Vegas and Fetzima

You’re probably wondering what or who in the hell Fetzima is. Well, I’ll save that little surprise for later. First, let’s talk about Las Vegas.

My husband had to come here for a convention for a few days and he wanted me to come along. That way he didn’t have to worry about me being at home. And you all know how I love a nice, big bed with clean white sheets. How could I say no?

We stayed at a hotel called the Bellagio. (If you’ve been to Vegas, you can skip over this part. Here is a picture of the front of it:

bellagio dayIt has fountains down in the front of it that they turn on at night and they “dance” to music. Pretty spectacular.

I like the Bellagio. It’s sort of a hotel for the older set. I don’t mean the geriatric set, but you don’t see a lot of kids here.

When you come to check in at the front desk, you look overhead and see some glass flowers in the ceiling:

closeup of flowers

These are quite large and fill up the whole area across the top. The artist is Dale Chihuly who makes all kinds of these (and gets a ton of money for it.) I once was an art museum docent and a show of Chihuly glass came to my museum. How they transport that stuff around without breaking it I will never know. It’s pretty breathtaking.

A little further down from the check-in desk is the conservatory:


Enough said on that.

Here’s a nice little shot of the spa (best one I have been to in Vegas):


And they had a little show of the Faberge’ eggs and other goodies made for the Russian czars:

faberge egg

So you can see there was plenty here to entertain me. While my husband was off, I planned on a yoga class, a massage, $40 to throw away on slot machines, going to see the eggs, a little window shopping, and a meal at Noodles, a little restaurant I liked when my best friend and I were here a while ago.

So this all sounds pretty good, right? Even your bipolar correspondent should be able to handle this and have a good time. Let’s face it, this does look fun for most women at least. (I don’t know about you men out there, but you can always gamble.)

Enter stage right: my friend Fetzima!


Last week I begged and whined and got an appointment with my psychiatrist at the last minute. I’ve seen him for about 25 years so I know the office staff well and I am spoiled. They usually get me in. Prior to this, I had talked to my psychologist so I had her on my side. As a matter of fact, I even got her to go talk to him before my appointment. (They work in the same office.)

I told him that I was really sick of sitting on the couch, not showering, and not wanting to go anywhere. I told him I needed more energy and asked if I could get a new med change. He looked happy and waved a little box of samples in front of me.

“Fetzima!” he said. “It’s new and you will love it!” He tells us it helps increase interest in social and living activities and reduces “psycho-motor-retardation”. (I have no idea how you spell that).

Oh, boy. So he starts telling me it can raise your blood pressure. Mine is low anyway, so I wasn’t worried. He said it can cause nausea if you don’t take it with food. Well, I like to eat, so again, no problem. He gives us a bunch of samples and tells us to call our insurance to see if it is covered. We go home and call and are informed it is covered up to 40 mg per day.

So we start on it. If you’ve never started a psych drug before, you’ll enjoy this next part:

First, I have to stop another drug, Lexapro. Good-bye.

Day #1: 20 mg. After about two hours I get off the couch and start walking around. I’m not nervous or jittery, just moving. I feel good, no side effects. Go to bed that night and wake up at 2, 3, 4, and sleep from 8-10 in the morning. Not too bad so far.

Day #2: 20mg. Very cheerful but not manic. More elevated appropriate activity. Mood probably a 6-7 out of 10. No bad side effects. Liking this drug.

Day #3: Upped dose as prescribed to 40 mg: Willingness to do tasks. Waiting on myself and getting things for my husband. Being helpful. Reading things I have been putting off. Notice slight nausea all day even though I ate before taking med. Slight headache. Took Advil for this. Mood still very good.

Day #4: 40 mg: Felt very clear headed. Cheerful. Travel day to Las Vegas. Once again, nausea. Headache came on and was a little worse. Popped a constant stream of Advil. Noticed a lot of sweating. Still mental good mood and good natured. Didn’t do a lot but travel.

Day #5: 40 mg: Raging headache. Nausea that I think was caused by the bad headache. Took lots of Advil. Was afraid to take normal migraine meds due to unknown interaction with new med. First day in Vegas. Got slightly irritated as spent the day in bed with ice on my head. Missed lots of the activities wanted to do. Could not see well to read. Listened to audio book. Headache finally went away around bedtime. Woke up next morning at 6.

Day #6: 40 mg: Took med in morning and noticed headache creeping on about an hour later. Not as bad as yesterday. Still good mood but very tired due to headache yesterday. No nausea. No depression. No ambition at all. Stayed in bed all day. Not happy to miss Vegas activities. Felt better overall.

Day #7 40mg: Slight headache. No nausea. Still tired. Travel day home. Looking forward to seeing my couch again. I scheduled some things with friends and doctors while I was in Vegas. We are going to see how Fetzima works to get me going.

The dose many people take is 80 mg or 120 mg. But remember, our insurance will only pay for 40mg. So we shall see.

And there is the exciting story of my Vegas trip. Actually, it wasn’t so bad. The room was beautiful and I got a lot of stuff done. I read my best friend’s entire book. I messed with the blog. And I made the transition hopefully onto a new drug.

We’re coming back to Vegas in May or June anyway. Maybe I’ll be PERKIER then.

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