Category Archives: medication

Freestylin’ It

I have no plans concerning where this post is going or what it means to me, or to you, or the world. What does anything really mean to the world, anyway? She’s a cold bitch. She scoffs at us all equally. Time for my morning scoffing.

I got a job. That’s right. Look at me growing more mundane by the moment. I am now a security guard at one of the major chemical plants in a neighboring town. Hilarious how their background checks do not include mental health records.
I’m working toward the midnight shift but for now they’ve got me training with the head guard during daytime hours. I’m off today. Joy.
I get a fucking nightstick and a pair of handcuffs. That’s about as far as my power goes. I’d rather dole out my ass kickings by hand anyway. Ninety percent of my time will be spent on my ass in front of security camera feeds in a tight little room. It’s alright. It’s not totally foreign to my alley. It beats McDonalds. The money’s a little better than minimum wage. I get to remain a night owl.

I had applied for disability a couple of years ago, and the bastards turned me down. My lawyer told me that in order for me to apply again, I’d have to earn another six grand. Has to do with how much money I’ve paid into their crooked system. This could be my ticket back in.
It really pisses me off, what they did to me. I was as fucking disabled as I’ve ever seen anyone; mentally, anyway. I’ve met people here with ADHD alone, who are getting a couple grand a month from those fuckers. And here I’ve been, disabled to the point of cowering in a corner the majority of my days. Apparently that’s not enough.
My new medicated mindset has reiterated the fact. I feel more capable of holding a job now than I ever was. And you know what, fucking disability people?, now that I’m capable, I’m fucking doing it. Don’t you think that if I could, I would have a long time ago?
There was a time I let it eat me alive, and I forced myself to get over it. Now that I’m working again that old irritation has returned. I want to write them a letter, but I’m certain they wouldn’t read it without the right paperwork and cover letter. Too bad. I can write one hell of a pissed off letter. Perhaps I’ll do it anyway just for the therapy.

Speaking of therapy, after my discharge from the hospital I was given several follow-up appointments with a therapist and psychiatrist. That didn’t quite work out. The old therapist I saw a couple of years back, the blind man, no longer takes patients without Medicaid. The psychiatrist was going to cost me fifty bucks a month just to refill my psych meds. I’ve convinced my primary care doc to keep me refilled on Lithium and Risperdal, although it isn’t normally in his job description. That’s one bit of good news. He fills my scripts for three months at a time, and since he’s already prescribing me other medications, I’m still only out the forty dollars every ninety days I would have had to pay anyway.
I’m sure a therapist and psychiatrist would have done me some good. I just can’t afford it right now. Perhaps in the future.
Unfortunately I’m wondering if the 300 mg of Lithium a day I’m currently on is quite doing the trick. Just less than a week ago my head was in the clouds, and now I’m, well, not depressed, but pretty fucking blah. I’m not sure how the good Doctor K will feel about changing my dosage, since it’s not his field. I’m thinking 300 mg in the morning, 150 in the evening would be a safe bet. I am going to ask him. I see him on Wednesday and I’ve got another mile-long list for the poor man. I’m going to ask to have my blood levels checked again as well. I certainly put the ‘practice’ into his work. I’m probably one of his most complicated cases. He better earn that fucking doctor’s salary!

–A Special Case

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Filed under bipolar, mad ruminations, medication

Autobiographies

I spent a few bucks at Hobby Lobby yesterday. I have a weakness for blank pages and stationary.

102_0154I was taken by the tree on this journal’s cover. Well, it’s actually meant to be a sketchbook, having no lines and all. For some reason Hobby Lobby doesn’t sell legitimate journals for writing. Bastards!

102_0156It’s made of nice leather and high quality paper. I’ve decided it perfect for poetry. Too perfect, in fact. My drafts are much too scribble-laden and error ridden. Instead, I’m filling this one with all of my recent creations that only exist on my blog. Many deserve a home on paper, so I’ve been copying a bit from my WordPress site. Self-plagiary! The Collected Poems of a Madman, I’ll call it. Perhaps when it’s complete I can give it away.

