Astramillie’s Weblog

Just a girl who’s bipolar trying to figure out her world

Love Hate relationship with seroquel April 12, 2009

I’ve been reading a lot of negative blogs about Seroquel. Most I agree with to a point. Astrazeneca is a large pharm co. that worries primarily with the bottom line. Seroquel has some pretty evil side effects. I’ve put on weight and worse I’m now pre-diabetic. The diabetes link has been known about for years withfew warnings given to patients. Bad.
Here is why I stayed on it – it helped my mania better than any other med hands down. I only take it at night so the sedation meant I wasn’t taking sleeping pills.
Yes, I will be going off it if my diet change hasn’t affected my diabetic status. But, I wanted to give another perspective.

 

The days of the spinster end

Filed under: Uncategorized — astramillie @ 2:53 pm
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I’ve been away from my blog for a long time.  I’ve had quite a few life changes.  I’ve already given the health update, my psychiatric situation is in flux, but the biggest change is that I’ve moved in with my boyfriend.  Yikes!

At 39 its a little late in life to lear how to live with someone else when I’ve lived alone most of my adult life.  I’ve been feeling that I don’t have the tools that are necessary for a successful relationship.  I’m learning though, J. is to important to me not to.

Now, we haven’t been together for very long.  In all actuality we should have been eachother’s transitional relationships.  Both of us having each ending a relationship recently when we got together.  But, it was just right.  Why fight it?

There are times when I get so irritated  I want to leave, but it passes because I guess I love him and want this to work.  I just feel like my personal space has been trespassed upon.  Our new house is big enough to get away, and I comandeered the office for my own.

On the other hand, I love the domestication of it.  Making dinner for him.  Doing the laundry.  Weird stuff is making me…well…content.  Don’t get me wrong, sometimes that contentment feels so foreign its uncomfortable.  Sometimes I bait him just to get a response (not very healthy I know).  Other times it is  just the perfect thing to just sit quietly together on the couch, each of us with our laptops in a companionable silence.

No, I’ll never give him children.  But, I gave him a dog and two cats he loves.  He takes care of me when my back is in pain, I’m trying to give him a real home.  Its all a lesson in real life and I think I’m rolling with it.

 

Diabetes, High Blood Pressure, Bad Back and anything else that can go wrong!

Filed under: Mental Health,mental illness,Uncategorized — astramillie @ 1:17 pm
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I haven’t been writing at all lately.  Horrible block.  But, I have some things to write about right now.  Where to start?

OK, I’ve been on Seroquel for about 8 years.  Started taking it before it was even approved for Bipolar.  I have even given speeches praising it.  Well, that has come back to kick me in the ass.  Last blood test showed sure enough I might be joining the Diabetes club.  My levels are only at pre-diabetes numbers right now – but that’s enough to scare me into changing my diet and talk to the P-Doc about  switching meds even though I love my Seroquel. 

How can I love something that has a track record of causing a horrible illness while fixing another?  That’s the key – it fixes me.  My mania is almost non existent when I take it regularly.  Next blood test is in May, we’ll see if my sugars have been affected by my new diet (here’s a plus – its helped me lose 10 lbs!) and if I have to go cold turkey on the Seroquel if there has been no change.  Or, G-d forbid I’ve moved into actual diabetes.

The other thing that the blood work found was “critically high” LDL Cholesterol.  So, I’mworking on a low cholesterol diet as well as an anti-diabetes diet.  Scary, but not as scary as the diabetes.  We’ll know more in May.

Now, I’m Samantha so the whining can’t stop there.  My back is killing me.  For real, not some sort of hypochondriacal (word?) twinge that I’ve blown out of proportion.  I am generally spending large portions of my day flat on my back.  My last cortisone shot didn’t work.  Its now progressed from lower back to middle and I’m getting sharp pain down my right leg and arm.  I’m having two MRIs on Wednesday so we’ll know something by the end of the week.

So there you go Samantha’s health update.  There is more to update everyone on (big stuff on the relationship front), I’ll write that in another post.

