These questions are from bipolarsojourner
What are my successes and frustrations with ECT?
When I first started ECT, I did it for a while, probably about a year. I don’t remember it at all. But I decided to stop because I wasn’t sure if it was working or not. So I stopped for a while, about 6 months maybe. Then when I started back up I knew for certain that it was helping because it helped bring me out of a big depression. I now do ECT once every other week. It destroys my memory, but it helps my depression. I’m hoping that I can soon switch to doing a treatment once every four weeks. I honestly don’t remember much of anything. It even messes up my memories from before I started ECT, when I was a little kid. They said that is very unlikely, but it happened to me.
How does your husband support you? Is it effective?
My husband is very supportive. He was my best friend and knew all about my bipolar disorder before we started dating. He helps me recognize when I’m in an episode and helps me remember to take my medication. He’s very understanding when I’m not feeling up to doing something. For example, I had a hard time when our dog died this past April. He was ready to get a new dog before I was. He didn’t push me to get another dog, he let me wait until I was ready. My husband makes me feel safe and comfortable being myself, it is extremely effective.
What is your depression and mania like? Do you have benefits from your bipolar?
During my depressions, I always end up eating excessively and gaining weight. I tend to sleep a lot, I lose interest and often don’t care about things that I normally care about. I get angry easily and often feel worthless and suicidal. During my manic episodes, I generally go many days at a time without sleeping (my insomnia get really bad). I usually have racing thoughts, I get all jittery, I don’t make any sense, and I talk really fast (so much so that it sounds like I’m using drugs again, but I’m not). I also get suicidal during manic episodes. I used to self-harm during both depressive and main episodes, but it’s been many years since I’ve done that (although, to be honest, I think about it a lot). I prefer to be manic than depressed. At least when I’m manic I can get things done and I have the energy to workout. I can lose weight when I’m manic a lot easier, but when I’m depressed, I almost always gain weight.
Some days, I have a hard time coming up with topics to write about. I write about what’s going on in my mind, but some days, my mind is completely blank. That’s probably because of ECT.
I figured I would reach out to my readers. Is there anything that you would like me to write about? Do you have any questions for me? Or would you like to hear my point of view on any specific topics? I hope to hear from some of you.
I saw I Am My Own Island do this post by answering the fifty unique questions below. I enjoyed reading her answers and thought I would do my own.
- Do you sleep with your closet doors open or closed?
- Do you take the shampoos and conditioner bottles from hotel?
- Do you sleep with your sheets tucked in or out?
- Have you ever stolen a street sign before?
- Do you like to use post-it notes?
- What is your biggest pet peeve?
Not putting things away; I crave organization
- Do you ever count your steps when you walk?
My phone keeps track of my steps
- Is it okay for guys to wear pink as a color?
- Whats your least favorite movie?
I don’t remember
- What do you drink with dinner?
Soda or water
- What is your favorite food?
Almost any kind of pasta
- What movie could you watch over and over and still love?
The first one that comes to mind is Grease
- Would you ever strip or pose nude in a magazine?
Never, I’m way too self-conscious
- When was the last time you wrote a letter to someone on paper?
Does writing a card count? If so, just a couple of days ago
- Favorite kind of sandwich?
Melted pepperoni and cheese
- Best thing to eat for breakfast?
Ham, egg, and cheese sandwich
- What is your usual bedtime?
Anywhere from 10pm to midnight
- Are you lazy?
For the most part, yes.
- How many languages can you speak?
- Do you sing in the shower?
- Is Christmas stressful?
- Occupations you wanted to be when you were a kid?
- Do you believe in ghosts?
- Wear slippers?
- Ever been in love?
- Who would you like to see in concert?
- Hot tea or cold tea?
- Tea or coffee?
- Ever had plastic surgery?
- Do you want to get married?
I am married; 3 years
- Do you want kids?
I can’t have kids, but I think about it often. I am a grandma (my step-daughter has a 15 month old beautiful daughter)
- Whats your favorite color?
