I Don’t Know How I Feel

I Don’t Know How I Feel

I have had several people ask me how I’m doing lately including some friends, family, and doctors. However, the problem is that I don’t know how I feel. I’m not sure if I’m sad and depressed, angry, frustrated, overwhelmed, fearful, lonely, or anxious. Maybe I’m all of those emotions combined. I know I’m not happy, but that’s about all I know. It’s very strange to be full of emotions, but not be able to pinpoint what any of those emotions are.

When people ask me how I’m doing, I just say I’m fine or I’m okay. It’s so much easier than trying to figure out how I’m really doing. Plus, most people don’t want to hear what’s really going on. The only problem with that, is my therapist wants to know how I’m doing, and I struggle to figure it out when I have therapy appointments.

I’ve thought about using a mood tracking app, but they all ask you questions regarding how you’re feeling and how much you feel each emotion. Since I have no clue what I’m feeling, it makes that extremely difficult. I suppose I’ll have to wait on the mood tracker until I’m able to determine how I really feel.

I’m pretty sure that this is all a part of my depression. It’s another problem to work through, and I will get through it, eventually.

Difficulties At The Pharmacy

Difficulties At The Pharmacy

Yesterday, I dropped off my weekly Clozapine prescription at the pharmacy. I asked the pharmacy technician if she could check to see if my lab work had come in. I told her that it gets faxed over from the lab every week, and that someone from the pharmacy normally puts a copy in my file. She looked at me weird, and said, “We don’t do blood work here.” I explained to her again, that I get my blood work done at a lab and then the lab sends my blood work to the pharmacy so I can get my prescription filled. She still didn’t understand; she told me again, “We don’t do blood work here anymore.”

Wow, I was surprised at how ignorant this woman was. If she had just taken 30 seconds to listen to my explanation, then she would understand. At this point, she went to the back of the pharmacy with my prescription. When she came back up front, I asked if she found my blood work results. Her response was, “I don’t know, I didn’t look.” I was so baffled that I just decided to leave instead of try to get this woman to understand me. I asked her to please call me if there were any problems filling the prescription.

Luckily, they were able to fill my prescription. The pharmacist must have found my blood work in my file. I think they’re finally getting used to receiving my blood work results and having me filling my weekly Clozapine prescription there. The pharmacy technician I had this odd interaction with was new, so I can understand her being confused; however, if she had just listed to my explanation, she would have understood easily.

Genetic Testing

Genetic Testing

Five months ago, my psychiatrist had me do some genetic testing. He told me that the genetic tests would tell him how my body reacts to specific medications. The testing would assess my DNA, looking for key genetics. It would be possible to find out which medications would work better for me and which medications I would be more prone to side effects. Basically, this test could tell me which medications would be more difficult for my body to handle.

I agreed to do the testing because it was free through my insurance. Also, I already know I tend to have problems with medications due to my Ashkenazi genes. I figured that more information couldn’t hurt. When the results came, the main thing that they told me was that my body is not able to process folic acid properly. My psychiatrist explained to me that this issue can make it more difficult for any of my medications to be effective.

He started me on a medication called Deplin (L-Methylfolate). It turned out that I knew of several people who started taking the same medication and they found it to be extremely helpful. I started the medication with a positive attitude. However, in the past five months, I don’t see any real changes from the Deplin. I only have more issues, not less. I want to get off the medication, but I can’t make too many changes at one time. As soon as I can make another change, which is not the Clozapine or ECT, I will go off the Deplin. I know that it’s helpful for many people; it just isn’t helpful for me.

The genetic testing also told me which medications I have an increased risk for side effects or a poor response. It’s not a guarantee, it just tells me what’s more probable. For example, Abilify, Saphris, Tegretol, Clozapine, and Seroquel are all suggested to use with caution. I have taken all of these medications at one time; I’m currently still on Tegretol and Clozapine. Some of these medications I had no problem with, such as the Tegretol. Other medications have had major issues. The Abilify caused an extreme manic episode and the Clozapine is currently causing weight gain.

I know that the genetic testing can be helpful for many people, but I haven’t found it to be too beneficial for me. I’m still glad I did it. Even if it didn’t help that much for me, if I didn’t do it, I would be questioning everything all the time. Of course I wish it was more helpful for me; but no helpful information is better than nothing at all.

Routines Help

Routines Help

Life has been pretty busy the past couple weeks. Between many doctor appointments, family obligations, trying to stay on top of bills, completing the Total and Permanent Disability paperwork, and completing the patient drug assistance program, I feel like I’m on overload. There’s too much to do, I don’t feel like I have any time to myself. It was suggested to me that I take a day to myself, a day when I don’t run any errands, fix any problems, or go to any appointments. It sounds really nice, but now I’m just trying to figure out when that day will be. There’s always something to do, such as cleaning, laundry, grocery shopping, or other errands. I really want to try it, a day off sounds just like what I could use.

I’ve just been staying very busy, but I haven’t been keeping to my normal routine. I think that’s what has been screwing me up. Routines have always been beneficial for me; not keeping to my normal routines has its consequences. I’ve been trying to schedule flight plans for me and my husband, but I get overwhelmed every time I do the research. Everything that I’ve been trying to do lately has been more difficult to complete, and I think it’s because I’m not keeping to my normal routine. I guess I need to get back to my routine, after I find a way to take a day to myself.

Medication Changes Me: Good or Bad?

Medication Changes Me: Good or Bad?

I have been taking psych meds since I was 14 years old. Ever since I started taking medication, I have always been on a lot of meds. I currently take eight different psych meds, plus other medication for my physical health. I’ve spent more than half my life on medications, and I’ll probably spend the rest of my life taking medications.

Sometimes the meds help and sometimes they make things worse. Medications always have side effects that need to be treated. It’s a pain in the butt. Meds can cause both physical and mental changes. They tend to change the way I act, which is helpful for bipolar treatment, but sometimes it goes too far. I feel like the medications change who I am to begin with. The mental changes that take place are hard to deal with. Right now, I don’t like to go out in public unless I have to and I don’t enjoy things I used to care about. This sounds like depression, but it’s been this way even through manic episodes. Maybe it’s part of the PTSD. I can never tell what’s what anymore.

Will I ever know who I really am? Am I just going to continue to change depending on my medications? How much change is good, and how much is too much? These are questions I ask myself all the time. I was a different person when I was younger; I was social. Now, I’m nothing like that. I know a lot of it is because of my bipolar disorder, but I wonder if some of it is because of the medication as well. Will I ever really know? I guess I just wonder what’s really me and what’s because of the medicine?

Dystonia Disappearing

Dystonia Disappearing

The side effect of dystonia came back a little over a week ago. It’s a side effect of the Clozapine that I’m taking. Dystonia is a disorder that involves involuntary muscle contractions; it is painful and annoying. For me, it occurs mainly in my ankles. A week ago, I started taking 0.5mg of Cogentin twice a day. It has helped, just like it used to help. However, I’m still having some issues at night. I have been taking the nighttime dose with all of my other bedtime medications. Maybe I should be taking the second dose a little bit earlier, such as with dinner. Even though it’s not gone completely, having most of it dissipate is a huge relief for me. Hopefully, by changing the time I take the Cogentin, I can get rid of the dystonia completely. If not, then I’ll have to talk to my psychiatrist about it again.