102_0157

Next, I bought this huge hunk of bludgeoning tool.  I selected it for its size, and the design on the cover. I like maps damnit.

I was tired of my life story just laying out on the table. Anyone could have strolled right into my home and riddled through my many problems. So, this one becomes a sort of autobiography.
I like you guys, so I’m happy to display its contents.

102_0159Get it?
Seriously though, it wasn’t smart to have all my medications laying out. Especially the Soma–which I’ve only needed a couple of nights. Think I’ll tell my doctor I don’t need it anymore. I do not enjoy taking narcotics. They do the trick though; knock me the fuck out.
I’ve never kept my medications in the bathroom. It’s a prime spot for pill heads to lock the door and take whatever they want. Instead they were kept piled up in a decorative bowl on the bar. I prefer this new storage method. I enjoy the irony. Hell, I enjoy irony, period.

–Ironic Bastard

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Filed under autobiography, mad ruminations, medication, writing

I’m Worrying Again

Time for another morning ramble.

Some of you may or may not remember a post involving some suspicious abdominal pains and later, a doctor’s visit for some blood tests. The results showed that everything was fine, and the pains had stopped, and I was nearly given a chance to forget.

I’ve developed some new pains now. All of which I’ve never experienced before taking Lithium. I thought I had a hell of a backache yesterday, uncommon enough in itself, but as the day moved on I began to realize the pains were situated around the area of my kidneys. Fucking A! Don’t tell me my kidneys are being fucked up now. I have been sure to drink plenty of water since starting the medication. Not only can it dehydrate you but it is hard on the kidneys. I’ve been micturating every couple of hours. I guess drinking the water hasn’t been enough. Strangely enough the pains disappeared when I got some food in my stomach.

Once again, I’d like to reiterate that pains, for me, do not always mean something’s wrong. But it’s still severe enough that I’m worried about being able to continue the Lithium, yet again. I thought that was behind me.

On top of that, the area around my thyroid’s been bothering me. Imagine having a thumb shoved into the area below your adam’s apple with as much strength as a thumb can muster. Did I mention there’s also a golf-ball stuck in your throat?
It’s not constant and is most bothersome in the afternoon. Good thing here is, if my thyroid is having problems, many people on Lithium have been given a thyroid hormone on top of it, and been able to continue the treatment.

As far as symptoms go, besides the physical sensations I’ve not been showing any signs of thyroid or kidney problems.

I’m thinking about going back to the doctor to have my blood tested, again. I thought they had done a thorough thyroid, kidney, and liver check but upon getting online and checking the results for myself, I’ve realized all they ordered was a basic metabolic panel. Alone it can signify problems in most of those areas, but I would like some more specific tests.
If, once again, I’m told everything’s fine, then everything will be fine. Even if these pains continue, I can handle that. The pain isn’t really the problem here, it’s the worry that’s been accompanying it. I got a little snappy with my roommate last night. I must be a little on edge from all this. Of course I apologized and we’re good. He’s used to me being the occasional ass, although I’ve been a lot more tolerable on this new form of treatment. I don’t have to wake up in the morning pissed off about being alive anymore. Makes a big difference!
So many differences the new medication has made. I don’t know if I can survive without it. Not sure now if I’ll even survive with it, considering. Ugh. Tired of worrying! Helps to get it out. My favorite form of denial is to simply not think or talk about what bothers me. Bury that shit.

I’m not burying this.

I all the sudden care about my self and my body and my life.
All I can do now is make another doctor’s appointment and keep my fingers crossed.

If any of you believe in good vibes or good luck, you can go ahead and send that shit my way. I won’t turn any of it down.

–Worried me

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Filed under kidneys, lithium, mad ruminations, medication, thyroid, worry

Lucky Numbers can’t Lie . . . Right?

Well, good morning to you all. It’s been a chilly night. Some mornings I awaken and say, “I wonder how many followers I’ll be scaring off today?”

