Bipolar When It Counts











{April 27, 2014}   Time to…

I’m debating on where to go with this blog now.  My bipolar diagnosis was officially revoked. Once my body adjusted to not having meds anymore, all my other symptoms seem to have stopped.  I am finally feeling like myself again. It only took me 9 years…

 

This is where my problem is.  I have been writing a blog based on my experiences as a woman with bipolar disorder, trying to raise a family and live my life as normally as possible, only to discover that what I thought I knew about myself, and my world, is wrong.

 

Thank you to all of my readers over the years.  I really appreciate you tuning in.  It has really meant a lot to me.  I hope all of you reach your dreams.

 

Lauren

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{October 1, 2013}   Not bipolar??????

So here I am again. I moved halfway across the country a couple of months ago, and everything has slipped. I realize I haven’t been very good at keeping you, dear readers, up to date and all, but I am here now and I have something to say…

I had to see a new doctor here (obviously :). So I began to see a new family physician. And he told me….. I MIGHT NOT BE BIPOLAR!!!! Are you f***ing kidding me??? After 8 years of suffering through med after med that didn’t work, therapy, feeling like I was a horrible person. All the mood swings, the lack of sleep, running from one appointment to the next all the time, and now I’m being told that maybe, just maybe, my diagnosis was…..WRONG??? WTF???

So, if I’m NOT bipolar, then what the hell is wrong with me? Well, here’s the thing. I suffer from a tonof physical symptoms. If you add the various aches and pains, sleeplessness, swellings, headaches, unexplainable sores, hair loss and bowel issues all together, they point to several different ailments, all of which can cause mood swings or disorders!. And I wasn’t tested for anything physical when I was diagnosed all those years ago.

I have always known that a step was skipped in my diagnosis. I was never tested for anything else that could have been causing my ups and downs. I knew I should have been, but never thought to ask for it to be done. Even though I have always been very active in my treatments, I still believed that my doctors knew best. And I’m sure they do in some ways, but I should have asked for screenings for other things.

So what else could it be that’s caused all the mood issues for so long? Along with everything else?
Here they are, in no particular order:

1. Multiple Sclerosis
2. Lupus
3. Fibromyalgia (which I was diagnosed with a couple years ago, but again, not tested for anything else to rule them out)
4. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
5. Rheumatoid Arthritis
6. A combination of any two or more of the above.

Now doesn’t that sound like so much fun? Yeah….. Not even close!

I can’t even begin to express how upset I have been over all of this. Was I just relying on lazy doctors to help treat me? Were they just looking to get me out the door and move on to e next patient? Who knows? But I am NOT HAPPY!!!

So what now, you ask?

To start with, I’ve been taken off of ALL of my Meds. Yup, every last one. Then I was put on a muscle relaxer and a pain reliever to help me cope until this could all be figured out. Then I was sent for a battery of blood tests, to start ruling out some of the possibilities. Next will be maybe X-rays, ct scan and MRI. Depends on where my new doc wants to go with this after the blood work comes back.

I see him again on Friday to get the results of the blood work, and to discuss where to go from here, plus what the effectiveness of the new Meds have been. Not great, but at least there’s some change. At least, on some days. As I sit here typing this out, my back and neck are screaming at me, my arms are tingling, and I have such a bad headache. And that’s just for starters, lol.

And, to top things off, I’ve now been off my mood Meds for about two weeks. And I feel fine!. I really do. A few minor issues here and there, but overall I’m fine. And that actually pisses me off! All these years of taking these Meds and being told that without them I’m a monster. Beating myself up for damaging my friendships with people I loved. All of it. All the guilt, and I feel fine!

Makes you want to scream, doesn’t it?

So, just so we are clear. Some people are so obviously bipolar that additional testing isn’t really required. They respond well to the Meds, or maybe they don’t. They try all kinds of combinations till they find one that works. And life goes on. I, apparently, am not one of those people. The docs I’ve seen over the years must have thought I was, but it would seem that they were wrong.

I, IN NO WAY, advocate for ANYONE to go off their Meds, for ANY REASON, other than at the DOCTORS ORDERS!!! Please, if you feel that you have been misdiagnosed, go see your doctor and tell them that. Insist on additional testing, or get a second opinion. DO NOT THINK THAT IF YOU GO OFF YOUR MEDS EVERYTHING WILL BE FINE, OR THAT YOU NEVER NEEDED THEM IN THE FIRST PLACE!!! Your doctors put you on them for a reason, so before you go self-diagnosing, talk to someone!

This is just my story, and as it unfolds, I like to share it. Sometimes it’s just to “hear the sound of my own voice.”. Other times, it’s because I hope that by sharing what I am going through, maybe I can help someone else, to let them know that they are not alone.

If you have a story you would like to share, please do. You can add it to the comments, or email me privately at lmhennebury at hotmail dot com. I would love to hear your feedback!

Love and light
Lauren



{August 13, 2013}   Question of the day #8

When you have a bipolar episode, do you remember the things you said and did in the weeks after you become well?

I know I only have vague memories of my behavior. Most of my memories over the last few years (read: decade) are very fuzzy. I can’t seem to remember much more than snatches that pop into my head when I’m least expecting them to. It kind of sucks, actual.

So what about you? Do you remember?



{August 13, 2013}   Changes changes changes

So much changing. We just moved to St John’s Newfoundland. Yup, we finally did it. Left Manitoba. I’m still in shock, to be honest. We have wanted to make this move for such a long time now. To know that I (we) have finally done this is incredible. What a huge step.

