Tag Archives: lamictal

Crash and Burn

I find myself crashing more on this new 3/day Adderall script.  I also find I’m more tired in the morning taking Lamictal 2/day.  I hate med changes.  The Adderall boost in the afternoon helps, but the mid day crashes leave me exhausted and drained.

On the plus side, the extra Lamictal seems to be helping and I feel less depressed.  Not sunshine and daisies or anything, but better.

Haven’t posted much because there hasn’t been much to say.  I’ve been busy with work and school but generally feeling unmotivated and doing as little as possible to get by with those things.  Where I was making 30 calls a day for work, I now make 10 on a good day.  I was spending 3+ hours a day on school and now if I spend one I’m lucky.  I’m just too tired or something.  I can’t muster the energy or ambition to do anything.

Ambition.  That’s it.  I’m usually such a go getter.  It’s like I just don’t care now.  I’m unhappy with mediocre results, but want to put in mediocre effort.  Clearly a mismatch there.  Something needs to give.  At some point my grades or income will drop and I’ll be in deep you know what.

Hubby and I are going out next weekend.  That should be a nice change of pace.  It’s something we really needed.  Our anniversary is coming up so it’ll be good to reflect on what went well and what didn’t this year.  It’s also a chance to start clean for our next year together.

Look at that.  Some optimism.  Courtesy of Lamictal.  Thank goodness for drug induced happiness.

Hopefully this coming week will bring with it some much needed energy and some serious motivation before things start to go to hell in a hand basket, as my grandmother would have said.


The Circle Never Breaks…

So Sallie Mae declined my student loan application based on the fact that I’ve only been at my current job position for 8 months, even though I’ve been with the company for four years.  That and the fact that I work on commission.  Now I’m in the fun position of having literally no money to go to school next semester.  FML.

I mean, really?  They said I need a cosigner.  I can’t get a cosigner.  My husband has shit for credit from a car repo before we got married.  My mom refuses to cosign because she said she tried to help me go to college when I was 18 and I dropped out.

Yeah, I dropped out because I had no goals at the time and had a bit of a nervous breakdown.  I told her I wasn’t on meds at the time and this time was different, even my therapist says so.  She says I did it for the first two years okay, why did I have issues the last two?  Hell if I know.  Why does my brain ever do anything?  Why did I get depressed or manic or whatever the hell I was that I can’t even remember?  I’m pretty sure I was depressed because I recall sleeping a lot and not being able to get up to go to class.  Most of it is a blur at this point.  I’m sure there was a manic episode or two that cause some of those A semesters.  Lots of energy to burn?  Try college!  But the F semesters were more likely depression.  When I got my transcript I could actually see the mood swings in my grades.  Semester one – A, B, A, A.  Semester Two – A, B, C, A.  Semester Three – C, D, F, F.  Semester Four – F, D, W, W.  Not exactly like that, but you get the idea.

She says me going back to school isn’t her problem.  I get it.  It’s not.  But since I got free tuition when I went the first time and she just paid for books I don’t see why she can’t at least cosign for me.  She then went on to say she might be willing to give me some money.  She confuses me so much.  You’ll give me money but won’t sign your name so that I’ll pay it myself?  No, she says, because if I can’t pay it her name will be on it.  Yes, I say, but whenever I don’t have money you help me out anyway so what difference does it make?  Apparently not the right thing to say.  What do I know?

So now I wonder what the fuck is the point of me continuing this semester if I just have to drop after it?  If I don’t have the money to keep on going, why waste all this time now?  I’m giving up time with my family, time sleeping, time relaxing, time working, time doing any number of things that would likely be more enjoyable than studying.  If I’m not going to get a degree out of said time, then why the hell should I be wasting it on school?  Yes, I like to learn, but at my own pace and about things I’m interested in not things that the deities of the school system think I should know.

But alas, the degree is important for my job.  My job was actually supposed to help pay half, but the declined me too.  They couldn’t even be bothered to tell me why.  I wasn’t special enough or something.  I really don’t know what to do at this point.  I need to go, but funds are limited and I’ve spent us in a total hole the last eight months.

