Bipolar When It Counts











{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!

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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?



{August 2, 2012}   Walking away

Ok, so what has it been? Six weeks? Something like that anyways. What can I say, I’m having issues. Okay, I admit, I always have issues, but this has been a bit different.

I think the last time I wrote, I commented on my new meds.  Since then, I’ve been taken off the Risperdal and put on zyprexa.  I’ve taken it before (honestly, there isn’t much available here that I haven’t taken before), but at a much lower dose. The first time, and the second time, I started at 2.5mg. Second time was increased to 5mg. When it didn’t work, I was put on something else. Haldol, I think. That kind of worked. I guess.

This time, my psydoc thought it would be best to put me on… wait for it….10mg!  Really? Are you trying to make me a complete zombie?  Honestly, I’m trying really hard to live my life as normally as possible. I have a family and a job to worry about, not to mention a B.A. that I would like to finish before the decade is through.

I know that life with bipolar disorder is not, nor will it ever be, “normal,” but I keep trying. And every time I seem to finally be getting somewhere with that, something else comes up that just smashes my plans to bits.

To make matters even worse, the meds just aren’t working. Okay, that’s not entirely true. I’m sure they would work much better if I actually took them every time I was supposed to. I try, really I do, but some days it just seems like such a hassle.  I have alarms on my smartphone set to go off 4 times a day through an app I downloaded called Medtracker.  It sounds an alarm, tells me what I need to take, and in what dose. It even keeps track of things like how many refills I have, and how many pills left in my stock at home. It’s actually a great app. Too bad I just turn of the alarm and, well, do nothing most of the time.

All the pill skipping had seriously affected my mood, but honestly, I don’t notice it. It’s not until after an outburst that I realize what I have said or done. By then, most of the time, the damage had been done and there’s nothing I can do to fix it. After years of putting up with my mercurial moods, my so-called “normal” friends are all walking away. I don’t think it will matter anymore what I say or do, I won’t be able to fix it this time. After a while, apologies just sound hollow.

We all need friends. A strong support network is vital to the health of someone with a mental illness. So what are we to do when those we count on distance themselves from us?

What do you think? Should we be forgiven at every turn, or does there come a time when its too late to fix what we have done?

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 3, 2012}   Long time coming… Part 2

So, where did I leave off? Right, with the issues in December. Onward then, shall we?

DECEMBER CONT.

So I realized that my meds werent working the way they were supposed to. So what did I do? Well, I can tell you for sure that I did NOT go back to the doctor. Nope. That would have been the smart thing to do. I decided instead that since they weren’t working anyway, I just didn’t need to take them. Yup. I just stopped all of it. Brilliant, huh?

JANUARY 2012

By the middle of the month, maybe not even that long, I was a mess. To say that I was irritable was an understatement. I was picking fights with anyone I could. Most of the time it was my husband, since he was nicely available. But it really didn’t matter.

MARCH 2012

By now I was so far gone that I couldn’t even think clearly. I was absolutely impossible. And that’s being nice, trust me. I cried all the time, and my anxiety and paranoia were climbing all the time.

MAY 2012

By this point I was cycling wildly. I’d wake up in the morning and barely be able to pull myself out of bed. Then, late in the afternoon, I’d climb through the roof, wild and totally unreasonable. I was on fast forward, always thinking a out ten steps ahead of what I was saying, and none of it making sense to those around me.

I finally broke down and went to see my psydoc. She put me on Seroquel (25mg twice a day), and Wellbutrin (125mg in the am). I cried the whole time I was in her office.

TODAY

Ok, so how am I doing today? For the most part, the cycling has stopped, but I am still bordering between hypomanic and manic. I am living in fear every day that I will cross that threshold at any time. I still wonder if the people I love are really involved in some elaborate scheme to destroy me.

I’m not sleeping well, and I’m bouncing between tasks so fast that no one can keep them straight. I can though. I know exactly what I’m doing.

Each day its a struggle. I’m trying to make a conscious effort to slow down, but to be honest, its not really working. And, while I’m no longer depressed or as irritable, I still blow up for no reason, and I can’t do just one thing. Always at least… oh, I don’t know, about 17 dozen.

Keep coming back to see how things progress. I’m going to be putting up a new page to deal with the med information.

Feel free to leave a comment or two, I’d love to hear from you!



et cetera
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