Posts tagged ‘bipolar medicine’

“Psst… Are You Pregnant Again?”

I just got back from a BIG family vacation to Disney World a few weeks ago.  It was a crazy, awesome time!  But more on that at a later date.

All at Disney - Majic Kingdom

Me and the Crew at Magic Kingdom, Disney World!

 

Yesterday was Sunday.  I would like to take a moment to focus on a little question that was made to me yesterday.  I was volunteering at my church, like I usually do, teaching in the 3-5-year-olds’ class.  It was near the end of the service when an associate of mine approached me and engaged me in a short conversation.  After exchanging pleasantries, we chatted briefly about our children.  As I was returning to my room to finish up, she whispered down the hall, “Psst…Are you Pregnant Again?

How should I feel?  Should I be shocked, dismayed, angry, annoyed, criticized, self-conscious, disgraced, scored and/or maybe embarrassed?  Doesn’t everyone know not to ask that question unless they are absolutely sure that the answer is “yes”?  Am I so big that I look pregnant?

“No, I’m done with all that,” was my simple reply and off I ran, back to my classroom.

Now, just before Christmas, with the approval of my doctor, I had slowly decreased a few of my medications and even cut one out altogether.  I did have some difficulties with the transition, including some moderate depression and fluctuating moods.  One pleasant side-effect (for me anyway) was that I lost a few pounds, without even trying (my dear husband likes me on the bigger side, however, so he wasn’t as thrilled with the change)!  The weight-loss wasn’t significant and my weight tends to fluctuate anyway, so it wasn’t a very big deal.  I really didn’t think anyone even noticed except for me and my husband.

A couple of weeks before we left to go on the vacation, I knew I needed to pull myself together so I’d be stable for what turned out to be a very unstable trip.  So, again, with the doc’s permission, I upped my doses of mood-stabilizers.  And with that increase, I regained some of those previously lost pounds.  “No biggie,” I punned to myself.  After all, I’ve been eating healthy foods, drinking tons of water and getting plenty of exercise.  The only change has been with my meds.  Some medications just have weight gain as a side-effect and it’s really, really hard to beat.

This past week, my sister and her two-year-old son were in town visiting and my now 9-year-old daughter had her birthday party at our house.  We had a great time, but some things were left undone.  For example, in the morning, as I was getting ready for church, I realized that I hadn’t done my laundry in over a week!  Really the only clean, decent thing I had to wear was an extra large tank top or a tiny tube top.  I decided that the tube top might be indecent for church, because for pants, of course, I was going to wear leggings. But then again, the large tank top was so loose that my cleavage would show.  So, I wore both; the tube underneath to cover my boobage and the tank over it to cover the tube’s tightness.   I wasn’t worried about how big the shirt was, it was long enough to cover my bum, plus I was going to wear an accentuating sweater to tie the ensemble together anyway.

My thought process while actually getting ready was really not that sophisticated.  I mean, who am I there to impress?  God loves me no matter what.  And three, four, and five-year-olds don’t care what you wear.  So I went to church and did my service.  While singing and dancing with the kiddies, I got hot, so hot, in fact, that I took my sweater off. The only thing I felt slightly self-conscious about was the large scar I have on my back, part of which was partially exposed because my hair was up.  It was shortly after that, that the comment was made…

Psst…Are you Pregnant Again?”

How should I feel?  Insulted.  I should feel insulted; throw that tank top away, go on a strict diet, starve myself, and quit taking my stupid medications that cause the stupid side-effect!

But the more I thought about it, the less insulted I felt.  I began to have a fresh perspective.  I decided not to accept it as an insult.  And here’s why:

  1. Someone thought I was enough of a Super Mommy to actually handle another kid, (especially another baby).
  2. I’m no spring chicken.  I’m not old but at age 35, the ob-gyn docs start considering you as a “high risk” patient.  I could take the comment as a compliment, even.  I look young enough to want to have more children!
  3. I’ve heard this same woman talk before.  I don’t think she tries to be mean or insulting.  I think she’s just insensitive.  And maybe she doesn’t even realize she’s saying something that others may find offensive.
  4. I really just don’t care that much about what other people think about me anymore.  Why should I let one comment bash my self-esteem when I know I’m trying my best?
  5. I don’t think I look pregnant.  Why should I care if one other person on this planet does?

20170308_Pretty Mommy 2

A very recent picture of my (not-pregnant) self!

 

So after this post, I’m going to “Let It Go;” like water off a duck’s back.

water off donald duck's back

 

Double Talk Quote: (And this is a coincidence…) “Mommy, can you give me some insults?” – Mica, after our first day at Disney World.  She was trying to say “insoles” for her shoes because her feet hurt from walking so much.

