Finally remembered to make a call about the venlafaxine. Because it is my least favorite medication (after suffering withdrawal symptoms when I was off of it for 3 days).
Of course my psychiatrist is on vacation for the week, but his nurse will call me back. If I am super lucky she will have the power to say that I can cut back on my venlafaxine before I go see the psychiatrist at the end of January.
When I called before and talked to someone at the main scheduling number, they saw that I was due for a psychiatry visit soon and he said, "Oh, can you just wait until then and talk to your doctor about it?" and I said that would be fine.
But later it occurred to me that I would much rather begin tapering off before I go see him so that I can let him know how things are going on the lower dose.
It is much more difficult for me to be a self-advocate in the realm of mental health. I was a fantastic self-advocate as an infertility patient. I also knew EVERYTHING. But in many ways the infertility crap was much more straightforward.
I can't believe that I am saying that now. At the time, the infertility crap felt horribly complicated. But we have a pretty sophisticated understanding of what it takes to fertilize an egg. And pregnancy is a well-understood (if incredibly awesome) condition.
It's really not so with bipolar. Or Depression. Added to that is the fact that when you are need the most help, you are least able to speak up for yourself. And you have no idea what you might need. And it is just not straightforward. It's fuzzy. I hate fuzzy.
So I get to get some brownie points-- which I may exchange for actual brownies-- for contacting the psychiatrist's office today and whatnot.
Grateful Crap: not being an infertility patient. Because that requires patience. Ha.
called about meds
met with a friend
Still no cord for camera
Right. So I have two things to say and I can remember neither of them. Let's see... Okay, I type wicked fast. No really. Wicked. Fast. Although properly I should say that I word process very fast. Give me a typewriter and I totally suck. Because it's different. Like the difference between a piano and an electric keyboard. They look the same, but I can play piano and I absolutely cannot play keyboard. Not just that I don't want to or that I'm snobby about it. I just am not good at it. At all.
But that is likely not what I was going to say.
Oh yeah, here is one of them.
Backstory for this blog and why it started and what its name was and why the name changed.
Once upon a time in May 2013 I missed work because I could not stop crying. Wasn't sad about anything in particular. Just crying. Having been undertreated for my chronic Depression (which I had been suffering with since 1989 give or take) I decided that enough was enough...
I was going to Kick Depression's Ass.
In order to accomplish this, I started a blog, began seeing a behavioral psychiatric nurse to manage my antidepressants and in general set about finding out what I needed to do to get mentally healthy instead of just living with chronic Mild Depression with occasional dips into Major Depression.
The blog was originally named "Convexity" because that is the opposite of "Depression." And I wasn't trying to get happy. I was trying to get un-Depressed. Which is different.
Fast forward to August 2014. I get a different diagnosis. A DIFFERENT DIAGNOSIS? Meaning that Major Depression was not the problem. Depression was involved, but I was actually dealing with Bipolar Disorder.
Having spent a long time knowing that I was Depressed made it difficult to wrap my brain around the new label for what was going on in my brain (even though that's what had been going on before and only the label changed... and I started taking the appropriate medication.)
Shortly after the diagnosis I decided that I needed to change the name of my blog because I am no longer aiming for the opposite of Depression. In fact seeking opposite ends of things is kinda the problem.
So: Life Between the Poles
I try to post daily, but have decided not to be dogmatic about this (kind of uncharacteristic of me).
I try to remember to write one thing that I am grateful for.
I try to include my "Equatorial Actions" - which are the things that help me stay balanced and in the middle instead of toppling toward one polar extreme or the other.
Just wanted to get people caught up. Now, if I had something else to write I don't know what it was and I am not gonna do it right now.
Grateful Crap: 12yo "I'm not the kind of person who gets upset because they don't get enough presents."
took meds (150mg venlafaxine, 450mg bupropion, 100mg lamotrigine)
wearing my yellow glasses at night
-did not tap dance-
time with family
drank enough water
ooh... met and did stuff with Unfamiliar People in a Social Setting
Umm... oh yeah. I started taking the fish oil, magnesium, allergy meds and vitamins again
P.S. Cannot find any of the 3 cords I have that connect my cameras to my computer. So no new pictures. Kinda sad. Gotta work on that.
The children did some art projects. My favorite involved making little creatures out of clay. "Look! We made slugs!" Thrilling. Apparently they are very charming creatures who are cute and friendly. Who knew.
The doorknob to my bedroom broke. Handle wouldn't turn. Latch wouldn't unlatch. We called for the children to rescue us. "We can't get out of the bedroom. Can you come open the door."
4yo (rattles doorknob): nope.
12yo (rattles doorknob): It appears to be locked.
Luckily I had forgotten to put away the toolbox, so I had access to a screwdriver and was able to break us out.
4yo singing a version of "over the river and through the woods" but it goes something like this:
over the desert and all through Africa,
to gramma c and gramma j's house
until they die
and then the new gramma cheri and gramma jo
have their new life
upon their new ship,
upon their new houses...
Oh, yes indeed. yes indeed. yes indeed.
"Look at the beautiful white snow everywhere! It is so beautiful! I would be willing to kill a turkey when I am old enough."
"When I am old enough. I would be willing to kill a turkey. For our dinner."
Today I think I need to dismantle the home-made christmas tree. It's looking a little dry. Not so dry as a real tree gets even though it hasn't had any water. I wonder why that is.
I've been having sinus headaches. Hope to avoid sinus infection. Judicious use of neti-pot, warm packs on my face, humidifier... and more sleep than I probably need. Must get back to schedule of no naps during the day.
Grateful Crap: 4yo extemporaneous opera day and night
took meds every day (150mg venlafaxine, 450 mg bupropion, 100mg lamotrigine)
nothing much else
Thank you for finally getting off your a** and getting a proper diagnosis and appropriate treatment for your bipolar disorder. We could not be more pleased about the situation after such a long period of neglect and maltreatment.
It was exhausting trying to function with the incorrect medication. And your inattention to the importance of regular sleep was beyond infuriating. Switching between ten hours of sleep one night and three hours of sleep the next is not healthy for anyone.
We are still shocked that it took you more than twenty years to get yourself properly diagnosed (mostly by avoiding anyone who would be able to make a diagnosis). You are very lucky that things did not blow up in your face. And that you had a good support system. And health insurance.
Instead of berating you for your past inaction, we would all like to congratulate you on the steps that you have taken in the last year.
Well, we don't have much more to say right now. We hope all the best for you in the year ahead. Take care, sleep well, and keep dancing.
Quaker, teacher, parent,