As time goes by

So I’ve been at this new job for several months, and it’s great. I’m working part time, with flexible hours. My boss is great about given me the days off I need to deal with doctor appointments and taking care of my mom. The people I work with are really nice. Very friendly. I’m definitely making progress. Glass is half empty/full, whatever,lol. My psych doc is still adjusting my medication but I still have problems with anxiety, paranoia and anger/irritability. Seems to be helping that he has adjusted my meds. So far,so good. My birthday is coming up and I asked for a not to expensive charcoal grill. I want to start grilling out and enjoying smoked chicken and fish. I’m excited. I haven’t had a grill in over………Twenty years I think. Huh. Hadn’t realized it had been that long. I can’t wait to put it together and fire it up. My memory seems to be more affected by my new medications, which is not great, but manageable with tools like a schedule calendar. I have a schedule for when I take my meds to what time I go to bed every night, and I try to stay strictly to it. I take something for sleep which helps. It let’s me sleep about 7 hours a night. Been losing weight since I started back to work. I’ve already lost 15 pounds in the last three months alone. Hope all who read this are doing well, and have a measure of peace.

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Baby steps.

Finished school in May. In training for my new job. Still seeing my psychiatrist and psychologist on a month and a half basis. My weight has leveled out and I’m maintaining it, but I need to do more. I was obsessing over a game while in school because I was very anxious and the game distracted me from my anxiety. I don’t think of it as being a healthy obsession. I was either studying and doing course work ,or staying awake 24 hours a day playing the game until I was physically falling asleep playing. I finally have it under control but it took awhile to withdraw from playing. I don’t how many people use video games as an escape. 

My niece turns 12 tomorrow. Hard to believe. She’s getting taller, and smarter. She’s alot like me. I just hope she isn’t too much like me.  I don’t want her to have to deal with this illness all her life.

I’m doing okay. Not as well as I’d like, but much better in some ways. I actually made the dean’s list in school. I’m not cooking as often as I’d like. To much processed food and fast food. I don’t know why except I don’t eat until I’m really hungry, and by that time I don’t want to cook. Something I’m working on I guess. 

Hope all are doing well. God bless

What a year it’s been

2016 was a momentous year for me. New psychiatrist, new psychologist , new internal medicine doctor. Things steadily improved. I’ve become stable and I am going back to school this month to get my certificate for pharmacy so I can work in a hospital. It’s been a bit nerve wracking because I’ve had to figure out financial aid for tuition and books. I’m still working on it as I type this. I’m hoping to have some resolution by tomorrow. Regardless things are going so much better. I really like , and trust my doctors which is important. I’m sleeping better, and I’m typically far less anxious. I’ve lost 31 pounds in the last six months, and hope to lose more in the coming months. I’m still not engaging socially as much as I’d like, but I’m working on  it. All I can really say is that God is faithful……..even though I at times am not. He seems to always fill in the gap between my faith, or lack there of, and what His plans are for me. I am grateful. It’s been some time since I have written, but I’ve not always been able to concentrate. I’m doing so much better. I hope all that read this are blessed, and that your burdens are lightened. God bless you, David

It’s been awhile

I haven’t written in almost three months! A lot has happened. I’ve seen my new psychiatrist four times now. I like him. He’s easy to work with. We have changed a few medications , and I’m still relatively stable, plus I’ve lost 15 pounds! The change in medications has allowed my body to do better at metabolizing food.

I’ve been really anxious lately. Just a lot happening. I’m taking placement tests for school, and studying. Both of which have me anxious. I was panicking last week. My anti-anxiety medication was barely touching my anxiety. I feel better, though I’m still anxious. I’ve used coping skills, but for whatever reason they just were not enough this time. I’ve taken two of the placement tests so far, and I have two more to take. On top of my anxiety about school I’ve been worried about my sister , and her family. They are going through a really tuff crisis. I know all I can do is pray, and offer support, but I wish there was more I could do. Also my mom has tachycardia. I had to have her admitted to the hospital two weeks ago. They kept her overnight for observation. Her doctor had her wear a heart harness for 24 hours last week. Still haven’t heard the results yet. Her doctor said he was going to refer her to a cardiologist.

All my anxiety has been situational. While the anxiety stinks it’s better than being anxious with no cause. I will have to take college level composition, but I will not have to take literature. I still have the math , and science test to take. I’ll probably take them this week after I study.