The logistics of such a major change are huge. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve switched provinces before. It’s just that this time, I have Meds to worry about. And a new family doctor. And a new psychiatrist. Plus switching our health care to here. And because of my health, this is something that has to be done as soon as possible.

And then the fear and anxiety kick in. Followed very closely by sheer panic and paranoia. How do I do this? How do I find a doctor that the family can all live with, plus a psychiatrist that I actually like and can work with. Yup, time for Ativan.

The more I think about it, the worse it gets too. I’m tying to stay calm, but it’s not going to well. Today is the first day in over a month that I have really been thinking about my Meds and my illness. I have stopped taking my Meds, yet again. But not because I just didn’t want to take them. I ran out of most of them at the same time. The rest were gone within a few days. My Ativan is actually expired, I even have an old bottle from 2011 lol.

Today I called the pharmacy nearby to see about transferring my Meds out here. Turns out the only thing with a refill is Ativan. Everything else is gone. But as a side note, I finally thought tow rite out the list of meds that I usually take, and when I take them. Now to hope and pray that I remember to take them to my appointment on August 22. I hope we end up with a good doctor that knows what he’s doing….

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You know, I had thought, as usual, that I was doing really well handling my mood swings. Boy was I wrong! No matter what you think, when you go off your Meds, you may not notice the change but your family does. Maybe they will say something and maybe they won’t. But, no matter, you will change. Bipolar can make you too blind to see what you are doing to those around you. And that is when the damage can happen. You don’t know what you are doing most of the time, and then, once it’s all over and you are healthy again, you can’t recall those things that you thought were so funny. You try desperately to forget anyhow. After all, why do you want to remember all the hurt you caused those people in your life who matter the most?

Check out my question of the dayand join in the conversation. I would love to get some opinions for you, my dear readers!



{December 13, 2012}   Blind as a bat

I recently got new glasses. I was really excited about it (what can I say, I’m a bit of a dork). And, to make even more interesting, my prescription changed for the better.

Or so I thought.

Turns out that the optometrist is a quack.  Now that my eyes have adjusted, I realize that my sight is really blurry.

I am a bit of a hypochondriac, I admit. But not that bad, really. Just a little bit. Honest.

So anyway, I googled blurred vision and came up with all kinds of answers. Of course,  the chances of me having any of them is very, very slim.

So now, I can’t see, and im afraid im going to die. Great. Paranoid much?   And here I thought that I done with all that. I guess I was really wrong.

Paranoia comes in many forms. Mine focuses mainly on my friends and family. That the only reason they stick around is because they enjoy f*cking with my head. I cant convince myself that they aren’t going to hurt me. I honestly cannot remember a time when I didn’t feel that way.

The other fear is of dying in my sleep. Truly. And it terrifies so much that, without my temazepam, I can stay up for hours, in bed, until I just can’t stay alert anymore. And every morning when I wake up, I am amazed that I made it through another night.

Ive never really said anything about any of this to anyone. Leave it to me to share this with perfect strangers.I guess that’s just part of the game.

I don’t really know what should come next but I’m going to quit while I still can. 



{December 12, 2012}   Question of the day #7

What is the worst side effect you suffer from, and how do you deal with it?

Personally, I keep a mood journal.  I graduated from a large one to a small one so I could keep it in my purse. Its working so far.

So tell us all how you deal with your side effects.

I look forward to reading your comments!



{December 12, 2012}   Rabbits…

I am very confused lately. Even reading previous blog entries doesn’t help. The rabbits have come to live inside my head. Again. The new med makes it difficult to keep things back on track. I just don’t know what else to do. I just figured if I shared with you, that maybe I wouldn’t feel so alone with all this…



So, as previously mentioned, I was given a script for Cogentin. I did what I always do, and researched online before taking it the next morning. That makes a grand total of twice, as of this morning.

What everyone failed to mention was that not only can I not keep a thought in my head long enough to get them out verbally. Not too mention the shear stupidity that I would suffer from.

My pharmacist told me that the side effects would wear off pretty quickly. After just two doses, the negatives are definitely stronger than the positives.  I’m crossing my fingers that it is just temporary.

So the phrase of the week is “stupid meds.” Now that is not to say that Cogentin itself is stupid, but that it causes it.

Let’s try an example, shall we?

“Hey honey? Have you seen my meds? ”  “Which ones? ”  “My stupid meds.”

See? Easy to fit that in to any scenario.

In all seriousness, though, I’m not sure how I feel about this med. I think I need to wait a few days to see how I feel, and, as always, do my research.

Wish me luck!



{December 12, 2012}   Question of the day #6

I find one symptom harder than others are. For me, it is sleeping. I have tried everything I could think of, and nothing works, so far.

So here is my question of the day. 

What is the one manic-depressive symptom you have to deal with that you wish you could change.

Stay tuned! Very soon we’ll be having a draw. I will be creating a new page just for contests. And remember, the more times you enter, the better your chances!



{December 12, 2012}   Ho hum

I’m looking around me at all the snow covered buildings. Everything is quiet and calm. The stars are bright, shining their cold, distant light.

In case you were curious, here its four am. Having a rough night, I am awake. Wide awake actually.

I know I need more sleep than just two hours, but I just can’t sleep. Believe me I have tried. And will try again. But if the world wakes up before I fall asleep, I am getting up two



et cetera
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