Am I Bipolar or Not

Please what I’m about to say is not for everyone to try.

For years I’ve been told I had Bipolar – it started when I became very depressed because of a traumatic incident that happen to me. To much was too much for me to handle, so I started drinking a lot then a suicide attempt.  I committed myself to a mental health hospital where I was diagnosed with bipolar.  Was I diagnosed because I was depressed, or because at the time I wanted to end my life?

That was back in 1999 when I was diagnosed with Bipolar.  Is Bipolar just a name they give you if your depressed?  While in the hospital I saw people who truly were bipolar and it was scary.  I never got that way.  They drugged me so much while in the hospital I didn’t know my head from my ass.

Recently, I went to a new psychiatrist,  because I had moved and wanted to get closer to home.  I wasn’t sure I liked him, because he seem so mean.  When I met him he seem to know what was wrong with me before any testing.  It’s because I told him.  He said that the Lithium was not doing me any good on a low dose.  It was hurting me more than anything – killing my kidneys and liver.  Also, I was taking meds that didn’t work together.  He said, I had a dead brain.  He said, I probably had slept apnea since my  neck was thick.  Once again a doctor putting things in my head.  He took me off all my medications except two and my blood pressure medication and put me on Latuda with Celexa.  That combo did not work it made me sick.  So he put me back on my Trazodone that I had been taking for 35 years. It worked.  He scheduled an appointment in two weeks.

I had to tell the doctor that I had forgotten I was leaving to go out-of-town could we reschedule.  Instead of a week he rescheduled me in about a month.  I asked why he said,”well if you cancel I put you back some. Ridiculous!  It was like he was punishing me for changing the appointment. He also threatened that if I did not like his plans, I could go see another doctor.  When I asked for more samples because I was running out – he said, “sorry but I’m going on vacation” and I don’t leave medicines with the front desk.  I was like “I can’t be off my bipolar medication for 2 weeks!”  He just said “sorry”. I was livid and pissed.  How can a doctor talk to you that way by threatening you and trying to control you.  I wrote him an email telling him doctor’s don’t treat their patients that way and I don’t want to see anyone that does.  I never heard from him.

Today, I feel better than I ever had. I actually feel things, my mind is clear, my eyes aren’t blurry, and I sleep better. Oh, I get confused, but that’s my ADD, which I know I have and had since I was born. I feel I was treated for the wrong thing.  THIS, makes me angry going through life feeling like crap by taking the wrong medications.

What I did isn’t for any body – just pick doctors carefully.  The controlling doctor is not what I needed but it did make me think about my future.

(grammar and English are not my strengths)

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Bipolar:New Psychologist New Medication

I finally met with my new psychologist  a couple of weeks ago and at first I was scared of him but then realized he was there to help and knew what he was talking about it, specially, about medications.  He read me right away.  He was worried that I wasn’t  dead yet with all the over medicated crap I’ve been taken.  I have a box of medications that doctors prescribed that I couldn’t take.  Oh, if only I had that money back.  If only he would have said “Oh, you don’t have Bipolar.” I wouldn’t know whether to kiss him or kill  him after all these years.

My medications were Lithium, Celexa, Trazodone, Adderall, 3 blood pressures, plus, hydrocodone, and Lorespam.   Now I’m taking Latuda 40%, Celexa, and 3 blood pressure pills.  He said I wasn’t taking enough Lithium, and  was harming me more the helping me. He called me brain-dead. HA!  My memory was lacking, confusion, slurred speech, vertigo and loads of body pain.

I’ve been on Latuda for six days now. He told me I would  have a clearer head (waiting), memory would get better, maybe some weight loss, and I hope he’s right. Here’s my journey from this week.  First I must add – I was to restrain from all alcohol which I did.

Day one took Latuda and Celexa at 10 pm

Morning – atenolol, Amolophine, hydrochlorothiazide

I was fine the first day with a little tiredness like I always do

Day 2

I cleaned the house like I never had – felt real good  but a light headed at times.

Day 3 (wed) I got up and went walking worked on some jewelry and by afternoon I was tired and went to bed early.

Day 4 Woke up at 430 am WHY!! Decided to walk to the beach came back and worked on jewelry and napped in the afternoon so tired. Went to bed early – tired of being awake.

Day 5 – Woke early 4:30 am!  Big day – First Friday at the Art Gallery – This was a bad day.  I was feeling light-headed, hands shake, confusion, slurred words – I was knocking things off tables that night – I was sweating real bad – drank a glass of wine felt better. Went home and to bed early.

Day 6 – Wake up early AGAIN! Went for the walk – came home and stayed on the couch all day.  Feeling anxious, light-headed, sweating, tired, and went to bed early –

Day 7 – Yes again! This time 5 am,.  Feeling semi good. Feeling like – need to do something. Bur raining.  A great excuse to do nothing.

All in all I guess this is okay considering I cold turkey the Lithium – with doctors advise – don’t do it without a doctor’s permission – I wasn’t taking enough to do too much harm on cold turkey.  More – it could harm you.

DON’T EVER STOP PRESCRIBED DRUGS UNLESS YOU GET ORDERS FROM YOUR DOCTORS OR EVEN MIX ANY DRUGS –  DRUGS DON’T MIX WELL WITH LETHAL DRUGS, BEER, WINE, ETC.

Almost Normal

Seal Gull Carolina BeachI went to the doctor yesterday and informed her of the side effects of the Lithium ER.  I also added “Do you think they will give me a refund on these meds?” A way of saying my money went down the tubes.  She was really sorry about it – that’s what she kept saying.  She said she still wants to get more Lithium in my system since my levels of Lithium is very low.  So she has added 150 mg of the regular Lithium I’ve been taking for a long time.  So that’s 750 mg a day including my Zoloft and Trazodone.  I’m unable to take any other meds because of my liver (Hep C).

