Tag Archives: med changes

Life update, Halloween edition

Lots of stuff has been going on, mostly good things!

Social: I’ve been leaving the house and hanging out with people!  Which means I need to give a few people some nicknames. (Pause…)  Done.  I even made a page for my cast of characters.  Yesterday I hung out with Zelda for like 6 hours.  Her friend Domino joined us for lunch, and we hit it off too, and then the three of us spent like an hour in Joanns gleefully shopping for 70% off Halloween decorations.  Last Sunday I had coffee in the morning with Rose for two hours, and then spend the afternoon with Zelda.  I am such a social butterfly.

Hellooooooo nurse: I’ve been contemplating having a sex life again.  I don’t want love, but friendship with benefits would be awesome.  I’ve even been flirting with people.  Shocking.

Brain Fun: doing fairly well on most days. There was a four-day depressive streak last week during which I only left the house once.  And the week before that I struggled with occasional bursts of impulsive recklessness.  Like, “if I ride my bike down this 65mph highway, it’s not like I’m actually attempting suicide, right?  I mean, it has a bike lane…”  But mostly I’m okay.

Thursday I started decreasing my Lamictal dosage.  I’ve been on 200mg twice a day for years, and I’m fed up with the severe memory loss it causes.  I’ve forgotten almost everything I learned in college.  I don’t remember most of my childhood.  The memories are still there, I just can’t access them.  (Thanks to my psych degree and a stint volunteering in a neuropsych lab, I know a bit about memory testing and have done some.  I store memories just fine; it’s retrieval that’s the problem.)  I consider this to be the best way to lose memories, as it means I have a chance of regaining access.  If I wasn’t storing them when they happened, I’d be completely SOL.

Lamictal is what prevents my mania.  If I start getting manic I’ll just sedate myself and then resume my former dose.  Easy.  I hope this works.

Therapy: haven’t had an appointment since my last update.  I’ll have one tomorrow, though.

Cycling: still doing it, although not as much as I’d like.  That whole reckless thing has made me a little scared to ride much.  I’ll talk to my therapist about it.

I’ve resumed my daily walks, though.  Because outdoor exercise of any kind helps my mental health.

Crafting: two inches left of Nephew’s pillow.  I’ve been spinning a lot.  Nothing else, though.  I’ve been too busy reading.

Reading: alllll the books.  So many books.  Mostly paper ones.  All non-fiction.  Which reminds me, I should update my Goodreads account.

Cello: I’ve stopped lessons until January, so that I can afford school and Christmas presents.  I’m sad, but I’ll be back to it in the new year.

Follow-up from last update: I had to reschedule the dentist, because I’ve been having some trouble with nausea.  The craft fair this last Saturday was fun, although it was just me and Mom.  I got a new journal.  Now I just need to keep up with it.

Upcoming plans: Hiking November 11th!  So excite!

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…

Happy Geodon news

Turns out I am not actually addicted to the Geodon.  What’s happening is that I’m getting serotonin rebound syndrome as the medication starts wearing off.  Easy solution: smaller dose three times a day, with a goal of reducing it to a total of 40mg a day instead of 80.  It should be pretty painless, and I won’t have to start playing Medication Roulette again to find something new.  Whew!  I am so, so relieved.

Medication addiction

I just made an appointment to see my psychiatrist on Thursday.  I cannot handle being chemically dependent on Geodon anymore.  I just can’t.  Twice a day I get the shakes, chills, racing thoughts — withdrawal.  And it’s coming on earlier and earlier all the time.  I take my pills at 10am and 10pm daily, and I’m starting to shake by 9:00 twice a day now.  Not cool.  Going off it is going to be a bitch, but better than staying addicted.  It’s awful.

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.

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.

Prioritizing my time

I have come to the realization that I spend too much time on social media. I don’t need to spend an hour a day on Tumblr, for example, or two hours on my favorite knitting forum. Facebook is okay, as its the only way to keep up with old friends, and I don’t play games or anything there. And Twitter occasionally, because that’s where the Valkyrie and the Naiad do their activism. But no more getting sucked into hours of wasted time.

Yesterday I finished reading a book while spinning, and I worked on my mathematical self-education. Today I started a new book — Sutherland’s Irrationality. It was a Giftmas present from the Naiad; while I know a lot of the science in it already, it’s still enjoyable so far because the author is snarky. It’s so nice to read instead of wasting the day online.

This resolution has good timing, actually. I made it last night, and this morning the left-click button on my laptop’s trackpad died. So it’s currently limited in functionality because I can’t scroll or drag items. Lucky for me I have my iPad mini! Hopefully I can get a new inexpensive laptop next month. I do need one before school starts in March. I don’t game on PCs, so I don’t need anything fancy. Just something for Chrome and OpenOffice and a few other things.

I also need to start exercising. Even just a walk around the block every other day. I’m worried about my heart not getting what it needs because I sit around the house all the time.

My pdoc is trying me on Sephris. I’d never heard of it before today, but it looks like it might be okay. It has very low incidence of weight gain and other side effects. I might have to take Ritalin with it if it makes me too sleepy. That’s its worst side effect, according to the literature. Sephris doesn’t work as well as some of the heavy hitters like Seroquel, but Seroquel didn’t help much either. So we’ll see what happens.

Happy birthday, Isaac Newton!

Bad blogger, no cookie — ten days since my last entry.  Shame on me.  I’ve been journaling a lot, but it’s been on paper instead of online.

My family has always done Christmas stuff on Xmas Eve, and then Xmas day is for laying around in pajamas and nomming leftovers. So yesterday we ate too much and opened presents. I picked out most of the presents people gave each other as well as the ones I gave, so I really enjoyed seeing everyone open the gifts I’d chosen for them.  I was pretty much on target with all of them, assuming my family members are better at faking emotions than I think they are.  I received some cool shit.  A Pilot Metropolitan fountain pen, a sweet Golding mini spindle, some fascinating-looking books, and some little stuff, all of which I liked a lot.

I won’t list everything I chose for other people, but I had to mention that I got the Naiad a Pilot Kukuno from JetPens and I think she’s now hooked for life on fountain pens.  While I was napping earlier today she ordered herself a Metropolitan like my new one, because she likes mine so much.  (I am so happy with mine, btw.  Writes wonderfully and has instantly become a favorite.)  This weekend I’m going to ink up some of my pen collections so she can see what different styles and nibs feel like.  She’s very excited.  Makes me happy.

Random stuff:

  • Got a B+ in my class.  Must have done better on my mock therapy session than I thought!
  • The Naiad will be here permanently Jan. 6th.  Which is good, because driving to get her twice a week sucks.
  • Awesome Niece was here from Sunday to yesterday.  Goddamn I love that kid.  She’s turning into an amazing young woman.
  • I started a new medication today.  Risperdal is replacing my Invega.  Doing the titration now.  Wish me luck.
  • The pocket Moleskine I started journaling in on Nov. 11th is nearly full.  I’ll be starting a new one in a few days.  Looking forward to it.  I also treated myself to a Moleskine 2015 weekly planner, because things disappear from my iCloud calendar on a regular basis.  That’s a problem.  So the Moleskine will be a backup calendar. I need one.

I’ve been sleepy all day because of the new medication.  Bedtime soon, I think…