Today has been a big and busy day. I started off late for my first appointment of the day. I ended up making it to the appointment on time, but I was very rushed to make it there. Once I got there, I had to fill out almost an hour worth of paperwork. Thank goodness my husband was there to help me fill everything out; I can’t remember much with my memory loss. This first appointment was for some back pain I’ve been having. It turns out that my spine is in good shape (yay) and it’s just a muscular problem. I’m now taking a tapering dose of Methylprednisolone for six days. I don’t like adding more medications to what I’m already on, so hopefully it helps.
I had two doctors appointments today. This afternoon was when I started packing for my trip; I leave for Cape Cod tomorrow night. I already have my packing list figured out. I just have to run everything through the dryer to make sure all of the bed bugs are gone (which they are).
I’m excited to be on vacation for a week. I can’t wait to spend all of this time with my mom, my sister and husband, and their kids. The kids are growing up so quickly. I can’t believe that the youngest is 14 years old. While I will be loving my trip and enjoying all of my time on vacation, I’m going to miss my husband while I’m gone. My husband is my rock. He helps me get through everything. I don’t think I could handle life without him. I’m lucky to have him in my life.
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
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.
Just to update you from yesterday’s difficulty getting my prescription filled, I did finally get the script. It took about 4 more phone calls. It’s ridiculous that I even have to call them at all. Hopefully they will figure it out for the next time.
Today I have another ECT treatment, my appointment is in two hours. Since my husband is working, I asked my mother-in-law if she could bring me. I don’t like asking others for help, but sometimes you have to. When I asked her, she responded happily, she said, “Of course, that’s what family is for.” I felt a huge relief when she said that. She really does make me feel comfortable and feel like family. I hate asking for help, but I did it and it all worked out. I’m hoping that I will one day learn that asking for help is not a bad thing.
Everyone from my family lives far away (I’m the one that moved away). Most of them live in Connecticut and Massachusetts. So living in Arizona can be lonely. I’m very lucky to have my husband’s family who all live close to us. They have taken me in as their own family. My mother-in-law bringing me to my appointment is another example of how they treat me like their own.
Any time that I’m home, my TV is turned on. I’m usually not watching what is actually on TV, it’s just background noise. There are so many commercials on TV that promote prescription drugs to help depression. I do believe in prescription medications, but I don’t like that some individuals, with no mental health experience, now tries to relate to what we go through with our diagnoses.
There’s a difference between sympathy and empathy. I don’t want anyone’s pity, but it would be nice to have others trying to understand. In my experience, only those that deal with the same things that I deal with, can understand how I feel. I don’t think it’s possible to truly understand what a person goes through unless you go through it as well. My family members do their best to understand what I deal with, and I greatly appreciate that because they do it without pitying me.
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.
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.