Out Of The Darkness

abstract 2 (1)
In the Swirl, by w. holcombe

I have Bipolar I, that means that I have the highs (mania) and the lows (depression) that go with Bipolar.  I’ve been mostly stable for the past 20 years.  However, for over 2 years I’ve been fighting depression pretty hard.  I’ve been on different medications, but I was not feeling better.  I kept thinking it was everything that was happening in my life.  Having vertigo almost every day, losing more of my independence, moving so hubby could have a job after being laid off for over a year, having to have my hip replaced due to Avascular Necrosis, well you get the picture.

I saw a new psychiatrist last month, he took me off of one antidepressant that obviously wasn’t working and put me on another medication.  It is like a veil lifted from over me, the darkness has given way to light.  I no longer cry every day.  I’m feeling hopeful. I feel like me.  OK, now I’m going to cry, from from relief and happiness.

My new psychiatrist told me something interesting, he said that often later in life a person with Bipolar I doesn’t have as many highs they have more depression. (I’m 52, I’ve shown signs of Bipolar since I was a child.)  So he so he decided to put me on a drug that is for Bipolar Depression.  The drug is is “a psychiatric medication that belongs to the class of drugs called atypical antipsychotics. It works by helping to restore the balance of certain natural substances in the brain.”  It has been a month and I’m amazed at how much better I feel.  Even when things have happened that would have upset me, I’ve handled it with ease.  How cool is that?

I’m so very grateful that someone and something was able to help.

I haven’t mentioned the names of any of the drugs because I don’t want anyone to think I’m advertising for it.  If you want to know, I’ll be happy to tell you in a comment.

today is a good day.

one moment at a time.

Crisis over the Holidays

Oh no!  What a time for a medication mess up!

I was loading up my pill-box for the week and only had 3 of my mood stabilizer…..hmmm, that’s not right?

So, I asked Stuart if there was a refill that hadn’t made it in my case.  (I have a case where I keep all of my medications, then I load up my pill organizer every week, if there are not enough pills in the bottle to fill the organizer the next week then we order a refill….easy, peasy….medication is always kept up to date.)   Stuart didn’t have any refills for me….uh oh.  He said he’d look into it.

We are not using a mail order pharmacy.  A new thing with our new insurance.  If you have a prescription that is maintenance you have to get it from the mail order pharmacy.  So, he goes on-line and it’s right there, with refills so he orders it, should be here within 2 days, no problem.  Great!

Big Problem.  7 days later I realized the medication hadn’t come.  How did I realize this?  I was crying uncontrollably for no reason and let’s just say my moods were going crazy.  My head hurt so much I thought I was going have to go to the ER.  What was wrong with me???  Wait?  “Stuart?  Did my medication come in?”,  “No?” That means I hadn’t been taking my mood stabilizer for 4 days.  Rut Row!!ICONATOR_4e0b548ea7c2830faf155644ee69298f

Stuart calls the pharmacy.  Yes, the prescription had refills, 3 to be precise, but it was written as 3 one month prescriptions.  They needed it to be one prescription for 3 months.  So they had a call in to the doctor to change it.  Oh my gosh!  Did they think to call the patient to see if they needed the medication sooner than they would be able to get it to me by doing things this way?  NO!  Stuart told them that I needed the medication NOW, so they put ONE month worth in the mail and I got it the next day, that meant I was off of my mood stabilizer for FIVE days!

This is not a drug you just go cold turkey on.  You don’t just stop taking it and not notice.  There is reason you ramp up and off of these kind of drugs.  Of course, this had to happen just a few days before Christmas…..as in, I got my new pills on Christmas Eve.  Can you imagine the hell I have been going through?  How have I managed this without going absolutely crazy?  Well, I am crazy we know this…..hehehe  (yes that is one way I deal with things like this….I try to keep a sense of humor…sometimes it works.)   First, I knew how I felt was all because of this medication mess up.  My feelings were not me.  What was going on in my head was not me.  Yes, this is very hard.  I am lucky that I have a good friend who understands a lot of this and I emailed her a lot and she was wonderful.  I’m also lucky that my husband listens and doesn’t get mad when I’m very unreasonable at times like this, he understands it is the medication.  Yes, sometimes he does forget then we both look at each other and take a deep breath and say…..things will be better when the medication gets ramped back up.

Oh yes, that’s another thing, I have to ramp back up on this medication.  I couldn’t just jump back on at the dose I was taking, I could have gotten very sick.  So still, I’m not quite the Wendy I usually am.  I won’t be for another week an a half.  You have to ramp up on this medication slowly or you can get a very bad rash that is not a good thing.

little Wendy at Chirstmas.
little Wendy at Chirstmas.

I’m also dealing with this by trying to be mindful….yep there’s that word again.  I’m trying to just focus on this moment.  That has been VERY hard to do.  I have gotten all caught up in the Holiday Hype, in my mind.  Everywhere I looked people are telling you that you are supposed to be spending time with family and friends.  Really, does the TV not make you feel like something is wrong with you if you don’t have a big family and a whole lot of friends to spend the holidays with?   Oh I got so depressed.  My family?  Well let’s just say, I am so not a part of all of that now, but my mind goes to Christmases past when at times like these.  Now that my medication is starting to work I’m just fine with how things are, I think it’s a good thing.  But when it was all going on I was hurt, and sad and just feeling like my life was so not what it should be.  We have no friends here so we were all alone, and I was thinking about how we were cheated out of not having children and well just everything……see where my mind can go when medication is not working???

Deep Breath here huh?

The past is the past.

I can’t change those things.

The only thing I have any control over is today.

Breathe.   Just Breathe.

and this is how I live my life most of the time.

This is how I see things most of the time.

This is why I stay on my medication!   *wouldn’t you?*

 

I have some good news!!

I’ve been off of the steroids for a good bit now and no bad vertigo!  Yay!!  I’m so thrilled!  I have to say, I was a bit scared.  I tried not to be, but I it was there….fear that the vertigo would start right back up as soon as the steroids came out of my system.   So glad the fear was unfounded….see why we should live in the now and not try to predict the future?

I have started Aqua-therapy for my back/hip and I did great in the pool.  The physical therapy in the pool is so much easier.  I am really hoping it will help.  I see the back doctor next week, we’ll see what he has to say.  I have been very discouraged about my progress so far, but after just 2 sessions in the pool, I’m hopeful this will help.   yay!!

Good news is, in just a short time, I’ll be starting the New Year all stable again.
I haven’t had a full-blown vertigo attack in a couple of weeks.
The aqua-therapy is going well,
and I’m going to making some plans to change a few things around here……so Picnic with Ants is going to have changes….they will happen slowly I’m sure as I’m not able to do things very fast….but we’ll see how it goes.

 

Here’s to a New Year!

May we all great it with love, laughter, and much good luck!

 

Tomorrow is my mother’s birthday.

I will be celebrating her life.

I’m very thankful for the 64 years she spent with us on this earth, especially the almost 30 she spent with me.

Christeen....my mom
Christeen….my mom