Many Changes

I stopped taking my magnesium pill last week because I ran out. I forget why I started taking it in the first place. I give it to my daughter, too. She ran out today.

I haven’t noticed any difference in myself except that I’m extremely impatient and agitated today.  I’m sure it’s from coming off of a busy weekend filled with overnight guests and no downtime for almost a week now. 

I saved some information on Pinterest about why I went on the magnesium. Several doctors have asked why we are on it and haven’t recommended it either way, but seem to always give me this perplexed look like, “Why are you taking that?”

I am kind of the type of person to try alternative things as long as I know they aren’t harmful. For example, I just bought a bunch of salt rock lamps. My daughter thinks I’m crazy. She doesn’t believe in any healing therapies. I can’t even get her to use a heating pad on her back injury like the doctor told her to use!

The neurologist increased my tizanidine from 4mg to 6mg today. Fingers crossed. He wants to take me off the propranolol eventually because he thinks I’m on too many medicines. I’m afraid it will increase my migraines again. I think we should try taking me off the topamax first. 

I’m agitated today, too, because of my weight.  I painstakingly lose ten pounds every spring only to gain it back every winter. My goal is to lose 20, which never happens. I count calories and basically starve for two months or so.

This year I’ve decided to try something different: a ketosis diet, which is a very little carbs, high fat, moderate protein type diet.  From what little I’ve read so far, putting your body in ketosis makes it burn fat for energy because you aren’t giving it the carbs and excess protein that it would normally convert to sugars to burn for energy, thereby leaving the fat alone.  Burning fat for energy equals quicker weight loss.

I’m nervous, like really nervous, about trying this because I know I am addicted to sugar. It’s going to be hard and my mood will be affected and that is what scares me the most. 

Has anyone ever tried this type of weight loss plan?  How did it work out for you?

She Did Better Today

Because we compromised. She took a psuedo anti-anxiety pill (an antihistamine prescribed for her anxiety) which enabled her to sit with our company most of the morning. Then I allowed her to go out with friends for a few hours.

I also caught myself babying her like I normally do when she is anxious or depressed, and the last time she had a depressive episode she told us she hated it. She said it made her not want to tell us what is going on because then we treat her different and she can’t stand it. 

Thank God I realized it because I don’t think she was going to say anything to me. She was just getting more and more agitated and I couldn’t understand why until I remembered. 

I said, “Oh my gosh, I’m so sorry. I’m treating you like baby. I forgot. I’ll stop.”

I saw instant relief come across her face. I’ll have to tell her to just say something to me next time. Those motherly, nurturing instincts are hard to fight. They just kick in automatically before I realize what I am doing. (Sigh).  

I think a lot of it has to do with my tone of voice.  I’ll talk to her like she’s fragile and has special privileges. I think it makes her feel uncomfortable because she has low self esteem and probably thinks she doesn’t deserve it.

Or maybe she doesn’t like it because she is strong willed and doesn’t like to feel weak, and me talking sickeningly gentle to her makes her feel that way. 

Or maybe she just wants to be treated the same so as to continue to feel as normal as possible when her mental health is anything but.

I know one thing and that is it is counterproductive for me to sit here and assume possible motives for why she doesn’t want me to treat her different when she’s depressed or anxious, so I guess I’ll stop trying to figure it out.

Anyway, she did say at one point that she doesn’t like it because it makes her feel like a baby. I suppose that reason makes sense enough.

Yet, all I want to do is give her a big ol’ hug, tear up and say, “But you are my baby!”

Medication Increase Helping and Daughter Update

I think the increase from 30-40mg of Viibryd two weeks ago is helping me cope better with stress. I seem to still feel the stress and the anger and sadness but I don’t feel the need to act on it in negative ways anymore.

I am able to handle it calmly and with purpose and deliberate actions, like setting boundaries and practicing breathing meditation or simply not engaging.  I have not been perfect by any means. Passive aggressiveness has occurred. Some crying over little things. But, overall some good changes. 

My daughter’s depression has let up these last few weeks. We think because the weather has gotten warmer. She really is affected by it. Four weeks of depression from cold dreary winter days.  And now two weeks of mild weather and all better. Amazing!