I slept like a fucking stone. Yesterday morning–after taking my actual prescribed dose of lithium which is twice what works well enough for me–I woke around four and the area around my liver was sore as all hell. It had the be the medication. I haven’t had a drink in years and even then, I’ve never had such pains before.
I didn’t let myself get too incredibly worried as I was going to the doctor to get my blood lithium levels checked later that morning. By the time I arrived the pains had stopped–thank god–but I let him know what had happened. On top of lithium levels I got my kidney, thyroid, and liver functions checked out. Now I’m just waiting on them to call me with my results.

Now I’m praying they don’t call me and say “Stop taking that Lithium! It’s destroying your body!”
This is the the singular medication that’s actually worked well for me. I’ve probably tried over twenty different kinds of anti-depressants and anti-psychotics in the past few years alone. I’m afraid that without this stuff I’ll be nothing more than that pitiful creature I was before. Melancholic at best. Fucking desperate and murderous more often than not. Hallucinations screaming in my ear. Vibrating my ear drum. Shooting down that labyrinthine tunnel in my head. Fuck!

I’m hopeful, though. Contrary as it may seem as far as hope goes, I’m sensitive in the area around my stomach. Back in the day when I would smoke weed like a motherfucker my goddamn spleen would hurt all the fucking time. No doctors believed me because, upon a physical exam and some blood work I’d be told that everything seems fine.
So, just because my shit hurts it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s been damaged. I must have super-sensitive nerves down there. Briley told me I have weakness in my solar plexus chakra. I never even told her about my past and present problems. That did catch me off guard a bit.

Another reason I have hope would be my lucky numbers. Or at least, my numbers. They’re 0, 1, 3, 7, and sometimes 9. They’re certainly not unlucky as I haven’t experienced anything awful where those numbers are involved–at least, nothing awful that didn’t turn out to be a blessing in disguise.
Yesterday while I was waiting in the exam room I was looking back over my discharge papers and noticed my bar-code number. (Yes, you get a fucking bar-code in that place now.)

ACC3071397

It was a pleasant detail I hadn’t noticed before.
And so I’ve decided I’m not going to worry unless a phone call happens to reveal that I should. I just hold a slight concern for now is all.

Briley is coming over today. Finally! I had to go all of yesterday without seeing her, though we did text back and forth like teenage girls. I’m a giddy teenage girl today.

— Giddy and Hopefully me

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Filed under briley, depression, hope, lithium, liver, lucky numbers, mad ruminations, medication, schizophrenia

Swoop

I never managed to send Briley that text.
Instead, she text me this morning.
She had read my blog. Saw how much I missed her. Was then aware that as bad as I just wanted to see her again, I was having trouble re-breaking the ice.
So she did it for me.
Beautiful girl.
She sent me an apology concerning the reason for our initial break up. Although it wasn’t her fault. It was mine.
I apologized too. Asked her if we could wipe the slate clean, forget about those previous worries that accompanied me like a heavy cloud. I don’t want her to have to watch what she says anymore.
I really am a different person since my little hospital visit. Since I got this Lithium in me, a relatively dangerous drug, I’ve still been me, but lighter. The doctor must have seen it fully necessary. I’m going with his judgement.
With all the risks and paranoia the Lithium has caused (oh god my hand is shaking! is it a bad reaction? even though my hands usually shake anyway) I have no desire to stop taking it. Ever. If there is even the slightest possibility, that for the rest of my years I could feel as normal as I have so recently . . . Well, I call that hope. My life has been too devoid of that notion. Optimism. And no point in even worrying about it.
I had complained in a post a month or so ago, about how I hated anti-depressants because they make me feel hollow. This is different. I feel whole versus that familiar cut-off feeling.

Excuse me, I’m rambling again.
Long story made short, I think Briley and I are going to work this out. I’m going to see her later today. Butterflies in my tummy. The good kind.
I’ve been so in love with her. Still am.

.

