Monthly Archives: March 2015

Fanapt verdict: hell no!

My last blog post was 10 days ago.  There’s a reason.  I was so depressed that I didn’t even pick up my laptop for a week.  Considering that half my life involves my computer in some way, this was fucking awful.  I literally spent hours staring at the floor, doing nothing, locked in my own head and unable to come out.  I haven’t been that bad in years.

The good news, I guess, is that it was a gray fog of depression and not the active despair of my normal kind.  I didn’t want to kill myself.  I wasn’t sad or hurting.  I was just numb and disconnected from reality.  It sucked, but at least I wasn’t experiencing the usual emotional turmoil.

Friday I saw my pdoc and started titrating to Geodon.  Yesterday I started feeling like a normal person again.  It’s been really nice.  The fog is lifted and I’m starting to engage with the world again.  So fuck Fanapt.  Let’s all hope the Geodon works.

Fanapt, day five

Biggest side effect: occasional confusion.  Seems to be related to drops in blood sugar.  I get hungry and I get brain fog.  Fanapt can cause hypoglycemia, and I’m pretty sure that’s what’s going on.  Ugh.  I have to start keeping a protein bar in my messenger bag.  I had to drive a short distance to a restaurant this afternoon and I ran over a curb.  No more driving when hungry!

Symptoms of illness: none, really.  No hallucinations or paranoia.  Fingers crossed that it stays this way.

Sleep: Wednesday night I crashed about 9:30, which meant I was awake for around 36 hours in total.  I slept until 4am, got up, stayed up all day, and went to bed about 3am Thursday night.  So I’m definitely sleeping more normally than days 1-2.

Appetite: Still not really wanting junk food.  If I’m hungry I’ll eat whatever’s handy, which can be bad, but like breakfast was a protein shake, lunch was grilled salmon and broccoli, and dinner was.. well, I wasn’t really hungry so I just ate some of the peas MIL had fixed as a side dish, and one peanut butter cookie.  Right now I’m snacking on cottage cheese and a granola bar.  No desire to randomly shovel junk food in my face.  Woo!

Sex drive: HELLOOOOOOOOOOOOO NURSE!

Other side effects: still some GI fun, but nothing terrible.

The confusion is worrisome, but except for that things are MUCH better.  Whew.

 

Fanapt, after two doses

Well, except for a one-hour nap about 1pm I haven’t slept in 32 hours.  I am fairly functional; not clear-headed enough to go driving on the interstate or anything, but I’ve gotten a shitload of items crossed off on my to-do list.  I’m hoping I sleep tonight.  I may have to take a couple of Klonopin to make that happen.  I have to be up at 6am so I’ll probably take the meds about 9:30 and hope for an early night.

Mood: I feel fairly normal, and no one seems to be thinking I’m acting oddly so we’ll call that a win.

Hallucinations: Little minor things, like spiders that disappear when I blink.  (And they really are spiders, not floaters.  I know the difference, and spiders have always been a common hallucination for me.)  But nothing intense, which is surprising given how long I’ve been awake.

Paranoia, disorganized thinking, delusions: none that I’m aware of.

Concentration: a bit fuzzy.  I wouldn’t want to operate heavy machinery or sharp knives right now.  I am also feeling the passage of time rather oddly.  I seem to have slowed down compared to my usual self.  Like, this would normally be a 10-minute post to write but it’s taking me half an hour.

Appetite: I haven’t wanted junk food today.  Just protein.  Could be related to lack of sleep, though.  I always eat strange with no sleep.  Although I’d be delighted if I continue to not want junk food.  That would be amazing.

Sex drive: Present but not annoyingly so.

Other side effects: a little GI upset.  Nothing bad.

I’m going to go eat something.  Maybe some boiled eggs.  Like I said, I’m craving protein.

 

Filofax printables: to-do lists

I did these planner inserts in the style of Ray Blake’s, over at My Life All in One Place. He’s made some really helpful diary inserts and forms, but I wanted my own format for task pages.  I am not a graphic designer, but I can find my way around OpenOffice fairly well.  For now I stuck with grayscale, but I may make versions with a bit of color later down the road.

Each of the following PDFs contain four identical pages.  I wanted to be able to print them in booklet mode (double-sided) for my A5 Filofax.  The PDF pages are letter-sized (US measurement) and will work fine in a full-size planner, but they were designed to be printed two to a page.  They’ll also work in Dayrunners, Day-Timers, junior Circa or Arc notebooks, etc.

My first page was a daily task list.  I only have a couple of appointments per day, so I put those at the top.  Everything else is by context.  Everyone’s needs are different, which is why I’m also including the MS Word file so people can make the page their own.

Daily Tasks List for Filofax

Here’s the PDF file, and the Word document.

Then I made a generic next actions/to-do list form with checkboxes.

Undated Next Actions Form for Filofax

PDF file | Word document

Here’s the same list with a Priority column added.

Undated Task List with Priority for Filofax

PDF file | Word document

And finally I wanted to make a Next Actions Quadrant form, like the one included in the DIYPlanner way back when.  It’s the same design as the above, though.

