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?

Hypomania Arrives

Each spring a bit of hypomania hits me. Not sure if it’s the warmer temps, the histamines, the increased sunlight, daytime hours, or what, but it happens.  It’s there. 

It’s not a problem per se.  Except in some small ways, like:

– I feel agitated often
– I become obsessed with creative projects and ignore my family, and become extremely irritated if they interrupt me
– I wake up after five hours of sleep, which greatly increases my risk of getting migraines
– I have racing thoughts
– I can’t take my afternoon nap and meditation is next to impossible, which makes me feel tense
– I over spend
– I have no impulse control when it comes to my mouth (jokes, giving opinions, inappropriate laughing, etc.)

Maybe these are not such small things.

This usually lasts until the kids get out of school for summer break.  Then I either

1) return to baseline/stable or 2) become depressed, because like the old saying goes: “What goes up must come down.”

Another Out of Town Trip

These trips kill me. I’ve been super busy catching up on projects I have to do when I get back from the trip that when I am finally done, it’s like a big let down and I crash. Now what?  I am left feeling exhausted, unmotivated, migrained, and depressed.  I’ve been so keyed up for the last week with busyness that I can’t seem to settle myself down into a restful state. 

I feel extremely anxious and uneasy. It doesn’t help that I had to take two migraine pills today to get rid of my migraine. The side effects are horrible (fatigue, muscle aches, depression, lack of motivation, grogginess.)

I feel overwhelmed by everything today; unable to breathe right even. The medicine is probably mostly to blame for all of this. I am looking forward to tomorrow. To a fresh start.

Luckily, husband is picking up my slack on carpool tonight, we scratched cooking dinner and are opting for take out instead, and I’m just going to hang in there and do the best I can. 

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?

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. 

Mental and Physical Chaos

I saw my psychiatrist today and shared with her how I cycled recently through some hypomania (irritability, agitation, losing temper, grandiosity, excessive spending) and then dipped into some depressive symptoms (loss of interests in hobbies, crying for no reason, feeling overwhelmed with everyday things, excessive worrying about friends and family problems.)

She is not changing any medications, probably because I am still functional. I’m “suffering on the inside, but still able to function,” as she put it.

For how many of you is this true?  You struggle to make it through each day because of your mental illness symptoms, wondering if it will ever NOT be so challenging to live. 

I suppose those with physical disabilities feel the same way. A paraplegic can’t have an easy time getting up and ready each day, but he does it just the same. As do we. We are not unique. 

I found out today that I have something wrong with my kidneys. An ultrasound shows they are “thinning.” Being an otherwise physically healthy middle-aged adult  (minus the chronic migraine), I am not happy about this. The next step will be to see a Nephrologist to find out more.

In the meantime, my GP told me not to take allieve which is part of what I take for migraine relief.  WTF!  Ugh!