We have a house full of overnight guests and she is not doing well. Her anxiety is high and it is hard for me to handle, because my own is elevated.

So, dealing with her tears and her wanting to leave the house, which I won’t let her do because I think it’s rude to go out with friends when we have company, while dealing with all the stimuli of the company myself, is pushing me to my limits.

I’m not taking it out on her by using everything I’ve got in me. I didn’t take an anti-anxiety pill tonight. I definitely will tomorrow. I know it will help.  I wish she could take one, too, but they don’t prescribe them for kids. 

Update to Doctor

I told her today about the 4 panic attacks (church, bakery, after the dealership, and grocery store); about the kidney disease stuff, crying all the time, the decrease in propranolol and subsequent double in frequency of migraine; constant worry about the next migraine or panic attack and worry about daughter’s depression.

Hardest thing is the intensity of my anger and sadness. It’s so extreme at times it frightens me. I see red over a minor irritation. A misunderstanding does not just upset me, it leaves me in tears, lamenting like someone has died!

She said with the loss that comes from yet another diagnosis, and because of that my migraines increasing and those not being resolved yet, plus my daughter plus my age and its hormonal changes…this is why I am feeling what I am feeling.  Like crap I say?  Yes!

She told me to increase my Viibryd from 30mg to 40mg a day.  I would rather have a bottle of wine and a pack of cigs, but don’t tell my AA sponsor. ūüėČ

Med Change

Six days ago my propranolol was decreased from 120mg to 80mg because I was experiencing dizziness a couple times a week in the evenings. The dizziness just started within the last month even though I’ve been on the increased dose of propranolol for 3 months now. Don’t know if it can start anytime or if it has anything to do with the progression of my CKD (chronic kidney disease) since Nephrologist asked me if I was dizzy at our visit.

Daughter sees her new psychiatrist today. I’m so nervous about it, hoping we like him; worried about my husband throwing a fit when they tried to cancel our appointment last week; worried about asking the doctor for a note for the dermatologist saying my daughter can take accutane. I’m having a lot of anxiety.

Spent all day Saturday with my husband buying a new car. Went to 4 dealerships, driving about 100 miles between them all. We were gone for 10 hours. I was so overwhelmed by the end that I cried on the way home. I needed to take a second Ativan, but I didn’t because I have to save them for volleyball tournaments this month and other things.

I have to ask my psychiatrist for more Ativan each month, but I’m afraid she’ll say no.  I have six days this week when I need to take one, but I only get seven a month, which means I’ll have to suffer through some days and only take one for the most severe anxiety producing events.

We are going out of town this weekend for a tournament. I’m looking forward to it because I love watching her play and it’s exciting to take trips, but packing stresses me out as does getting the house cleaned and ready for mom to stay here with my other daughter.  I worry about getting migraines because of lack of good sleep and down time when we stay out of town, too.

It’s terrible not to be able to enjoy these things totally, due to my illnesses; to always be worried about the effect they are going to have on me, mentally and physically.

Am I going to have a panic attack?  Am I going to get a migraine?  How bad is my anxiety and fatigue going to be?  How many days will it take me to recouperate once we get back?

Past experience tells me things will be rough, but it doesn’t keep me from going. I don’t know if I’m a glutton for punishment, in constant denial, or just refuse to let my symptoms completely dictate my life, especially when it comes to my children. 

Routine and Mental Illness

There are things I used to do that are good for my mental health that I no longer do; things I had forgotten I used to do. A major one is reading a daily reflection book. I used to do this every single morning when I sat outside and drank my first cup of coffee and smoked cigarettes. I don’t smoke anymore, so there’s that. It’s been almost a year now. Unbelievable!

I’m trying to focus on the positive: that they found my renal disease in an early stage where I am not sick; that no treatment or even diet changes are needed.  I’m so lucky to have found out so as to not cause more damage by continuing to take the Allieve. 

I’ve got to be grateful, something else I used to do routinely. This constant crying is exhausting and it has given me a migraine once already this week. I can’t risk anymore.

I know the emotions are ok; I know I have to feel them (God, do they feel awful!) I just don’t want to get stuck in them.  I don’t want this to trigger a depressive episode.

