Saturday, July 30, 2011

How Can a 4000% Increase in Bipolar Disorder Be Possible?


Disclaimer: I did not write the title of this post. That title is from the article I share at the bottom.

I've been reading a lot of articles on this website about natural health options. Although I am bipolar, truly bipolar, I agree that it has become the disease du jour not only for children, but for adults, as well. At least one person I know acted like they had entered the cool kids' club after their diagnosis. Funny thing is that once their life circumstances changed and stabilized, they don't seem to have the same problem.

My treatment began with a visit to a professional because my life got scary-about-to-be-institutionalized out of control. I was ready to stick myself in a psych ward and tempted to never come out. Looking back, though, I can see that I had been coming to that point for about 4 years before I hit it. There were a lot of heavy, heavy stressors in my life that I wasn't dealing with in a positive manner. I am now more interested in paying attention to what I put in my body and how I treat my body. Never mind the drugs I have been on, the food I have chosen to eat is far from making good choices.

I ate ice cream yesterday to "finish it up" because we had decided not to purchase the type filled with "junk" anymore. As I was eating it, I was very aware that most of the ingredients weren't good for me. I didn't enjoy it as much as I used to. I really don't even want to go buy anymore. My late night snack last night was a spinach salad with fresh mushrooms and a salad dressing that didn't contain HFCS or a base of soy. It was good. Truly tasted good. I added Krill oil to my diet starting today, too.

My "test" to see if the Lamictal is causing the rash is on. We'll see how this far I am thinking there is a correlation.

On to the article:

How Can a 4000% Increase in Bipolar Disorder Be Possible?

Friday, July 29, 2011

Med Change In My Future?

I have been very blessed for the past four years in that a single medication has kept my bipolar symptoms under control. I take Lamictal, or rather its generic form, Lamotrigine. When my psychiatrist first recommended Lamictal, it truly sounded like a good fit for me. It is weight neutral, very few side effects, and I would not have to have my blood levels checked on a regular basis like I would if I took lithium.

One of the rather nastier side-effects of Lamictal is stevens-johnson syndrome. If you do a search for it on the web, be aware that you may come across some really gross pictures. Anyway, the remotest possibility of a rash or other skin problems causes me to panic in my head. I have to battle the "what ifs" and get them under control. As you can probably guess, I have a rash. I do not believe it is stevens-johnson syndrome, but I am now thinking it is still an allergic reaction to the Lamictal.

At first, I thought it might be related to the dermatitis issues, then I thought it might be related to the new laundry detergent, and I also considered that it is simply this non-stop heat. Last night I saw the pattern for the flare-ups though and so now I'm thinking a med change is in my very near future. The pattern is that the itching is under control, for the most part, during the day. At night, it's so bad I can hardly sleep even with my sleeping medication. Well, at night I also take my Lamictal. I'm going to test my theory tonight and skip tonight's dose and then take the dose first thing in the morning. If it flares up during the day after that dose, I'll have some more "evidence."

I have a doctor's appointment on Monday. The challenges will be to find a medication that does not require checking blood levels AND is affordable since I cannot afford medical insurance, at this time. What may happen is that I end up on an anti-psychotic and an anti-depressant.

I had very bad experiences with the anti-depressants Zoloft and Cymbalta. Zoloft made me a sleeping zombie and Cymbalta had me thinking about suicide. Although, they do now believe that giving a bipolar patient an anti-depressant without another stabilizing medication actually worsens, really really worsens, the bipolar. It did for me. I went from happy mania to angry, hateful mania because of that. If I'm going to be manic, I'd much rather spend too much money than yell at my family all day.

As far as the anti-psychotic med classifications, it unnerves me to have to take something called an anti-psychotic. I do not think of myself as psychotic and have no desire to carry that label around.


Thursday, July 28, 2011

All About Thursday 07.28.11

Free stuff:
  • Nescafe Dolce sent the box of Cappucino Ice pods I had won through Twitter.
  • Steri-Bottles came from my win on Akron Ohio Moms
  • Aveeno Sample
  • Disney Cars Instant Win Game code for the Amazon GC came in my email
  • Beauty Blitz sent me a box of 3 nail polishes from Julep that I won in their July daily giveaway

Healthy stuff:
  • changed to peanut butter without hydrogenated oil and threw the old stuff away
  • purchased decent bread without high fructose corn syrup or other junk
  • chose to get some almonds (with dark chocolate) as a snack instead of chips
  • traded the salad dressing full of soybean oil for one without junk - the taste difference on this particular item was "WOW"
  • got some laundry soap free of dyes, ink, and perfumes - I'm pretty sure the other bottle is what gave me hives
  • exchanged plain Greek yogurt for the regular sugar-filled brand & bought honey to mix with it

Life stuff:
  • painted my nails with that new polish today - hadn't done that in about 8 years
  • remembered to call in a prescription refill
  • saw the youngest child breeze in and breeze out long enough to grab clean clothes - the dogs were sad when he didn't pay much attention to them...particularly Ruger
  • temperature here remains extraordinarily high
  • Charlie fixed my leaky faucet - finally :)
  • reading Towers of Midnight in preparation for the final book in the series coming out this fall - I may do one more re-read of the series after that and then I think I'll put them up for good.

Review stuff:


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

On the Road to Damascus


Acts 9:1-9

The Message (MSG)

1-2 All this time Saul was breathing down the necks of the Master's disciples, out for the kill. He went to the Chief Priest and got arrest warrants to take to the meeting places in Damascus so that if he found anyone there belonging to the Way, whether men or women, he could arrest them and bring them to Jerusalem.

3-4He set off. When he got to the outskirts of Damascus, he was suddenly dazed by a blinding flash of light. As he fell to the ground, he heard a voice: "Saul, Saul, why are you out to get me?"

5-6He said, "Who are you, Master?"

"I am Jesus, the One you're hunting down. I want you to get up and enter the city. In the city you'll be told what to do next."

7-9His companions stood there dumbstruck—they could hear the sound, but couldn't see anyone—while Saul, picking himself up off the ground, found himself stone-blind. They had to take him by the hand and lead him into Damascus. He continued blind for three days. He ate nothing, drank nothing.


On the road to Damascus - what? What does that phrase mean to me. A bit of the song, by Rich Mullins, keeps floating through my head. All I'm getting is:

On the road to Damascus
-followed by-
I give my life to sing Your praise

Those 2 lines keep repeating over and over. Now, seeing as how a symptom (effect - whatever you want to call it) of my bipolar is getting songs stuck in my head, I choose to be thankful that it's a song that doesn't make me cringe. But, its making me question.

:::off to view lyrics:::

OK. So the summary, to me, is that I can be headed somewhere, somewhere that gives all the appearance that what I do is RIGHT. And in spite of my well-meaning & well-reasoned plans - plans I may even believe are God's will - I can be stripped clean of my own ambitions (ambitions I may have not even realized I had) and faced with the fact that I am naked before God. He sees the truth. And if I love Him enough to let Him correct me, I'll be clothed with His plans, His reasons (should He care to share them), & His goals.