Bible Verse: “Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.” 1 Peter 3:9

Word that has Lost its meaning: insulted

Relatable Lyrics:  “Let It Go” – Disney’s Frozen

“Let it go, let it go… I don’t care, what they’re going to say…”

Disney - Epcot - Me Mommy Belle at Epcot with the girls, Bella, Micaela, and Grace; Elsa and Anna

Me and my girls at Epcot

 

 

 

MIA

I’ve been “Missing In Action” for a while here in the blogosphere.  But I have been plenty present in reality land.  Packing and unpacking, playing with little ones, and making time for family, have been a struggle with the move but one I can handle with a little help from my…meds (ugh).

But there were times when I was MIA in real life.  It was 2006 – I call it my missing year because I remember very little from that time period.  I was diagnosed with Bipolar disorder in late 2005 and put on a litany of medications:  One after another in an attempt to see which one(s) would work for me.  I’d try one which would take up to 6 weeks to kick in and then when it didn’t work, I’d have to wait another few weeks to wean off it to try the next.  My sleep pattern was as crazy as ever.  I’d be up for days, just like before when I was unmedicated, except then, the medications made me zone out.  I can’t account for my days or my daze.

That’s when Mia took over.  In paranoia and sporadic breaks from reality, my alter-ego formed.  Mrs. Mia Wallace is a fictional character from the movie, Pulp Fiction.  Whatever made me relate to a heroin snorting, drug dealer’s wife, I have no idea.  But Mia Wallace became the name I’d use when meeting new people, getting credit for new accounts, buying and selling on eBay, or even filling out job applications.  I know this because after coming out of my “state of mental obscurity”,  I saw the havoc she had wreaked on my life.

p15684_p_v8_ac

I distinctly remember in early 2007 looking into a mirror.  I hadn’t slept in almost a week.  In my mind, the mirror was cracked – shattered just like me, just like the skin & bones reflection I saw, just like Mia.  I was missing something and I just couldn’t take being her anymore.  As I stared in the mirror, I cried and cried.  I cried out to God, begging him, please help me to change.  And He granted me a renewed strength.  Instead of crashing, as usual, I knew I had to first override Mia.  I got to a doctor’s office that very day and insisted on a medication that would make me sleep, that I could take regularly at night to finally get stable.  It took a lot of convincing to not get committed that day.  But that night I slept, and the next night too.  It took a few weeks but Mia slowly faded away.

I recently ordered my credit report. Mia Wallace’s name is still associated with my social security number.  I guess a part of her will always be with me.

Double Talk Quote: “God’s way is perfect.”  2 Sam-e-lonians 22:31 – Hope, trying to say Second Samuel 22:31

Bible Verse:  “And I will execute great vengeance upon them with furious rebukes; and they shall know that I am the LORD, when I shall lay my vengeance upon them.” Ezekiel 25:17

Word that has Earned its meaning: Subconscious

Relatable Lyrics:  “Flowers on the Wall” by the Statler Brothers

“I keep hearin’ you’re concerned about my happiness
But all that thought you’re givin’ me is conscience I guess
If I was walkin’ in your shoes, I wouldn’t worry none
While you ‘n’ your friends are worried about me I’m havin’ lots of fun
Countin’ flowers on the wall
That don’t bother me at all
Playin’ solitaire till dawn with a deck of fifty-one…

mia

Midnight Medication Mixup

Morning Mommy 3

Sleep is the key to my sanity.  If I can regulate sleep, it’s easier to regulate my moods as well.

I have medication that I take at night and I have medication I take in the morning; and never the tween shall meet.  Except they did last night.  Instead of my usual regimen of Ambien, Abilify, and Lamictal, I skipped the first two, opting to take 1/2 of  a Seroquel instead (my doctor is okay with me doing this on occasion).  I had felt a bit of hypomania coming on so I wanted a good night’s rest and Seroquel usually does the trick.  I also knew I didn’t have a busy day coming up so I could rest if it made me a bit drowsy.

But…A cat pressed his way through the door, which was pulled-to but apparently not closed and the hallway light was on.   I woke up in a haze, barely able to see.  The piercing light was coming from the same direction of the clock and I could have sworn that hallway light was the break of dawn.  I could have sworn the time said 6 am, not 2 am.  So I swallowed my pills thinking I’d snooze for a few minutes before I had to wake up Mica to get ready for school.  I was at the apex of a very intricately narrated “movie” dream, when suddenly I was jolted awake.  The meds had kicked in and it was time to get on with the day.

Except…it was 2:30 am.

