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}   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 7, 2012}   Med update and a hair challenge

So I started my new med this morning. Apparently, I should be able to feel the effects within a few hours. I don’t know that I have.  I’ll tellyou though, I was super dizzy for about an hour after taking it. Something tells me that I prolly shouldn’t drive after taking this med. Either wait till I get home to take it, or wait for an hour after. Hmmm……

Any how, I’m back to work today after being off sick for four days. Its nice to be back, especially since my schedule has currently slowed down. It’ll be nice to get things back to normal.

And onto a completely different topic now. I have kept my hair short for a long time. And not necessarily by choice. I desperately want it to be much longer. Like halfway down my back long. So I am going to enlist you, my dear reader, to help keep me going with this. Once a month I’ll post a new picture of me so you can all see the progress. I will post the first pic tomorrow.

Wish me luck!



{December 6, 2012}   meds with a side of more meds

So I saw my psydoc today. I had actually missed my appointment, and today was the first day I could get in.  So in I went.

Sitting in that office always has a strange effect on me. I guess its because I feel safe there.  I always dnd up opening up about things I wouldn’t normally talk about. Its kind of weird how that works, isn’t it?

Anyway, I have been dealing with this weird stiffness in my legs and arms. I saw my physician about it last week. She said to mention it to my psydoc so today I did. She asked me a bunch of questions and then concluded that it was a side effect from my meds. She then prescribed me a med for that.

A med for my med. Kind of funny.  I had heard that you could do that, but till now, I had avoided it.  In her book Madness, Marya Hornbacher mentions taking many different meds, some for her actual bipolar disorder and some to help control the side effects. To be honest, I was completely amazed. I didn’t know you could even do that until I read her book.  I never, in a million years, would have guessed that it would happen to me. Now that it has, I’m not sure what to think.

My psydoc did question one of my meds. How was it working? Did I have any problems with it?  Honestly, all I know is that it works. My paranoia is mostly gone now, for the first time in as long as I can remember. It would seem that I have always been paranoid. I can’t pinpoint when it may have started.  I had been living with it for so long that I didn’t even notice it.  For years it was like that.  After I started to take lithium, it became obvious. And then we couldn’t find anything that worked. Until Abilify, that is. Now its like I am a completely different person, and I guess in some ways, I am.

Anyhow, I shluld bring this back to where I lost myself. Since I am not willing to stop taking my Abilify, I need something to help wih its side effects.  Welcome to the cocktail, Cogentin. I’m not sure if I am happy to meet you, but here you are. We will get to know each other quite well, I am sure.

You know, one thing that I realized today is that I no longer have any idea which med is causing which side effects. Everything has just kind of run together. I don’t even think it matters any more. They mostly cause the same side effects anyhow: drowsiness, weight gain, blurry vision, maybe dizziness.  No wonder it all runs together now.

So that’s it for today.  While I have not run out of things to say, I feel like this is a good place to leave off. I’ll be back wih more later. Bye



{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!



{October 8, 2012}   Happy thanksgiving?

Really? Do we really need a special day to show our thanks?  Shouldn’t we be thankful every day?  We all have so much to be thankful for.  Life. Love. Laughter. Family. Life. Oh wait, I said that already.  lol.

So what am I thankful for today. All of the above. Everything. How about my sanity? That’s a good one. For I have been truly sane for over a month now. The abilify is working amazingly well. I feel great for the first time in a long time.

What are you thankful for?



{June 22, 2012}   Question of the day #4

Ok, here’s todays question of the day.  I was told that because of my meds, I can’t take any cold remedies.

So what do you do when you can’t take anything? How do you deal with being sick?

Share your answers below. I look forward to hearing from you!

-Lauren

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



{June 22, 2012}   No help

So sorry I haven’t written the last few days, dear reader. It was not my intention when I wrote last.

First of all, work is going well. I figured it would be much harder than what it turned out to be, although there is a lot to remember. I am getting the hang of it though.  The other girls are nice, the doctors are nice. Who would’ve thought I’d be working at a doctors clinic?

Here it is though. I managed to get really sick over the last few days. Started on Wednesday, I got a sore throat and nose. Then yesterday when I woke up, my nose was running like a faucet and my chest hurt. Not good. I called the clinic and they told me to just stay home. I’m glad I did, since I could barely lift my arms, let alone walk to work.

Then last night the cough started. By this morning, my chest felt so heavy I started to think I was going to die. I am really having a hard time breathing…

I ended up calling the pharmacy to see if there was anything I could take for my chest. Guess what?  There isn’t. Because of the Divalproex, I can’t take any cold meds. The pharmacist suggested I go and see a doctor through walk in. I have to go to work today anyway, but I don’t know that I want to see them. I haven’t told them that I am bipolar yet.

I know that they technically can’t fire me for that, but all the same, I don’t want to give them a reason. So I think walk in at work is out of the question.

Take a skip over to my question of the day. I think might have two of them today

-Lauren

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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