I forgot to mention,lol. My plumbing backed up the other day, and the excess moisture in the air caused my air conditioner to freeze up. I’m without air till the bloke of ice melts. Hopefully by this time tomorrow it will have completely melted.

I’ll live I suppose, just can’t wait till these situations are resolved. I praise God that’s it’s not worse than it is.

What I’ve learned so far

I’ve learned to be my own advocate for my mental health. To ask for solutions. To expect results.  I’ve learned to be assertive , and not take no for an answer. It’s been five long years becoming stable. Pulling myself out of dark depression.  Seeking help, and finding answers. I know my mind and emotions better than anyone else. I’ve become vigilant in policing my changing thoughts and emotions looking for extremes. For signs of mania , or depression. I learned to gently push aside my obsessive thoughts and actions. To steer my mind into healthy positive thoughts instead of catastrophic  thinking. I’ve also learned that there is stigma attached to having bipolar disorder. I left one doctor because she was obviously uncomfortable being alone in the room with me. I found a great doctor after that. My new psychiatrist I’m still evaluating.  I’ve only seen him once. He seems fine, easy to work with. His assistant  on the other hand is rude, and she feels that it’s her place to brush me off and give me medical advice. I’m going to speak to my psychiatrist  next month about her behavior. If I don’t get satisfaction I’ll look for another doctor since I now have enough refills to see me through for several months. We’ll see if it gets better with her tomorrow when I call his office. I shouldn’t  have to become anxious because of an assistant  who doesn’t know me, or my story, and who has absolutely nothing to do with my medical treatment except to pass along my messages to my doctor then call me back with his reply. As I’ve said I’ve learned to be assertive. Life is to short to worry about rude unhappy people ruining my day.
I’ve also learned a lot about different medications through this whole process. What works for me, and what doesn’t. What side effects are worth putting up with, and horrible side effects that make you question why you are putting this stuff in your body. I’ve learned coping skills that help alleviate some of my anxious , and obsessive symptoms. If I have manic symptoms now they are very mild and short lived. The same holds true with depression. My obsessive compulsive thoughts and actions have quieted down considerably.  Over all I feel fine , and stable. Relatively happy, and calm. Most days I’m at peace.

Here we go again

Got a letter from the state at the middle of May telling me I would no longer be covered under Medicaid because I am covered under Medicare. My psychiatrist,  and my therapist only accept Medicaid patients. So now I had to find a new doctor. I’ve been with my current psychiatrist for two years, and he is the reason I am stable.  I found a new psychiatrist,  and a new psychologist.  I see my new psychologist  tomorrow.  I’ve spoken with her twice , and she’s very friendly and open. I look forward to seeing her. I couldn’t get a read on my new psychiatrist because I spoke to him for less than a minute over the phone, then I had to call his office the following day to schedule an appointment with his assistant. I’m worried that he’ll want to change my medications, which if he does I’ll have to look for another psychiatrist  because you don’t fix  want ain’t broke. I’m stable for the first time in my life for the past nine months. I just don’t want to go through the hassle of trying to find another psychiatrist. Who knows, he could be brilliant,  and easy to get along with. I just need a psychiatrist who  will listen to me , and do what’s best for me. I want to stop taking Saphris because of my weight gain, and be put completely on Geodon and see if that works. I’ll know Wednesday what kind of psychiatrist he is, and whether I can work with him. I’m not as anxious about it as I was thanks to my friend. She listened patiently to my anxious worries, didn’t judge me, and encouraged me. She helped me be rational about it. If this doctor doesn’t work out I have enough refills that I can search for another doctor. I know it’s not really a big deal, except to me it is because this is my mental health, and I want to remain stable. On top of my worrying about his competency,  and his character I have to be at his office at 7:45 am. Which means I need to be up by six thirty to get ready. I’m going to have to take my nighttime meds early so I can wake up on time. Still have to register for classes, and get my transcripts sent, and get vaccinations. Plus I have to take a placement test. I’m trying to just take things slow and go one step at a time. It’s almost surreal that I am  applying for college. I never thought I’d go, but now that I’ve started the process it’s seems unreal. Am I really doing this? Is this going to work? I almost feel like someone will find out I don’t belong , and kick me out. I guess we’ll see what happens. It makes me anxious, but not as bad as I thought it would. I’m just taking things slow. Seems to be working. So, I have some anxiety about going back to school, but it’s mild. I have some anxiety about my new psychiatrist, but now it’s mild, where before I was panicking. My ocd is very mild. I check my schedule calendar about twenty times a day, and I get really involved in online forums, obsessing over posts. It’s better the last few days. Other than that my ocd is under control. My anxiety, and the mild depression I felt this last few weeks has been situational,  not completely irrational. Now that I am convinced of my plans in the event of my new psychiatrist not having a rapport with me I have a plan of action. I can’t wait till Wednesday afternoon when at least one of my concerns will be resolved.