I can’t tell my mom this of course.  She knows.  She tells me I spend too much.  Now that I’m mildly depressed I spend in budget, but coming off the high of a manic phase I just couldn’t curb it.  It wasn’t the panicked spending in the thousands of dollars a day I was doing in the manic phase, but it was $50 here, $20 there, $100 there and it all added up.  I just kept needing things.  Don’t know why.  Just had to have them.  Would die without them.  Skincare first.  Then makeup.  Then skincare agin.  Then purses and wallets.  All always one thing I would obsess over and spend on that one thing.  When I’m manic I do that, but also buy loads of other random crap just to spend money.  Coming off the mania, it was like obsessions with categories.  I must have every eyeshadow color this brand has ever made.  I must have every Coach Poppy bag.  My wallets must all mach and I need three.  Does this sound like some type of OCD?  Hoarding?  Something.  It’s not manic spending.  It feels different.  But it’s bad.  Maybe just a shopping addiction.  I always have to be addicted to something.  Better than the drugs, I suppose.  More expensive though.

I saw my pDoc today.  She upped my Lamictal to 300mg to help the mild depression.  We also switched from 30mg XR Adderall am and 15mg regular Adderall pm to 15mg regular Adderall 3/day.  That was my suggestion because I find that the XR lasts less time than the regular.  I take the XR around 6am and by noon I can’t even focus long enough to read a book or listen to a phone call with a client.  When I take my regular dose at 5pm I can focus until around 1am if I really needed to.  So about the same amount of time actually.  But with the current setup I can’t focus from 12pm-5pm.  That’s five hours of me being totally unproductive and generally surfing the internet because I can change the page every five seconds when I get distracted or bored.  Or napping.  Whatever.

I hate these long posts.  I’m sure no one reads them.  They look too long and formidable to get through.  Ultimately I post to vent to myself, but my vanity wants to think that someone somewhere gives a shit about my crazy.  My family can’t stand my crazy though, so why would anyone else voluntarily subject themselves to it?

My husband says he hates himself all the time.  I dislike me a lot right now and I hate my life.  I love my son though and my husband, so I plow on for them.  If not for them, I’d curl up in a ball and wallow.  If it gets bad enough I still might.  I wonder if other people hate themselves often.  I wonder if other people wake up and go “what happened to me” or “what happened to my life.”  I must think that 100 times a day.

I used to be so fun, such a party girl.  I had gotten out of a deep depression and was self medicating, so of course I was fun.  Everyone loved me.  Or hated me.  Not a lot of grey area.  Most people loved me though.  I lit up a room.  I was out ’till four in the morning and staggering into work the next day with stories about having sex in front of four people or dancing on table tops or whatever other crazy shit I had come up with.  The reality check is that I was in a very unhealthy place.  The ideal version I have in my head is that people actually liked me for once.  Plus I was having fun.  I liked me.  I liked my life like that.  I liked numbing the crazy and self medicating.  It’s much more fun than the real medication.

I look back…and part of me really misses that time in my life.  As absolutely fucked up as my life was then, I kinda liked it.  I had no money.  I was destroying my future.  I was destroying relationships with my family.  I was making reckless decisions left and right.  I was filled with wild abandon.  I was let loose and crazy and manic but not in the hallucinogenic type of way.  In the fun way where you destroy your life and think it’s awesome.

Then I realized what I was doing and I got really depressed.  Like, tried to kill myself depressed.  Tried to go to a doctor who turned me away.  Got worse.  Cried all day for months.  I tried to pick up the pieces of my life and I did.  I got a good job, I got married, I had a kid.  All things I had decided to do while manic and messed up, but I held through with my crazy promises to myself.

I stabilized after a while.  Had some episodes here and there.  Had one long episode of depression the whole time I was pregnant and about three months after.  I try to forget how bad I was then because I know I made my husband miserable.  The fact that he didn’t leave still surprises me.

Stabilized for a while again, and had another break about nine months ago.  Screwed more stuff up.  Got to a good doctor.  Got on the right meds.

And now, here I am left with this normal, ordinary life.  And it’s just not enough for crazy, extreme me.  My life is filled with the highest highs and the lowest lows and middle periods?  They get kinda boring after a while.  Right now I’m holding on to “right below the middle” for dear life though.  Not the biggest fan of the depressive side of the illness.

