Tag Archives: med change symptoms

Energy is back!

Since my last post, I went back up on my Trintellix.  (Which used to be called Brintellix, but it sounded too much like some other drug — Brillenta, I think? — so they recently changed it.)  I am happy to report more energy and more Getting Shit Done.  In the last two days, anyway.  It’s a start.

I have a skirt.  It’s ankle-length and black.  My sister got it for me yesterday at Target, as I’ve had the weird urge to wear one lately.  I put it on with a black T-shirt and my purple Docs, and I didn’t feel even slightly feminine.  Gender-bendy as fuck, instead, which is exactly what I wanted.  I look transmasculine/androgynous even with the skirt on.  It’s lovely.  It really brings home my personal definition of genderqueer: my brain leans more towards female even though I feel gender dysphoria about my body and want it to be a cis male’s.  “Gender dysphoria” is a misnomer, really.  My gender is fine.  I am very happy with it.  It’s my body that’s wrong.  So shouldn’t it be called “sex dysphoria” instead?  At any rate, I want to paint my fingernails and toenails black sometime soon.  And buy some boxer briefs to wear under the skirt.  Thigh chafing hurts.

Hurricane Hermine: why didn’t they call it Hermione?  It would have been so much cooler that way.  Anyway, we lost power several times during the night, but it always came back on within ten minutes or so.  My mom’s room is in the back of the apartment, and mine at the front; our rooms are the same size, as are our windows, but the placement of the rooms meant she couldn’t hear anything but rain.  I, on the other hand, spent all night listening to howling winds try to break my window.  It wasn’t scary, just annoying because I was trying to sleep.  If it had been daytime I would have enjoyed the sounds, but by two in the morning I was ready to get out my isolation headphones.  (I wasn’t the only one listening to the storm.  Several of my local friends were also awake and posting on Facebook at that hour.)  We weren’t damaged, our cars weren’t damaged (despite being under a giant tree), and we didn’t even lose internet for very long.  A lot of locals got it worse; when I went to get my hair cut Saturday, there were women there talking about not having their power back until that morning.

And now, for some goth shopping: Joanns has these cool 16″ vulture skeletons and I want one so bad.  Or the owl ones, the owl ones are badass, but more expensive.  I don’t want them enough to pay $30-40 for one, but damn they’re cool.

Boneyard Vulture at Joanns

Oh fuck, just looked at their site, to get a pic to share, and their Halloween stuff is 40% off.  It can go next to the head-on-a-silver-platter, which still resides on my bedroom dresser.  That really was a good idea, I think.  Which reminds me, I still need wall art for my room.  I should probably get that instead of the vulture, but I can buy art posters all year round.  Ooh, they have a small tombstone for $4.  My dresser is going to look awesome.  My wallet always hates me in the fall, because ALL THE HALLOWEEN STUFF!!!

One other little DIY project I want to do is get a bendy black Halloween spider and make it a tiny bit of knitting-in-progress and bend the front legs so it looks like the spider’s knitting.  I’ll give it teeny needles and everything.  Maybe stick it on a black wreath for the front door.  Spiders spin, and mine will knit as well.  Maybe the knitting will be from that fake cobweb stuff?  Oooooh.

Oh oh oh — I can buy fake black roses this time of year, too.  Neeeeeed.  Okay, shutting up about Halloween goodies now.  But when Eris (my kleptomaniacal black kitty) starts walking around the house with a black rose in his teeth, I will totally be taking photos.  (And, if they’re any good, using them as profile pictures in my online haunts.)

Knitting: the green and black shirt continues, in off moments.  My main project is place mats for the dining table.  They are bright yellow, in a basic basketweave pattern.  When Mom and I moved into this apartment, most of her decorating stuff was blue and yellow so we stuck with it.  Happily, the paintings on the walls look like Tim Burton took drugs (happy ones) and painted them.  So at least a little of the living room is to my taste.

Spinning, weaving, and sewing: haven’t done any of it since the last post.

Cello: not since Monday or so.  As I said, I’ve only been feeling better for two days.  Mom just left for a party, though, so I’ll play while she’s gone.  I feel weird about playing with her here, because I feel like it has to be annoying to hear me play the same thing over and over.  Especially when it’s the same three or four notes over and over…

Okay, enough babbling.  I think I need to go buy a vulture skeleton now…

Cello, crafting, and other updates

When I made my last post (August 8th, ouch) I was doing well and had some energy and… I hate medication changes.  My Trintellix dosage has been titrated to half of what it was, and I think maybe I need to go back up.

Today (technically yesterday, it’s 1:30am right now) I had my first cello lesson in a few weeks.  I hadn’t played since my last lesson.  Bad Switch, no cookie.  But it was good.  Toward the end we were doing a duet of the Jenny Lind Polka, and my conscious mind was just gone.  It was an odd feeling.  I had been lightheaded, and I just… see note, play note, no thinking.  It’s not like I was lost in the music, but rather the opposite; like autopilot.

