Post Vacation Pains

We’ve been back for two days now and I’ve had three days in a row of migraines. Not one continuous one, but three separate ones. One each day for the past three days.  I’m guessing from the busy week of vacation activities.

We did so many adventurous things. We had so much fun and made so many great memories. If this is the price to pay, I must say it is worth it, but still sucks. 

I’m staying home today from a social event because it would not be worth the price of another migraine. Don’t know if not going will prevent one from happening, but I know going will increase the likelihood of it. 

The allusion of control is all around me and I fall victim to it every second of my life. Reality is that I have no control over anything except in my attitude towards what happens to me.  I feel very powerless over everything in my life.

I go to the doctor, take all the medicines, go to therapy and I still have mental illness and mood swings and debilitating anxiety. 

I try to figure out and avoid my migraine triggers, I take the medicine they tell me to take, I call the insurance company to get this new medicine again and again and they won’t do their part to get it approved as I continue to suffer with migraines week after week, year after year.  Six years now. Since 2011 I have been searching for permanent relief. 

I have many good things which are not due to anything in my control other than to get up everyday and try. Like my relationships with family and friends. They are all wonderful and loving.

I get up everyday and try with the illnesses too, but I do not have success with those things like I do with the relationships. Why is that?  I have control over neither.

What I do have control over is my level of acceptance of my illnesses. It is extremely hard to come to a state of acceptance when I am in the midst of a painful migraine, but I must or I turn to thoughts of suicide. I must accept it as my reality and not fight it. I must lay still and just “be” like an animal in the wild would. 

There is nothing that can be done after the medicine is taken.  Nothing that can be said that will lessen the pain. I just have to wait for it to go away in the way that a bruise fades over time.

Knowing that it will come back is not something I dwell on anymore. It doesn’t scare me as much as it used to. I still hope for my cure. I will always hope. 

Daughter is going to be braced at night for her scoliosis and receive scoliosis-specific physical therapy once a week. If her curvature increases much more she will need surgery.  We missed a well visit last year because of taking her to specialists for various other issues, so I am dealing with some guilt over catching the scoliosis possibly later than we could have. 

Other daughter is testing the limits of being a teenager who drives. Lieing, etc.  It is stressful, but I am guessing normal. I’m just glad her mental health is well at the moment and that she is doing well socially and emotionally, or so it appears. 

Overall, my mood is fair. Anxiety is moderate to high. I feel like I don’t have a good sense of who I am or where I am at. I don’t feel grounded at all probably due to all the worrying which has me all over the place in my head all of the time. 

Probably time for me to redouble my meditation efforts to try and clear my head space. I do a lot of distracting and avoiding behaviors, which work fine. Until they don’t. Which seems to be happening now. 

Meds and Hypomania Problems

Went back up to my regular dose of resperidal just a few day after cutting it down because I wasn’t sleeping well since cutting it down. I think I’m titrated back up to my full dose of topamax again, but I’m still having trouble sleeping at night. Falling asleep and sleeping sound. 

I’ve also been more project oriented and socially focused, enjoying sex more frequently, have a renewed interest in my religion practices.  Ha!  Now that I wrote all that out I just realized I’m probably a little hypomanic. 

This is why I write. I never would have put these symptoms together if I didn’t journal like this. Now, what to do about it?  Nothing.  I never do. My medication is such that my moods don’t go too far in one direction or another anymore. Just moderate fluctuations, which are bothersome, don’t get me wrong, but manageable, nonetheless.

Today, I feel run down. Meloncholy even. I DID get a good night’s sleep for once last night and it’s left me feeling groggy and lethargic and some what depressed. It doesn’t help that this is the third day my kids have been out of town with their grandparents and are still going to be gone for two more days. I miss them.

My youngest was just diagnosed with scoliosis and that is very worrisome. We will find out more as far as a plan goes when we go see the Ortho this week. I hate that she has to go through this. The curvatures are pretty bad in her spine. 

The noisy kids in church, the heat outside, the bright sun and hot wind all really bothered me today. It feels like I can’t block out extraneous stimuli. My husband is going shopping to buy new items for our house and I want to go with him, but I can’t stand the thought of going out into the world with all of that input today. 