But this normal life, it’s making me itch.  Normal job.  Normal family.  Normal employee.  Normal wife.  Normal mother.  Who is this person?  I don’t like her.  She’s too vanilla.  I want that fun, crazy, party girl back.  But to get that back, I’d have to give up my son and husband.  My son I tried so hard to have.  My husband I’ve worked so hard to keep.  I wouldn’t give them up for anything – not all the parties and self medication in the world.  So why do I still feel like I miss that life?  If I wouldn’t change what I have, why do I ache for what I don’t?  I guess somehow I think I could have both.  I can be nomal!Kira until 8pm and party!Kira when the sun goes down.  History tells me normal and manic don’t go well together, but I sure wish I could have the good things that come with mania normally.  The energy.  The lively personality.  The lack of fear.

Now I’m just here, with my vanilla life, hating myself for wanting something different than my wonderful family.  Well, I don’t but I do.  I don’t know.  I know I hate thinking I might want something different.  I know I hate missing the party life.  Then my paranoia kicks in and I think, what if I can think these things into reality?  What if by the mere passing thought of wanting to be that girl again that somehow my son and husband will be taken from me by some greater act of nature.  A car wreck or a fire or something that takes what’s most important to me away because I wasn’t grateful enough for what I had.  Then I’d forever be missing what I have right this second and I’m here too stupid to enjoy it.  That’s my greatest fear of all – losing them because I didn’t love them well enough.

I’m such a shit wife and mother.

And now I’m officially wallowing.

Geodon=legal coke??

I’m now convinced Geodon is the prescription version of cocaine.  I’ve never actually done that aside from traces in my otherwise lovely pills from yesteryear, but when they had them in it I felt exactly like I did on Geodon.  The withdrawal has been similar as well.  I still can’t sleep (taking Ambien, Xanex, and Melatonin).  I’m now sick (drugs that function like that seem to lower your immune system).  I’d hate to see what happened if I took this pill for a year and came off of it.  I think more testing was needed before big pharma released this one.  For all that, someone just write me a script for MDMA and let’s call it a day.  Less side effects, happier me.

I don’t know what to make of Abilify.  It’s not making me sleepy (plus), my head is still mostly quiet (plus) but I seem to be spending money again (not so much a plus).  I also feel like I’ve gotten very boring and I can’t think of things to talk about which isn’t so great for my job.  Watching my weight closely because if I gain more than 5 pounds this pill can go to hell and we’ll try again.

Finally up to 100mg of Lamictal.  Only seemed to take a year to do.  Debating going to the doctor tomorrow to up it to 200mg and maybe up the Abilify to kill off the last of the crazy.

Side note, I hate news.  I have to keep up with these things because of my job, but before that I had stopped paying attention because news literally stresses me out so bad my heart races.  Nation deficit?  War?  Murder?  Economic recession?  Panic.  These are things therapists say are out of my realm of control and thus I should not freak out over them.  Nothing I can do, move along.  All well and good in theory, but all that bad stuff makes me start to think the world might really end in 2012 or something because everything seems so awful.

Because I couldn’t learn to stop worrying, I just stopped paying attention.  Ignorance is bliss after all.  Alas, now I must keep up to date.  More than ever, I’m starting to buy the BS doomsday folk spout off.  If the world does end, I’m blaming the media.  Perhaps if they didn’t make everyone feel like the world was ending every day, things would be better.  I know my clients and I would sleep better at night.  No clue if that idea has any merit, but it’s my opinion and I get to have it.

I also used to be big into politics and now I refuse to vote for just about anything.  Generally I disagree with everyone and I can’t bring myself to vote for someone who has stupid ideas.  I’m too small government for either party.  Democrats spend too much on stupid things and Republicans spend less and say “small government” but then turn around and want to say who you can marry and if you have to have babies.  That’s still big government in my eyes.  So none of you asses get my vote.  I’d go vote Libertarian, but why wait in line for an hour to vote for someone with no shot of winning?  If there was a shot, I’d wait however long I needed to.  But there’s not and I’m lazy.  Plus I don’t think I should be forced to pick between two shit choices.  Given crap choice A and crap choice B, I choose not to pick.

