My therapy session went okay yesterday. We talked about what I’m going to do about the weight gain from the Clozapine. I want to go off the medication, but I’m afraid that if I do it will cause some horrible episode. I need to think about both my physical and mental health. The decision is impossible. I wanted my therapist to tell me what to do, but I know he can’t do that. I want someone (that I trust) to tell me what to do. I’m leaning towards going off the medication after the new year. I’m even willing to try IV Ketamine in order to get off Clozapine. I would do almost anything to get off this medication.
The weight gain is causing me to feel bad about myself. I’m crying off and on and I have no desire to leave the house. I would rather stay home alone where no one has to see me. Why does this have to be so difficult? I hate my life. I’m too overwhelmed with everything.
I’m still upset today about my doctor appointment yesterday. I’m feeling frustrated, shameful, disappointed (in myself), and pathetic. I think that the reason it bothers me so much is because it’s true. I know I’ve gained weight and I’m really struggling to lose it. The weight gain started when I went on Clozapine. I keep thinking about going off of it, but I have a feeling that my psychiatrist won’t like that choice. I don’t think I like that choice. I’m upset with my doctor because of how she talked to me, not what she talked to me about. And now I’m beating myself up about all of it. I wish I could just lose the weight, much easier said than done.
I keep trying, over and over again. If it doesn’t work out the first time, I try again. Sometimes it may take me a while, but it’s important not to give up. This can extend to anything in life. Just keep putting one foot in front of the other.
Right now, I’m just trying to get my medications right. In the past 6 months, I went on Clozapine slowly, I went off of Mirapex and then back on Mirapex, I went off of Deplin, and I also stopped doing ECT treatments. I’ve done almost everything my psychiatrist suggested. The only thing I haven’t tried is IV Ketamine; I’m leaving that as an absolute last resort. My emotional state goes up and down, but it hasn’t been healthy or steady for a very long time, probably about 7 or 8 years.
No matter how bad it gets, I never give up. I may not be happy to do certain treatments, but I try. I give each treatment enough time to work before deciding if it’s right for me or not. This time, I’m going to give the Mirapex another couple of weeks before deciding if I need to try something else, which would be IV Ketamine. The most important thing is that I don’t give up before the miracle happens.
Starting at the beginning this month, I finally got to do my Clozapine blood work every other week instead of once a week. I can’t believe I made it through 6 months of weekly blood work. There are many worse things that could happen, but mostly, it was just such a pain in the ass. Getting the medication every week was harder than the actual blood work. The lab has to send the pharmacy my blood work. The pharmacist has to receive approval from the Clozapine National Registry. Now that I’ve been doing this for 6 months, I only have to deal with that hassle every other week, which will make my life a lot easier. Traveling will also be a lot easier. I planned my vacation in December around my blood work schedule, so I don’t have to do any blood work or pick up a prescription while I’m away. After doing blood work every other week for the next 6 months, I will finally get to do monthly blood work, which will happen in April. That’s something to look forward to.
Pretending to be positive about things is more exhausting than I thought it was. It works, but it is extremely tiring. I am planning on going back to the support group I tried out last week. I need to go there regularly in order to get used to it. Once I get used to this group, I really think that there’s a good chance of it being helpful in multiple ways. There’s another group that’s not too far from my house that I’ve thought about going to on Tuesday nights.I think I’m going to try one new and scary thing at a time. It is nice to know that there are others out there just like me who are willing to be there for each other.
I also had a hard time getting my 2 week prescription of Clozapine. I’ll know later today if and when I can pick up the prescription. I’m not very happy with Walgreens right now.
I told my psychiatrist that I’ve been feeling numb for the past few weeks; that nothing seems to matter to me anymore. He responded to me by telling me that he has seen some patients feel numb once they achieve a therapeutic level of Clozapine while they are also on Mirapex. He said that the Mirapex can act like an antidepressant and cause emotional flattening. He said that the technical term for it is alexithymia.
I’m going to cut my dose of Mirapex in half for the next week, and then I will go off of it completely. My doctor said that should help within about two weeks. If that doesn’t help, then he wants to reconsider ECT, which I really do not want to do. Fingers crossed for this medication change to help.
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.
Right now, I am holding on with all I’ve got. The Clozapine has caused a huge weight gain. I’ve gained more than 30 pounds in 3 months. It doesn’t matter how much I workout or what I eat, I just keep gaining weight. I know I made a committment to keep trying Clozapine until I reach my goal dose of 400 mg. I still have another month of dosage increases until I get to my goal. When I say I’m going to do something, I mean it. I want to hold myself to my committment. However, it’s easier said than done.
I told my psychiatrist about the weight gain. He told me that there are some measures we can take. However, he is on vacation, so I have to wait until next week. So I know that there is something that could possibly help with my weight gain, but I have to wait another week. I understand that everyone is entitled to go on vacation, but waiting even another day is extremely hard, a week is close to impossible. But somehow, someway, I will do it.
The problem with going off of Clozapine, is that there aren’t many other options for me. I’ve already tried ECT for over a year. I don’t want to do IV Ketamine because the thought of dissociation is terrifying for me. I’ve taken so many medications, there aren’t many options left. I keep questioning my future since my treatment options are getting fewer and fewer. This is when I really rely on my friends and family. So far, I have been shown nothing but love and support. I can do this; I can get through this. That’s what I need to keep telling myself.
I’ve been working out on a regular basis. I either do Zumba at home or I workout at the gym with my husband. Sometimes, like yesterday, I do both. It feels good to be able to push myself through these workouts; however, it would be nice if I was able to lose some weight. It doesn’t matter how much I workout or what I eat, my weight either stays the same or I gain weight. It’s extremely frustrating. I was going to give up, but my husbad reminded me that working out is not just about losing weight. It’s also about being healthy.
I know that the Clozapine is a big factor in the weight gain. It’s also what is making it almost impossible for me to lose weight. I really want to go off of if because of that; however, I made a committment to increase my dose until I get to 400mg. I want to keep my committment, but I also need to stay healthy. It’s very possible that once I stop increasing my dose, my body will get used to the Clozapine and the side effect of weight gain could go away.
I really want to try to wait this out. I want to have hope that the weight gain will stop. I want to hope that my working out will help me lose weight. Right now, I’m just trying to stay hopeful, which is extremely difficult.
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.