Daily Archives: March 17, 2017

As Luck Wouldn’t Have It!

Daily Prompt – Luck First of all, Happy St. Patrick’s Day!   I am not one who believes in luck – I go by faith. I find it is a much better choice because Lady Luck can be fickle but … Continue reading

Too Damned Hot Already!

95°F=35°C= too damned hot for the month of March, even in Southern Arizona.  But wait, “there’s no such thing as climate change.”  That must mean that it’s now normal to have temperatures >15 degrees above normal, in a sustained fashion, two years in a row.  OK, I’ll try to squeeze yet one more incongruity the size of Texas into my pea-sized brain.  

For reasons that are well explained by Ayurveda, my tongue got the word about the heat wave first:

That thing that looks like a small liver on the underside of my tongue is an aphthous ulcer.  It’s the classic “punched out” kind.  Makes me feel pretty damned punched out, let me tell you.

That was a few days ago.  The ulcer kind of propagated into the back of my mouth and throat.  I’ve been literally living on aloe vera juice and coconut water, which I leave in the freezer and sip on.

It occurred to me that this was rather more ulcer-ness than I’m used to.  I get them every few weeks or months.  A Crohn’s thing, you know: it’s a “mouth-to-anus” disease.  Meaning that, lesions can occur anywhere in there.  And do.  

My brain survives and at times even thrives, by continuously scanning for outliers.  That’s how the prey animal survives.  That ripple in the tall grass that wasn’t there earlier?  Lion.  That shadow in the water?  Crocodile.  

Those bizarre mouth ulcers?  Could be just the ol’ Crohn’s monsters.

And on the other hand…there’s lamotrigine (Lamictal®).

Ever since I landed in the hospital in 2001, and ever since the amateur psychiatrist who tried to kill me with every antidepressant under the sun nearly succeeded, and ever since she thankfully went on vacation and left her on-call beeper with the brilliant neuropsychiatrist who correctly identified my brain as bipolar, I have faithfully taken my “L&L cocktail” every day.  Lamictal in the morning, lithium at night.

It’s worked better than anything else.  It’s been my staple.

There’s a problem, though.  It’s been a theoretical problem, till now.

Lamotrigine has one major potential adverse reaction.  It doesn’t happen often, but when it does, it can be devastating.  It’s called Stevens-Johnson Syndrome.  (The linked article downplays what the syndrome really looks like….)  It’s a known and much-feared adverse event that’s associated with Lamictal.  That’s the reason for the very slow dose buildup, if you’ve ever taken it, and the huge black box warning that says if you ever get these nasty lesions, stop taking Lamictal immediately.

My tongue up and turned completely white, then started peeling.  I put my Lamictal away.  Increased the lithium dose by 25%, got out some high CBD cannabis to help with the transition.

If you take medicine for brain stuff, you just naturally deal with side effects.  How not?  Most of this shit we dump into our bodies, no one has any clue what they actually do, outside of the one thing they have to look at for the studies.  Beyond showing that this does or does not increase dopamine levels in the brain, for instance, researchers are not able to predict every single one of the thousands of other chemical interactions a medicine may set into motion all around the body.

Fortunately most side effects are merely unpleasant but not life-threatening.  Stevens-Johnson is extremely unpleasant and also life-threatening.  You just don’t want it!

Lithium has its bad side too: kidney failure holds down the position of real bad actor.  But lithium won’t kill you today.  It might take decades.

On the other hand, Lamictal’s dark side will put you in the burn unit…or the grave.  Right quick.

It’s a terrible choice to have to make: my sanity or my life!  There’s no percentage in trying to gamble with Lamictal, once these mucous membrane lesions appear.  There’s no guarantee that a break from the drug will fix the problem.  For me, this is the red line.  No more.

So what am I gonna do now?

Well, I’ve increased my lithium dose.  That means I have to be incredibly careful in this heat, because lithium can become toxic via dehydration.  And since lithium has a diuretic effect, that makes it even harder to stay hydrated.

I’m making plans to move to somewhere cooler after the end of the month, when I have my hand surgery recheck.  Oregon is sounding good to me….

And yes, my medical cannabis is once more doing yeoman’s duty.  I read an abstract of a study that looked at using CBD to treat psychosis.  Holy crap, the stuff holds up alongside conventional antipsychotics, with absolutely zero side effects!  I’m on that bus.


I Am the Storm

I feel so lost. So confused. Unraveling. Tears and more tears fall unanswered.  Just hours before I was sitting tall espousing on how I was going to really help turn the agency I’m going to work for around.  With my working knowledge of both systems, I was just the right person for the job. Yet, hours later I’m pacing around hysterical. Yelling at my husband..I really don’t remember about what.  Feeling so out of control.

Thoughts of suicide careen around in my mind.  Pure chaos takes over. Demands that I take a PRN to help calm down feel like daggers. I don’t know why. Its the right suggestion. Its a good idea. But I kick, yell and scream about how unfair this all is.  Poor poor me.

Our frustrations hang in the air and wrestle with our unspoken words.  Everything hurts. What you say. What you don’t say.  The darkness I can see coming for me.  The relentless noise in my head.  What am I doing wrong I shout! I’m a good person I insist! Apologies fly out of my mouth laced with fear.  Please don’t give up on me. I’m so sorry. I know you deserve better. I want to give you better but I’m all tied up.  Bipolar disorder has me in knots. Angry knots.  If only I could untangle myself.  Then. Then I could just end it all.  Now, that’s a good idea.

