I feel pretty good today. MIL is triggering me mildly, but what else is new. I forgot to take my ambien last night and wondered all the way till 5:00 am why I wasn’t sleeping. Won’t make that mistake again soon. 😦 But at least I knew what the problem was. I know that the medicine will make me sleep. It’s no longer a crap shoot. I have finally found the right sleeping pill.
So much of what we go through is a guessing game. New meds come on the market all the time. They might work, they might not work. They will cost an arm and a leg while you try them on for size and you can only hope that your doc has samples or coupons or something else to help afford these new meds.
Now, if you are bipolar, you will need a mood stabilizer, an antidepressant and potentially a sleeping pill. Minimum. I take an antidepressant, a bipolar depression medication, a mood stabilizer, an anti-anxiety “rescue” medication, and a sleeping pill. Those are just the meds I take for my mental issues. I also have an autoimmune disease that adds three meds to the mix.
I have spent the entire year trying to find the right mood stabilizer for me. I tried, and failed, three different medications. The year has been an experiment in failure for me. My doc finally talked to me about going back to Seroquel XR. I was on it before and it worked. Two problems, which I consider major problems. One…there is no generic for Seroquel XR (there is for regular seroquel, just not the extended release) so it’s wicked expensive. So far, my doc has kept me going with samples, but that won’t last forever. Second, and honestly I’m not sure which is more upsetting, but this medication makes me gain weight. A lot of weight. If I don’t go to sleep fairly soon after taking it, I will eat every single piece of food in my house, as long as it’s not healthy. Ice cream, candy, cookies, crackers, almost nothing is off limits. I have gained 15 pounds in the last 3 weeks. Now that the sleeping pill situation is resolved that weight gain will hopefully slow if not reverse. It took 5 tries to find a sleeping pill that would not only put me down, but more importantly, keep me down.
As soon as my boot cast is off my left foot (plantar fascia release surgery) an exercise regimen will begin. ‘Cause damn, I’m fat!
Bipolar disorder is also stopping me from helping my loved ones. I have a couple members of my family who are very sick. It seems that almost all the cousins on my mother’s side have terrible diabetes and two of them, plus their father are needing kidney transplants. I talked to my doctor about it the other day and she said that she would never clear me for donating organs. I’m too messed up, too stressed, too depressed and all while being medicated better then I have been in awhile. Besides the stress of donating, there would be the stress after of missing an organ. Because one of my issues, is concern about my physical well-being. And if I’m short a kidney, that is only going to make that issue worse.
Bipolar disorder causes us to be unsure, almost all the time. What mood will I wake up to tomorrow? What mood will I switch to when my husband gets home? Will I pull out of this funk long enough to shower? Will this burst of energy that defies all medications to stomp it out ever end or will I just run around like a wild person until I die from lack of sleep? Even well medicated, any of this could happen.
Some people are able to be medicated well enough that they can work and socialize and live a rather normal life. The rest of us wrestle with an inability to work or live a normal life. Beyond that, we must come to grips with the fact that social stigma puts us down for not working. Since our disability can’t be seen, we must be faking it. Milking it for the free money. Living off the system. If only the accusers knew how little money comes with disability.
None of this is really new information to those of you who visit regularly. I just felt like this was what I wanted to talk about today.