I hate this disorder. All I want to do is lay in bed in my dark quiet room and rest. I can find peace in that. And even though I’d rather it not be that way, I have to honor my body and mind and what they can handle right now or I’ll just make myself sick. I know from experience. I used to force myself to do things I was too anxious to deal with and I regretted it later.  Sick with migraines, fatigue, anger, resentment, panic attacks, etc.

Not today.

Back on the Topamax

Had 6 migraines in May as opposed to 2 in April, so my doctor told me to start taking the Topamax again. Hoping it doesn’t mess with my mood like when I first started it. It made me really short-tempered.

I am on my third night of not sleeping well. Keep waking up throughout the night and waking up extra early in the morning and not able to fall back asleep since cutting down on resperidal. Trying to decide if I should give it some more time for my body to adjust.  

I feel like I’ll never get off these meds, like I am dependent on them. How do I know if the symptoms are returning because I need the medication or if it is just a temporary result of coming off of the med?  How long do I wait it out and do I risk triggering a mood episode because of it?

Many Ends

A friend of mine from the program died recently. Drug related, but not sure if addiction related. I’m guessing so. Will never know for sure I bet. Doesn’t matter. She was too young, but suffering. Not able to get well as of late. I couldn’t help her. She didn’t want to change bad enough. I pray she’s at peace now.

I am weaning off the resperidal. Cut it in thirds last night. Plan is to cut it by third one week, half the next, and then off.  Right now I am feeling hopeful.

My anxiety is very manageable. We went out of town this past weekend and I didn’t even think about taking an Ativan, which is amazing. I always take an Ativan or two when away from home, especially over night. 

I’m not feeling depressed either. On the contrary, I feel motivated to accomplish things (chores, exercise, hobbies.) I am fairly patient with everyone right now. Some agitation when I don’t get my space, but this is something I expected with the schedule change of the kids being home from school, now that it is summer break. 

I’ve been off the Topamax for a week now. Had my fifth migraine of the month yesterday.  Not good. Over twice as many as last month. Still waiting on word of trying Botox. 

Been experiencing severe achiness in quads throughout the day several days a week, especially while in bed. Last weekend it was so bad it actually felt like my muscles were burning. Don’t have any idea why. Didn’t do anything out of the ordinary. Happening more and more frequently. Started a few months ago. Also having intermittent nausea.  Hoping my kidney function is ok. See doctor for follow up in July.

Daughter seems good. Got a job. Playing ball. Grounded this week for drinking with friends. Said she’s done it two other times. One we already knew about. Hope it’s nothing more than experimenting and that she is done. Teenagers. They are so fun except when they do stupid shit like that. 

Should I Force My Older Teen to Eat Dinner With the Family?

I was quite upset last evening, as in sad, angry, frustrated, and confused, when my sixteen year old daughter called an hour before dinner and said she wanted to go out to dinner with friends. I said no and when she started complaining , I responded with a martyr’s response of “Do what you want.” So, she did, and I fumed the rest of the night. 

When she came home and I tried to talk to her, she was cold and distant and that made me even more irritated with her.  I told my husband and younger child in a impulsive, angry comment that she was being a bitch, and this really upset my other child, understandably so. I immediately regretted saying it and felt horrible for hurting my younger one. I apologized profusely and, of course, started in with the self-hate inside my own mind. 

My husband asked if he thought it was the topamax cessation that was effecting my temper since I had this type of reaction when I started it way back when. I don’t think it is that. 

I think I’m just missing my daughter, who is hardly ever home now that she is driving. I think I have a hard time with last minute changes.  I think I am frustrated when I have food cooked for her that goes to waste because she doesn’t come home to eat it. I think I am trying desperately to keep as much family time intact as I can, and eating dinner as a family is something that has always contributed to that. 

So now I am struggling with the idea of requiring that she be home for dinner with us five nights a week or letting it go on as is and learning to accept it as part of her growing up. 

Last year she was at a different school with no friends and in the midst of a severe depression. Now, she has friends to spend time with and life is going really well for her. I have to take that into consideration, too, and not keep her from too many social opportunities.

Is there anyone out there with older children that have experienced this whole letting go- holding on struggle?  Am I being selfish in wanting her to be home for dinners or is it in the best interest of the family as a whole?  Is it unreasonable to make her eat with us?