Finally, red faced and ashamed I slink off to bed.  The tornado of emotions has passed.   I didn’t see it coming. Seems lately I never do.  No capacity for self awareness.  I lay my head on my pillow and ask for forgiveness.  I do not wish to be a storm in our lives. I really don’t!


Blurbs & A New Section: “You’re Rejecting Me? Prepare to Learn Some Cat Facts!”

  Aimee Mann has been one of my favorite musicians ever since her ‘Til Tuesday “Voices Carry” days in the 1980s. She has a new CD coming out called Mental Illness, and this brief interview explains why she gave her CD this title.   Hi there, my friends! I hope you had a good week and HAPPY … Continue reading Blurbs & A New Section: “You’re Rejecting Me? Prepare to Learn Some Cat Facts!”

Don’t Try This At Home, KIds

So first off, I wanted to throw in this ****disclaimer**** lest some net troll accuse me of “giving bad advice/setting bad example” bullshit. As previously mentioned in yesterday’s post, I have, for two weeks, been trying to wean myself off  Pristiq, and no, not with my doctor’s approval.

The reason for discontinuing Pristiq, which worked okay for awhile, is that when combined with the Wellbutrin that has done so well for my focus…I end up convinced I have bugs crawling in my hair. The itching scalp thing is just a deal breaker. And considering it didn’t start til the two meds were mixed together and I did make sure it wasn’t Wellbutrin alone doing it…NOPE.

As for coming off without the doctor rigamarole…My shrink’s practice is so busy I can barely get in every 3 months, even after med changes. And he is uber conservative which means we only stop one drug at a time or start one at a time, there’s no expediting the matter with him. Love the doc, but his caution and booked schedule mean my life becomes a bigger living hell with side effects or whatever. I am weaning off carefully, not cold turkey. It’s no different than doing it with doc approval. I’ve been at this shit for so long I probably know more about proper tapering off than the doctor does. I mean, I was one of the first test cases in the 90’s, when they did not acknowledge that anti-depressants cause withdrawal symptoms and my sage shrink told me I could quit Effexor cold turkey. Two weeks of auditory hallucinations, paranoia, and sleeping with a knife under my pillow.

So no more cold turkey, ever. Not stupid. But I did prove my belief yesterday when after a million brain zaps I broke down and took a Pristiq…Next thing I know my previously normal scalp and hair start itching relentlessly. PROVEN.

Just…I am not setting examples, giving advice, just…this is my situation. This is what I am doing. Don’t try this at home kids. Disclaimer enough?

Today is my first day in 3 of not being forced into the dish. And of course I am so psychologically bruised from my time in the dish, I’ve done nothing today. Oh, well, I did fix myself some eggs, and I knew better but I was hungry and thus…gastric agony and dating the bathroom ensued.

I just feel aching and bruised and it’s not having done anything physically taxing. It’s the mental cost that is so expensive and I don’t think people realize that.

I wanted to go get groceries and such today while my kid is at school. Instead the gray day and bruised psyche and gastric hell have me too damned beaten down to do anything.

I guess I can be thankful as I took my meds and for once they didn’t make me nauseous or make me zonk out.

I fear I may have inadvertently put myself into the family war by trying to extricate myself from the anxiety inducing out of town dog sitting gig. I talked to my mom and sis to see if they were still pissed at dad for not cosigning and I offered to PAY them to keep doing the dog sitting thing so I don’t have to. Extra stress I do not need. So mom says no, she isn’t too mad, the dog is welcome. Now I guess I have to tell my dad what I did trying to smooth things over and he will be pissed.

I wanna be an orphan.

Now, back to doing nothing and feeling guilty for doing nothing yet working on accepting the fact that I am emotionally exhausted and it’s manifested physically and grocery stores will still be there tomorrow as will the laundry and dishes. The world will not end simply because I need a breather.

(Now watch the world end, ffs.)

My new decal for the car, just for a giggle.

E.T.Rex lighter- Spook spotted it and insisted I get it. Pretty funny, no?


Traveling

I go up and pick up my youngest today from my mom and dad.  It’s about a 2 hour drive the way I do it so I’ll be in the car for a while driving down and back.  But it’s okay–waves my parents from making it again.  They came to get her Wednesday so I can do the trip back.

I slept in late this morning–I haven’t been up very long.  But at least I woke up in time to get dressed and all before I head up on time.  I may even leave early–depends on when I finish this post.  I meant to get up earlier and get the groceries but I suppose that’s going to have to wait until I get back.

I did finally get a little writing done yesterday—wrote a new introduction to my piece I plan to turn in for class at the end of the semester.  I realized that I’m really scared to take  on a piece about the time between Hurricane Katrina and my first time to try to run away from home.  I don’t remember a lot about it as far as events; I’d need to go back and look at the writing I was doing to get a feel for what all went on.  But I think I’m scared because I don’t want to feel those feelings again.

 


Are You A Hoarder Of Old Emotions? Here’s My Nine Tips To Help You De-clutter Your Emotional Closet

Originally posted on My Brain Has Hiccups:
I don’t believe in spring cleaning the house only in September. I do it all year round. Because I don’t like hoarding stuff, I…

Massive Moving Mayhem

Daily Prompt – Massive May I first say “I hate Thursdays”. I know it is supposed to be Monday but I happen to like Mondays. Thursdays are becoming a massive pain…and I have enough pain in my life already. I … Continue reading