0

I’m a mess…oh wait, I feel okay

This mish mash of symptoms is driving me crazy. Literally I guess.

I’m dealing with so many bloody fluctuations a day I can’t cope. What one hour might seem like a good day the next seems like the utter worst.

This isn’t down to Bipolar symptoms entirely, as my Bipolar mood swings tend to last weeks or months. It’s a combination of Bipolar mood swings, psychosis, anxiety, sleep and medication side-effects.

At the moment I think my Bipolar mood is tilting towards hypomania, which means I’m antsy, bored and wanting to spend more. It also adds towards my irritability.

My psychosis leaves me on edge, but at its’ worst it can make me entirely zone out and become unresponsive or leave me too panicked and terrified to talk. I also struggle to concentrate and can get antsy because my brain’s fried and trying to do too much at once.

Anxiety obviously always makes things ten times harder, but thankfully this hasn’t been *too* much of an issue recently.

Lack of sleep leaves me in a variety of states, ranging from utterly exhausted and unable to do anything, to pissed off and hating the world, or manic. The worst thing is, because I’m so bad at sleeping, catching up on sleep takes a long time and napping is impossible.

And then we have medication side-effects. A weird out-of-touch woozy head (dissociation), often tinted with a far away rage and inability to calm myself.

Ah, joy.

All this spinning around madly inside me, fluctuating by the hour. It must be so nice to be able to react normally to things and know who you are as a person…

0

I feel like shit

I think it’s around two weeks I’ve been on Citalopram now.

Most the side effects have gone, or at least the nausea has. I still get full after just a few bites of food, I hardly ever feel hungry, and thinking about food (to plan meals) makes me feel ill.

I haven’t had an episode of panic since I started, I think the past four or five days I’ve had virtually no anxiety, and my energy levels have been good…maybe bordering on hypomanic a few times, but nothing major at all.

Psychosis is still the same, which at least means it hasn’t gotten any worse.

Today though I feel like absolute shit. I didn’t take my Citalopram last night because my chest felt tight and I had a big argument with Gog because he won’t let me cook for myself but none of the meals he prepares are in any way healthy, so I said if he wasn’t gonna let me eat healthy I wasn’t gonna take my med, in case it was doing anything to my heart.

Yesterday I was a little irritable or short tempered, but today I feel pretty damn low, and am really pissed off at the world and frustrated with everything.  I just want to sit and scream and cry, and tear my hair out.

I doubt all this was caused by missing one dose.

Fucking furious. Especially because I had been coping so well with so many things, and then the one day I lose it is the day we have a friend coming over…

0

Day 6 of Citalopram

Gog here.

I think today is day 6 of Anon taking Citalopram to try help her panic. I can’t say I’ve noticed any improvement in her mood or her anxiety, BUT we haven’t had a day of entire panic since. Hmm, coincidence?

It’s probably too early to tell still, but we can hope.

Side effects include weird sleep (struggling even more than usual to get to or remain asleep, although maybe this was happening before she started the drug and we didn’t notice properly) and nausea. Lots of nausea. And weird having no appetite, then getting instantly ravenous (which she has always done) but then filling and feeling sick after just a few bites of food.

The nausea and the sleep sucks, and what makes it suck more is she has taken Citalopram three different times prior to this, if I remember correctly, and it’s never once given her side effects before.

We have had an immensely stressful week, so I am relieved we are doing as ‘well’ as we are, in that Anon’s mood hasn’t hit crisis levels in either direction and, although she has cried a lot, she is managing better than I could have ever expected.

To cut a long story short we have had several completely unexpected pet deaths, and then the new kitten we adopted less than two weeks ago, well…he has a congenital health issue that is very serious.

We could put him through surgery, but it is immensely high risk. There’s an extremely high chance he would die, recovery would take months and months, and even if he recovered (because what he has is so rare) vets can’t be sure the operation would even help, or be sure the condition wouldn’t just return.

The condition is so rare our vet has never seen it, and none of the vets at our surgery are equipped to treat it, he would have to go to a specialist.

So our options were an operation that would cost around £3000 and could result in our kitten dying or not being at all improved, or return him to where we adopted him from and they would almost definitely have him put to sleep.

This was horrible. Devastating.

After talking with our vet and a friend who is a long-term cat owner, we have decided we will keep our kitten, and just love him and dote on him for as long as we have him.