My mom says this means I don’t get to bitch about politics anymore.  Mostly I don’t (again – stresses me out), but if someone does something stupid, I get to complain regardless of if I voted or not.  So there.

Ending the rant.  News overkill does that to me.  I need to go back to CNN Money instead of constant news stream on my radio all day.

Med changes and almost buying a car…it’s been a busy day

Today my plan was for someone to come fix my washing machine, hope to hear back from my doctor, and maybe shop with my mom.  Things did not go according to this plan.

I woke up exhausted, but it only lasted about thirty minutes and I’ve been hypomanic/manic ever since.  The washer people called and said they would be out between 12-2.  Two minutes later my doctor calls and says she can get me in at 12 to change meds.  I call my mom, who comes over with my step-dad and they watch my son and tend the the washer issues so I can go to the doctor.

I think I sped the whole way there at least 20 miles over the speed limit.  My son wasn’t in the car to give me sensibility.  So I drove as fast because I felt fast.  I turned the music up.  I was 21 again.  It was kinda nice.

My doctor made a few changes.  Adderall now at 10mg XR instead of 20mg (was taking some of my old 15mg until I ran out).  Taking 2mg Risperdal tonight (down from 4) then off completely.  Starting 80mg Geodon (no generic and expensive) tonight and possibly up to 120mg next week.  Staying put on Lamictal and Xanex for now so as not to change too many things around.  She says the Geodon should work faster than an Abilify or Zyprexa but with fewer side effects, so I guess I’m on board with this.  Fast is what I need and side effects are what I don’t.  She also said my old pediatric doctor said hi and did of course remember both me and my batshit crazy dad.  She had to go ask him about my records because they didn’t exist.  After my dad got my stuff, apparently he took it all out of the computer and kept everything handwritten and secret.  I kinda want to hug him.  No, I really want to hug him.  That’s above and beyond and I’m beyond appreciative, even though my dad would have no way to get them anymore.

I stopped at the mall on the way home (stupid, I know).  I spent money.  Surprise, surprise.  Felt like I was in there for hours and it was more like 15 minutes.  I sure can spend money fast.  $250 later in nail polish and hair products and I’m keyed up and about to lose it for some reason.  My heart is racing and my thoughts are so fast I can’t even keep up.  I speed even faster home.

On the way, my car breaks.  My brand new (2009) car.  For the fourth time since I bought it NEW.  The RPMs are revving and the car is going nowhere.  Fumes are coming out.  I’m furious.  I get home and throw things and yell and generally throw a fit.  I decide, screw this car.  I’m getting another one.

I tell my mom and step-dad to take me to the dealership because I want to yell at them and then look at new cars on the lot across the way.  They show me a pretty silver car that’s a 2006 and is the type I want.  Silver is my favorite color.  Body looks good.  Show me where to sign.  I wasn’t even going to test drive it.  I was just going to buy it.  My logic literally went “this car is unreliable, I’m sick of it, I’ll buy this older car because it’s a brand I trust in a shiny color and things will work out.”  This is something I’d expect my husband to do, not me.  I’m not impulsive.  I don’t make big decisions quickly.  Yet there I stood, ready to pull out my pen so long as they’d give me a good trade in value and I could be done with my stupid car.  Even the salesman was talking me out of it.  Generally sales people who are trying to sell you on not buying are giving good advice as a rule of thumb.  I’m glad he and my family were there, because if they weren’t I’d have a new car.

Now, is getting a new car a bad idea?  No.  I’ll still probably do it.  I need something that won’t get me killed on the interstate.  Is making the decision in a fit of manic rage smart?  Nope.  But I was gonna do it.  No doubt in my mind that if others weren’t logical around me, I’d have done something really, really stupid today.  My husband said “why trade your 2009 for a 2006?”  Well, because they have the same value and the 2006 is a better brand.  But when he said that, my brain said “ok, just go in debt and get a 2011 then.”  That’s where my brain was.  Willing to go 10K in debt because I was annoyed with my car.

These meds better work as fast as promised, because my impulse control is dying more and more each day that I’m not better.  I’m losing the rational, logical part of my brain I cling to so much that keeps me from complete insanity.

