Thirteen Thursday

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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.

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16 responses to “Thirteen Thursday

  1. If you piss on your pills as in your little picture there they will taste yuckier. The pills I saw in your collection looked like bloody horse pills, would a little pink or orange colouring hurt? Sorry, feeling cocky (well in so far as that is possible, you know). I see my doc tomorrow and plan to float the idea of a med change after all these years on an anti-convulsant. It scares me but the med levels are high in my system and since we lowered them I am having much more anxiety and dark days. She said we had “room” to lower it further but that would put me back where I was when I got sick last go around. Don’t know if the depression is the meds, the short days or the fact that my income was five freak-out days late this month!

    Can’t help thinking about being in South Africa. With all that’s happened since it was the last time I felt physically well. It was leaving that just about killed me. Go figure!

    Liked by 1 person

      • My doctor wants me to work on my sleep hygiene before we make any decision about meds. She has told me to aim for 8 hours a night even if it means 3:00 AM – 11:00 AM. I am going to try to go back to scheduling as little as possible before noon. I am not really keen on a med change if it can be avoided, but this depression is very hard (and I don’t suffer it very stoically).

        I saw my therapist today and he challenged my 1 million excuses why I can’t change so my first homework is to inquire about the possibility of limited part-time employment at local bookstores. Imagine. I think the social isolation is killing me, I am withdrawing from everything and in a definite anti-Christmas mood.

        The goal is to survive until the new year because I generally like the bright, cold longer days of January and February. I have not been this down in a very long time. I am also having trouble breathing which I am 80-90% sure is anxiety but will see my family doc Monday. So I think I need to try to tackle the sleep/post heart attack side of the occasion before reviewing meds (probably best because my psych will likely consider adding something and I’m already up to my eyeballs in pill boxes as it is.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Now I’m imagining eyeballs IN pill boxes. Kind of cool. You sound positive about the changes you need to make (eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeek, not the P word). Feck, I have stuff in my mind to say in reply and I just can’t seem to communicate well today, sorry.

          Liked by 1 person

          • It’s okay, I know you know. I did also see my family doctor after I wrote that reply. When he heard about my chest pain he wanted to see me. Even though I feel short winded my oxygen level is exceptionally good… seems to be anxiety plus aching ribs to blame.

            Liked by 1 person

  2. Well, Blah… All I can think is that if you mix up your pills with your dog’s, at least you won’t have worms.

    :( What a f**k fest of medication reactions. Hope you level out soon. <3

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Where am I on the bipolar coaster? All those med you named are part of my recent reporitea (I REALLY can’t spell that word so let me alliterate: Rep-rah-twaa. Please correct. No really. Please specify in your reply how to spell it cause I’m totally not picking up a dictionary right now and spell check doesn’t even make sense of my version.)

    Went from one day plunging headfirst into the darkness while on my Abilify – Zoloft/Sertraline – Lamictal – Klonopin/Clonzepam regiment (which, to note, I had been on for about a year with (relative) stability) to dropping the Zoloft and picking up with the new Biz-something-or-other (Brintellix) that is supposed to aid in my lack of concentration and constant distraction.

    In addition, he also increased the dosage of Lamictal. Which seems like a lot of changes all at once but what do I know? I’m just the guinea pig.

    I’d like something to help me stop having “brain zaps” as you call them. I wasn’t totally sure what “brain zaps” were – but I’m assuming you are referring to the frequent mid-conversation pauses where you completely forget that you were talking about something and what that something was, and the other person on the phone just sits and waits patiently while you ask repeatedly, “wait, uh, what was I saying?” or “uh, what was I JUST going to say?” Am I correct in assuming this is what you mean?

    As for where I’m actually at (and not just listing all my meds and med changes in the past month) – things are relatively tolerable, which, I have learned, means they are “good” cause “relatively tolerable” is pretty much as good as it gets around here.

    I think I’m about to write a post about how I don’t understand these medications and how doctors made the decisions they make when treating bipolar patients. Or did I already do a post on that this week? Wait…what was I saying again?

    Never mind.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lol… Repertoire. No dictionary here either, just autocorrect. Thanks very much for commenting, I’m going to visit your blog soon too. Ah the joys of brain zaps…. Although I totally hear you on the hey wtf am I doing in this room stuff, the ones I wrote about there are these little bastards: http://mentalhealthdaily.com/2014/11/29/brain-zaps-causes-treatments-for-electrical-shock-sensations/

      And oh boy do I ever hear you about loads of meds changing all at once. Only reason I’m not bitching harder at this stage, is that it’s all rather mild by comparison with an onslaught of side effects last year. Fucking hell though, really, it’s a very macabre joke indeed, that it’s often the remedy that’s worse than the disorder.

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  4. My friend Bipolar on Fire tweeted that the clozapine made her gain weight & have munchies – I’m still waiting for more info. as I asked her to elaborate- I *think* it helped her apart from the unwanted weight gain……will keep you posted.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Fry, I think I’m following her, I get very confused by all of us with ‘polar’ in their usernames, but I’m so glad to get the headsup so I can go and read stuff.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. “Medigoround”, you are really good at coming up with new and useful words :)

    We seem to have the same reaction to Lamotrigine. I hope that I will never have to take it again. That sledgehammer sedation feels very heavy, though. No operating heavy machinery after one of those, then? Sounds like my panic pill.

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