Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth." Genesis 9:13

Saturday, June 27, 2009


I've had quite a few new readers lately, so I'm going to back up a little bit and explain my past in a few sentences. Basically I was diagnosed with bipolar 7 years ago. From that time on treatment was challenging. I have been on 40 plus medications at many, many doses. I either react very, very strongly to meds, or I don't react unless I'm at an incredibly high dose. I've got many allergies and have twice been in the emergency room with bad reactions. I've had a severe lithium toxicity and gone on to continue taking low-dose lithium because without it I am simply ill. My kidneys have some damage which means that my use of lithium is very carefully monitored.

About 2 years ago I was down to almost no remaining drugs left to try and was facing longterm disability and waiting for science to catch up to me. Out of desperation we tried one of those drugs and it worked. (That was Seroquel). I remained on enormous combinations of Seroquel and Depakote, along with a bunch of other meds. I go to a huge and famous teaching hospital, and for a long time was taking the highest combination of those 2 meds of any female patient. And I am small. The only problem was that I was exhausted all the time, even with medication in the morning to help with that. Then a year ago I read about this new version of Seroquel, Seroquel XR. I begged to be put on it. My doctor hesitated to let me, the poster child for caution with new meds, be the first she'd had on anything. But after 2 months of whining she agreed and I started it very soon after it came out. In fact, it was quite hard to find. The first few days I took too much accidentally due to an adjustment in how many pills it took to get my dose. After the dose was fixed I was still far too tired so I cut it in half until the weekend. By the weekend I was feeling really good on 1/2 the medication I'd been on. And soon the difference in my life was very visible to everyone. I was happy again. I didn't have mood swings and if I did they were tiny. I was enjoying life. I came off anxiety meds except for as needed. I endured being fired without a major episode and got a new job and started within 2 weeks. I'm handling much more stress at work/more responsibility without issues.

In January I got tired of being tired, and with permission started reducing my Depakote. At this point I'm on less than half of what I was on then. It's continued to make me tired, and so I asked to come off it totally. My doctor agreed and so in the next few weeks I'll encounter my 2nd miracle: I'll be on minimal meds.

I can hardly believe this is happening to ME. More to come. I'm dealing with stomach flu and no sleep last night today and the celebrating has been affected by this.

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