Today has been unusually rough. I reached out to my psychiatrist because I wanted to change my meds. Specifically, I want to get off of the Clozapine and possibly try IV Ketamine. However, his response was not as I hoped it to be. Basically, it was an ultimatum. Either I go back on ECT or possibly try IV Ketamine, but it would be in addition to Clozapine. If I go off of Clozapine, he will no longer be my psychiatrist; he would only continue to see me for 30 days or until I find a new doctor.
I’m going to come up with a list of questions to ask him at our next appointment on January 11th. My husband will be coming with me. I don’t know what I’m going to do.
I’m off to go see a Coyotes game; hopefully that will make me feel a little better.
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.
My psychiatrist emailed me to let me know that my blood work has improved, but it’s still not where he wants it to be. I take Cytomel, a thyroid medication, even though I don’t have a thyroid problem. There have been some studies in the past few years that show high doses of thyroid hormones can act as a mood stabilizer for bipolar depression patients. However, taking this medication has thrown off my thyroid level, so we’re working at finding the right dose that will help as a mood stabilizer and not mess up my thyroid levels. He is increasing my Cytomel and I will do more blood work in one month to see if it has helped. I always get nervous every time there is a medication change or dose increase/decrease.
I was diagnosed with Bipolar 1 disorder at a young age. I was 14 the first time I started treatment for mental health issues. It was my first visit to an inpatient behavioral health hospital. I have taken medication every day ever since that time in January of 1999 at the age of 14. I know that I will be on medication for the rest of my life; I don’t time mind as much when the medication is working. Bipolar is a treatable disorder, but it’s easier to treat for some than it is for others. My diagnosis includes treatment-resistant bipolar 1 disorder with psychosis. I give it all I’ve got, to treat my bipolar disorder.
No matter what, I do the best I can to feel okay with my current status, as long as I’m always working towards a healthy state. For me, that means taking my meds as my psychiatrist prescribes, going to support groups, communicating with friends and family, going to talk therapy appointments, and following all suggestions by doctors. I always do what I’m supposed to do, and I am sick and tired of doing it. Especially when what I’m doing isn’t effective or helping me in the way it’s supposed to.
I work hard every day and it feels as if my efforts go unnoticed by my bipolar disorder. I wish I could just stop my meds and I would somehow slip into a healthy state of mind, but I don’t have luck like that. Instead, I’m the kind of person whose mind and body would lose any mental status they had. That doesn’t mean I shouldn’t try. Of course it’s going to be exhausting from time to time, and of course I’m going to want to give up now and then, but every time, I will remind myself that I am far better off than I am without the treatments. One day, the treatments and everything will work. I will finally get the break that I need.
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.
It hasn’t even been a week since I went back on Mirapex, yet I think I see some improvements already. Instead of sleeping all day and night, I’m only taking about one nap a day. I’m also actually getting some things done. I’ve been able to run errands a lot easier than it has been. I’m tired, I don’t care much about anything, I cry randomly, and I’m feeling a lot of guilt and hopelessness. It’s still difficult, but I think I see some changes, I’m starting to be able to see things again in a good way.
The depression has made it hard for me to blog. I don’t have the energy to write, and when I do, I don’t really have much to say. I’m doing my best to keep my blog updated. I know that it’s helpful for me while I try to get through this depression.
My psychiatrist gave me three options. Option #1 is to go back on the Mirapex. Option #2 is to restart ECT twice a week. My psychiatrist says that ECT in combination with Clozapine has good data and experiences. Option #3 is to try IV Ketamine. I’m starting by going back on Mirapex. If that doesn’t help in a few weeks, I will probably try IV Ketamine. The IV Ketamine scares me, but it does have really good results.
Lately, I’m sleeping a lot, more than 12 hours a day. I’m having a really hard time doing anything. All I want to do is just lay down and fall asleep. I can’t seem to get enough sleep. I know it’s the depression. Hopefully it will get better in a week or so, now that I restarted the Mirapex.
I’ve had a hard time getting things done this past week. My regular tasks seem to be more difficult that normal. Even just keeping my house organized is hard. I can’t figure out how to clean things up or where to put them. I let things slide for one day, and then it just piles up to the point where I’m overwhelmed and don’t know where to start.
A couple of days ago I was worried that I was on a downward spiral, but today I’m pretty sure that is not true. I think I’m still stuck, emotionless. Hopefully, that will be changing soon. I took my last dose of Mirapex today. I will check in with my psychiatrist next week after being off the Mirapex completely for one week.
I had a medication change about 5 days ago because I was feeling numb, flat, and empty. My psychiatrist said that he has seen this happen to people who reach a therapeutic level of Clozapine that are also taking Mirapex. We decided together to taper off the Mirapex. I will take my last dose of Mirapex on Wednesday, I’m currently taking half the dose.
I feel worse than I did a week ago. I’m hoping that this is just me adjusting to the medication change. I really hope that it’s not the beginning of another downward spiral. I took a nap this evening because I just couldn’t stand being awake anymore. When I woke up, I was hoping that at least a couple hours had passed, but instead, it had only been about 30 minutes. What a disappointment. It’s getting harder each day to fake being okay.