Meds Update Archive

Nearly Died. Twice.

Posted June 17, 2017 By kmarrs

 

So.

Ok.

In something like March I was placed on Iron Supplements because my hemoglobin was a little low.  For women it’s suppose to be in the 12-15 range.  But mine was off a little.

Then in seemingly unrelated news, in early April. I had a bad night.  I thought I was just dehydrated severely, because I had really bad diarrhea. But “whatever the cause” I passed out twice.  Once while actually sitting down.  Full on blacked out and came to only after landing hard both times.  I rehydrated and took it easy the next couple of days, but went about my business.  Oh and my stool was black, but iron supplements do that, ya know?  Anyway, I had a doctor’s appointment in about a week and a half, I’d report all this then.  Couldn’t get in any sooner.  Nothing to fuss over.

But like those two passing out spells really knocked it out of me.  I was so fatigued.   And could hardly catch my breath.  But like I’m a fat chick and I’m always winded and the weather was nice so I was trying to be more active.  Walking more.  And well, fatigue is like an everyday thing with me.  This was more than usual, but I had just had a really bad health night so… Anyway I was seeing my doctor soon.  It would all get squared away.

So the big doctor day came.  I filled her in on all that and also my history or chronic loose stools that I thought had led to me passing out a week and a half prior.  She took all this in and it sort of made sense.  But she wanted some blood tests.  She needed to check on my hemoglobin anyway because I’d been on the iron for about a month and she wanted to see how that was going.  So I left the office with a new appointment for in a month, and went down the hall to the lab to get my blood drawn.  Thought nothing more of it.  And went home.

That night, right as I was crawling into bed at 10PM my phone rang.  It was my doctor’s office.  I needed to go ASAP to the hospital, no I couldn’t drive myself, my hemoglobin was at 6.8 and I needed a blood transfusion or two (hint I got 2) and they needed to find out why I was literally bleeding to death.

Anyway, to speed this up.  3 days, many tests, and lots of drawing blood and transfusioning blood later, I was sent home with the knowledge that the blood was coming from polyps in my stomach that had ruptured (and were treated), and my hemoglobin was back up to 9 something.  Also my antacid for my acid reflux was changed out to a protonix, that both helps with reflux, but will help prevent my stomach from bleeding anymore (laughs).  Oh, and I’m up to twice a day Iron Supplements because my hemoglobin is really low now.  But not dangerously low like it was.

so I take my meds like a good girl.  I go to the follow up appointment like a good girl.  I almost punch my doctor in the face like a good girl.  (long story)  I schedule an appointment for another month out.  This one was for this past Wednesday.  So like mid June.

The Thursday before that appointment I wake up, go to the bathroom, and am greeted by the very obvious signs that I’m bleeding again.  I sigh, email my boss, and get my husband to drop me off at the Emergency Room.  They check my hemoglobin, sure enough, in the span of about 6 hours it went from 8 something to 7 something to 6 something.  I wasn’t just loosing blood, I was loosing it fast.  Or had lost it fast, because they can’t find where it’s coming from.  This was the same hospital.  They had my history from my previous stay and are affiliated with my doctor’s office so they have my full work up.  They knew where to look first.  No sign of bleeding anywhere, other than, you know, the obvious blood loss.  So 2 more blood transfusions and they send me home.  Only this time I also got what’s called and iron infusion.  Which is basically the supplement liquified, tons of it, straight to the vein.

So here I am with the explanation that GI bleeds frequently heal themselves and I shouldn’t worry.  And oh by the way, the iron infusion I got at the hospital, and the second one I got as outpatient Friday, will make it look like I’m bleeding again, but I shouldn’t worry.  I know what symptoms to watch for when my hemoglobin is dangerously near death low, right?  Right.  But I probably won’t start bleeding again.  I mean why would I?

