Thursday, September 4, 2008

Ain't No Reason

There's an official video, but this one's for the Firefly fans and Browncoats. They're all big damn heroes and too pretty to die.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

20/20 Hindsight

It wasn't until I was in the truck with Jb on the way back from the store when I realized that I went into the psychiatrist's office hoping for a different diagnosis. Something simpler. Not bipolar. It made me tear up.


Full blown hypomanic today, though. Speeding in the car. Nearly clipped a parked car and ran a red light, but god, the rush of driving fast again. My thoughts were all over the place and several times I had to ask both my therapist and my psych what I'd been talking about. My therapist called it a "flight of ideas." I think that's a euphemism for random, racing thoughts. But it was the first time she got to see that side of me, and it's useful in her sessions with me. Otherwise, I'm merely telling her stories. Same with the psych. It's almost good he saw me like that. I think therapists and psychiatrists, in general, believe depression more easily than hypomania. Probably because you seek help when you're depressed, but when you're hypo, it's a high, euphoric. Who'd report that?

New Psych, New Evaluation, Same Diagnosis

I love the new psych. I am not going back to the old one. The new one spent an actual hour and a half with me, listening to me, to my history, to my ideas about my meds. I was prepared this time. In all fairness to my last psych, he got me straight from the hospital, and all I could do for several visits was sit in the chair and cry. But this time, I used my resume to help create a timeline of episodes of depression and hypomania and brought along a list of my meds and when I was given them.

On first blush, the psych agrees that I have some form of bipolar. Probably bipolar II because I don't seem to show a history of full blow mania or psychosis. He's shoving Remeron off my list of meds, which I'd tried to talk my last psych into doing because I knew it wasn't working for me. And while my new psych thinks Lamictal is good for some types of bipolar, he thinks Lithium might be the better choice for me, but we need some baseline blood tests. I go to my new PCP Monday, and my psych gave me a "prescription" for what he required in the blood test.

He also wants my past history from the hospital, from my last psych, and from my last PCP. He's the first psych to be so thorough. And I could tell he listened to me. He agreed with me when I said that I thought they were merely throwing drugs at me and couldn't understand why I was on three -- count them: three -- anti-depressents. He'd like to have me try Lithium and get me down to one anti-depressent or maybe a muscle relaxant? That last bit I'm not sure of. I need to research that more in the treatment of bipolar disorder.

It was a second opinion, though, and he seemed utterly professional and interested in my input -- that I wanted an evaluation and a diagnosis. When I walked out the door, I told him how glad I was to have found him and that he seemed very professional and gave me a better evaluation than I've had since the hospital. He kinda smiled, like he was feeling a little self-conscious, and told me I was a very good patient. So I'm encourage. He seems like someone who's willing to work together on my diagnosis, and that matters a great deal to me.

I really lucked into this non-profit organization. They are, without equal, the best treatment I've received since being in Maryland. I even called the head honcho of the place to let him know how happy I was with my therapist and the meeting with my psychiatrist. After some shoddy treatment, you don't realize what a relief it is to finally find the holy grail of psychological specialists. And we often overlook people who do their jobs, and do them well. I wanted to be sure the head honcho knew what a great set of people he had.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Is It Peace Or Is It Prozac?

New Psych

Tomorrow's my appointment with a new psychiatrist. I haven't given up my old one, entirely. I'm considering her a fall back option. But this new psychiatrist works with the same agency as my therapist, and as I like her a great deal and the agency seems extremely professional, I want to give this guy a real shot. My therapist and I have been discussing my diagnosis, and I've explained to her the whirlwind way they slapped a label on me in the hospital, then again at my last psych without any sort of true evaluation or tests, etc. My therapist said she was going to talk to the psych before my appointment, let him know what we'd been discussing. I told her if she should stress anything it's that I would really like to have a thorough evaluation, including tests if available and that's what it takes, and a real diagnosis. I need something solid to hang my hat on.

Here's hoping.

Axis of Evil

I'm slacking on my meds again. I got myself a day/afternoon/night pillbox to deal with all the meds I'm on because, frankly, at 12:30am, I'm not thinking the clearest; I'll pass up my meds if they're too much damn trouble. And that's what I've found myself doing. Late night can't be buggereds and early morning forgets. On top of that, my stomach and gut are acting up real bad.

It's the meds. It all comes back to the meds. It takes me roughly 2-3 hours to completely wake up in the morning. If I get caffeine, I can muddle through on 1 1/2 hours. But that's just it. Having to get up and drive Jb around in the early mornings, I've started chugging caffeine again after being off it for nearly a year. On top of that, I'm smoking more often. American Spirit Menthol Lights give me a slight buzz that Marlboro Menthols never did. The combination is chewing up my stomach, though, and it's creating this "axis of evil," where I'm using caffeine to get me up, cigarettes to bring me down, and meds to keep me level.