I had another ECT treatment today. It feels like I’m going to have to do this forever. I stopped doing it at one time, and my depression just worsened quickly. Then I had to restart everything. When I restarted, I had to do 2 treatments a week for 4 weeks (at least that’s better then 3 times a week), then once a week for 6 weeks, and since then I’ve been going once every other week. I’m not so sure how well it’s working right now. My depression pretty deep, and my suicidal ideations are almost constant. Even when I try to ignore them or think positively, those thoughts are still there. Even though it doesn’t feel like ECT and all of my meds are working, I know that if I stopped either one of them, either my depression would plummet horribly or I’d go into a major manic episode.
Over this past week, especially the past couple days, my dystonia has gotten a lot worse. I brought it up to my psychiatrist this morning before ECT. He asked me several questions that I answered, but he never gave me a solution. My husband reminded me to email him about it, which I did as soon as I got home. He asked me for a list of all my medications, prescription and OTC, which I gave him right away. Now I’m just waiting for him to call something into the pharmacy for me. Hopefully, whatever he prescribes will help this go away. I can’t stand it much longer.
I wonder how much my medications are working. I take 11 meds plus I do ECT once every two weeks. This does not include the medication I take for my physical health. I take so many meds, it’s hard to tell which ones are working and which ones need an adjustment. I feel like something needs to be adjusted, I just don’t know what. My medications are as follows:
Clozapine 100mg – 4 pills at bedtime
Cogentin 1mg – ½ pill in the am, 1 pill in the pm
Cytomel 50 mcg – 1 ½ pills in the am
Donepezil 10mg – 1 pill at bedtime
Inositol 500mg – 1 pill daily
Lithium ER 450mg – 1 pill 2 times a day
L-Methylfolate 15mg – 1 pill in the am
Memantine 10mg – 1 pill 2 times a day
Metformin 500mg – 1 pill in the am, 2 pills at bedtime
Mirapex 1mg – 1 pill 3 times a day
Tegretol ER 200mg – 1 pill in the am, 2 pills in the pm
These questions are from Therapy Bits: Who asked to hear my experiences with bipolar symptoms, how I manage them, and how they effect my life.
I don’t remember most of my experiences due to the side effects of ECT. The biggest, most memorable experience was in 2009. My doctor tried taking me off my medication slowly, because he thought that it was possible that my mental health issues could have been caused by my drinking and using (I’m now sober 13 years). We found out the hard way that I really do have bipolar disorder.
I went into a major manic episode. It was so bad that I couldn’t work. I worked for home for a while, but even that got to be too much for me to handle. I was unable to handle my life due to my manic and then my depressive episodes. I moved in with my mom because I couldn’t manage my own life and I needed someone close to me to do that for me. I’m lucky that I had someone in my life that was willing to help me out.
My bipolar disorder turned my entire life upside-down. I’ve been on disability since 2009, and I can’t seem to get things back together. I continue to go through episodes and I have to deal with the side effects from the treatments I use. This biggest side effect is memory loss and confusion, which are from ECT. I have both short-term and long-term memory loss. I tried stopping the ECT treatments after I had been doing them for quite a while, however, once I stopped the treatments, my depressive episode came right back. I’m not sure if I’ll ever be able to stop ECT again; I’m too worried that I’ll end up going back into another manic or depressive episode.
I’ve been dealing with my bipolar disorder since I was 13 or 14 years old, and I know that it is something that I’ll be dealing with for the rest of my life. Going to a psychiatrist, a therapist, and taking medications is second nature for me. I actually take 13 different psych meds, which is a lot to manage. At this point, I go to ECT once every 2 weeks. I used to go to a bipolar support group once a week, but I stopped going a while ago. I still talk to and see some of my friends from that group, which really helps. This blog has also helped me manage my bipolar symptoms.
I take a lot of medications; most I take daily, and some are taken as needed. I keep very close track of my medications and when they need to be refilled. It’s a big task, but I make sure I’m on top of it all. I have a problem filling my Clozapine prescription every month. I have to do monthly blood work. The pharmacy won’t fill the Clozapine without the blood work results. Filling this prescription is an issue every single month.
Every month, the lab forgets to send the pharmacy my results. It’s always a huge hassle. Even though I filled out the paperwork, I still have to convince the lab to send my results over. I shouldn’t have to call the lab every time. At least I’ve found a way to make the phone call easier and shorter.
I refill my prescriptions about a week early (they can be filled from approximately 3 to 7 days early depending on the script). If I start early (at the 7 day mark), then it’s okay if they run into a problem. I learned this the hard way. Running out of prescriptions is not fun.
The rash that I’ve been getting doesn’t appear to be getting any better. In fact, I keep getting new welts, and now they’re on my back where I can’t even reach them. I’m extremely frustrated! This has been going on for about 11 days now. None of the medication that the doctor gave me helps stop the itching. I started using Aspercreme with Lidocaine, and it actually works! It’s a miracle! I’m using it more than it says that you should, but I’m so miserable and it’s the only thing that works.
The doctor called back this morning from the message I left yesterday. She wants me to finish the medications they gave me. If I still have a problem when that’s done, then I should call her back. Basically, I just have to deal with being miserable for the next week. I wish that the doctors at least knew what the rash was or what was causing it.
I have a lot to get done today around the house. Hopefully, by staying very busy, I will keep my mind off all of the scratching. Here’s to hoping that a distraction works…
Yesterday ended up being an okay day. It was my birthday, and I got to spend my day with a friend and the night I spend with my husband.
My memory is still really bad. I tend to forget things that I’m told anywhere from less than an hour to a month or so. It’s making my life very difficult. I’m already taking two medications for Alzheimer’s, Memantine 5mg and Donepezil HCL 5mg, but they don’t seem to be working yet. I’m not sure when they’re going to start working, if they’re going to work for me at all.
I’m doing my best to write everything down in my new bullet journal. It helps me organize my days, weeks, and months. I’m hoping that I’ll be able to keep track of everything. In order remember everything, I have to write it down as soon as I’m told. If I don’t write it down right away, then I’m sure to forget it.