If You’re Messed Up and You Know It, Clap Your Hands

Today, I am struggling with what to write. I know others feel the same some days, or perhaps you are one of those people who has something interesting in mind every day. Let’s see……what can I write about that is interesting?

How about bipolar II + medication+ physical maladies+ surgery?

For months now, I have not been able to sleep as I normally would sleep. Three a.m. seems to be my bewitching hour because that is when I wake consistently night after night. A few months ago, I experienced a severe depression. Normally I handle quite a bit of stress and stay stable, but lately there has just been too much. I was sleeping too much then and having those fleeting thoughts of self-destruction so I emailed my psychiatric FNP and made an appointment to go in and talk with him about this. He agreed this was something that would need more treatment than my normal medications and prescribed Mirapex-I cannot take regular antidepressants because it causes anxiety attacks and hypomania.

Mirapex is a medication used for Parkinson’s disease and restless leg syndrome, but its off label use is for bipolar depression. I am very sensitive to medications. I had a difficult time when I was first diagnosed with bipolar II disorder and started Lamictal. So, I began Mirapex in addition to my Lamictal. I started not sleeping. The depression remained but sleep escaped me. I tried going down on the dosage and still did not sleep. So, in to see my psychiatric FNP again.

Next up, Vryalar. Although it is advertised for bipolar I mania, at lower dosages, it can be used for depression. The advantage to using this medication is the speed it begins to work. So, I started off on a low dosage and by the time I reached the normal dosage for depression, I was irritable and screamed at my husband one day during a conversation we were having. I, again, was not sleeping.

So, I went down on the dosage. Depression back, still not sleeping, and irritable. I gained five pounds in three weeks and my cholesterol had become high-all side effects of Vryalar.

Next up, increasing the Lamictal I already am taking. There evidently is not a lot of data to show this is effective, but there is some so my psychiatric FNP agreed to let me try it. Now the depression is better, but I am still not sleeping well.

Meantime, I have hurt my back painting furniture. After one and a half weeks, it is still painful. I cannot sit still, so I am probably not a friend to my poor back, but I am better than I usually am about trying to slow down and give my back time to recover.

I am having surgery in one and a half weeks to correct a complication of the lung surgeryI had for cancer in October. That is another reason I would like to be sure the depression is under control and that my back is better. I am relieved someone finally found this strange hernia after six months of telling doctor after doctor, I have this big lump on my side that is not supposed to be there. Each one-including a surgeon twice-said it was a complication of the lung surgery that could not be fixed, and I would just have to live with it. I swear that is what was said by several doctors. To say the rhetoric was depressing would be an understatement.

So, I gained 20 lbs. and lost the will to live. That may be a little bit of an overstatement, but not much. To think I would never be able to wear normal clothing again, nothing fitted, none of my favorite clothes….it was hard. And, this was only one of the problems I developed after the surgery, but at least those were resolved within the first two months after the surgery.  It has been a very rough six months. The surgery to remove part of my lung was nothing compared to all of these after effects.

Finally, my medical doctor kept on digging until she found a radiologist who re-read a CT scan done three months before and he saw this stupid hernia. Then the surgeon I chose, instead of the original surgeon who all but told me I was full of shit for continuing to harp on this lump, also saw the hernia and can fix it. Yeah!

So, here I am in limbo for another week and a half. At least the depression is under control and I haven’t had to bite my tongue to keep from screaming at someone. I had a friend write a blog on saying things when in the midst of a hypomanic or mixed episode that they wished they had not. I thought, that is probably me. I know I got pretty pissed at some Facebook posts during this time and let loose with my posts. Oh well, that is that. Cannot unread them so I will just go onward and do no more harm. (Until I break bad again.)

People in general do not want to know what is going on with you. If you act okay and they have mental health issues, then they must be okay also. If you are having issues, and they listen to you talk about them, they might have to admit they are having some of their own. It is sad someone is in such denial about their own psychological state that listening to someone else talk about a hard time they are experiencing is too much to handle. That should be when you know you are not getting adequate treatment for your own issues.  

A few of my friends can handle my imperfect psyche, but not many. Mental health issues are fine for artists, actors, and celebrities, the general populous thinks, but not for real, everyday people. To them, that is scary. I am glad I am one of those mental health issues people. I don’t have to look around everywhere I go and wonder who is going to go bananas at any time. What a laugh. Chances are they are friends with, work with, or have family with a mental health diagnosis and they do not even know it. Gotta love those people.

Well, I am worded out for today. Have a good night and get some sleep. Send me some while you are at it, please.

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