On a slightly different note, I’m still having trouble sleeping. One of the few residuals I still have to live with. Risperidone is supposed to knock you out. Yeah right!
My primary care doc, after trying damn near everything to help me sleep (even 800 mg Seroquel with no luck) tried me on 350 mg Soma, a pretty strong muscle relaxer. It helps more than other things but I have to take a few benadryl and melatonin on top of it.
Not even that’s been doing it for me. I’ll feel exhausted . . . like the moment I lie down I’m bound to pass the fuck out. Disappointment inevitably follows.
Tuesday night in the hospital I got about four hours. Preceding nights at home have wielded a lucky six hours tops. Yesterday evening it was really starting to catch up with me. Naturally I function best on nine or ten hours of sleep. Finally took two of the damn Soma last night and thank god, I finally got a good night’s sleep. About eleven hours, but I needed it.
The occasional night of sleeplessness is no big deal for me, it’s when the days start adding up that it becomes a real pain in the ass. Literally. Even my body gets sore. Worse, lack of sleep alone can cause psychosis even in the normally sane.

So I guess the point here is that, today is all good news. Got some sleep. Going to see the girl I love later.
Today ain’t bad at all.

— JT

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Filed under briley, hope, lithium, love, mad ruminations, medication, schizophrenia, writing

Duck duck Goose

I’m home.
Didn’t take very long, did it? Guess a change of meds was enough to get me back on my feet. They replaced my Seroquel with Risperdone*, halved my Effexor dosage and put me on the classic mood stabilizer Lithium. It’s working but, Lithium is one of those drugs that demands regular blood tests and check-ups. Even slightly incorrect levels in my blood could cause severe side effects, possibly even cause kidney or thyroid failure.
They started me on 150 mg. Turned my whole fucking world around. Before discharge today the doc upped me to 300 mg twice a day, a dosage that I’m not quite comfortable with until I can follow-up with my primary care physician. If he says 600 mg a day is alright, then I’ll take it. Until then I’m intimidated by the stuff, and besides, it’s working pretty fucking well already.

Did a bit of writing while I was in. Not too much. I plan on posting some of my thoughts later — dated and time stamped of course. As for tonight, I’ll probably spend this time winding down and bloody relaxing. Hospital stays aren’t all fun and games you know. At least it was a regular hospital’s psych ward this time and not the State Hospital/ Penitentiary of Doom. Wasn’t too awful.Wasn’t fun.

Things are going to be alright though. Or so I’m told by my current brain chemical arrangement.

Love,
J

(*Edit: Don’t know where I got Depakote from. It’s Risperdone they put me on.)

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Filed under hospitalization, lithium, medication, schizophrenia

Getting Warmed Up to Spill

Today I’m going to see my psychologist for the first time in three months.I had quit going to see him for various reasons. A lot of the fault lies with me. I was never completely open with him. It’s hard, you know, face to face. Also, I was upset when I found out second-hand what his diagnosis and prognosis was concerning my case. I’d wished he’d been more open with me too at that point and spoken to me as a peer rather than a clueless patient. At least give me my god damn diagnosis. I do know my way around a few psychology textbooks.

Briley talked me into moving towards my old routine of one counseling session a week and one group therapy a month.
It didn’t help me much the first time round, and I was pissed at the system. Now I am aware of the source of my feelings and they’re all directed toward myself. Sure, the system is faulty, but, Why couldn’t I just speak up? Why did I have to play it fucking cool all the time? Why am I afraid to cry in front of people?

(I read a quote somewhere that went something like “Expecting a schizophrenic to utilize the mental health system is like expecting a paraplegic to use stairs.”)