- Do you miss anyone right now?
My mom, always
- Things you cannot leave the house without?
My phone and purse
- Do you drink energy drinks?
- Do you drink juice?
Sometimes apple juice
- Do you eat fries with a fork?
- Any phobias?
Snakes, spiders and bugs
- What is your middle name?
- What was favorite subject at school?
Math and science, it’s a tie
- What is your favorite drink?
- What is your favorite song at the moment?
The Joker by the Steve Miller Band
- What is the last thing you bought?
Groceries and prescriptions
- How many siblings do you have?
Two, an older brother and older sister
- When was the last time you cried?
- Favorite TV shows?
Criminal Minds, Blacklist, Good Behavior, Designated Survivor, New Girl, and Big Bang Theory
- PC or Mac?
- What phone do you have?
- How tall are you?
- Can you cook?
I love to cook and I’m pretty good at it. I make a really good Shepherds Pie, Chicken Tetrazzini, Pulled Pork, and many other things
If anyone wants to do this as well, just mention my blog so I can make sure to check it out.
My anxiety finally started to lessen after my psych appointment yesterday. I think it’s the fact that I now have a plan of action regarding my bipolar depression. Today, I’m going to call and make an appointment with my PCP to get a physical, EKG, and blood work, which is required for me to start ECT again (because of the anesthesia). However, my anxiety started to rise again late last night. I think that now it’s the fear of going back to ECT.
What if it doesn’t work? Is there anything that can help me (and have it last for more than a few months)? What if it does work? Will I be doing this for the rest of my life? Will the medications he’s going to give me for the memory loss and migraines/jaw pain actually work? There are so many questions in my mind that will only be answered with time.
One thing after another, it never seems to end. There is always something that needs fixing or needs to be completed. I had my weekly blood work done on Friday and I’ve been checking for the results a couple of times a day. Normally, it’s done and I get the results the same day or early the next morning. For some reason, this week and last week, it took longer for my results to come through, but they finally did this afternoon. Once I know that my lab results are in, I call my pharmacy to make sure they received a copy. I usually spend the first five minutes of the phone call with them telling me they didn’t receive a copy until they finally look in their fax machine to see it sitting there.
They generally talk down to me, as if I don’t know what I’m doing. Today, the pharmacist kept telling me that they need to receive my lab results every week in order to fill the prescription. If only she would have stopped talking, she would have realized that I’m well aware of that and it was even the reason for my phone call. Shortly after hanging up with the pharmacist, I received a phone call from her. She called to tell me that my white blood cell count was high and she was concerned about filling the script. I explained to her that my count has decreased, improved, since last week and that my only current side effect is fatigue/low energy, but it is almost gone. I told her that I would have my psychiatrist call her. Then, she informed me that she would fill the script, but starting next month any time my lab results are off, they would be required to send my results to a central database location. The pharmacist would no longer be able to decide if it is okay to fill the script or not, someone at the central database would have to decide.
Now, I’m sitting here thinking that I could be taken off Clozapine any time if my blood results are off. I’m basically living week to week, never knowing if I’ll be able to get my next prescription of Clozapine filled. It’s adding on so much anxiety to an already stressful life. My psychiatrist says that they need to be concerned about a low white blood cell count, not a high count; however, I have so many more questions.
- If at some point the pharmacy, or central database, won’t fill my script, do I just stop the medication immediately or am I supposed to titrate down off the medicine?
- What side effects can I expect from going off Clozapine?
- What levels of a WBC (white blood cell count) are good, and which are bad?
- Is it bad that my eosinophils count is very high? At what level does that count make a difference?
- If I have to go off the Clozapine, what medication would replace it? I’m no longer on Seroquel or any other antipsychotic.
- How long would it take for a new medication to start working?
- How likely am I to have a major episode if I go Clozapine?
Once I know the answers to these questions, I will let everyone know. Hopefully, I won’t have to worry about any of this. Hopefully, my next blood test results will be back to normal. Until then, I am just going to stress over it all.