He is the best cat in the world, and as long as he is happy, we will love him. If his symptoms worsen, or he becomes seriously ill, we will help him cross to rainbow bridge.

 

0

Colouring

Another nightmare yesterday.

This one involved me walking our oldest dog, and my partner was up ahead because we’d had an argument. We were walking from our village into town.

On the opposite side of the road an elderly brindle Staffy was walking past (this is a sweet old dog that we see fairly often). We carried on walking, me and my dog, and a few minutes later I heard the thudding of something running to us behind, and a low threatening growl.

I turned around and there was a HUGE Newfoundland running at us!!

I stood in front of my dog, assuming the Newfie was after him, but the dog ran straight past us…and launched itself at my partner 😥

I dropped my dog’s lead and told him “Run; go home!” (apparently he understood this in the dream) then, screaming hysterically, I started to run to my partner to help, but he seemed so far away. This giant dog was leaping at my partner and savaging, biting him, and he was trying desperately to get away. It was horrible.

As I was running to him a car approached, and I felt overwhelming relief that someone was here to help.

The car stopped, and then begin turning around, to go back the other way. I ran to the car flapping my arms, desperate for them to stop. A man in the back tried to get out to help, but the driver yelled at him and sped off. Meanwhile the dog was still jumping at Gog as he tried to get it away.

Then I woke up. No more sleep for me after that!

Now the terrifying thing was, yesterday we actually walked into town (minus our dog and obviously walking together), and at the exact point I had seen the brindle Staffy in my dream, we saw the brindle Staffy…IN THE EXACT SAME PLACE AS MY DREAM! I don’t know what that means, Gog says it means nothing but I’m always convinced random things mean something. I was pretty freaked out, and Gog had to work hard to keep me calm.

Tonight I didn’t have any nightmares, but I did wake up at 5am with my mouth flooded with acid, so much so that I started coughing and choking. I never had a problem with acid reflux before I took Quetiapine / Ebesque last year. I’ve been off that med since summer and still have acid reflux 😦

Has anyone else had this?!

So I am awake early again. I’ve been doing some colouring. We spent £7 that we don’t have on some posh colouring markers yesterday…they haven’t been as good as we hoped, because all the colours are far darker then their lids, but they’re still cool!

We have too many colouring pens to fit in our home-made container now 😀

pens

It was so full we couldn’t get them out; if you held it upside down none fell haha!

I switched our rodent food into a different tub, and now the pens have a new home 🙂

pens1

And my awesome dog colouring book, this is one of the quickest / easiest ones in there.

colour4

6

Pills, meds, side effects

Gog here.

The GP phoned at 8.30am, which I thought was nice because it meant he’d done it first thing. He does seem to care and try really hard to help, which feels very reassuring.

We weren’t on the phone long as the GP spent most the time being pissed off that things were still as bad as they were and that we hadn’t heard anything from the urgent referral to the psychiatrist.

When the GP checked the system he said that there was a note saying the psychiatric services had sent us a letter (I presume with an appointment date?), but as they hadn’t heard from us we had been discharged from their services.

We never got the letter.

I told the GP that this had happened before with our last psychiatrist; missed appointments because we never got the letters they sent, even after we repeatedly gave them our address. The GP said they would have the same address as he had, and when he read it back it was the right one.

This is disgusting – we have been struggling for two months, just waiting for this appointment, and they didn’t even try figure out why we didn’t get in touch!

The GP promised to chase this up, and said he can see we need help urgently and he really will try get us that. He said that he thinks it would be beneficial for Anon to see someone regularly, every few weeks, and has said that although the first appointment with the psychiatrist will have to be in a hospital, after that we could hopefully meet up at our house or on neutral territory.

Anon was freaked out immediately after the phone call. Lots of different worries about the GP and then general terror about the psychiatrist appointment. I managed to redirect her into looking up meds she is willing to try, as we lost the last list, and that calmed her down a little.

I’ve also been helping her look and it’s bloody tough. I know Anon is sensitive when it comes to potential medication side effects and finds many scary, but even I wouldn’t consider taking some of them!

