This last week has felt like I just needed to be quiet with my thoughts. I think I was needing in a way to spend some time being quiet and honoring what I went through one year ago. I also have tried to celebrate my successes in the last year because I know that they stem from the huge benefits of the MAOI that I went into the hospital to start. I've felt so quiet I've even spent time driving in silence, something I typically can't stand to do because the noises of the engine, wind hitting the car funny, etc. drive me nuts. So generally in the car there is a a book on CD running at all times.
What the hospitalization felt like and how I experienced it all is still a big deal in my life. The biggest reason for this is that during the last 2 weeks of October and first 3-4 weeks of November 2009 I was brought to my knees with pain I didn't know was possible. I thought I'd experienced the worst bipolar could hand me. Learning I hadn't was a huge shock. I learned a lot though. During the last 2 months I've had to increase my Seroquel dose 100 mgs, bringing me into the higher than usually recommended dose. Which is not a big deal, I've been on high doses of most things. But it was a big deal to accept this and do it, knowing I'd have side effects and that I might be more tired than I'm used to being. At first I was and so I tried to go back to the normal dose. But when it failed I managed to do what I'm supposed to do and immediately get back to the higher dose before anything happened. I realize now that I'm stuck at this dose of for some time, probably through the winter as usually I'm not allowed to wean much from now until spring. But there's a big difference; this year I was well enough to make the right decisions. Last year, one of the things that was bad in the hospital was that I was very reluctant to alter my base meds. Because of when Dr. Brain got sick herself she didn't answer a lot of my questions and I did not go into this knowing that Emsam might make me more agitated and that it was ok to need more seroquel. Instead I went in with the idea that messing with what had worked for so long was not a good idea since I was only there for the antidepressant change. I never understood until this how intricately my meds work together. I remember finally agreeing at some point to try more seroquel and then begging for increases until I had doubled my dose. In the past I'd been on 600 mg and it had totally knocked me out; now I needed 600 mg to feel ok. I was so sure that it would become too much that I asked Dr. Body for a script for 300 mg as well as a way to make 400 and 500 mg when I went in for follow-up,sure I'd be weaning off soon. Instead it's been a year and I'm on more.
On the other hand there's a little voice that worries, and as I've had to take time to remember last year I've had to think about this as any major med change will require hospitalization now, and that little voice wants to know what happens if my need for Seroquel increases. There's no much room to go up now. That frightens me. I can try to not worry, but it's hard to not do so a bit when I realize how fast my needs increased in the last few months. After months of starting to discuss how meds can be decreased after a year of solid stability we've now increased my lithium by 50% and Seroquel to nearly as much as humanely be taken.
But we're not there. We're not anywhere bad, just not in the best place ever. I strongly suspect that after I have my week off in 2 weeks I'll feel much better because I'll have rested. After all, unless you count the hospital, I've had no vacation in nearly 2 years. I had a few days off but inevitably they were full of medical appointments. This time is all about peacefulness and healing from stress. I have no idea how I'll survive without all of you and this outlet, but I'll probably keep writing and then will post later.
And this post was supposed to go up 2 days ago and I apparently fell asleep and posted a title instead. So now on to today's post....