Overall I’ve lost ground, and have to have tape for my fourth finger position again.  On the positive side, it helps me get into second position, although much to my amusement I did better at shifting once I stopped looking at my fingers.  Yay for having a good ear.  She decided that since pretty much every piece I’ve played in the Suzuki books lately has been bouncy, I get to do something more legato.  So I’m on the chorus from Handel’s “Judas Maccabaeus.”  I think I’m going to throw in some vibrato.  I haven’t practiced that in a while.

Oh, and last lesson we worked on the Peter Murphy song.  I need to finish it, still.

Crafting: I had started knitting an afghan for someone but changed my mind three balls in.  So I sent the yarn back and have been focusing on the green and black shirt.  It’s going to take a while: size six needles and a 54″ chest.  Yeah, it’s a long-haul kind of project.  Also doing some spinning.  Haven’t used the sewing machine in a couple of weeks.  Too much effort, given my emotional exhaustion.  Knitting is as easy as picking up needles. I keep my spinning wheel next to my chair in the living room, and it requires no other tools.  For sewing I have to clear the place settings off the dining table, get all the sewing gear out, make the thing(s) I want to make, pack all of it back up, and reset the table.  I understand now why people have “sewing rooms.”  I have three projects I want to do, two little ones (zippered change purses) and a big one (tote bag for my mom), and I think I can get all of it done fairly quickly if I can find the energy for setup and breakdown.  But when I spend a week trying (and failing) to get up the spoons to go to the grocery store, sewing is just too much.

Other stuff:

I’ve been disappearing into daydreams involuntarily, even more than usual.  Yesterday it was so intrusive that it was exhausting and I had to sleep just to shut my brain up for a while.  Ugh.  Hopefully I will improve soon.  I’m tired of not being able to focus on anything else.

I had signed up for a college class, like I said I would, but because of money issues I dropped it.  I’ll start putting extra in my savings account so I can try again in spring.

I’ve done the research I need for my novel, but see above re: spoons.

Okay, bedtime…

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!


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.


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.

Splitting pills

Saphris, my anti-psychotic, makes me sleepy.  So I was taking it at night.  Last week I was having positive symptoms (aka hallucinations and delusions, although not super intense ones, and I was aware of what was going on)  so Thursday I asked my doctor if I could split the dose, 5mg twice a day instead of 10mg at night.  She said sure, so I did.  But it made me sleepy in the mornings, so Sunday I skipped the morning dose with the intention of taking 10mg at night.

In retrospect, this was a really dumb idea.

I was freaking out, getting obsessive about my planner and pens in unhealthy ways (as I’m prone to do when I have symptoms), and having hallucinations.  So this morning I’m back to twice a day, with the addition of a Ritalin in the mornings to keep me from falling asleep.  I hate that I have to use a secondary medication to stop the side effects of a primary medication.

Mental illness sucks.

State of the Alex

It’s been a few days since I posted an update about where my head’s at.  So here we are.  I was doing pretty well for a good stretch of time, but then yesterday I fucked it up by forgetting my meds.  Stupid.  I’m back to normal now, but there was a rough period.  In addition, my BFF is upset with me for reasons I don’t know, so I’ve spent rather a lot of time crying my eyes out wondering what I did wrong.  My appetite has been decreased, the same as it’s been since I started the Saphris, but last night and this afternoon there was quite a bit of chocolate because chocolate helps with emotional turmoil.  At least I’m not shoveling junk food in my face hole the way I was on the last two anti-psychotics.  No weight loss yet, but I expect to see some in the next couple of weeks.  Well, assuming my metabolism hasn’t slowed to a crawl.  Guess I’ll have to wait and see.  (Pun intended!)

Emotional upsets aside, my baseline state has been fairly calm, happy, and productive.  Hell, today I felt like shit from missing my meds, and I still knocked a bunch of tasks off my to-do list and planned my next weaving project.  I’m pleased about that.

Okay, time to do a little spinning.  But maybe dinner first…

Saphris and appetite

When I was on Invega and Risperdal, I had a food problem.  On Invega I was always hungry and ate a lot.  On Risperdal I couldn’t pass a plate of sweets without eating all of them like some hyperactive Cookie Monster.  OM NOM NOM TWO DOZEN COOKIES AT ONCE NOM.

This week I’ve had a normal appetite.  Like, I skipped dessert at dinnertime because I didn’t feel like having any.  And all night there have been freshly baked cookies on the kitchen counter and I haven’t even been tempted.
The only thing I have to watch for is that, if I don’t go to bed immediately after taking the Saphris, I will go on a short, half-asleep binge of whatever munchies are at hand.  And that’s pretty easy to avoid.  Just go to bed.

I may actually get to lose some weight on this medication.  Fuck yeah.  *fingers crossed*

Saphris: yay (so far)

Random feels:

  • No napping or urge to nap.  Actually sleeping less but feeling better, no lethargy.
  • Haven’t needed any Klonopin.
  • Have calmly dealt with everything thrown at me the last few days.
  • Have knocked a bunch of shit off my to-do list.

Possibly T-related feels, possibly more Saphris:

  • Feeling sort of “in my body,” like I’m settling into it or something. It’s pleasant, if odd.
  • Mild muscle soreness for no apparent reason.

It’s weird that I’ve been calm, alert, and productive.  Have I been secretly replaced by a pod person?