*turns and looks at the camera*

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It’s All A Headache

Posted March 16, 2017 By kmarrs

So a few months ago I was put on Topamax to 1) counterbalance the weight gain from my antipsychotic and 2) help prevent my near constant headaches.  I was also given a prescription of Flexeril to help treat breakthrough stress headaches.  So let’s talk about this some.

First, headaches are not fully uncommon for fibromyalgia or depression.  Both report headaches as symptoms.  I don’t know if I’m having actual migraines, but I’m having severe stress headaches that leave me sensitive to light and sound and make me sick to my stomach.  Sounds like a migraine, but they are more in my neck and the base of my skull which is why there is question as to what we are treating.

Anyway, the Topamax.  No weight loss to report.  It would have been nice but it wasn’t the main reason I was taking it.  My severe headaches that leave me unable to work were reduced to 1 every 2 weeks, and the bad headaches where I take a Flexeril were reduced to 2-3 a week, and I don’t think a day will ever pass that I’m not at least taking Aleve.  I’m ok with that.  That’s just annoying, not debilitating.

So there was progress with the Topamax but could it be better?  We doubled the dose and we shall see.  Ideally, I won’t miss any work because of headaches.  My boss doesn’t seem to mind too much, but I prefer to have a strong work ethic.  And I can’t be missing work twice a month from a damn headache.  We’ve also switched me off the Flexeril and on to something else called Tizanidine HCL.  The Flexeril makes me sleepy so it’s harder to function when I take it 2-3 times a week (at work and at school usually) so hopefully this one won’t knock me out.

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Medication Update

Posted June 23, 2016 By kmarrs

It’s been a little bit since I’ve posted a comprehensive list of what I take and why, so here it is.

Lorazepam – Ativan – 1 Mg – 1-2 a day as needed – This is my anti anxiety. I only really take one a day unless something is going on. I like having the option to take 2 in a day when I need to, but I mostly like not having to get it filled every month. This is one of those controlled substances where you have to get a new script every time, no refills, or at least that’s how my doc runs it. It’s really easy to get addicted to it and abuse it. So I respect the no refills rule. I makes her pay close attention to how quickly patients are running through their scripts. She knows I mostly only ever take it at night but that I like the option of one in the morning when needed. It’s agreeable. So it’s all good.

Pristiq ER- 100 MG 1 per day – This is my anti-depressant. It also helps with fibro but it by no means cures my fibro. It just helps cut the bad days down some. I’m on a second medication for fibro you’ll see. Pristiq is primarily for my depression. Helping with fibro is a happy accident.

Ziprasidone – Geodon – 100MG -1 Per day – This is my anti psychotic. It’s also one big reason I’m almost 300 pounds. I have to diet to maintain weight and stress has me not dieting as much. Geodon makes you crave carbs. I am working on more lean meats, fruits, and veggies. I’m working on quality, if not quantity. But oh how I crave the carbs while on this. It’s soul crushing. It’s so super hard and depressing to be big and no all I have to do is go off this essential medication. But instead I go for walks and tell myself my size doesn’t matter as long as I make healthy choices.

Omeprazole DR – Prilosec – 40MG – 1 per day – This is for my acid reflux. I figured since it’s part of the handful of pills I take every night, I’d list it. Also, as simple as this pill may be, it really improves my quality of life as much as any of the mental health meds.

Gabapentin – Neurontin -100MG – 3 times a day – This med is an anti seizure med also used to treat nerve pain, so it is my fibro med. I’m suppose to take 1 pill 3 times a day, but I made it clear that I will never remember to do that, despite all my good intentions, so I actually take all three at once with her approval. This too will cause me to gain weight which is super fun so I’m super excited about that. But to be pain free…

Topiramate – Topimax – 25MG – 2 per day – Officially this is used to prevent migraines. Unofficially, off label is used to counter the effects of Geodon weight gain. It might actually help me lose weight. Or it’s pseudoscience, but at least I’ll have fewer headaches.

