Monday, July 29, 2013

Good yoga class today

My yoga class kicked my butt today. It was good, even though I didn't want to to go. The best thing about it was I think I am getting better. It is my 4th class, and I am already feeling more flexible and maybe a little stronger. But not a lot stronger, because I am really feeling my quads tonight! It is good to feel something getting better about my body.

That is the thing about exercise. You don't always want to do it. You just do it. When I am depressed, this feels pretty impossible, to make myself go. When I am not depressed, it becomes in the realm of the possible. Even if I don't want to go. I am glad I did.

I am worried, because I am going to have to miss the next two classes do to social plans and then a dentist appointment. That is too long to miss. Will I start to lose my flexibility? Will I get out of the groove and stop going? I just might have to take a more advanced class over the weekend, because that is all that is offered when I can go. I am in no way ready for more advanced, but I might do it anyway.

I know yoga is not enough, I will have to start adding more things. But for now, it is enough. It is my starting point. I have done so little for so long, other than the occasional walk or hike.

I am also loving my new Kindle. Yes, the screen size is a little small. But I am okay with it- it seems so large compared to my iphone, and I read the New York Times on that. I am in the midst of reading a sci fi book that I can't put down, "Shift," but I have already downloaded 6 other books! Amazon is making money on me already with my kindle.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Withdrawal effect

Last night was my second night on the lower Zyprexa. I had a hard time falling asleep due because of restless legs. I have never experienced this except when lowering antipsychotic dosages. It is really unpleasant! Fortunately, last night is was not that severe compared to a couple of times in the past. I hope it doesn't repeat tonight.

All drugs have side effect listing that you can look up, and see how common they are (or at least have been reported). There should also be a listing for these drugs for withdrawal effects! But I suppose there is no economic incentive for that- the drug companies want you to stay on these drugs forever, why would they collect data on the problems that people have going off? Not unless the FDA mandates it, they won't.

And I don't trust psychiatrists to report adverse withdrawal effects, any more than adverse effects. I have had more psychiatrist deny that I was experiencing a certain side effect, or that it was due to the medication I was taking, only for years later it to become a known side effect of the drug.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Weekends aren't long enough

I was supposed to go to my dad's today, but felt so tired I put it off until tomorrow. I did two loads of laundry today, otherwise not much else. I feel like I need today to recuperate from the week. And then it is Sunday, when I have a hundred things to do, and then it is back to work.

It is not that I don't like working- I'd just like to do less of it! That would be ideal.

I think I will have to go out to the grocery store tonight, because I have nothing left to eat. Otherwise I am being very lazy. And I am a little sore from Friday evening's yoga. My body is still not used to it. I am trying to go twice a week- I don't think there is a third beginner class that fits with my work schedule, so it will have to be twice a week.

Tomorrow at my dad's I can do some swimming, as his development has a pool. But before I go there I have to go into work to do some paperwork.

And my success- as of last night, I am back down to 5mg of Zyprexa. I did have to take klonopin to sleep, but otherwise I feel fine. I haven't decided if I am going to try to go down further. I'm sure I will- I always do, I can't help myself- but I'm not sure when.

Thursday I get a lithium level done, and I am very curious as to what it will be. My last one was .4, but that was before the increase. I don't know if levels increase linearly with dosage or not. Part of me hopes it is at least .6 this time- then I would have more confidence about trying to lower the zyprexa. Because I wouldn't need it so much as a mood stabilizer.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

A little thing which is a big thing

I just made plans for something for next week.

For so much of my life, I have been afraid to do this, because my history of sticking to future plans is pretty bad. I will make plans when I feel good- or because I feel like I "should" be doing something- but I cannot predict my mood a week from now and it is frequently bad. So I have become gun shy about making long range plans. I even have booked vacations I never went on because I was just too depressed when the time came.

But I scheduled an appointment for a week from now, and I did not feel any hesitation, any worry. I just did it. I guess I am starting to trust this.

The view of the world when depressed, and not depressed, is just so different. I can think about the future now, at least a little. I can make plans without that fear.

I know I have to take is slow, not expect everything of my myself all at once. Otherwise I'll start judging myself, which really gets me to a bad place.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Life goes on

I continue to be better, and on a little bit less Zyprexa as well. Meanwhile, life goes on. Work. My apartment still a mess from weeks of not being okay. My grandmother in the hospital.

The problem with coming out of a depression is that I have let my life become such a mess, that is almost too hard to climb out of, sometimes. How to get caught up with everything I have let go- and not let that struggle pull me back in as I judge myself for letting things come to this.

The scary thing is, I know there is nothing I know of that will prevent me from going to those bad places again. Once I thought the meds would stop it- but they didn't. They just seem to help me come out of it quicker than simply waiting it out (which has been tried, believe me). But I know my world will go dark again, and whatever life I build will start to fall apart again. And the dreams I have will again seem like nothing but heavy stones, weighing me down.

So all I can do is to try to make the most of this time, and hope that the more I can build up my life, the less it will fall totally apart during my next dark time.

Of course, someday I may have had my last depression. Either I will die depressed, or someday I will have had my last depression. It would be nice to know which, but I guess you don't get to know that in advance.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

A double edged sword

Zyprexa can be good and zyprexa can be bad.

When I am irritable, anxious, obsessive, or have one of my "thinking depressions," nothing is better at shutting my head up and getting me out of that place. At that point I am usually pretty paralyzed by what is going on in my head, and not capable of doing very much, and anything that can get me out of that place makes it easier to act, easier to function.

