bipolar mom shares her insights on everyday life

Posts tagged ‘Xanax’

Writer’s Block? Not Exactly.

Authors and songwriters talk a lot about writer’s block. Well, just like my anti-anorexia (see blog of May 9, 2008…the link feature isn’t working right now, so you’ll have to go down to the right side of the page here and click on May 2008 archives), I’m having anti-writer’s block.

I have so much I want to write about that my brain is spinning. My fingers can hardly keep up with the thoughts in my head right now.

  • I want to update you on my emotional state
  • I want to tell you about a funny conversation with my psychiatrist
  • I want to relay funny/interesting stories about my latest trip to the loony bin
  • I want to relay funny/interesting stories about my time spent in out-patient therapy
  • I want to write about just regular stuff!

I don’t know what to write first! And, as I get started writing one, then five other things pop into my head.

So, I’m going to write what many of you who read this blog are apparently the most interested in.  My mental health. Maybe just getting this out will allow me to write about more topics tomorrow.

Still a roller coaster. Had a big crash on Wednesday night. Major panic attack, uncontrollable crying, guilt, you know, the usual. (Well, it is beginning to feel like the usual. (sigh))

Talked to the psychiatrist Thursday and we are still “tweaking” the meds. Increase Abilify…maybe the daily crying will stop.  Decrease the Xanax. Maybe I won’t feel like Rip Van Winkle. (I definitely don’t feel like Sleeping Beauty!)

I gotta tell you, now that I’ve been working on this for over a month (and, yes, I know it is a lifetime deal, but I hope you know what I mean), I’m getting a little frustrated AND fed up.

But, hey, Scarlett and Pollyanna, tomorrow is another day!

It’s Tough Enough Being Bipolar

Yesterday was a doozy. 

The day before was amazing.  I had so much energy.  You wouldn’t believe all I did.  It would have been a normal day for the rest of you, but for me…a big day.

Then yesterday I had a meltdown.  Not the worst, but not the smallest either.  I had to cancel having 3 friends over for stamp camp, an activity I normally look forward to.  But, after the meltdown, it seemed just too much to handle.

Today, I went to take my morning plethora of prescriptions, when I realized I didn’t have my anti-depressant.  Oh, yeah.  I’d refilled them through the mail order service, and they hadn’t arrived.  Great.  So I decide to call the toll-free number.  Ah.  Only for refills.  I check my insurance card for a different number and deal with the automated system.  Now, I’m 43, not 93.  I know that automated systems are normally a good thing.  And, this one is especially smart, because she told me “I can help you with that.”  But, she couldn’t.  And, there’s no going back.  So, I dialed again.  And again.  Finally, I just shouted, “THERE’S BEEN A BIG MISTAKE!”  to which she replied, “It sounds like you had a problem.  Let me connect you with a customer representative.”  woah.  cool.

Thankfully, Tom is sitting nearby, because things just got worse.  The customer representative was nice enough, but she just didn’t have the answers I needed to hear. 

CR:  That prescription is due to ship on Feb. 11th.

Me:  But, I’m out of medicine now.

CR:  We show that you rec’d a shipment on December 15th.  That was good for 45 days.

Me:  (crying)  But I’m OUT OF MEDICINE!

CR:  Would you like to talk to a pharmacist while I look into this?

Me:  (sniff)  Yes.

Now I hand the phone to Tom.  I am no longer able to carry on a conversation.  The conversation with the pharmacist was pointless.  She was going to counsel us on the effect the absence of the prescription would have.  As Tom said, “I think we know what that is.”

Back to the CR.

Tom:  You show that the last mailing was Dec 15?

CR:  Yes.

Tom:  Well, this is PAST 45 days.  She should have her medicine.

CR:  Oh.  Yes, I see what you mean.  Let me see what I can find out……..Oh, apparently, the insurance won’t cover it until after 65 days, which is why it is shipping on the 11th.

Can you believe this, people?  This is majorly screwed up.  We will only give you 45 days worth of medication instead of the 90 days you are supposed to get with the mail order, and even then we expect you to go without for 20 more days. 

Now those of you wonderful readers who aren’t on anti-depressants probably don’t understand the enormity of the situation.  Even when you decide to go off of an anti-depressant, you are told that under NO CIRCUMSTANCES should you just quit.  You must wean yourself off, or the withdrawal symptoms are unbelievable.  So, that’s what I’ve been going through for the past day and a half. 

