So a few months back I blogged about the complete meltdown that I had just prior to my period – which when it arrived explained a lot of where my crazy was coming from. However, it was very disconcerting to me that I could be so emotionally labile and experience such extreme mood shifts for almost a full weeks time. I mean, we weren’t talking about a little irritability and crankiness – we were talking about a full-blown Dr. Jekyll/ Mr. Hyde transformation.
Fast forward to now….
So I spoke with my doctor at my annual appointment this week and expressed both my concerns along with a few “for instances” showcasing just how bad my mood swings have become prior to that lovely time of the month. As it turns out, not only am I not crazy, but I actually have a condition known as PMDD or Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder. PMDD (thank you mayoclinic.org) is a severe, sometimes disabling extension of PMS and can cause extreme mood shifts that can include one or all of the following:
- Sadness or hopelessness (check)
- Anxiety or tension (yep)
- Extreme moodiness (uh huh)
- Marked irritability or anger (for sure)
Ding! Ding! Ding! Clearly I have been experiencing all four of these symptom categories. Okay then, I now have a diagnosis for my crazy and it’s by no means the end of the world. In fact, it’s easily treated with medication therapy to combat the hormonal shifts. Easy and simple enough – WRONG!
As both a nurse and an astute health care consumer I know very well how health insurance companies can impact treatment regimens from everything from ordered tests and labs, to medication allotments, hospitalization allowances, and post hospitalization care. And while I understand how this became such an issue, it still boggles my mind that patients and their physicians must often go to battle to provide proof as to why various treatment regimens (whatever they are) are needed. Lets face it, the majority of the population does not usually go around randomly requesting or hoping that their physician is going to order blood-work for them, or a radiologic scan of some sort, or even put them on various medications. But health care is in such a state currently, due in part to long history of overuse of and misuse of treatments, that nowadays insurance companies (based on your plan) do want to verify validity so as to control costs. I get it but…. if my physician feels I need to be on a certain medication (as is now relevant in my situation) then who is my insurance company to question this to the degree that they are currently doing? I can understand needing some basic information to process my prescription, though admittedly I am not thrilled that my insurance company is privy to my own personal health information, but why the full-scale inquisition? This has been ongoing now for days. So as the consumer, I can do nothing but sit and wait for my insurance company to dictate my care….