I’ve been working a lot on immigration case work for my husband lately, so I had plenty to do to occupy my time.  But I worried I’d run out of energy mid-day and be out-of-sorts when the twins (and older girls) needed me the most.  Fortunately, I was able to direct my hypomania into my work during those early morning hours, and even throughout the day, going to the grocery store before anyone in the household was even away, preparing breakfast, cleaning house, and playing hopscotch, painting with the twins and cooking and having a picknick supper outside.  The most trouble I had was lying still when the babes were ready to cuddle.

It’s 8:55pm now.  I’m starting to get tired.  Not sleepy, though.  Just tired.  I’ll take my night meds and rest again and maybe tomorrow will be…just as good.

(written 6/1/2016, Twins 23 months, Mica 8, Hope 7)

Double Talk Quote: “It was a surprise!” – Tia (Hope’s mom) announcing her new pregnancy.  Why am I not surprised?  Congrats to me! (jk – kinda)

Bible Verse: “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.”  Matthew 6:34

Term that has lost its meaning: creep-o-cat

Relatable Lyrics:   “I Did My Best” by Soul Asylum

“I was waiting for a chain reaction
With a missing link…
…I was tired of being tired
I could not get no rest
So I kept sleepwalking and talking in my sleep
Yes I did my best”

 

Faking It

 

Shell

Can he tell?  Can he tell that I’m faking it?

Happiness, I mean.  The laughter is real.  The feeling behind it is not.  Can he tell?  Can others?

I feel so empty, a shell of who I’m supposed to be, of who I once was, my soul so bland, dull, dry, and tasteless.  I am, again, uncomfortably numb.

Lamenting about being stable seems hypocritical.  Isn’t that what I want?  Isn’t that what I need?  Is it?  If it makes me not me, makes me unable to feel?

I miss the genuine laugh I’d have when my daughter tells a silly joke.  I miss the genuine tear that I’d cry from the heartache of loss.  I miss the genuine pain I’d feel from stumping my toe.  I miss the genuine feeling of happiness I’d get on a beautiful day like today.  I miss the genuine anger I’d experience from my husband losing his job, again. I miss the genuine joy I’d have of seeing my babies love on each other.  Instead, I’m immersed in apathy.

What have I done to myself?  This wretched illness has robbed me of so much that is precious in life.  Now the medication that’s supposed to help heal me is stealing from me instead.   Stealing my hopes and dreams.  Consuming my spirit.  Making me a robot.

I laugh on cue.

Can you tell?  Can you tell that I’m faking it?

(March 1, 2016 –  twins 20 months, Mica 7, Hope 6)

Epiphany Quote: “See, this is why I stop taking my medication.  I’m not Belle.  I’m a shell.” Thinking:  “I’m Michelle” – Me to my therapist

Bible Verse:  Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones that you have broken rejoice. Hide your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Psalm 51:8-10

Word that has Lost its meaning: feelings

Relatable Lyrics:  Comfortably Numb by Pink Floyd

“…I can’t explain, you would not understand, this is not how I am.”

 

Manic Mom

SuperBella!

I’ve been pretty manic lately and it seems like the creativity just pours out of my mouth or fingertips. Ideas barely have time to form before I get a chance to respond to them. I looked up postpartum mania but I didn’t find much. Most articles are about postpartum depression and/or psychosis. Is mania really that rare? If not, why isn’t anyone talking about it?

Every morning I wake up feeling like supermommy. Every night as I’m drifting off into Ambien-induced oblivion, I feel beat down. The feeling of grandeur replaced by self proclaimed shame and inadequacy. I’m not depressed, however, just irritated; Irritated that I can’t be perfect.

Writing has been therapeutic for me. Sometimes I talk and talk. It’s obvious that people can hear me but they are not listening. Writing, even when it goes unread, has been the only way I’ve found to release that aggravated ecstasy I feel within. Mania feels so good to me. Apparently it doesn’t feel so good to those around me. Also, I’ve been manic enough in the past to know that what goes up must come down. I cannot be depressed with three kids. History has taught me that I can’t even be depressed with one kid and get away with it.

My counselor recommended (and Amor demanded) that I go see my psychiatrist. She put me on a combo of meds that have worked for me in the past. All they did this time, however, was dry up my once-ever-so-abundant milk supply. I stopped taking them. Want to see me depressed? Yeah, take away my ability to feed my children! As the wise old turtle, Ooguay, from Kung Fu Panda says, “One often meets his destiny on the road he takes to avoid it.” Please Lord, destine me for joy, not depression!

Double Talk Quote: “I need to use the restroom. I’m going to the attic.” – Amor

Relatable Lyrics: “I’m no Superman” by Lazlo Bane https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gQjFHxJ9IKs

Verse: “The joy of the Lord is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10

Word that has Lost its meaning
: Coincidence (God ordains everything)

August 25, 2014 (8 weeks old)
SuperKids!

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