Three healthcare professionals (2 of them doctors) have told me in the last few months that I am on a lot of medicine. Well, I am, but by them pointing it out I feel like I shouldn’t be.  

Most of them are psych drugs, but I’m hesitant to say anything to my psychiatrist because I don’t want her to get defensive.

Three are migraine drugs, one of which I am going to ask to be taken off of because it does nothing, and another I am going to ask my nuerologist to decrease because a recent dose increase did nothing.

All of these things take time and lots of effort to get in touch with the doctors and wait for call backs and getting new meds from the pharmacy, and you never talk directly to the doctor, always the nurse-messengers, back and forth with all the messages.

And then there is the actual discontinuation symptoms or withdrawal symptoms of coming off of medications, which can be horrendous, and it always risks a mood episode, which is why I am so hesitant to do it in the first place.

I can’t risk a depressive mood episode.  I’ve got a life to live!  It’s why I, not routinely but religiously, take my meds when I am supposed to.

I think I’ll start with the two migraine meds and then see about the psych meds. I know I need some of each, but maybe not all. 

Ways to Organize, and Discontinue, Medications

I heard back from my neurologist yesterday and I was wrong about what he is going to do next about my migraine situation.¬† I thought he was going to increase my current preventative medication dosage, but instead he is adding an additional medication.¬† He said he hates to do it “because I am on so many medicines already,” and he’s right.

I keep a list of all the medications I am on in my phone so I have them handy when I have to fill out forms at the doctor’s office.¬† I haven’t updated them in a while, so I did this morning and holy crap!¬† If the number of medicines a person is on is any indication of how¬†ill they are, then I am one sick puppy!

I am on six psychiatric and four migraine medicines.  I take two of them only as needed; the other eight I take daily.  I also take a pill for acne and four vitamin/supplements.  So, all together I take thirteen different medication/supplements a day!

How I Organize My Medications

I take them at various times throughout the day, so I use one of those morning, afternoon, evening, and bedtime pill boxes like this:

pill-box

Some of my meds have to be taken with food, some without, some at bedtime, some several hours before bed, some in the am, some not with vitamins, and some not after 3pm.¬† It really takes a lot of organization to keep them straight.¬† I¬†do this by¬†putting a number on the cap of each¬†bottle indicating the order in which I put them in my pill box, so¬†as to¬†make sure I am putting the right medicine in the right time of day, and that I don’t leave any out.

number-medication-bottles

My Take on Medication Discontinuation

Like everyone, I assume, I don’t like taking medicine, and I surely hate taking so many.¬† I don’t think I need them all, but I wouldn’t know where to begin to cut some out.¬† Plus, I am still having symptoms, so taking even one away would increase the risk of my symptoms worsening and I don’t want that to happen.

In the past, my doctor has decreased medication when it was obviously causing negative symptoms.  For example, my Adderall was increasing my anxiety so we cut it down from 20 to 10mg and my anxiety got better.  I recently noticed this happening again so I cut it down further to 5mg.  This helped just like before.

Although I wasn’t experiencing any more anxiety from the Adderall, I was curious to see if I could manage on even less, so¬†I cut it down again¬†to 2.5mg¬†and I immediately became overly fatigued and nonfunctional.¬† So, I went back up to the 5mg and felt like myself again.¬† I think this is how most medication discontinuation¬†attempts probably happen.

(NOTE: YOU SHOULD NEVER STOP TAKING OR DECREASE YOUR MEDICATION WITHOUT TALKING TO YOUR DOCTOR ABOUT IT FIRST.  DOING SO COULD BE DANGEROUS AND/OR LIFE THREATENING.)

  1. Wait until you are symptoms free.
  2. Under your doctor’s guidance decrease dosage of the medication.
  3. Wait and see if symptoms return.
  4. If no symptoms return, decrease dosage some more.
  5. If symptoms return, increase dosage to last effective level.
  6. Repeat process until either off of medicine completely or stable again on the least amount of medicine.

 

What about you?  How many meds do you take?  How do you keep them organized?  Have you had a successful experience with coming off a medication?