 

To be a spinster or not to be November 8, 2008

So, my birthday is around the corner.  39.  Once again the ugly head of spinsterhood is facing me.  Sort of.  I’ve been seeing someone for about 5 months, but we aren’t “exclusive.”  Or at least we weren’t.  At about month 3 I started freaking out about having someone in life in a perhaps permanent way.  I told him to date other women, that I couldn’t give him what he needed.  I was being brutally honest.  I cared about him but couldn’t do a lot of the things a girlfriend should do. 

My agoraphobia stops me from going out to eat, go to the movies, really any kind of “date” thing.  Let alone go to his house where his teenage kids were.  I could down any number of Klonopins and still feel the band around my chest and labored breathing.  There is a line from a song by the Magnetic Fields that sums me up – “I’m un-boyfriendable.”  I can’t handle variations in my routine and trying to fit another person into my life is incredibly disruptive. 

He was really persistant and a few weeks ago I gave in and started seeing him again on a more regular basis.  I was still insistant that he see other people though.  Then last week I took a big breath and actually spent the night at his house.  I survived.  But, it changed how I looked at our relationship.  The simple act of spending the night with him shifted my resolve.  I don’t want him to see other women now.  Damn it, I don’t want to be here.  It doesn’t seem fair to move the goal posts on him.  I don’t want to be possessive, nor do I want to be “girly.”  But these feelings are creeping in. 

My daily patterns can’t be set in stone when another person is involved.  That scares the Hell out of me.  I depend on routine to hold myself together.  Right now I’m free floating, when I’m with him I feel safe but on my own I’m petrified. 

It doesn’t help that I’m experiencing a low level depressive cycle right now.  I’m pretty sure it has to do with the change in weather.  I’m back to going to bed by 7pm and waking up at 2am.  Crap.  I haven’t been able to write, its a struggle to do my homework.  Luckily I see the P Doc on Monday.

I guess the bottom line is that I’m safer by myself with just the obligatory cats and dog.  But, is safer better?  Isn’t happiness more likely when you risk something?  He and I are supposed to be talking today, I guess I will see how he reacts to a change in the rules.  Where is the xanax patch when you need it?

 

Whine, Whine, Whine October 24, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — astramillie @ 11:29 am
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OK, I’m blocked.  Unable to write anything whether its for this blog or school work.  I’m going to try to break through this with some lists and quotes I have pinned to the walls of my office.  Speaking of…if anyone came into the office not knowing me they might think it belonged to someone plotting something, or not taking their meds.

I fell in love with quotes a few months ago and compile a list each week.  I send them to my grandmother and she uses them at the retirement home she lives in for her current event time.  The best are printed out and pinned to my wall, often with a picture of the person who made the quote.  At this time I’m running out of room. 

“Clothes make the man.  Naked men have little or no influence on society.”  Mark Twain

“I tell you, we are here on earth to fart around, and don’t let anybody tell you different.”  Kurt Vonnegut

 

Things wrong in my life (no particular order):

1.  I’m in a walking cast due to tendonitis.

2.  My mother’s back is so bad she can barely walk and they just postponed her surgery to December (the asses).

3.  I was just diagnosed with degenerative disc disease, which is basically how it started with mom, and they are already talking surgery (which I will refuse at this point regardless of the pain I’m in).

4. Problems with my isister that I’m not allowed to blog about.

5.  Had to drop one of my classes, so now I won’t graduate in May like I wanted to.

6.  Major writer’s block

7.  Trying to get rid of boyfriend, he won’t take no for an answer.

 

Good things?

1.  Meds working pretty well – any depression I feel is situational and can not be medicated.

2.  Getting along with parents

3.  I have made a few friends in the last 6 months

Really, that’s all.

 

“Howard Hughes was able to afford the luxury of madness, like  man who not only thinks he is Napoleon but hires an army to prove it.”  Ted Morgan

 

Where I’ve been October 5, 2008

Filed under: Mental Health,mental illness,Uncategorized — astramillie @ 6:06 pm
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I haven’t written since before the hysterectomy.  I’ve been blocked.  The surgery went very well – the fibroid was honestly as big as a grapefruit.  Why do we always use fruit as our gauge?