Disappointed

Saw my psychiatrist yesterday, and afterwards his nurse weighed me. I thought I might have lost a few pounds. I’m on a calorie restrictive diet, plus I’ve been working out the past two months. Unfortunately I actually gained twelve pounds. I now weigh 330 pounds, were three years ago I weighed 210 pounds. The weight gain is due to the antipsychotics I take. I’m going to talk to my new psychiatrist on the 8th about switching to just Geodon which is weight neutral. I’m hoping he works with me like my last psychiatrist. I’m planning on also buying a mountain bike this summer. Hopefully in July. I’m just disappointed. I thought since I switched to Saphris that my weight gain was over. Not so unfortunately. Hoping for a better outcome this coming month.

Progress

So it’s been nine months now of steady progress, and four months of true emotional stability. My bipolar, ocd, and agoraphobia symptoms have abated tremendously. I feel great. I have had some mild depression a few times, but it only seems to last a few hours. The same with anxiety. I started going back to the gym two months ago now, and I’m am going at least twice a week which is phenomenal for me. I applied for student financial aid, and I’m eligible for a Pell and a Stafford grant. I sent away for my transcripts from school and as soon as I have them I am scheduling an appointment with the college guidance counselor to see what classes I need to take for my career path. I am going for MRI technician. It’s a two year associates degree. There are several good hospital’s within twenty miles of here, and so many doctors offices. Within two months I’ll have a new mountain bike so I can trail ride again. So many good things happening that it’s seems unreal, but it’s the culmination of five years of trial and error when it came to my medications to were now I am stable. One sad note. My insurance is changing at the end of the month so I have had to get a new psychiatrist. I see my Dr for the last time tomorrow. He’s been brilliant in finding the right medication combination, and weening me off what didn’t work. Also I am having to find a new therapist, but that can wait a bit. I see my new psychiatrist the beginning of next month. All things considered I am doing wonderful and it would be hard to imagine being more at peace. I have trusted God throughout all of this, and I truly believe that He has ordered my steps
God bless you all.
David

Doing well

Joined a gym yesterday, and worked out today. I’m starting off going every other day. Saw my therapist today, it went well. I won’t see her again for three weeks since I’m doing pretty good. Still fighting sleep around noon after taking my medication so I plan on working out around that time to wake myself up. Still dealing with catastrophic “what if” scenarios in my head, but they are not lasting as long. Took someone’s advice and I’m breaking the cycle with positive “what if” thoughts. Seems to be working. Bought “The Force Awakens” yesterday on Blu-ray and watched it last night with the family. I’m fairly convinced that Rey is Luke’s daughter, but we’ll see. Mom’s physical therapy is going well, hoping it eases her pain some. Not sure if my restless leg syndrome is going to be stopped by taking Requip. I’m taking 8mg now in the morning, 8mg at 2pm ,and 4mg at bedtime, but I still had pain around 7am this morning. Could be because I took the Requip to close to the time I took the Saphris, and Geodon. Might have to talk to Dr. Willis about increasing my Gabapentin if the Requip stops working since I’m already taking a high dose of Requip. 4 MG more and I’ll be at the maximum dosage of 24mg in 24 hours. Going to ask Dr. Kahn if I can stop taking Lamictal. I’m only taking 150mg a day, and I’m not convinced it has ever done anything for me. Hope he says yes so I take one less medication.

The valley

Two weeks ago now I was depressed and anxious. Called my doctor and asked for an increase in my antidepressant, but he said no. He wanted me to wait two weeks till I see him next. I see him this Wednesday. I’ve not been depressed now for about a week, I feel fine actually, except I still feel anxious. I’m hoping he listens to me and we can add something or adjust something for the anxiety. I think the depression was just me cycling through a depressive stage of my bipolar disorder.
I’ve been getting out of the house more in the last few weeks, and it feels good. Hoping this trend continues. Looking to join a group since finding out about meetup.com. We’ll see.