Here’s hoping I don’t have a new car tomorrow.  I would like the car, but I’d like to make the decision in a normal state.

Side note:  I’m sure this medicine will, in fact, work.  There’s no generic and I paid $65 for a 15 day supply.  So $130 for a month is what this med will run me if it’s permanent.  With my luck, this will be the best medication ever and my pay will all be going to med costs.  That’s almost $200 a month just to see my doctor one time a month and get that one pill.  Not including Lamictal, Adderall, Xanex, and any other med that gets thrown in down the line.  No wonder health insurance companies hate bipolar people.  We’re costly.  That’s more than I budgeted in my HSA for the year, so we’ll end up with crazy medical costs in Oct/Nov/Dec 2011 I’m sure.  Hopefully the price is high because I haven’t hit a deductible yet.  I know that happened with my Wellbutrin last year.  January it was randomly $60 and then back down to $10.  Also my bottle for Geodon says “take 2 capsules by mouth every evening for manic bipolar disorder.”  Now even my pill bottles remind me I’m nuts.  How depressing.  I need no reminder, pill bottle.

Constant Vigilance?

Today’s episode should be called “Run, Kira, Run” like that 90’s German movie I never saw but still kinda want to, if not only because Vh1 talked about it on some show.

Anyway, awoke groggy, as per medication dictates, to get ready for the follow up appointment with the “new” doctor at the hospital which I took to mean I was going to continue to get nowhere, but amazingly enough, I’m mostly hypomanic and not manic now and I’ll take the improvement where I can get it even if it comes in terms of groggy ass Rispedal and overkill Xanex.

Mom and step dad brought me to the doctor, I yelled a few times about probably dumb things, day was progressing normally.  But something kinda amazing happened.  Thew “new” doctor was “new” because she left the mental hospital to work outpatient.  Translate:  I am not the craziest person she’s talked to this week.  Probably not close to the craziest person she’s talked to her whole life.  She might not be in over her head.  This might be a hidden win.  I’m holding off a cake and balloons just yet because good things rarely just happen without a lot of work, especially for me, but I think just maybe, some luck may have come upon me.  She actually said “I like the difficult cases.”  Imagine me doing a spastic happy dance inside my head sitting in her chair, cause that’s what happened.  Most doctors seem to hate the difficult ones.  Ugh, that pill still didn’t work.  Ugh, she’s complaining about side effects again.  Ugh, why can’t she just be depressed and not bipolar?  Yes, I’m sure they think these things.

We decided to give the Lamictal I’ve quit three times and can’t remember why a go again.  My best guesses are that either it didn’t work when I tried it before, or I tried it before in non-med compliant states, in which case even if it worked I wasn’t having any of it.  I can’t remember awful side effects, and usually I remember the side effects that are so terrible that if someone mentions said med I scream “NO” before they can get it out.  Lithium being my new favorite to that list.  So I guess in a month I’ll figure out why I never could stay on Lamictal.  Maybe cause it’s such a damn pain (see rest of post to come).  Upped Risperdal (ugghhh) to 4mg for time being since hypomania continues to manage to breakthrough and keeping steady on the Xanex.  Going from 75mg of Topamax to 50mg tonight then to zero after a week, since clearly it’s doing nothing but causing side effects.  To meet again in two weeks and revisit.  Full stop on Wellbutrin.  Hold off on Adderall until mood stabilizes.

Things looked good, meds were in full swing, nap was needed.  Drove home (well, was driven)…which is about 45 minutes away.  Dropped off meds.  Was told it would be an hour.  Went to eat.  Nearly fell asleep in food.  Went to get pills.  Was told Lamictal was not available  in starter kit until Monday.  This, of course, would have been better to know an hour ago, but too sedated too yell longer than about a minute over it.  Lucky them.  Went to another pharmacy.  Same thing.  Another pharmacy, same thing.  Started driving around the city.  Same thing.  Same thing.  Same thing.  Step dad drove while I called.  Same thing.  Same thing.  Same.  Freaking.  Thing.

