Bipolar When It Counts











{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

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{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



{November 29, 2012}   Hiho, Hiho, its off to school I go

So right now I am off to the university to pick up the forms for my doctor to fill out. I am super nervous about doing this. I’ve never actually declared that I was bipolar while at school. Not to mention that I am going to be taking some psychology classes.

All the same I am really excited. I registered for classes yesterday, three of them. Turns out, purely by chance that my professor for ALL THREE CLASSES will be the same lady. Weird. That’s never happened before. I’m curious to see how that will go…

Anyway. That form. I have to get my family doctor to fill it out, to prove that I have a disability that can be assisted by their programming. We already know that I am eligible though. This is for funding purposes.

I drop it off at the school, and meet with the counselor next Wednesday to discuss how things will go from here.

I’ll keep you posted…



{November 20, 2012}   Dear self,

I want you to know that, no matter what you may think right now, the beast inside is trying to get out again. If you aren’t careful, you will have one hell of a fight coming up.

It is unhappy with being ignored again for so long. Those “rabbits” are telling you something important so its time to pay attention.

The beast is going to return, more powerful than ever, if you don’t do something soon.

Remember to take your meds, sleep enough, and, above all, be thankful for all the blessings you have. Realize how important it all is and fight. Don’t ever give up, for when you do, you will lose the battle. This you cannot do.

The beast can only win if you let it…

Love,
Self
Xoxoxo



{October 10, 2012}   Sleepy

So today Ian the complete opposite of yesterday. In case you didn’t read yesterdays post, i woke up after 3hours and couldn’t get back to sleep. I worked all day, then came home and stayed up till 130.

Today is a completely different story. I am exhausted. I didnt want to get out of bed. I did it though, as here i am, talking to you, dear reader. But i have to say that it was tough to get out of bed. And I still want to crawl back in and sleep. I won’t, but the temptation is definitely there.

That’s the thing. Some, okay, pretty much all of the meds we have to take as people with bipolar, they cause drowsiness. Its is one of the biggest problems we face. And its not one that people understand.

The other big problem is the weight gain. Lets face it. Psych meds can, and do make us gain weight. I gained 100 lbs the first year. Rough…

So, I hear the words fat and lazy A LOT. And that’s just it. Important neither. I have lots of energy  (duh, bipolar, lol).  I barely sleep most days and I work 2 jobs, plus I am writing all the time. And researching. And studying. And taking care of my family and my house. Yeah, Im really lazy…..

So, here is the question of the day. What side effects do you suffer from? If, of course, you are taking meds.

If you don’t take meds, your questions is this: What preconceived ideas do you have about people that could be explained by side effects from meds?

Thanks for reading! I look forward to hearing from you!



{September 10, 2012}   Now what?

I lost my best friend not too long ago. No, she didn’t pass on or anything like that. She just…isn’t my friend any more. And I don’t know what to do.

See, my BP is still causing me trouble. Granted, is nowhere near as bad as it used to be. My pdoc put me on a new med and, so far, it seems to be working. I feel so much better. At least, as long as I don’t think about what i have done.

I don’t quite understand how it all happened. One day we were friends, the next, I didn’t see her anymore. Ok, there’s more to it than that, but in a nutshell, that’s what happened.

Now, she might as well be dead. I don’t wish that, don’t get me wrong. I just mean that I have been going through the grieving process as though she was.

First, there was denial. I tried to convince myself, and her, that there wa nothing wrong with our friendship.

Second, anger. I blamed her new boyfriend for taking her away from me, when in reality, I had pushed her away.

Third, there was bargaining. I would have done anything if only she would just talk to me and be My friend again.

Next was depression. So strong that I almost began cutting again, just to deal with the pain. (I’m proud to say I didn’t.) I did, however, cry all the time. In fact, I still do.

Lastly, there’s acceptance. I know I fucked up the best friendship I’ve ever had, and I know I can’t make it right. I miss her every day, and some days its so hard to remember that I can’t just pick up my phone and call or text her.

I have been really hard to live with lately, I know that. She deserves more than a friend like me. If I could go back and change even a second of the pain and heartache I have caused her, I would.

Unfortunately, life doesn’t work that way. I can’t fix my friendship. Its gone and I am mourning the loss of my best friend.

I am not taking all the blame in this, however. I know I messed up, bit at that time, and even now, I needed my friend more than ever, and she left. I drove her away, but it wouldn’t have mattered. She was already halfway out the door.

So now what do I do? I have officially pushed away every person in my life except my family. All my friends are gone. How does a person cope with no friends. And trust me, I’m not exaggerating. I literally have no friends anymore.

I’m leaving town, that’s what I’m doing. I’m taking this as a sign. There’s nothing at all holding me here anymore, so its time to go.

My friend. I miss you. I hope you read this, but if not, I hope you know that I wish nothing but the best for you, and that I am truly, truly sorry for the pain I have caused you.



{August 3, 2012}   Mess

Have you ever felt so utterly and completely alone? Like even with people all around you, there is no one to understand how you feel, or what you are thinking? That’s how I feel today. Like everyone is happy and living their lives, and I am just a ghost. An apparition that no one can see or hear or touch. No one feels my presence. No one talks to me. And no one sees the sheer anguish I feel today.

This, my dear readers, is what happens to me when hypomania has gone on for too long. This is the flip side for me. I am angry, sad, depressed, alone, invisible. Like there is a yawning black hole in front of me and I am standing with my ties hanging over the edge with nothing to stop me from falling into it. It is so tempting to just let myself go, to just lean forward and drop into the abyss, and yet I don’t. I am still fighting it. There is still hope. I think. I pray.

I wrap my invisibility around me like a blanket, soothing to my troubled mind. If I stay out of sight, then the beast can’t see me. It can’t find me standing on the edge and pull me down.

Oh God, I need help. This has gone on for too long. I’m losing my grip. I can feel it. But is it really me? Or is it maybe everyone else who is going batshit? I don’t know, but it doesn’t calm the pounding in my head. Drum beats, incessantly pounding, sometimes loud, sometimes quiet, but always pounding.

If you have any issues you would like to see here, or articles and stories you would like to share, you can leave me a comment below, or email me at lmhennebury@hotmail.com



et cetera
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