I’m going to sit back and relax and let things just flow.  Did I just say that?

I recently purchased a used car and I feel like my life is back. I feel amazing having a car!  I now can go when ever I need something without asking for help.  I’m exploring places that I haven’t explored.  I feel like my independence has been returned to me.  That doesn’t mean I’m cured it just helps me know I have my own control and no one else does. That means a lot to me.

That’s my update.  Take care!

Too Much Lithium Can Be Toxic

For the last few days I’ve had extreme trembling and jerking of my arms and hands, including blurred vision and more confusion than usual.  I’ve discovered that too much Lithium can be toxic.

I was taking 300 mg of Lithium twice a day for about 3 month’s, before I was taking one a day.  My doctor decided to check my Lithium level and found it below the required level.  She felt I had room to go up on my dose to 3 times a day, which is 900 mg.  However, sometimes 600 mg would be the correct dose for some individuals.  I’ve been taking the increased dose now since a week before Christmas.

I researched and found too much Lithium is toxic and can cause the following symptoms –

1. Persistent diarrhea.

2. Vomiting or severe nausea.

3. Coarse trembling of hands or legs.

4. Frequent muscle twitching such as pronounced jerking of arms or legs.

5. Blurred vision.

I’ve experiencing number’s 3-5.  The jerking is really disturbing especially when I’m trying to crotchet!

We all hope for the day when we find the right treatment for our Bipolar.  Before the increased dose of Lithium I felt I had found the right treatment of 600 mg of Lithium and Zoloft, along with Trazodone.  I’ve felt really good compare to how I was over a year ago.  My son has noticed the difference, as well as my doctor, which is very important.  I’m going to take back one pill  away from 900 mg to 600 mg, and see if the symptoms go  away.

I will continue use of Lithium, because it has help how often manic episodes occur and decreased the symptoms of manic episodes such as exaggerated feelings of well-being, feelings that others wish to harm you, irritability, anxiousness, rapid speech, confusion, and aggressive behaviors.  These symptoms were ruining my life.

Conclusion: I’ll call  my doctor and let her know about the symptoms.  You should always let your doctor know what you’re doing.  I have a lot of respect for my doctor since she has gotten me to where I am today.  Increasing to three Lithium a day was a test so instead of continuing taking the three I’m going back off to my normal dose.  Lithium is a heavy-duty medication and shouldn’t be dealt with easy – it can be toxic and dangerous especially taken with alcohol.

Bipolar & ADHD: I tried, failed and it’s okay

Relax and Breathe

Yes,  my attempt failed.  When I take on a project it’s a challenge for me.  I decided I wanted to have my own website with a store and shopping cart to sell my sunglasses.  I’m tired of paying fees to eBay, and  felt I should at least try. I worked on it for two weeks until 2 or 3 am in the morning.  My mania was kicking in.  I think it’s my medication. On with the story.

Once, I told myself that I would never quit anything again. I remember my father telling me as I was growing up through my teens that I always quit. I never finish anything.   My dad was a very negative person and  had a way of making me feel like I could never do anything. I could never understand why he did that to me.

I use to be quick at everything I did.  I had a boss, Siva who was my mentor.  Siva was from Malaysia and our cultures were a lot different and we had  a discussion about it, because I was going crazy.  I told him I wasn’t someone you could push around, and we are equals.  He laughed.

One day he came up to me and said he needed a slide presentation on PowerPoint done  by the next morning.  I looked up at him and said, “What?”  I’ve never used PowerPoint, and to include graphics?  He just looked at me and said,” It’s time to learn.”  Where do I start?  While he was getting everything together I started reading about PowerPoint.  I worked on the presentation until it was time for the charts.  I went to Siva and told him there was no way I could do the charts.   “Yes you can, he said.  How are you going to know if you can do it unless you tried?  You don’t give up.”

I didn’t know what I was going to do!  I didn’t have time to really learn  just what I needed to know.  On the way to my desk I noticed the gentleman in the booth next to me working on a chart.  I faced humility and ask him for help.  I if he could just show me the basics on how to create a chart with graphics, I’ll attempt the rest.   I had him send me a copy of what he was doing so I could look at it.

I don’t know how I did it, but I did.  It was unbelievable!   Siva said, “See you did it.  You didn’t give up and found a way to get the job done.   How do you feel?”  I said, “I feel great as a matter a fact.”  I really did, I was very proud of myself, and so was he.  The next morning after the presentation he came to me and said in the meeting that morning people came up to him telling him the slides look greated.  My boss, actually told them that I did it.  He was very proud. We became very close.   Unfortunately, layoffs occurred and we lost touch. However, I still remember – “You’ll never know unless you try.”

Since, I got sicker and sicker until I finally came out of denial to seek help.  I finally found the right combination of medication – Lithium, Effexor, Trazodone and Lorespam.  I have some side effects from the Effexor – I’m not hungry as much,  I get a little anxiety in the evening, and I have more energy.  The pill is time release so it works more in the evening.

I gave up on the website I was doing  – I was staying up every night until the wee hours of the morning.  I didn’t want to stop – I had to get it done.  Then, I had a talk with myself – Vickie, this is not healthy.  It’s causing anxiety and stress and it’s not worth it.  That’s right it’s not and decided to try something else, slowly.  I’ve always jumped right into something without thinking about it.  It’s doesn’t hurt to give up on something when it causes stress.   But, spending money on things when you get this notion want to try something new stop and think, research, and see if  it’s really something you really can do.   I think it would have been wrong to make myself sick over something that I really could not do.   

I’ll come up with something.  I aways do.  Just Do Your Best!  Just because you have bipolar doesn’t mean the end of  things.  Pick something you’ve been wanting to do and try.  It’s okay to fail.