Since the beginning of April, I have had to get my blood work done every week due to the Clozapine that I take. However, that won’t last much longer. Starting in October, which will be after completing six months of weekly blood work, I finally get to switch to doing my blood work every other week for the following six months. After that, I get to do my blood work on a monthly basis.
This will make my life much easier going forward. I know I should be excited about this, it is an exciting thing, but I just don’t feel excited. Probably because I’ve been numb to most things lately.
Every week I get my blood drawn to check for any possible side effects from taking Clozapine. The medication can cause many serious side effects, and the blood tests are there to catch the issues before they get too serious. My blood work results are finally all within normal limits. At one point, they got so bad that my pharmacist said they may not be able to continue filling my Clozapine prescriptions. We still have to keep an eye out for any issues since I’m increasing the medication slowly. I’m still doing weekly blood work, but I’m almost half way through it. At six months, I get to switch to every other week. At least it’s something to look forward to.
It’s also been getting easier to get my Clozapine prescriptions filled. I haven’t had to call the pharmacy and see if they have my blood work results, which is what I have had to do up until the last two weeks. I haven’t had to call the lab to have them fax over the results again either. The pharmacist is also no longer questioning my blood work because my results are finally normal. I’m glad this is finally getting easier, it’s about time. All I have to do now is hand the pharmacy my prescription, and 30 minutes later my medication is ready to be picked up.
This week has been full of doctor/medical appointments. I had my blood work done on Monday, talk therapy was yesterday, today was my gyn to treat my interstitial cystitis. I feel like all I do is go from one doctor to the next, over and over again. My blood work went well this week. I saw the woman who normally asks too many personal questions; she’s quite inappropriate. I was told that I should report her, but I didn’t. This last appointment, when I saw her, she only asked how I was doing. She didn’t try to tell me how I should treat and manage my bipolar disorder. I get extremely nervous when I see her, but now I know that I can see her without having her get inappropriate.
My therapy appointment went well. I actually opened up to him a little more than I expected. I told him some things that I’ve been thinking about that I haven’t told anyone else. It felt good to finally get some of the ideas that are running around in my head off my chest. It would have been better if talking about it made it go away. Instead, it just brought the negative thinking to the front of my mind. I keep going over and over it in my mind. I wonder when it will stop. At least I have someone I feel comfortable talking to about it. I’m not comfortable talking about it here yet, but maybe I will one day soon.
My gyn treats my interstitial cystitis, also called painful bladder disorder, by doing an installation. They are very uncomfortable, only sometimes do I yell or swear during the treatment. I’ve been doing the treatments every week for a couple of months now. Today, I found out that I finally get to do the treatments ever two weeks. I’m ecstatic about that.
I wish I could have a week without doctor appointments. I suppose the next time that will happen will be when I go to Cape Cod, although I’ll still have to get my blood drawn in order to get my Clozapine prescription. One day, I believe I will have a doctor-free week. It may not be today or even this month, but it will happen at some point.
My psychiatrist mailed me two months worth of prescriptions. These scripts, for Clozapine, will get me from my 200mg dose up to my target 400mg dose. Each script is for one week worth of medications (because I still have to do the weekly blood work). He sent me everything that I would need to get through the next two months. The scripts are pre-dated, so I can’t fill them until Wednesday of each week.
I will be starting the increase soon, either Wednesday or Thursday of this week. I’m a little concerned about the possible side effects, but I mostly think it will all work out.I’m increasing my dose slowly to hopefully avoid side effects. I guess only time will tell.
I can still contact my psychiatrist any time I need, but hopefully everything with the dosage increase will go smoothly and I won’t have to. My next appointment with him is on August 25th. Until then, I can contact him via email or text if necessary. He will still get my weekly blood work results. If he sees a problem with my blood tests, then he will contact me.
For weeks now, I have been trying to decide whether or not I will be going to Cape Cod this summer. My family has been going since before I was born. For the past many years, I go for one week. Timing wise, I overlap with my sister, her husband, and their kids for one day. Then the rest of the time is just me and my mom. It’s great that I get to see my sister and her family. It’s fantastic that I get time just me and my mom. It’s my favorite vacation.
My mom and I get along so well, we’re more like best friends. We usually have the same ideas for what we want to do. We go and lay on the beach for a bit (just a one or two minute walk from the cottage), play some games, take naps, go to see a play, etc. We have the same taste in activities. When I go back home to Connecticut, I get to spend time with my mom, but it’s not the same. This is the only time we get to be alone together.
I’ve been questioning if I was going to go or not because of my bladder disorder. My interstitial cystitis is getting worse and I’m having to get treatments every week at this point. Plus, I would have to figure out where to get my weekly blood work done and where to get my prescription filled. It could be difficult, but am I really going to let these things get in the way of my vacation? I don’t think so. I think it’s time to start looking at plane tickets.
It’s time to refill my Clozapine again. I really hate having to do this every week. I spend so much time making sure the pharmacy can find my blood work results (they usually can figure out where they put the paperwork) and making sure my prescription is refilled or called in as necessary. After I’ve been on this medication for six months, I will be able to do this entire process every other week. Then, once I’ve been on it for a year, I get to do this once a month. So there is something to look forward to, it’s just going to take some time to get there. I started taking Clozapine in the beginning of April, so I still have to do this weekly ordeal until the beginning of October. That time can’t come quick enough.
Even though dealing with this charade is very stressful and difficult, the medication has been helpful. I do believe that Clozapine has helped to improve my depression when nothing else was helping. The reason the blood work and weekly scripts have to be completed is to protect me, and anyone taking the medication, from serious side effects that could occur. So far, I’m doing okay, and I hope that the Clozapine will eventually help me, and maybe even help me become stable. Anything is possible.
UPDATE: I received an email from Walgreens letting me know that my Clozapine prescription has been filled and is ready to be picked up. I’m going to go get it tomorrow afternoon. I’m so surprised. I didn’t even have to make sure they found my blood work or explain that I get the prescription every week. This is the first time that they did it all on their own, and I’ve been doing this every week for over two months. This is wonderful news; maybe it will be this easy to get my weekly Clozapine prescription.
Sometimes I feel like all I do is go to doctor appointments, pick up my prescriptions, and manage my prescription refills. This week, I have two doctor appointments and another appointment for blood work. That’s about how many appointments I have each week. I feel pathetic. Most of my life is spent attempting to manage my health, especially my mental health.
My current meds are: Lithium 450mg twice a day, Tegretol 200mg one in the am and two at night, Cytomel 37.5mcg in the am, Clozapine 200mg at night, Deplin 15mg at night, Mirapex 1mg three times a day, Inositol 500mg in the am, Depo Estradiol injection weekly, Depo Testosterone injection monthly, Valium 10mg twice daily as needed, Percocet 10mg as needed up to four times a day, and Zofran 4mg once daily as needed. It’s difficult to manage this many medications, but I do it pretty well. I’ve gotten used to it; I’ve developed a system so I get all my meds filled on time without missing a day.
I have an appointment with my psychiatrist on Thursday to discuss my Clozapine dosage. I’ll probably end up with more than one medication change. I’m hoping to get off the Deplin. It’s really expensive and it doesn’t appear to be making a difference. We’ll see what happens on Thursday.