Next Actions Quadrant for Filofax

PDF file | Word document

I hope at least a few people get some use out of these.  Let me know if you liked them, or if they were helpful!

Med change: Fanapt

I had never heard of Fanapt before my pdoc mentioned it this last Friday.  I’m having a terrible time not calling it Fapfap.  It’s another atypical antipsychotic.  So exciting.  I took my first dose last night.  The only side effect so far is GI-related, but we’ll have to see what happens.  Last night I was laying in bed and I started hearing what Westerners think of as traditional Middle Eastern music, and when I asked the girls if it was an iPhone game or something they told me there wasn’t actually any music playing.  Why is it that when I hallucinate music it’s almost always like the stuff I used to belly dance to when I was a teenager?  Which is great music, but why that and not Vivaldi or Philip Glass or some other instrumental styles?  What I hear is really complex, too, at least two instruments and percussion.  Bizarre.

Speaking of hallucinations, I had a weird visual one Friday night.  It was like… Have you ever used the airbrush tool in Photoshop or GIMP?  You drag the mouse and the look of the page changes.  It was like reality was doing that, like columns of warped glass were invisibly falling and changing the way I saw the world in long vertical lines.  I don’t know if I’m explaining it very well.  It’s hard to be clear about something so surreal.  It was kinda neat.  I knew it wasn’t real, but it was interesting to watch and experience.

My symptoms about paper planners have gotten worse.  (This is all before the new medicine, btw.)  I became convinced that if I got myself a Filofax then everything in my head would get better.  It’s magical thinking, and I was so caught up in it that the Valkyrie started to cry, she was so worried about me.  I was in really, really bad shape yesterday.  Like, laughing so hard I lost control of my bladder and then crying so hard I couldn’t speak.  Today I’m better.  Probably not medication related, but I don’t feel like snuggling my Filofax, which is a good sign.  I’m still very sensitive to sounds and distractions, but I’m not having any magical thinking that I know of.  So yay for that.

Being crazy fucking sucks.

First session of my final class!

I went to the first meeting of my class tonight. which is huge, because I was panicking at the thought of an in-person class. Absolutely fucking terrified. I could take it online, but I usually do better on classes when I do them in person. So I sucked it up and made myself go.

It was… not bad. and the cool girl who was in my last in-person class was there. This is her last class for her degree, too. (It’s the capstone class, one everyone has to take for a psych degree at my school.) We’ve decided to do our group project together, because neither of us want to do a group project. She’s thinking about waiting on grad school because she’s also a musician and she wants to go tour with her band for a year or two before settling down for her master’s. Oh, and she’s a lesbian and knows I’m trans. So yay!

This class is kind of interesting in that it’s so unbelievably basic. It’s like a refresher for Psych 101 that we all took as freshmen. The professor even said, “this is an easy class except for the paper you have to do.” Which we have all semester to work on. I already know what I want to do it on, if Cool Girl likes my topic. (Yes, we have to write a paper together. And here I previously liked this professor!) Tonight’s class was on “philosophers who inspired psychology” (mostly ancient Greeks with some Thomas Aquinas and Rene Descartes thrown in) and it was practically high-school level. I kept myself entertained by forcing myself not to jump into the lecture and tell the professor all the stuff I know that she was leaving out. I did speak up when she didn’t know what the four humors were called, though. Her first language is Spanish and she didn’t know what word to use in English, so I wasn’t correcting her, just being helpful. I hope.

After class the girl sitting across from me was all, “can I work with you?” and, well, earlier when we went around and introduced ourselves she didn’t seem to be the brightest bulb in the bunch. Her next sentence was, “and if you want to work alone, can you maybe give me an idea for my paper? Because I can’t think of one.” Sigh. I told her I would think about it, but later I asked Cool Girl instead, for she is intelligent and actually takes notes in class (unlike half the class, WTF). Also she won’t make me do all the work, which is good.  We swapped phone numbers and I’ll text her tomorrow.

There was also this guy.  He’s a fucking moron.  He was in my last in-person class too.  How he hasn’t failed out is beyond me.  The class started at 5:30.  He came crashing in at 6:30.  The prof, who was in the middle of the lecture, looked at him with mild incredulity and asked him if he was supposed to be in the class.  He gave her a big idiotic grin and said, “Yep!  I’m gonna graduate!”  I think everyone in the room wanted to slap him upside the head.  I know I wanted to, and the prof looked tempted herself.  This is the same guy who spent 15 minutes last year asking that class’ professor how to log into the student portal.  She would tell him, and he would get confused by “click on this link and enter your student ID number” and she’d explain it to him again, and finally she told him she couldn’t help him if he didn’t understand and he should call the helpdesk.  Seriously, 90% of our classes have an online component or else are completely online.  I really don’t understand why he hasn’t failed out yet.  Is it ableist to be pissed at someone for being a dumbass?  At least he didn’t talk during the lecture.  If he had I was ready to tell him to shut it.

So yeah, I went, and I’m proud of myself for not letting anxiety win today.  I can has cookie?