Monday, September 3, 2012

I'm not a Vulcan

Mr Spock was always my favorite character on Star Trek. I wanted to be a Vulcan. And the worse my depressions are- and the more dysphoric I feel- the more I think I should have been born a Vulcan, or at least a robot. And I wish for a pill that would take away all feeling, but let me function.

Except that it doesn't work that way. If you take away emotion, you take away any motivation, as well as any reward. Somehow Vulcans are permitted to keep curiosity, but not much else. But for me it is all or nothing. And make me numb, and there is no reason to keep going, no reason to push on.

And that is what I feel right now. Between adding on the lithium and a little klonopin at night, I have been pretty numb for 3 days. And I was kind of content to lie in bed for 3 days. Nothing got done, and things needed to get done. But a large part of me doesn't care.

To trade a piece of the depression for apathy isn't much of a bargain.

The side effects start

My 3rd night of lithium. I slept well last night- and no napping today. But tonight, after about 3 hours, I have woken up, somewhat wide awake, feeling sick to my stomach and with a cramp in my left calf. I wish I had some ginger ale, but I don't.

I have been trying to figure out how much my ACE inhibitor is likely to raise my lithium level, and I can't find a good answer- I have seen estimates from 30-60 percent to 2-4 times. I take a HUGE dose of Lotensin. I wonder if my psychiatrist realizes how much I take. And I am wondering if 600mg of lithium will still be "low dose" given my ACE inhibitor. Maybe I shouldn't go up that high. We actually didn't even discuss the Lotensin. I was too busy crying to think about it during the session. But he has all my meds, so I will assume that he knows at least that I am on it- and he has that electronic medical record that probably flags all drug interactions.

Lithium is one scary drug if you read all of the side effects. But then again, I took the MAOI's, and I was glad to take them, because they worked so well on my depression (for a while). Anything is better than severe depression. Even life without cheese!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Day 1 on Lithium

My psychiatrist gave me a prescription for Lithobid, which is extended release. However, when I got home and looked at what the pharmacy had given me, it looked like they had given me regular, instant release generic lithium carbonate. At least that is what the label said. Oh well- I wasn't about to go back. I knew the price was too cheap. And they are not open on weekends.

So I started with a 300mg capsule last night. Which made me feel- strange. Sleepy, but I couldn't sleep- until about 4am, even though I took a klonopin. But then I napped half the day. I felt calmer. I felt less depressed, I think- but mostly I felt numb. And that feeling is still with me today. Maybe I don't care enough to feel depressed.

I don't do illegal drugs. But when I start a new drug, and I am looking a bottle of brand new pills, wondering how it is going to make me feel- I know there really isn't much difference. I am doing drugs. Let's see what this one does!

I am supposed to do 5 days at 300mg, and then go up to 600mg. I think I will have to wait until next Friday night to make the increase.

I know that meds are only half the story-my life is a mess- but my life is a mess because I have been depressed for so long. I can't fix my life if I don't fix the depression. But then, sometimes I think my life is too broken, I am too broken, that even if lithium turns out to be the wonder drug, it is too late.

But this is just day 1. I have to be a little more patient than that.