I was getting fuzzy headed so the p. doc took me off Topomax.  The change is amazing, clear head, getting things done, and I have my short term memory back.  Yay!

Doing well this semester but I was reminded that I have a limited amount of RAM.  I was taking two classes and at the same time organizing Obama events.  Nothing was getting done well.  I was just spread to thin, I don’t have the capacity others have.  I can only concentrate on one big thing at a time.  Dropped one of the classes and gave up on my career as a campaign organizer.  Hopefully he wins without my daily help.

I even attempted a relationship – didn’t work.  I really am a spinster at heart.  I’m all for casual dating, but I don’t have it in me right now to put the proper work into a serious relationship.  But, that’s ok.  I have the dog, the two cats, and buddy the betta.  I also have a rat – but I’m looking for a new home for him, I can’t play with him like he deserves.  He’s going to live with a pre-teen boy, I hope. 

That’s all for now, just an update.  More to come…

 

Watch what you wish for;or the world’s biggest anxiety attack May 27, 2008

Well, I’ve kept quiet on this blog for a while.  I’ve been absorbing my health news.  The cm vs mm michigas was solved.  I have both.  There is a 6 cm fibroid on the outside of my uterus and 5 mm on the inside.  The gyno told me that he would remove the one on the inside since that was the one that was causing the wacky menstration.  The huge thing growing on the outside we’d just “watch” as the only way to get rid of it would be a hystorectomy.  Ummm…ok.

Now, I put on a lot of weight in the last year and a half.  Both my p-doc and GP decided that after 8 years the seroquel was causing it.  I never really bought it, but sure enough when I ramped down I lost 10 lbs pretty quickly.  But, when I gain weight I usually gain it first in my belly.  When I lose it, I lose it there first.  Not this time.  And, its not fleshy, its hard, as if I were pregnant (I’ve been waiting for someone to ask when I’m due.  I’ve seen that happen to friends, so cringeworthy).  I’m sure that’s the fibroid. 

But, that’s not the reason for my decision, its just a piece of the puzzle.

Anyway – as I’m talking to the gyno I ask “if you remove the fibroid in the uterus, what are the odds I’ll be back in your office within say, a year?”   He answered “Very good odds.”  So, I explained to him that it was found that I had some genetic anomaly that made it impossible for me to have children, and therefore had no need for my uterus.  He said “so I’m hearing that you would rather have a hysterectomy sooner than later?”  I said yes if you think I’ll have to have one later.  He told me he didn’t want to use the word “have” to.

Here is the self-fulfilling prophesy – Ever since I got the no children sentence handed down, I’ve joked that I didn’t think it was fair to have to still have periods and I might as well have a hysterectomy.  Well, guess what.

I’ve been very clinical about it.  I’ve researched the hell out of the topic.  Doctor sites, discussion boards, books from the library, and very clinical articles.  I know what I’m getting into, I’m not doing this lightly.  I was having surgery anyway.  And, would eventually have this one.  I could discuss it calmly, was  little scared, but the academic in me was in control.

Then came Saturday.

I woke up with an elephant on my chest.  I know what an anxiety attack feels like.  I know agoraphobia like I know my best friends (actually better).  It came time to walk to my parents for ironically my klonopin and Xanax, and I couldn’t do it.  I couldn’t just leave my house, I couldn’t leave my bedroom.  What I was scared of in my living room I can’t explain, but it scared the hell out of me.  Luckily my mother was kind enough to bring my pills to me.  They barely dented the anxiety.  I spent the entire day in bed kind of playing on the computer reminding myself to breathe.  I was too far along for any type of relaxation exercise.  It was terrifying, I haven’t felt that way since I moved here almost 2 years ago.  Everything just hit at once I guess.

I’m better now, still have low lying anxiety.  Can walk to my parents, trying the grocery store this morning (maybe).  Does anyone know if they make either a xanx drip I can pull around with me or a klonopin patch?