But Zyprexa by its nature can by paralyzing. It can make me want to do nothing. It can take my drive away and make me less functional. Sometimes, especially at the lower doses, this is a very subtle effect, and much more obvious at the higher doses.

So it is a balancing act. Taking too much Zyprexa really defeats the purpose of taking it, which is to let me live my life. But I''m willing to take a little bit, if that also helps me to live my life. But does it? I don't know, only that trying to get off of it has been too disruptive to my life. Maybe when I retire I can get off of it! Otherwise, 5mg (possibly 3.75) seems as low as I can go without getting intractable insomnia. And that leads to mood symptoms, and it gets bad.

I just bought a Kindle

I had promised myself that after I took this really hard certification exam I would buy a kindle. Because now I would have time to read. And I didn't initially, because I was going back and forth between buying a kindle and a tablet. And then my mood went south, and buying anything became impossible, I couldn't even go into a grocery store for 4 weeks. Thank god for Wendy's drive through and their salads, it is the only way I ate any vegetables during this time.

But now I am better. At least better enough to buy my kindle. And to go to yoga last Friday, to the movies yesterday (and even to the grocery store on the way home). I'd say I am better.

Ultimately, it came down to the fact that I don't have wireless at home, I have cable for my internet home but with only 1 person I didn't spring for the wireless router. So the kindle 3G will work pretty well for me. Although it does seem like a pretty small screen size. But also, between my iphone and my lap top, I really didn't think I needed a tablet- especially because I would have to pay for a data plan.

I've signed up for yoga again on Monday. Wow.

I'm still on the higher Zyprexa. I am scared to go down again. I am feeling so much better on it. And yet, I really do not like this drug. I will, eventually get myself back down to 5mg, if not lower, but not now. I just need a little time to feel okay, and not be thinking about med adjustments. So at least for another week, I am staying at 7.5mg. Perhaps I should finish getting off of the Zonegran first. And perhaps I should wait until fall to go down on the Zyprexa- when my depressions are usually true depressions and less likely to be mixed states.

Imagine if statins caused tardive dyskinesia. They would have been pulled off the market by now. But never mind, we are just mentally ill. It's funny, there is all of this concern about getting elderly people with dementia off of antipsychotics. But you know if they are bad for this population, they are really bad for everyone. But where is the outrage with antipsychotics used for non-psychotic diagnoses other than elderly dementia?

If I had known then what I know now I would never have gone on Zyprexa. Or maybe not- I was so depressed at the time, I might not have cared. But I think it is too late for me to get off of it entirely now. But hopefully I can lower my dose.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Too much lithium, I think

I tried going up on the lithium this weekend. Yesterday it was hard to judge- I didn't try to do anything (except go for a massage, heavenly). But today I tried to go in to do paperwork, and I could not. I felt so frozen and paralyzed, and my hands felt so tight it was hard to write. It was literally hard to write. I wasn't having tremors, but it felt like my body wanted to be shaking- and trying to write only made that feeling worse- and it was a horrible feeling.

So tonight I go back down to 900mg. It will have to do. I liked lithium at 900mg (I never thought I would say I liked lithium...). I don't like it at 1200mg. And I didn't like it in the past, when I was on a very high dose.

So hopefully this means I can stop thinking about meds so much for a while. The question is answered about my lithium dose. 900mg for lithium. And then I will give it a few more days on the higher Zyprexa, then try to come back down to 5mg.

Meanwhile, I have to figure out how much to give myself some slack vs how hard to push myself. I think I am feeling better enough that I can start to push myself a little- I actually did laundry this morning.

But I cried at work, when I couldn't do my notes. It is hard enough to fight my moods. When I am fighting the meds, too, it can be impossible to act. I was so frustrated, that made me depressed.

Hopefully tomorrow will be better with less lithium in me.

And hopefully tomorrow I can be present and in the moment and not going back and forth in my head about meds, etc. Which is what I have been doing too much of recently, and I hate it- although, to a certain extent it is appropriate when you are making med changes.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Doing what I don't want to do, again

I was not doing well, I even broke down and called my psychiatrist a week and a half before I was supposed to see him. He upped my lithium, which seemed to help a little. But not enough. So when I went to see him next, he upped my lithium even more, as well as increasing my Zyprexa to 7.5 from 5, although I had really been doing that off and on just to get through the day.

I do not want to be on more Zyprexa- or lithium, for that matter. But I don't want to be like this. It has really gotten unbearable. 

It is really damn hard to work and make med adjustments. One minute you can't work because your mood disorder is acting up, and the next minute you can't function because of side effects- and then you can't tell which is which at times.

I did back off the lithium after the first day because I felt too spacey the next day- but now on the weekend I am back up to 1200mg. And I am giving it one more night to see how it is. Tomorrow I have to go in and do paperwork, i'll see how it goes.

But between the lithium and the zyprexa, I do feel much better. I'm not all the way there- but I am better. I'm not going to stay on this high dose of Zyprexa, but I'll give it a week more I think. I'm hoping the lithium is okay. I feel like the Zyprexa really took care of the irritability that was so intolerable- but that the lithium has more of an impact on my depression.

Of course in my tradition of going on something and stopping something- as I raise the lithium I am trying to lower another of my meds, Zonegran. Because it also makes me a little space, and I'm not 100% sure I need it. It was the next drug to try to get off of. So now I am down from 300mg to 200mg.

I am going to reduce it ever so slowly, as it is an anticonvulsant and I do not want to have a seizure. I did once, supposedly from a medication interaction, but who really knows? It was during one of the few times in my adult life that I was not taking an anticonvulsant, only lithium.

I just want a life and to not think about my moods and my meds and all that. I just have to get through this. It is getting better.