This went on for about an hour.  I kid you not.  An hour.  I finally found ONE pharmacy that had it.  Back in the same city as my new doctor.  Forty-five minutes away.  My step dad had to get to work, so I got dropped off at the pharmacy to await the prescription and for my mom to finish with my son’s doctor’s appointment (yep, too mentally unstable to bring my son to the doctor – don’t I feel like mom of the year?).  Fifteen minutes or so after drop off, they call me over and say the doctor must have clicked wrong on the screen because it said the Lamical “dissolve” “Orange” starter kit, which does not exist.  She clicked “Lamictal starter kit” and wrote “Orange” and because that hospital is getting new systems no one there has learned how to work it yet and the doctors keep clicking wrong things.  This is what the pharmacist tells me, not what I’m guessing.  Apparently, it’s happened to more than just me.  Which makes me feel better about my doctor, but not better that now they are saying that the doctor has about thirty minutes to call them back to give them the okay to fill the regular orange starter kit or I’m stuck with nothing until Monday.  I really did not think this was gonna happen, but my doctor actually called right back as soon as she was finished with her client.  Wow.  I’m beyond impressed.  I’m sure this has a lot to do with her being new and having more free time than doctors with three pages of messages, but whatever, she came through for me and I’m beyond thrilled.

So my day was supposed to be doctor, nap, study.  Instead, it was doctor…rat race.  But I did get to see my son today and he did not run screaming.  Good on two counts.  Mostly, well, that my son isn’t running away from me, but also because it must mean my aura or whatever it is that people can sense feels less crazy.  So if he thinks I’m getting better, that’s more important of an opinion than any doctor.  While I was waiting for my husband to come pick me up, I got to sit and play with him for a while.  I missed his sweet smile and laugh so much.  If I could have just held him in my arms and hugged him and breathed in his smell the whole time I would have.  Alas, those days are long gone.  Two year olds are not so much on snuggle time unless they’re sick.  But we played, and he smiled and laughed, and for a minute, I forgot my problems.  It’s amazing, how no matter how bad things can be, a smile from him can make it all stop.  Sometimes, I like to think I can do the same for him.  When he wakes up from a bad dream or hurts himself, that a kiss and smile from mommy seem to make the tears stop and make his smile come back.  That our smiles can cause each other.  I wish all problems were as simple as a bad day at work or a hurt finger.  I know they aren’t for me, and I know they won’t always be for him either.  But today at least, my problems were small enough that he melted them away for the time I was with him.

I hope the new meds work quickly.  I do feel much better.  Still hypomanic, without question, but no longer manic.  Plans for now are for my son to stay with my mom for the weekend since my husband is working through the weekend and my mood shifts by the hour (meds make me sleepy…then hypomanic…then sleepy….then hypomanic…not so much moods as much as if my brain or the meds are winning).  I have my Big Test on Monday, which is at an hour in the morning that seems almost cruel given the amount of sedatives I’m taking.  But after Monday, I’m hoping to pick my little man up and bring him back home hopefully to a more stable mommy who can play with him when he comes home, not run into the room to take sedatives and/or clean obsessively.

Tomorrow’s plan:  FREAKING STUDY!

Side note:  I see people are viewing this, which I don’t know how…because I don’t really know how you go about finding blogs and such.  But if you’re reading, feel free to comment.  I’m really not as scary as I might come across.  Unless you have something spiteful to say, in which case, yeah, I’ll probably be a bitch…well, this mood cycle anyway.  Stay tuned.  Isn’t bipolar fun??

Edit for fun…Random thing accomplished when the hypomania beat the sedatives last night:  makeup totally reorganized, bathroom closet cleaned out and reorganized, shoes thrown away (only ever done when hypomanic, otherwise will hoard shoes until literally glued together and still cling to them) and remaining shoes reorganized.  Tried to study, but Topamax was making the lines wiggly last night and I couldn’t read.  Majored in English…couldn’t read.  Sad moment.  Accomplished today because it should have been done, like, 20 year ago, started log of meds taken, dosages, dates, side effects, and effects on mood so I can no longer have Lamictal like meds that I cannot remember why I refuse to take.  Writing is a mess, because lines are still wiggly and I can’t feel my fingers.  I kinda think Topamax sucks.  Okay, I’m really done now.  (I wish my brain was done when I said that on here…okay now I’m done.)