Off The Clozaril! Off The Clozaril!!

Stop the presses!! I am off the demon drug that has kept me alive – but just barely. Why the fuck do psychiatrists consider that acceptable? I walk in and say, I’m not seeing anyone, I don’t want to do anything, I’m not exercising, I’m eating six meals a day, I’ve gained 33 pounds, and they say “But you’re alive.” C’mon now, fuckers!! There’s got to be something better than that!! And there IS!! For some unknown reason, Dr. Drugs started me on Lithium, and then, out of complete desperation (I’m tired of the giant pregnant stomach I’ve grown), I started tapering off the Clozaril. And ya know what? I started to FEEL BETTER!! I started to get some initiative back. I started having energy. I started EXERCISING!! Of my own volition! Hell, I exercised TWICE today!! Don’t worry, it’s not a manic episode, it was just some walking. Oh, and my brain works!! I made a pretty snazzy spreadsheet (mentioned previously) with some nested IF/THEN/ELSE statements! I haven’t done that shit in a couple of years!! I didn’t even know if I could. Well, I can!! Next off, a programming class for making iPhone apps. Just to try it.

Well it’s good to feel some optimism. REALLY good. My message for you today is, if your meds aren’t working and your pdoc says No to change, tell him/her to fuck off. Go for the change. Things can be better and things MUST be better!! These are our LIVES!!! Peach out homies.

Groceries. Laundry. Smile.

What an amazingly full weekend.  I was thinking yesterday, as I did all the usual Saturday chores like laundry (including folding and putting away, a big deal for me) and grocery shopping, and then making dinner, from scratch, this is really high functioning for me!  It used to be that I’d joke about doing “survival laundry”, just enough to get by, like, wash enough underwear for the week, and a few outfits, but otherwise all the clothes were strewn about my room, all over the furniture and DEFINITELY all over the floor.  Slob?  Maybe.  Depressed?  DEFINITELY.  It is absolutely fucking amazing to me what being on the right drugs can do.  It’s just the difference between functioning and not functioning!!  I mean, seriously!!  Laundry!  Going to the grocery store!  These are monumental tasks when I am depressed.  For one, I can’t get any get-up-and-go, any motivation, to start the task of laundry.  For two, I can’t complete it.  Grocery shopping?  I ABHOR going out in public when I don’t feel good.  I just don’t want to do it!!  It makes my skin crawl.  Now?  Ain’t no thang.  THANK YOU, DR. DRUGS!!!!!!!!!  I’m grateful.  For all of you who are struggling, half-functioning, or not functioning, take a couple of things away from this:  a) You’re not lazy.  b) You’re probably not on the right “cocktail” and c) There is hope for you!  Keep trying, even if it takes all you’ve got, keep trying to get help.

I might not be 100% out of the woods or 100% happy but I AM 100% grateful to be doing so much better.  And relieved like you wouldn’t believe.  It’s been a rough patch.  It’s good to be coming out the other side.  And I’ll see YOU on the other side….of Monday.  Peaches!  To yer Mama!

Waking Up Without Dread

Well here’s another one for the gratitude list:  Waking up without that sense of impending doom!  Normally Monday mornings are terrible for me, and I have a horrible feeling of dread upon waking.  Well I gotta say!  Between the oxcarbazapine and the daily exercise, I think a switch has been tripped!!  Thank you Lordy Jeezy and thank you Dr. Drugs!!!!!  I am walking around my house with a happy little feeling in my heart!!  Holyyyyy Shite is this nice!!!  Whew.  I am full of thankfulness.  Just had to share it with the world.  Peach out, homies!

Weighty Matters

Well.  I have struggled with my weight my whole adult life, going from a Women’s size 10 all the way up to a size 18 at one point and now I’m in the size 14-16 category, unhappily.  I would be happy to be a size 12, which to me at 5’9” is just fine.  I have been exercising and trying to eat right with some almighty challenges here and there, but it seems that I’m still gaining weight!!  The psychiatrist, Dr. Drugs, assured me when he handed out the latest round of pills (and the round before this) that the drugs he was putting me on were “weight-neutral” but now I’m not so sure if I believe that.  I’m uncomfortable in my clothes and now even my skin is starting to feel like it’s too tight.  My favorite boots that I wear all the damn time were nearly impossible to zip up today.  You know, when I’m not comfortable in my skin, I’m a miserable bitch.  No two ways about it.  I just wanna starve myself, exercise myself to death, try all kinds of unhealthy shit that I know ultimately won’t work.  The think that makes me batshit crazy is not knowing if the drugs are sabotaging my best efforts!!  Are the lamotrigine or oxcarbazepine or the pine-a-pine or zine-a-zine fucking me up?  There’s like a rainbow of flavors going down my gullet every morning and then a whole other ration of shit every evening.  I don’t know.  I’m just very overwhelmed right now.  I wish I was a skinny chick who didn’t have to fight this battle along with a couple others on my slate.  I think I’ll go to bed.  Maybe tomorrow I’ll wake up with Anna Nicole Smith’s body.  The sexy Guess Jeans one.

