BP 137/97. Better than last week but first diastolic was 104 so really in a state of high stress.
Talked to doctor about history of sleep issues. There are a bunch of drugs you can take, as well as "sleep hygeine" (I do all this already, IE don't read in bed) and therapy, but with over six years of sleep issues she didn't think the non-medical approaches were likely to work. She was suprised I have melatonin, but of course that doesn't work for more than two nights in a row. So the options are: "hypnotic" antihistamines (Phenergan/Sominex, I have but build tolerance quickly), the benzedrine family (Xanax is one), the "zed" drugs (can't remember what they were), and Amitriptaline, "an old fashioned non-addictive drug used both for sleep disorders and depression."
Bennies and zeds are both addictive so they're out, or going out: I've been using Xanax daily since Deecember to try to manage the anxiety that sets off the urticaria but we're now going to tail that off with a 25% reduction per week until I'm down to zero (and then leave it in the medicine cabinet for actual panic attacks).
I'm now prescribed the Amitriptaline but at a dose that's about 1/10th what's used for depression: I'm going to experiment with it on the weekend to see how hard it hits me and how long it lasts, and see if I can come up with a dosage regime that will enable me to take it and still be good for work. And also I want to really make sure it doesn't have a bad effect on my brain juice. Your feedback on your experiences welcome.
Also, I am going to see if I can get another round of counseling on the NHS, but this time a round of CBT strictly focused on a lifestyle approach to stress reduction. Getting away from the anxiety caused to me by the negativity I see in social media is one step (prescribed by the doctor in December but difficult to implement fully as it's also a place where I can get a lot of support); avoiding people I consider non-supportive; making a concerted effort to spend time with people I trust; probably some more exercise as I continue to be able to handle it; but that's all I've been able to come up with on my own. I'd like someone from the outside to help me with coming up to an approach to fixing my life (and my head) so every little thing isn't making me have a fear/panic/attack adrenaline freakout ... with bonus welts, swelling, and exhaustion thanks to the urticaria tie in.
But you know, one day at a time. This week the goal is to try to get through work every day and try to get enough sleep at night. And I'd like to not wake up gone all blotchy and swollen in the face like I have the last two days (cue full makeup today). And to write one more review, for J's new show. Baby steps ...