White cell count and therapy at the state hospital today. I hope I manage to stave off the anxiety for longer than last time, but it will, of course, be finite no matter which way it goes. I probably mentioned last week, that the weekly blood work is in honour of not being too seriously attacked by clozapine, which is an antipsychotic usually largely prescribed for schizophrenia. Nothing unusual there, most antipsychotics and anticonvulsants are also used as mood stabilisers too, without psychosis or epilepsy necessarily being one of the issues present. Oh the joys of meds. I still wonder to what extent euthymia (our holy grail) hinges on sheer relief that a meds cocktail sans crippling side effects has been found. I’ve had tolerable side effects for a few months – no, wait – I had tolerable side effects, but sadly that fact alone failed to turn me into a functioning member of society. Then again, who the fark wants to be a member of the society we’ve built for ourselves? We being the collective we; humanity.
Climbing on to clozapine and off lamotrigine, sertraline and chlorpromazine has made for an interesting week. The brain zaps have been frequent and rapid and at times, felt rather violent. I’ve had mild shakes and aches, a gentle burning sensation and other unpleasant but tolerable withdrawal symptoms and or clozapine side effects. Given the amount of pills rattling around, who knows which delights are caused by which of the four meds. Brain zaps generally go hand in hand with SSRI withdrawal, but I’ve been experiencing those suckers on and off for years. Headaches… no clue. They’re those nasty, bitter ones that aren’t migraines, but have clear ambitions in that direction. I’ve been swallowing myprodol for breakfast, well at least it has a cheerier colour scheme than all those boring beige and duckling shit ochre psych meds. Lamotrigine, just by the way, is quite close in size and appearance to my dog’s deworming pills. I shan’t miss lamotrigine; it didn’t slaughter me with extra symptoms, but it’s made me feel nauseous twice a day for however long I’ve been on it. The sight of it makes me queasy.
This is the most boring post you’ll ever read on this blog, methinks. But I shall forge forth undeterred.
So far the clozapine has had one effect that I can be sure belongs solely to it, and that’s the sledgehammer sedation thing. I’ll get a brief warning, like suddenly I feel the need to go through doors with an outstretched forefinger leading the way, so that I know there’s an open space for me to go through. I know, I know, but it makes sense at the time. I stagger to bed and that’s all she said. Today, by way of public sector intricacies, I’ll get my next carefully labelled little packet of clozapine and continue the medigoround in the quest for stability, whatever the hell that is.
What about you, my fellow travellers, where are you at on this bipolar coaster manic depression highway? Strongs ne. All the strongs for all of you.