Best Bipolar Medications

Who are the best people to write about the best Bipolar medication cocktails?  Why we are of course, the consuming public!  I find that we write about this a lot, and share each other’s strength and hope about what works, what doesn’t work, what might work, what only works on Tuesdays, and so forth.  It has been a revelation for me to go to this new psychiatrist and find out that something that I’ve been on for about TEN YEARS is sabotaging my well being, and that is WELLBUTRIN.  According to my esteemed colleague, Dr. Drugs (not necessarily the most awesome name for him but it’s catchy!), Wellbutrin causes Bipolar people to cycle which is the very thing we are trying NOT to do!  So, we are slowly ramping up the Lamictal, which is both a mood stabilizer and a mood elevator (I’ll take the fifth floor thank you), and then we will phase out the damned Wellbutrin.

I am also on Topamax which is an absolute wonder drug for me when it comes to impulse control and taming the addictions.  I struggled mightily with my finances, shoplifting, smoking a pack and a half a day, and getting drunk daily before taking Topamax.  Since starting Topamax I have been able to do finances pretty much like a grownup, stopped shoplifting, smoke three cigarettes per day, and drink very little (except when I’m stressed, then I can still pour the alcohol down my throat on occasion).  Topamax has been considered a wonder drug for treatment of alcoholism and gambling addiction.

If you have experience with something working remarkably well, or remarkably HELL for you, please share in the comments.  Of course, I want to hear about that bastard Abilify too.   Haha those commercials get my goat.  But you already know that.  Yeah, get your own goat!  Thank you for playing.

More Gratitude and New Drugs

Well I wanted to write a little follow-up to my gratitude post…today I got to work and thought “Hey!  What can I do that’s REALLY FUN?”  And then I thought “GRATITUDE LISSSSST! YEAH!” and I’m like “Psych” and I whipped out the pink post-it notes and a mechanical pencil for that super-precision writing, and I proceeded to write me a 20-item list, which included things like #8-Mary (Juana), #13-My iPhone, and maybe the best of all, #18-My Smoothie.  Far Out Gratitude List!  I referred to it several times as needed.

Then, to top off a morning full of gratitude, I saw the psychiatrist and in true Bipolar fashion, my mood crashed and I cried and told him my life is shit and I can’t keep up this “work” thing and I won’t make it to retirement age!  This being a good doctor, he whipped out that prescription pad so fast my head about spun off my neck!  “We need an intermediate mood stabilizer!”  he yelled, ripping the paper off the pad.  The verdict?  Oxcarbazepine.  A mood stabilizer to get my shit straight while we wait for the Lamictal to kick in.  Yayyyyyyy!  Yay me and Yay Dr. Drugs and Yayyyy Bipolar!  This has just been a banner day.

Lamictal Effects?

I know this is probably ridiculous-ridonculous, since I’ve been on the Lamictal since Saturday, but I am feeling kind of good.  That’s not possible, right?  It can’t be because of the medication.  Maybe it’s just because I’m contemplating a move to Florida (oh by the way it’s SNOWING here again, I think I’ll puke!).  Maybe it’s because I’m not as buried at work.  It’s NOT because I’m getting laid (because I’m not, poop!).  Well.  I am grateful for any day that the Mean Reds decides to take a hike.  Hey Abilify!  Why don’t you make a commercial where the girl is totally fucking bitchy to everyone and gets fired from her job?  Haha just a random thought I thought I’d throw in there.  Try to keep up, people!  That is all for now, ta-ta.

Psychiatry Appointment #3 – Postscript

Well I hate to add something to a post when I think it’s “done” but I forgot something pretty significant!  The doctor told me that I need to kick the marijuana habit!!!!!!!!!!  Oh Lordy-Jeezy this is gonna be a hard one.  The reason is, he says the Wellbutrin is a big honkin’ dose of depression for me, and then he said adding the marijuana, which is so much more powerful than it used to be, especially here in Colorado where it’s legal and they’ve refined it and got it down to a science, is like adding a second dose of depression to my brain.  FUCK!!!  I have been using the Sativa strains (Sativa=speed, revs you up) to help with my ADD symptoms during the day with mixed results, but sometimes it really helps with my focus and I can totally kick ass.  I also use Sativa when I exercise and walk for miles & miles.  At other times it just spaces me the fuck out.  At night I use Indica (knocks you the fuck out, what you usually think of a stoner, sinking into the couch) as a kind of reward for getting through the day and it helps me sleep.  I know at this point it’s really no different than being an alcoholic and drinking yourself into oblivion, I am stoning into oblivion, except there’s no hangover.  This is going to be really, really hard to kick.  Oh fucking twelve-step programs, I don’t want you!!!!!!!!!!!  I might need one.  Fuck!!!!!   Yes people I tell you all truth.  Ok I’m off to start my day and mull this over.  Peach out, homies!

Psychiatry Appointment #3 – Final Report

Dancing Monkey

This is the final report because this psychiatrist takes not one, not two but THREE one-hour appointments to reach his initial diagnosis and to make a treatment recommendation.  Well, today was appointment number three.  And voila!  Just like that, I am Bipolar II.  Nothing has changed!  He is recommending Lamictal (sp?) so off to the pharmacy I’ve gone and gotten the prescription.  He said he is going to “defer” the ADD diagnosis and wait to see how it goes for me on the Lamictal – I guess he wants to see me not depressed before he makes any further diagnosis.  I guess that’s fair, although I must admit I was a bit disappointed.  I wanted a bigger pronouncement.  I guess I wanted something grand.  I wanted The Big Fix.  I don’t know what I thought he was going to do – a handstand?  Tap-dancing with the little cymbals on his knees?  I don’t know.  It’s just another long process of trying to get better – my least favorite thing – long processes.  I guess I’ll hop on the Long Process Train and take a ride – wish me luck!