Finally, Tom told the CR to cancel the order and that we would get it from our local pharmacy since we needed it ASAP.  The CR was kind and apologized for the misunderstanding.

Of course, that wouldn’t be easy either.  I no longer had a refill left, except for a lower dosage.  And, if you have ever called a doctor’s exchange, you will know “refills are not considered emergencies.”  Well, maybe not for YOU, Dr. Man, but it is for me!  I’m a donkey on the edge!  But, I called the pharmacy and after a long discussion withthe pharmacist, I ordered the smaller dose with the plan to take the equivalent, Tom took off and picked it up for me.

After a couple of Xanax, and a dose of my anti-depressant, things calmed down.  I slept for hours, and here I am. 

I am so frustrated with the insurance company (who strangely enough does a fine job with the prescriptions I fill monthly).  They endorse this mail order company as “a way to save on your prescriptions.”  On all the prescriptions I tried with the mail order company, they were all more expensive than with my local pharmacy.  Sometimes THREE times as much! 

So, beware my friends. 

And, prescription mail order companies…Remember, if I kill you, all that will happen to me is a lifetime of  free drugs and a box of crayons.

Okay, Not Quite Ready for the Tote Board Just Yet

A couple of days ago, I wrote about the downslide I was having emotionally.  I wrote before the end of the day, which pretty much ended like it started.  Major sobbing.

Yesterday was a little better, but not a lot.  Fortunately, I had already scheduled an appointment with my psychiatrist.  (I had scheduled this six weeks ago, so what a God-thing on this timing!) 

After talking to him, he, of course talked about raising my meds.  (That’s what psychiatrists do, basically.  Whereas a therapist talks you through stuff.)  But, I did basically just yak and yak about what has been going on and how cruddy I felt.  He offered to up the Lamictal (the mood stabilizer), but I told him it wasn’t the moods that were swinging, I was just going down.  So we upped the anti-depressants.  Plus, suggested taking the Xanax three times a day instead of “as needed.”

As is often the case, I felt better by the afternoon.  Probably because I know there is a plan. 

Better living through chemicals, baby!  Look for that tote board tomorrow.  Maybe Jerry Lewis could stop by….

It Was Good While It Lasted

Well, I truly haven’t had a bad day in a long time.  A long, long time.  But, today was a doozy.  I felt it coming on all weekend.  I’m guessing this is not uncommon for other bipolars.  You can see it coming, but you don’t know what to do to stop it. 

All weekend I was easily irritated.  Just felt “blah” most of the weekend.  But, yesterday, at church was a really good day.  (In general.  I did have to take a few deep breaths to calm myself down before teaching.  Oh, and I cried during the sermon.  Partially because I was so moved and partially because I was kind of sad in general, and I always feel better when Pastor Doug talks.  I really feel God’s presence, so I was able to release some of that tension that was building.)  But, the band played better than we have in a long time.  I think that was due to the large crowd we had at our service.  A lot of people brought friends.  I also won the pie baking contest!  So, really, I had every reason to be happy.  And I was.  I had a great time.

Once we got home, it went back to “blah.”  We had a crowd of boys in our basement working on a robot project, so I went up to my room to be away from the noise.

Tom and I watched the movie “The Mist” based on a Stephen King novella.  That made me a little freaked.  Which is funny, because I read the story years ago and remembered a lot of it.  Tom didn’t, so he was nice and surprised.  The movie ended differently than the book, though, so I wasn’t ahead on that front.

Then, Tom and I got into a heated discussion about the kids and the dishwasher.  It was just about the lamest thing you could argue about, but we made it a good one, I promise you!

The other thing on my mind was that this month’s Bible verse for our Bible Study group has to do with reconciling with others.  I tried over and over to do that.  It didn’t work out so well, honestly.  I would try to discuss things rationally and apologize for what I’d done, but I received a lot of blank looks.  Like, “Okay.  Whatever.  It really wasn’t a big deal or anything.”  So that didn’t really feel all that productive.

So, today is supposed to be my day off, but as soon as Tom and the kids left, I was more agitated than I had been in a very long time.  I was so wound up, I’m guessing I could generate enough power to light up Times Square, if someone was able to “unwind me” quickly.