 I decided to go back to my old psychologist because a) I hate meeting new people and b) my old psychologist is 100% blind from birth. We’ll just call him Ron. He’s more of a listener than an advisor. But unphased by just about anything I’ve ever mustered the courage to say and patient as a fucking saint. Once I’d missed a previous appointment, his last of the day. Had I called and cancelled he could have taken the 5:00 bus home. Thanks to me he had to sit around and wait another hour for the bus to come round. I certainly felt some guilt over that one, but he treated it as no big deal. Glad to see me doing well, he said. 
His blindness makes him easier to conversate with than most. I have a problem looking people in the face. I know it’s polite in social situations, whatever. Hallucinations can make expressions seem hostile, and if someone’s speaking to me I have to look down or away. I can’t watch and listen at the same time. Too much input. Scrambles my brain.
My point being, I don’t have to look this guy in the eyes. Impossible to even see them behind those dark glasses. I’ll bet he can read more into what I’m saying than he lets on, too. That did make me nervous. But I just have to let the process work its magic, I guess. It’s going to take everything I have to be open. I worry he will want to hospitalize me. Or worse, call the fucking police and arrest my psychotic ass. Briley keeps saying it will be okay. Times like this I wish I could just pop a xanax and smoke a bowl. But, I have to keep reminding myself that I know better. It will only fuck with me in the long run. Drug free and proud to be! 
(Aside from the bottles and bottles of synthetic laboratorized chemicals fused together with dead dinosaur extract that I’m forced to swallow for breakfast and dinner. Likely every day for the rest of my life. I didn’t want this but I’m without a fucking choice.)

So, I’m giving it a second shot today. Loading another bullet into this lifelong roulette game. Briley is driving me because I’m bound to be nervous. What a fucking baby I am! But any excuse to have her around is all I ever wanted. If all works out, I have little surprise for her afterward. 
Just trying to mix some joy into my day as opposed to the dimly lit rooms of a psychologist’s office. 

 

–Patient #J

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Filed under counseling, mad ruminations, medication, mental health, psychology, schizophrenia, therapy, writing

Sir, I think you’ve had enough.

I am a very pitiful person sometimes.
There, I said it.

I used to believe I had nothing left of my mother. I had sold the only keepsake that she left behind for me a few years ago just so I could afford to leave my home out west. It was then that I realized where all my deepest pains originated; the cause of many of my self-destructive habits and the hurt I was trying to cover. . .My mother. 
It took me a good year and a half before I finally came to terms with her life, and our shared past. It all finally sunk in that I had nothing left. Not even any of her letters. (The original, handwritten ones anyway.) When I realized what I had done, an awful pain split through me.
Nothing left.
Oh, but how very wrong I was. What she has given to me no one will ever take away, no matter how fucking hard they try. Closer to me than any letter or gold braided necklace. She is the voices in my head, the monster in the corner, the fear that grips me without cause, and the sorrow that stalks me day and night. My own involuntary gift from her is biological and makes my life what it is. It’s the inner challenges I face every day. And when worldly problems accost me, my schizophrenia becomes their sidekick. 
Don’t get me wrong. I no longer carry any ill feelings toward her. The above is just cold hard fact. Facts can be a bitch.

I had not meant to go into an epic about my mother. I don’t know. Ever since I came home last night I feel I’m in the midst of a mini prodrome. I guess I have Briley to blame now for making me so damn distraught without her that I’m literally losing my fucking mind. I’m not happy about being so emotionally dependent, either. I try to give the girl her space but inside, there are days I’ve already considered electrocuting or poisoning myself just so I can visit her at work in the ICU. 
I know, I know. Pitiful. Fucking A!

See, I’m just a little gone right now. I’m probably saying way too much. If you could imagine waking up feeling like you’ve had a few Xanax, maybe some muscle relaxers, a couple of shots and some weed to top it all off, perhaps you could imagine why I’m going on like I am. It seems like a pleasant experience, sure, though imagine not knowing why you feel that way and already being prone to panic like a wild animal thrusted into civilization. At least these days, I know why. I used to suspect a brain tumor. The changes are so drastic, the audio and visuals alarmingly, confusingly real. 
I’m not fond of it.

The only choice I have left is to take a couple of Seroquel and either pass the fuck out, or walk around drooling for a good few hours. The worst part about this particular horse pill is that it makes my anxiety worse. So now you if you can, imagine knowing you’re about to drop dead where you stand. Panic ensues and you want to run, to scream for help. But you’re a zombie, remember? There’s no running or screaming. Only a zombie forgets he’s a zombie. 

