(Or: At Home – Day Fifty-Three)
I do not have much by way of mental health progress, though I wish I did.
The main point of interest right now is that I spoke to the GP regarding options for my weight. Now let’s be clear: I’m not obese, by any stretch of the imagination, but I am overweight. I am also extremely unhappy about this fact, and it has a huge effect on my mental health. The GP is prepared to prescribe me orlistat, BUT I cannot take carbamazepine (or similar anti-epileptics) at the same time.
So, I am considering options. My mood is unstable. I’ll be seeing a psych soon(ish). I intend to discuss coming off carbamazepine – which to be honest, I’ve not been wildly keen on – and considering alternative medications. I want to stay on quetiapine. The only reason I’m coming off it now is because of weight, and if that is negated, that’s a whole separate kettle of fish. With my mood this unstable I’ve been extremely frightened of reducing my quetiapine, so staying on that would be absolutely ideal. I’m also interested in looking at aripiprazole, which had nasty side-effects when I was younger, but was regrettably a very effective drug.
Many things to think about, and will be simpler when I see a psychiatrist. I have a fairly solid idea, though, of what I think would be best. It’s now a case of waiting, thinking, and sleeping on the idea. Impulsive decisions would be a bad idea, esp when considering very serious medications.
(Or: At Home – Day Forty)
Today involved a fuck of a lot of people. And travelling. My partner had a meeting in central London (= early morning + tube + time spent alone + tube again) and I was meeting some friends in the afternoon (note: multiple friends = multiplied stress + buses + people) and now the GP/pharmacy have cocked up my meds (quetiapine manufacturing issues + having changed pharmacies + new prescription that NOBODY IS COMMUNICATING TO ME ABOUT) so I had hit sensory and stress overload and decided that the rest of my life will be spent playing Dragon Age Inquisition because reasons.
I am going to ask to see a psychiatrist. I’m getting a bit fed up of the medication cocking-about. I’m reducing quetiapine for self-effect reasons, should be increasing carbamazepine, no clue what’s going on and my mood is weird. To put it mildly. But that’ll be okay. I hope.
Don’t want to think about that right now. Right now, I want a few days of peace and quiet. So instead, I’m seeing lots of friends. Because becoming a hermit is definitely a bad idea.
In the meantime: Dragon Age. (go me)
(Or: At Home – Day Fifteen)
I felt today like I coped, remarkably well. Went out for an exceptionally belated birthday meal (my birthday having come and gone whilst inpatient) and then discovered that apparently, quetiapine is having manufacturing issues. Went to multiple pharmacies. Nobody can get hold of it.
Nearly lost my mind. Quetiapine is my primary mood stabiliser. I have been on 800mg (the highest dose possible) for about two years now – and there aren’t many alternatives. With psychiatric medication, you have the medication you’re on, and that’s kind of all your options.
Cue a visit to my GP, who I swear is a god. I have been transferred onto the quetiapine extended release – which I was originally prescribed, when I first started the medication, but is apparently not covered on the NHS (because it’s better, and therefore more expensive!). My GP somehow pulled strings to ensure that I would be covered by the NHS, I have no idea how, and I’m stupidly relieved.
It definitely reminds me how fortunate I am to have the NHS. Which, if you’ve followed this blog at all, you’ll know is a rarer statement: the NHS psychiatry in this country is desperately lacking, and often the GPs are too. I’ve had particularly bad luck with it. My last GP was impossibly shit, and I can’t afford that when I desperately need continuity of medication and help.
BUT: once in a while, I get reminded how lucky I am. I am able to get medication. I am able to afford it. I am supported and helped by my GP surgery. I can go to hospital, both A&E and acute, without being financially massacred.
It is in no way perfect, but I would be dead without it.
(Or: At Home – Day Twelve)
Today has been a reasonably nondescript day, barring my mood instability; I’m going from crying wreck to happy human in a very short space of time.
Tomorrow morning I’ll be picking up my new meds (hooray!), getting out of the house, and returning to one of my passions: aerial. I’ll be with my partner, for the obvious reasons of not being able to be alone, and she’ll doubtless monitor me throughout whilst enjoying a class herself. Compromise.
I’m struggling now with the eating disorder part of all this. Now my brain is calming, vaguely, I’ve got the rest of the usual crap to deal with. Plus another day has elapsed without work from the treatment program, and I’ve lost my faith and optimism.
Hopefully more upbeat tomorrow.
(Or: At Home – Day Eleven)
I SAW A PSYCHIATRIST!!!
It has been a battle spanning several weeks, but I have finally, finally, seen a psychiatrist for the inevitable and necessary alteration to my medication.
So first off, my carbamazepine has been increased to 400mg. This is in the hope of levelling out my rapid bpd-related mood swings, which are usually reactive, and while I’m in a hypo/manic episode are particularly extreme. My psychiatrist noted that if this is extreme emotional dysregulation as an effect of bpd then the meds may not help much, but I’m hoping hard that it helps temper my current mania, which would have a knock-on effect on my overall mood stability.
I’m also going to stay on lorazepam for another week or so to help with sleep, then tapering off. After all, we don’t want me on benzodiazepines for extended periods of time. Fun fact though, while we’re here: I was on 4mg/day for nearly three months (!) which is basically against every single guideline you can imagine for lorazepam. I worry about how this even took place, but I must admit that the psych I was seeing at the time wasn’t exactly on the ball…
Still haven’t heard from the treatment programme, and I’m getting worried. I’d hoped to have heard by now. It worries me, and saddens me, and I really, really want this to work.
So a very successful day overall, but still with some lingering worries…