Take Saphris / Asenapine for example, here are some of the potential side effects:

More common

  • Abnormal or decreased touch sensation
  • inability to move the eyes
  • increased blinking or spasms of the eyelid
  • lip smacking or puckering
  • puffing of the cheeks
  • rapid or worm-like movements of the tongue
  • sticking out of tongue
  • trembling or shaking of the hands or feet
  • trouble with breathing, speaking, or swallowing
  • twitching, twisting, uncontrolled repetitive movements of the tongue, lips, face, arms, or legs
  • uncontrolled chewing movements
  • uncontrolled twisting movements of the neck, trunk, arms, or legs
  • unusual facial expressions
  • weakness of the arms and legs

Less common

  • Blurred vision
  • dizziness
  • headache
  • nervousness
  • pounding in the ears
  • slow or fast heartbeat

Rare

  • Black, tarry stools
  • blood in the urine or stools
  • changes in patterns and rhythms of speech
  • coma
  • convulsions

 

Hmm.

Anon has found five meds she would happily try, but none of them are approved for Bipolar in the UK (could be used off-label) and both Trileptal and Topamax are only used for seizures here. Even so I am glad she has found some she is willing to try, it is up to the psychiatrist to help us find something that works now.

In case anyone’s interested, the meds Anon is willing to try are:

1) Latuda (Lurasidone)

2) Trileptal (Oxcarbazepine)

3) Invega (Paliperidone)

4) Risperdal (Risperidone)

5) Topamax (Topiramate)

1

I GOT SLEEP!

2am arrived last night and by then I’d only 5.5 hours sleep in three nights…I was feeling tearful and totally stressed; I just wanted sleep.

It was then I remembered Trazodone, the anti-depressant I was prescribed a year ago. I asked Gog if we still had any Trazodone in the house and he went hunting.

Although Trazodone is an anti-depressant, many places say it is rarely used for that purpose these days and is more commonly prescribed for sleep problems (god knows why the GP gave me it for Bipolar depression…), and I knew from past experience that this med made me sleepy.

My partner dug up some old pills and I had 50mg, which is a very small dose. Guess what?

I SLEPT FOR TEN HOURS!!

I feel so much better now, I’ve actually smiled and laughed today 🙂

Now I wouldn’t normally take random old meds in the house (they were in date though!) but…

  1. I had been on Trazodone before; it had no side effects, no affect on my low mood BUT it did force me to sleep!
  2. The GP is shut until the 29th December, and quite frankly if I had to go that long without sleep I think I’d be feeling seriously ill
  3. Today local transport is cancelled due to severe weather and flooding, so even if we did decide to go to A&E and ask them to help me sleep (and I’d really feel like I was wasting their time) it would be an absolute nightmare to get there!

So I thought fuck it. I took some old meds to help me sleep, and they did just that…and if by some miracle they do help raise my mood, that would be wonderful.

I’ll probably continue taking Trazodone at a low dose until the GP opens.

3

It’s okay, I really don’t need to sleep…

I stopped Seroquel in July 2015.

As soon as I stopped I couldn’t sleep. I’ve been on this med before and my body always comes to rely on it for sleep; this means for several weeks / a month after stopping I can’t sleep at all…for me this is pretty serious as it could easily trigger a manic episode.

Of course the professionals don’t warn you of this side effect before prescribing you Seroquel. There’s no mention of it affecting your sleep when you stop taking it, even though it can have such drastic consequences for those with Bipolar.

I struggled with sleep for months and months after stopping the Seroquel; I’d spend hours in bed going out of my mind, only grabbing a few hours fragmented sleep a night.

It started in July and continued into November. By then I was heaving daily headaches and frequently feeling nauseous, I assume from lack of sleep; I was irritable and started to really hate going up to bed every night.

There were a few weeks this month where my sleep seemed to improve, for no apparent reason, and I thought things were back to normal. I was falling asleep within half an hour of going up to bed and I was sleeping 8 hours a night. It wasn’t my usual 10 hours (I need a lot of sleep -__- ) but by god it was nice!

In the past week sleep is evading me again. It’s 9.45am and I’ve had half an hour’s sleep tonight. I’m so fucking tired.

It can’t still be the Seroquel, can it?? Why would I have a few weeks of sleeping okay and then have it all go to shit again?!

It’s not that I’ve been manic, or even faintly hypomanic…mostly since summer I’ve been in a depressive episode. Right now my mood’s in the pits so why the hell can’t I sleep…am I slowly going manic?

If I am, I’m not complaining. Anything to get out of this fucking depression.