I take a lot of medication, and I really mean a lot. I take medication for both my mental health and my physical health. I already take Lithium, Tegretol XR, Deplin, Clozapine, Mirapex, Cytomel, Valium, and Inositol all for my mental health. I also take Zofran, Percocet, Depo-Estradiol, and Depo-Testosterone for my physical health. This doesn’t even include my multiple inhalers and breathing treatments. I’m hoping that I can decrease the meds over time. The first medication I want to go off of is the Deplin. It’s really expensive and I don’t think it’s been doing me any good. I have to wait until I’ve been off of ECT for a while before making any changes to my mental health medications.
A doctor told me this past week that a certain medication may help my bladder condition, but it would be a lifelong medication. I laughed, sarcastically, and told her that wouldn’t be a problem for me. I’m already on a lot of other meds that are lifelong ventures, adding one more to that list is no big deal. Plus, it would be awesome if I could eventually stop getting bladder installations done every week. The new medication is called Elmiron, and the problem is that it’s very expensive. The cheapest I found it was $224 a month. Luckily, my aunt found a patient assistance program that I’m qualified for. I have already filled out my portion of the paper work. I will have my doctor fill out the rest of the documents (which isn’t much) and then I can send it in. I’m excited to find out how much this program will help me.
I often wonder how much is too much. It’s hard to get off medications once you start them because everything has to be done slowly in order to know what medication is causing or helping each issue. Most of my medications are for my mental health, but there are still many that I take because of my physical health. Also, a couple of my meds from both physical and mental health are taken only as needed, so I don’t take them every day. For example, I only take the Zofran when I’m nauseous, the Percocet for pain, and Valium for anxiety attacks. I try to take these meds as little as possible; I don’t want to become dependent on them. I’m sure that I’ll always be on medication, but maybe one day I won’t have to take as much as I do right now. I wonder how many other people take as much medication as I do.
I always do everything I’m told, and I think it’s catching up with me. I don’t want to cause any problems, but I feel like I need a vacation from my life, from myself, from my health. Just out of curiosity, I’m wondering how many people have had the same thoughts as the following:
- I’m always compliant with my medications and my treatments. Sometimes I just want to say screw it all and not take my meds. I wonder how much they’re really helping anyway. What’s the point of taking all these meds without knowing that they are definitely working?
- I’m an insomniac. The Clozapine has been helping me sleep for the most part lately, but I still wake up several times throughout the night. Why do I keep forcing myself to fall asleep? For some reason, I’m always hungry when I wake up. Maybe I should try to see if I get tired on my own. I’m an insomniac; I have problems sleeping, not getting tired.
- Sometimes, I’m get tired of doing the reasonable or rational thing. On occasion, I just want to do whatever I feel like doing without people saying it’s because of my mental health.
These are just a few of the things that have been going on in my mind lately. I think I’m just a bit frustrated with everything, and I’m wondering if other people have similar thoughts as I do. If others do have these thinking issues, what do you do to get through them?
I forgot to take some of my medication last night. Of course it was the most important of all meds, my Clozapine. Right now, I’m feeling very shameful. The one thing I have going for myself is that I’m always compliant. I always take my medications, I always do whatever I’m told to do by my doctors (no matter how much I really don’t want to), and I always follow through on these things. I can’t believe that I forgot to take those pills.
I got home last night from the trip, unpacked, and was so tired I just fell asleep. I should have realized when I woke up two hours later, that I hadn’t taken my Clozapine. I was in and out for the rest of the night on the couch. Why didn’t I take that hint of not being able to sleep through the whole night? I didn’t realize until I was making the bed this morning. At that time, I saw my meds sitting on my nightstand. My first plan was to pretend it didn’t happen and not tell my psychiatrist. Then, I thought that I wouldn’t be able to live with myself if I wasn’t completely honest. So I sent an email to my psychiatrist and told him exactly what happened. I was extremely worried about what he would say, but his response told me not to worry and that I could still go and get my blood work done today.
I felt a little bit better knowing that my psychiatrist isn’t upset, but I’m still upset with myself. I expect myself to always be compliant. However, I was just told that by telling my psychiatrist exactly what happened, I was still being compliant. Complete honesty is what’s necessary for compliance, and that’s what I have done. I suppose I should give myself a break. Everybody makes mistakes; I need to allow myself to make mistakes as well. I need to stop shaming myself, and begin to be proud of myself for my honesty. As always, it’s easier said than done. I guess it’s just another thing to work on.
Being productive can be an extremely difficult task for those with bipolar disorder depending on their mood. Personally, I have no problem maintaining productivity when I’m manic. In fact, I can’t sit still during manic episodes; I’m always finding something to do. However, staying productive during a depressive episode is one of the most difficult challenges I face; it can even be difficult at times when I’m feeling well. I use the following techniques to help me stay productive and organized:
- I make a to-do list every day. During depressive episodes, I write down some of the smallest tasks such as make the bed, feed the dog, brush my teeth, etc. Writing these things down helps me to see how much I actually get done every day. Once I complete a task, I cross it off my list; this shows me all of the things I’ve done each day.
- When I’m really struggling with depression, I write down some tasks on my to-do list that I’ve already completed and cross them off. Then I can look at my list and feel more productive.
- To-do lists not only help me stay productive, but they also help me remain organized. My mind tends to get easily distracted, so organizational skills are extremely important for me.
- Taking medications regularly is vital. Our doctors prescribe these to us for a good reason; the meds can only really help us if we take them regularly, as prescribed.
- Keeping a regular routine is also extremely important. This includes waking up and going to bed at the same time, showering at the same time, eating at the same times every day, setting aside a specific time each day to call friends or family, and working out at the same time every day are some examples of learning to keep a routine schedule.
- A good night’s sleep is extremely important. It helps us to stay healthy. It’s important to sleep in bed instead of on the couch, and it’s also important in my experience to sleep at least 7 hours. If only I could follow my own advise for this one. Sleeping is something that’s easier said than done, but we can generally be more productive when we’re not tired all day long.
- Exercise helps us feel good, and when we feel good, we are more productive. Walking the dog is a great form of exercise. Sometimes, all I can do is walk around the house, but it’s better than nothing. Sometimes I can do workout videos, but it’s not necessary to push yourself to do that much, as long as you do something.
- Eating healthy is important. This is another one of my struggles. I tend to eat things that are easy to grab; or when I cook it’s generally unhealthy but tasty.
These suggestions are what I use to stay productive and feeling healthy. The to-do lists and taking medications are the things that work the best for me. I know I need to improve with the other healthy habits. They don’t always work, but it’s better when I try. Please remember that these suggestions are just from another person diagnosed with bipolar disorder, none of this information is from a doctor or medical professional.