bad. Others have it a lot worse. I’m grateful that I have always had access to treatment that has helped me stay out of the loony bin.

The other thing that this lab work slip points out is that I’ve never been tested for physical fallout from years and years of medications. Never. It’s not that my doctors have been bad, but the long-term nature of my treatment hadn’t been all that notable. Of course there’s risk of liver problems or other types of damage. To me, that’s just a fact of life.

The psych ordered:

  • Hemoglobin A1c (fasting)
  • Comprehensive Metabolic Panel (fasting)
  • Lipid Panel (fasting)
  • CBC with diff
  • B12 & Folate levels
  • Thyroid Panel 2
  • Comprehensive Urine Drug Screen

I knew the drug test was coming – getting completely clean was the cost of getting ADD meds. The rest was news to me, but I agree that it’s a good idea. I’ve had thyroid issues in the past (which mysteriously went away after awhile), adrenal shutdown, low blood sugar problems, and I’ve never had a lipid screen to check cholesterol levels and the like.

Many would say that I should have had this testing before starting new meds. But I needed treatment ASAP, and the likelihood that thyroid or some of the other things that these tests would show were a cause of my issues? Extremely low. I also wouldn’t expect to see any indicators of new illnesses or anything along those lines; I’m pretty healthy overall, despite my wonky mental state.

I hate fasting tests. I’m hypoglycemic, so not eating or drinking for 8 hours is really hard on me. I need to eat every three to four hours during the day, and I can’t skip breakfast or woe is me. My meds make me feel thirsty and I’m used to consuming a lot of water. Fasting also means I won’t be able to have my morning coffee or take my meds on time. This will screw up my entire day, with cruel headaches from low blood sugar and lack of caffeine, the resultant feeling of impending doom and barely controlled panic, and a delayed start to actually being able to handle anything – and that’s if I recover enough from those shocks to my system in time to salvage the day at all.

Whine, whine, whine. It has to be done, so no point in complaining. I’m going to wait until next week, since I don’t know what the testing will cost me and would like to have a healthier bank balance before any other surprises come up.

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