For the first several years I was living with bipolar I did my best to be medication compliant. I knew that compliance was expected of me, and if I didn't do it I might lose the excellent doctors I had. I also knew that anytime that a medication is stopped there is no promise it will ever work again, even if it worked very well before.
However, I was not perfect with it. I occasionally ran out of something and didn't get it filled for several days. Or I would forget to take pills until too late. Or I would skip some of the heavier sedation if I needed to be up earlier, rather than trying to take the pills earlier. I would fall asleep in the early evening and wake up too late to take pills, and then repeat for several days.
I got away with that. I doubt my doctor suspected how much I played with the pills. But I wasn't as sick then (even though I wasn't really stabilized I wasn't out of control) as I was the last 2 years. I had good days and bad days. Most of the last 2 years was just bad days. The last 2 months has been nothing but GOOD days.
In the last 2 years I had to go back on my meds rapidly and forcefully after my lithium toxicity. I can't describe that week I went from no meds to full doses. I thankfully don't remember much of it as I slept a great deal, but it was unpleasant.
Since that time (May 2006) I have barely missed a dose of anything. It's possible my errors for 2 years are less than 10, as long as you don't count dropping a pill which happens from time to time. I am so incredibly compliant with those meds that I deserve to be called one of my doctor's most compliant patients, which she called me even BEFORE this happened.
Compliance is being rewarded now because instead of making me quit taking lithium while the diabetes insipidus is figured out I am being allowed to take a medicine to help my kidneys and waiting for the nephrologist appointment, which is in April. Normally I would have been told no more lithium because of the potential for harm and a fear that I wouldn't do what needs done to take care.
Last night I needed to bring a new bottle of Seroquel back to my bedroom. I forgot, and it was too late to take it when I remembered. Not a big deal really, aside from not wanting to mess with how well Seroquel works for me. However, I found it so much easier to get up and get to work this morning. I was thinking about how great this was and how my flu must FINALLY be letting up when I realized it was probably just that I wasn't drugged as much as usual. That was a harsh reality.
It's just never going to be perfect. But it's so close.....