–♊

 

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Filed under love, mad ruminations, medication, paranoia, schizophrenia, writing

Sometimes I’m afraid you’re not as paranoid as I am, and that worries me.

Just woke up way too early feeling anxious as hell. That’s what I get for taking fucking Effexor at midnight. Sometimes I forget to take it, sometimes I don’t want to take it. I usually don’t realize I’ve missed a dose until I start feeling nauseated. How I would love to change medications but the stuff I want doesn’t have a generic yet and I’m still debating whether I’m willing to shell out $200 dollars a month as a COPAY for something that may or may not work. I’m just going to have go in for a month’s worth and see how the meds treat me. After that I can decide if $200 is really going to buy me happiness or if it’s just another parlor trick. Maybe if it were something I could off myself with comfortably.

Still at Briley’s although our whole weekend was rained out. Poured out really. Not really upset about it. The sky has been hinting at rain for weeks. The grass was dying, the lake had far retreated from the shore. . .it’s still low actually, even after two days’ torrents.

We did get some sunshine yesterday afternoon and went go-cart racing. Briley won, both times. Against two different crowds. Haha. She is so small, 5’2 and can’t be more than 100 lbs. I gave her hell about it the first time around but for the second race they gave her a double seater, and she ended up lapping me and winning again. 
Now we have the notion of going to the drag strip next weekend and racing like adults. There’s one in a nearby town, but I’ve never been and neither has my gearhead roommate. We’ve heard you can race in your everyday street car. She’ll still kick my ass in her Impreza vs my Pontiac hahaha. If the roommate comes we’re all fucked against his I-ROC.

Words have a way of letting me down. So many things I’m feeling right now. I never imagined anyone could love a psychotic fuck-up like me. I shouldn’t dwell on worry. It’s actually fading away. Despite my thrown-off mental state this morning I still feel really good. I’m in love goddamnit. I’ve fallen so hard. It’s scary and confusing and steeped in ecstasy. Twenty-Nine and I’ve never been in love before. Perhaps I’d imagined I was, in the past. Nothing and no one has ever been so beautiful to me before. She’s like my own guardian angel, my Beatrice, my Mary, my Green Tara. Meadows Meadows Meadows. Sinking directly into the earth. My odd combo of fire and water. Showing me what it really means to make love. What it means when someone actually knows me and still loves me. I can’t help but be enamoured by the way she moves and how her eyes meet mine, always so bright and excited for anything life decides to throw your way. Her gorgeous golden hair flows like sunlight lighting the whole world. Her eyes remind me of the deepest sea, or a bright open clearing in the hills, depending on her mood. Her beautiful curves and soft skin, everything she is, is perfect to me. And when she holds me, a peace rushes over me. Perhaps I felt something like it many many years ago when my mother held me.

So yeah, I’d like to think I know what love is now, and it’s inexpressible. Gave it my best shot though.

 

–Jumping Trails

 

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Filed under love, mad ruminations, medication, writing

A Scientific Proof Consists of Producing Consistent Results on a Consistent Basis

“For a Migraine I would recommend
Lepidolite or Amethyst,
and of course if those don’t work
surely Bloodstone or maybe Rose Quartz.
Laser Quartz Surgery is
Always an option,
As is a the classic
Natron Purification.”

It may have worked today
By the power of suggestion.
By tomorrow I’ll be taking
Packaged powdered aspirin.
Five-Hydroxytryptophan
Is my medicine cabinet Magic.
Rhodiola Rosea too
to get across the labyrinth.
Benadryl and Alka-Seltzer
might keep it all down.
Lots and lots of coffee
Just to get back to the clouds.

It may have worked today
By the power of suggestion.
By tomorrow I’ll be taking
Real Narcotic Medication.

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Filed under magic, medication, migraines, poem, poetry, writing