Friday, March 16, 2012

Good Numbers

120/70. That was my blood pressure at my doctor's office today. I was in for a blood pressure check with my GP after some really bad blood pressure readings, like 150/100, and some changes to my blood pressure medicine. Off of hydrochlorothiazide, increase on my ACE inhibitor. But I think just as important was my decision to decrease my Effexor XR. I used to take 450mg, and at that dose it frequently causes hypertension. Now I am down to 300mg. My pulse is down too, and that tends to run high.

I actually went down faster on the Effexor than planned. I had hoped for a full week on 375 (I was cutting a 150mg tablet), but I only gave it 4 nights because I was running out. My health insurance company had decided to once again require pre-authorization for my prescription, and it took almost a week to get it. By Sunday night, I had to cut down to 300mg- and I thought I had a pill tucked away for Monday morning. But of course I didn't, I had already taken it- so by noon on Monday I was in Effexor withdrawal hell.

During lunch I slunk away from work and ran to the pharmacy to buy a few pills, paying out of pocket. And as soon as I got them, I went and took one- thinking, the only difference between me and a heroin addict is that I expect my insurance company to cover my drugs!

Since then my insurance company has agreed to cover my prescription, so all is well. Except that my new prescriprion is for the generic Effexor capsules, not the tablets that I had been getting. The tablets I could cut, which made it easier to go down on it. With the capsules, I can't do that- so, if I want to go down further, and not go down 150mg at a time (and I don't want to do that), it will have to involve my doctor.

Some people would say that it should always involve my doctor. But I have really gotten to the point to where I feel my psychiatrist is the person who I go to when I can't figure it out for myself. When I get stuck. And it does happen. But then again, I recently haven't been liking his suggestions. Abilify, lithium, no thanks. When you are depressed enough, you will try anything, though. And when you are depressed enough you can't think that well for yourself. And that is how I got on the Abilify for a while. That is how I almost got on lithium again. Lithium is in again. It was out during the one time I could have used it, when I was really manic, and no one would put me on the right mood stabilizer. But I've been really depressed on lithium, so even if it is in, I don't really think it is a great drug for me now.

But also, my psychiatrist keeps saying that if I go on lithium, I might be able to get off of Zyprexa. I don't think that the reason that I can't get off of Zyprexa is that I need lithium. If I do need more mood stabilization off of Zyprexa, I'll cross that bridge when I get to it. I can't get off of Zyprexa because when I try to stop taking it I can't sleep. And unless lithium is a really good sleeping drug, it isn't going to get me off of Zyprexa.

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