An End to Hypomania and Meds

I’ve been sleeping well for almost a week now, through the night and some during the day – a sure sign my hypomania has passed. I am even dreading the Stitch Fix box I have coming that I was ready and willing to buy all of even though I bought the whole thing last month, which is a lot of money. 

I am not as silly or flighty or agitated. I’m more tired than I’d like to be and hope I don’t start getting depressed, especially when summer break starts and I have no more alone time like I do now with the kids in school all day.

My youngest one makes a lot of demands on me and it wears me out fast. Then I get irritated at her.  Then I feel guilty for getting irritated at her.  Then I feel trapped in this cycle and the depression sets in.  I’ll have to pray about this and ponder a way out of this pattern that seems to occur each summer.

I have to take it easy and slow throughout the day with lots of breaks, but she wants to be on the go, go, go. I feel guilty that I can’t be one of those moms. Guilty enough that I’ll push myself and try to be sometimes, only to end up sick and in tears from being overwhelmed, and worst of all full of self-hate because I have failed.

Maybe she can help me problem solve some ways to do stuff without me being the one who has to do it all with her. The problem is most, if not all, of her friends parents work and I don’t, so I end up being the activity driver and supervisor.

She is old enough to go to the neighborhood pool alone with friends this year, so that will help. However, if she’s anything like my other ones, once they became old enough to go without an adult, they were no longer really interested in going. Sigh.

I am down to one topamax a day. After Wednesday I will be off of it totally. So far, I haven’t noticed anything different about my migraines or mood from coming off of it. I am thankful for that.  I am so excited to be able to cut out one of my medicines since I am on so many. 

It makes me want to try to wean off of another one. Maybe the propranolol, which I may do if I get the Botox for migraines and that works. I’ll need my nuerologist’s help to wean off that because I only have 80mg capsules (can’t cut them into smaller doses.)

The other one I may try because I am not sure if I need it any more is the resperidal. Is anyone else on this?  At what dose and what are you on it for?  

I’ve been on it for so long that I forget why my doctor started me on it. I want to say bedtime anxiety since I take it several hours before bed so it can kick in by bedtime and help me fall asleep, but I can’t be sure. Since starting the resperidal, two other medications have been added that knock me out at night, so I am hoping I can get by without the resperidal.

But, I can’t come off two medicines at the same time. So, I’ll have to decide after I’m off the topamax for a little bit. I’m leaning toward the resperidal since I can do it on my own, although with summer coming, and its potential stresses as I described above, maybe that is not a good idea. Ugh!  I can’t decide. 

Guess I should talk to my psychiatrist about it. She’s so resistant to decreasing my meds though, because I still have a lot of anxiety and my moods still cycle.  So, yes, I kind of want to do it behind her back and then say, “Hey, look, I got off of a med and I am fine.” I feel like it would be disrespectful to do it without her collaboration, though.  She’s been my doctor for ten years and we are really close. 

I guess that’s about all. I did the dishes and folded some laundry today.  The bathrooms need to be cleaned, but I just can’t gather the motivation to do them. Maybe tomorrow.

I Can’t Keep My Mouth Shut

One of the things I have trouble with when I am hypomanic is blurting things out without thinking about them.  Like I’ll be at dinner with people I don’t know very well and I’ll say, “Ha, look at that guy sitting over there with his butt crack hanging out of his pants.” I mean, what am I in fifth grade?  How immature can I be?  How embarrassing can it get?

And opinions…don’t get me started on opinions. When I am hypomanic I can’t seem to keep my opinions to myself. I told my husband, about a particular situation tonight, that I wouldn’t put my two cents in unless the other parties involved brought the topic up first.

Well, we weren’t there barely ten minutes and I brought it up! Practically against my own will!  I swear I didn’t want to.  I heard the words coming out of my mouth as my brain was screaming at me, “Don’t say it!  Don’t say it!” Do you know how maddening that is?

Then the follow up to all of these scenarios is being at home, replaying everything you said and did one million times over, again and again, in your mind; agonizing at the fact that you probably made a complete ass out of yourself even though your husband swears you didn’t and that everyone just thought you were “really funny.”

Even my younger kids get to see the craziness of hypo-me, laughing at inappropriate times or often uncontrollably at things that are a little bit funny, but not THAT funny. Or laughing at my own jokes way too hard.

I used to think these things were harmless. Now, I’m not so sure. I’m kind of sick of being odd.