bipolar mom shares her insights on everyday life

Posts tagged ‘lamictal’

Where Have You Been, Young Lady?

I just realized I haven’t posted in over a month, and of course, it wasn’t just a random post, it was one about my bipolar issues.  Sorry for the alarm.  I’m good now.  now.

I tried the Lithium.  meh.  After seeing my therapist, he recommended going to the full dose of Lamictal.  He said he was conservative, though.  I thought, “Dude, no one is more conservative than I am!”  So, long story short, I ditched the Lithium and went on 400 mg of Lamictal.  Yeah!  We have a winner!  My moods have stabilized.

Thought I’d keep you all up-to-date on that stuff first.  The rest of the week I will catch you up on the rest of my life in the past month.

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I Need Charging

I went to the psychiatrist today.  Just a periodic check-in, but it came at a good time. 

The first thing I asked him was to check back into my file and see how past Mays have gone.  Last year was fine.  The year before:  very tired, sleeping a lot, weepy, losing patience quickly, etc.  I said, “Uh, yeah.  Check.  Check.  Check.  Check.” 

As I’ve mentioned, I’ve been on a roller coaster for the last few weeks.  And, I’m about ready to shout, “Stop the ride!  I wanna get off!”After expressing my concern to the doctor, and telling him that I was very anxious about increasing the dosage of my medication, he suggested adding Lithium to the batch.  Oh, sure.  What’s one more pill?  Good grief.  I got teary-eyed and told him I was a little scared.  I was reaching the maximum dose of Lamictal (a mood-stabilizing drug), and so that’s why he’s suggesting Lithium (another mood-stabilizer).  I told him, “You know, I’m 43, and I’m almost at the limit of Lamictal, and now we are adding Lithium.  I’m scared about what the future will mean.  Will I be on 56 different drugs?”  He smiled and said, “Moods are not static.  They change, and so we need to adjust when they do change, so that you can level off again.  And, hey, let’s think positive, this may work!”  Then he told me of a patient that was on all kinds of mixtures and wasn’t doing well.  Probably headed for the hospital (aka looney bin).  Not exactly what I wanted to hear, since that was what kind of scares me.  He was telling me this, though, because he wanted me to know there are lots of things to try.

So, yep, I’m going to start supplementing my current drugs with Lithium.  Yep.  Like the battery.  Right off the Periodic Table.  AND, it’s been used in thermonuclear weapons!  Neat!  It’s also the original mood-stabilizer.

When I went to fill the prescription at the pharmacy, I suddenly felt very self-conscious.  Uh-oh, now this chick knows I’m nuts.  Then, I had to smile.  I think I’d rather be picking up a prescription for Lithium than one that is used to treat an STD.

Is that Pollyanna-y enough for you?

I Wanna a New Drug

As Huey Lewis sang, “I wanna new drug.  One that won’t make me sick.”  I hear ya, Huey. 

In about 20 minutes, I am going to go see my psychiatrist and ask him for a change in medication.  As I mentioned in a previous post, this Cymbalta seems to be really messing with me if I even miss one dose.  I have no idea what the half-life of it is, but the brain shivers start 7 hours after the missed dose.  Kent, my therapist, doesn’t think it is possible that the Cymbalta is causing those, since it is such a short amount of time, but the data shows a different story.  Granted, I’ve only missed two doses in the last month, but both of those times, the brain shivers took over.

I have mentioned in other posts that I have tried just about every other anti-depressant on the market, and Cymbalta seemed to work just fine.  Now, though, I am willing to try ones that I have used previously, since I used them before I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, and therefore, prior to Lamictal.  Surely there is another drug that can boost the Lamictal for depression.

I’ll let you know.  Oh, and yes, I will be educating Dr. Rifkin about brain shivers.

 

***UPDATE***

Amazingly, Dr. Rifkin acted as though he had heard of brain shivers today.  Huh.  Got smarter in two weeks? 

He agreed to change my medication, so I’m going to start Prozac.  Seriously, I didn’t know anyone still took that!  He was going to give me samples of Cymbalta in order to help me gradually (and I stress “gradually”) detox my system.  It will take about 40 days.  All the while, though, I will be on Prozac as well.  Unfortunately, there were no samples of Cymbalta in the magic sample cabinet, so I have to return later this week to start weaning off the evil drug.

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