My life, summarized

so tomorrow I have a psychopharmocology consult and I need to quickly organize my notes. Basically, I need to summarize my life in just a couple of pages. I have seen him before, so this makes it a little easier. I need to do from 2005 to the present. Oh, JOY. This is no fun. Because I did not expect to get an appointment so quickly, I am scrambling to get this all done.

so my first stop is my insurance records. They give me a pretty good sense of what happened when, including medication changes. I have been on 13 different meds since I saw this man last, with a lot of dose changes in the middle. Some meds have really stayed with me. My favorite being seroquel. Not sure where I’d be without good old quetiapine. It helps me sleep when all hell is breaking out. Based on the records, it looks like it was the first thing they reached for when I was manic. I am sure it is a drug I’ll keep in my cocktail for many more years.

2005 and 2006 were my Lithium years, man did I hate that shit. Between the blood tests all the time, and the side effects. I wasn’t a happy camper. I also had a really bad suicide attempt while on it, so despite the studies saying it helps, lithium didn’t decrease my suicidality. It is a drug I don’t want to ever revisit.

My old standby Wellbutrin was with me for many years, and for years it did help. Unfortunately that was before I was dx bipolar. It has not been in the cocktail since 2010. Prior to 2010, it had been a little hypomania here and there, but nothing significant. Just enough to shift my diagnosis to bipolar II. But, 2010 really took the prize. What a february I had that year. It all started with an elbow injection of bethamethasone (steroid). It is possible that got the ball rolling. Then a med change to add Aripiprazole (Abilify). About a week later the cymbalta dose was doubled. Voila, I was officially batshit. I would have destroyed my relationship, with my escapades, and most likely been arrested for some illegal gardening, if Virgil hadn’t pulled the plug and hospitalized me. Well the mania didn’t last with lots of seroquel and risperidone. That episode changed the medication landscape. The antidepressants would no longer be the main part of my cocktail. I was now depressed again, a lot depressed. I don’t really recall much from that year. I know I went from manic in Feb to having ECT by April. It was a free fall for sure. I don’t know if it was meds, or me, or a combination of all of it. I do know that I had a rough year. I may recall some of the wild weeks when I was smoking pot daily, just to try to level out, but I don’t remember much of the rest of it. I know I went to a partial hospital program. It was a full day program, don’t remember any of it. So much for adding coping skills. By June is was back depressed, I know it was pretty bad. I do remember begging Virgil to do something. It must have been bad for me to agree to a big gun mood stabilizer. I had always refused them. All I knew is they would probably make me fat and stupid. Everything I ever read about tegretol, depakote and the others is that they sucked. I was firmly refusing them. Somehow I got myself to agree to Trileptal in early June. It was a slow titration up, each week we jumped up until we hit 1800 or so. Everything leveled out. My functioning must have improved. Not that I remember. I know at one point we went up to 2100, but I got a little panicky, so we went back down.

Things are quiet in my records until got sick with Lyme in summer 2011. Then quiet again until 2012. Here we are Summer 2012 and the depression is back. It has been a pretty good run with the Trileptal. It’s a good drug. I did gain weight. Between the Saphris and the Trileptal, I ended up about 20lbs above my normal weight. I was a pissed and upset about it. I slowly lost the weight over a period of 6 months. I was tracking my weight each week, and I had a note on my mirror for each weight. I was able to deal, since the numbers were going down not up. The Lyme helped, since I dropped weight fast when I was sick. It was one of the reasons I went to the doctor. I have been ok with my weight, as long as I am reasonable about what I put in my body, it maintains itself at my normal low 120’s. I’d like to weigh less, but that is my weird distorted brain thinking.

Well tomorrow will be a big day. I have to deal with my anxiety about leaving the farm. I have to deal with the city, at rush hour on a Friday, no less! It will be interesting. Thankfully, I have my partner to go with me.


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