This resulted in major crying spells.  Sobbing.  Hyperventilating-type crying.  On my knees crying.  I truly thought that maybe that was going to push all the bad, icky feelings out of my body, and I would be refreshed.  Nope.  I was instant messaging my mom at the time who was trying to help.  She suggested taking a Xanax.  Once I got calm enough to be able to take a drink, I took my meds and waited for them to take effect.  I sat and watched my candles flicker and tried to focus on them, taking deep breaths.  A little more crying, but not quite so hard.

I got in the car and headed to my folks’ house.  I felt a little guilty about going, but I promised I would if I sat crying for a long time.  Any of you who live close to your parents may have this issue as well, but I was thinking, “You know, these two raised me for 18+ years, and now that they are retired and able to enjoy life, here comes this whack-job who needs their support.  Not exactly what they were planning to do on such a beautiful day.” I know they love me, are concerned about me, and want to help, but still.  I would like to be able to handle this junk without having to mess their day/life up.

But, of course I went anyway.  Instant love.  Loving touch.  Was it really that easy?  You know, it really was.  I still did a lot of deep sighing, and didn’t exactly start doing backflips or cartwheels, but I did feel a lot better.  A LOT.  I had lunch with them, and we talked about things other than my bad day.  Probably because I was so much calmer.  If you’ve got a good thing going, don’t mess with it, right?

So, now it is 4:20.  I feel 85% better than I did this morning.  Almost 100%, but I am so tired, plus I can’t decide if I should go to church tomorrow to teach the preschoolers some songs.  What if I wake up again and feel like crap?  What if I worry about this all night?  I really should just call someone and tell them, “You know, I had a tough day today, and I have no idea what tomorrow will bring, so I think I should probably tell you that I won’t be there.”  The world will not come to an end.  I was told they would be thrilled to have me once a quarter, so my telling them I would come once a month was a bonus in their eyes.

In closing, let me say that in As Good As It Gets when Jack Nicholson says to the other patients in the psychiatrists office, “Do you ever think, ‘What if this is as good as it gets?'” I used to wonder that same thing.  I now know it does get better, but now I am like a manufacturing plant that has one of those tote boards that say, “27 accident-free days!” except mine will say, “27 breakdown-free days!” and now I’m starting back at 1 tomorrow.

Worst Mom EVER!

By now you’ve heard on all internet chat rooms, that I am the worst mom ever.  This, of course, is posted by my children.

Last night, we received about 9 inches of snow.  “Yeah!  No school!” quickly turned into “What do you mean I can’t go outside?”  This question was demanded by my daughter who stayed home from school yesterday with a nasty cough, runny nose, and generally miserable.  No fever, but yesterday I was the greatest mom ever because I let her stay home.  And I stand by that decision.  She was in no condition to be going to school and infecting others.  Today, however, I’m the worst mom ever.  Even though she agrees that if there was school today, she wouldn’t be well enough to attend.

Now for the son.  He is mad because I made everyone in the house take their temperatures.  My hubby came home from Chicago last night and was miserable with a stuffy nose, headache, etc.  I sound like Lauren Bacall or Suzanne Pleshette, take your pick.  So we all took our temps and the son’s was the highest of anyone (only 98.9), yet felt better than anyone after a week or so of a sore throat and cough (not bad enough to stay home from school.)   I agreed that I would have sent him to school, so I told him he could play outside in the snow for 30 minutes.  Then, if his cough stayed away, I would let him go for an hour this afternoon when it was a bit warmer.  As you can imagine, this put me on the top of the ladder of worst moms ever.  (Now get this, his best friend called to see if he could play outside.  When my son told him that he had a temp of 98.9, the mom of the best friend said, “Let’s see if his temperature gets any better before you play with him.”  But, that, of course, just makes me even worse of a mom.)

Add to this that the hubby disagrees with me about our son.  As I explained to him and my son, I am the one who will have to take care of the sick boy and hear all his complaints, if he gets sick.

Let’s recall here, that we have 8-9 inches of snow.  It’s not going anywhere soon.

My daughter just came in and asked, “Pretty please can I go outside?”  When I said no and if she asked again, I’d send her to her room, she countered, “I’ll clean up my room!”  Geezo!  I then went into the explanation of “You have a cold (as she sniffed a big chunk of goo) and if you go outside then it could settle in your chest, then you get pneumonia, and then you go to the hospital.  Now DON’T ASK ME AGAIN!”  She is now crying in her room.

Is it time for another Xanax?

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