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Medication Update

Posted February 23, 2016 By kmarrs

As of last Friday, I’ve been upped to 100MG of the new antidepressant Pristiq.  So far it seems to be doing something, I just need it to do more something.

Next up I’ll be upping my Geodon from 80MG to I’m not sure what.  I just can’t change more than one thing at a time.  Why am I upping the antipsychotic?  Simple.  It helps act as impulse control, and that includes the impulse to rage.  I want to be less ragey.  I want to be less impulsive.  But mostly less ragey.  So here’s to hoping!

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Five Days, Four Nights

Posted August 19, 2015 By kmarrs

This is going to come out very disjoined and just won’t flow.  I’m sorry, but that’s just how I am at this time with this topic.

I spent most of the last couple of weeks in July fantasizing about taking a few bottles worth of pills.  It wasn’t just a, “I wish I was dead,” but a full on plan.

When I tried to hospitalize myself in March, the hospital I went to was so sure it was just the stress of my sister’s illness.  They refused to take my own illness seriously.  When she got her transplant, and that stress was over, but I didn’t magically get better, I in fact got worse.  For awhile I thought it was just me needing more friendship in my life.  I made a new friend.  I chatted with the new friend.  I was ecstatic for like two days, and then the new friend excitement wore off and I still felt like I wanted to die.  Turns out I didn’t just need friends.

But being turned away last March left me with zero faith in the system.  I was “too smart to need hospitalization”.  Yeah, yeah.  I’m also smart enough to know exactly how to successfully kill myself.

So I called my meds doctor and I filled her in on how I was feeling, the extent to which I was suicidal, and why it was I was hesitant to go to the hospital.  I knew I needed help, but I also knew if I got turned away again I would go through with an attempt.  At that point all hope I had would be gone.

She of course pointed out the differences between the present and March.  For starters, in March as horrible as I felt, I was wishing I was dead, not planning it.  I also decided it would be wise to pick another hospital.  This time I went to OSU instead of Mount Carmel East.  Why yes, I am breaking my policy and I’m naming names.

OSU actually apologized for MC’s mistake even though they had nothing to do with it.  They full on told me that MC made a bad decision.  In doing so they didn’t just validate me being there in the present, but they validated my needs back in March.

I spent about 8 hours in the ER before they made the final decision and got my room ready.  There was never really much doubt in them keeping me, outside of my paranoia at the system.

While still in the ER, the consulting Psychiatrist and I discussed what exactly the stay could do for me, besides keeping me safe.  I finally admitted to myself and the world that the Cymbalta, my miracle drug, just wasn’t working any more.  We discussed alternative meds and I picked Zoloft because it would help with depression and my anxiety.  The very next morning I start Zoloft and they started weaning me off Cymbalta.  To say I was fast tracked is an understatement.  In 4 days I was taken off 120MG of Cymbalta and put on 150MG of Zoloft.  My body handled it well.

It was Friday July 31, 2015 that I was admitted, and I was released the following Tuesday.

And here is where I end this tale for now.  I of course did some writing while I was in there, and I’ll share that with you in bits and pieces over the next week or so.

Stay safe.

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The Year of the Doctor

Posted January 23, 2015 By kmarrs

Taking care of health is important if you have Borderline Personality DisorderYar!  I promised thee a blog post!

Alright this is apparently the year where I celebrate having insurance again by being a responsible adult that takes care of her physical well-being.  Parts of this are easy, and other part not so much.  Also imbedded within these words will be an update as to my mental health and the meds I’m now taking.  So way to be relevant to the blog topic, self!  *pats self on back*

So, topics to cover:

  • Head
  • Shoulders
  • Knees
  • Toes
  • Eyes
  • Ears
  • Mouth
  • Nose
  • Lady Parts

Maybe not in the order, huh?

EYES: A major “yay!” and a slight “WTF MATE!” included!

So all 5 of my clan went to the eye doctor this week.  The husband, oldest and I have all worn classes since we were each respectively 7 or 8 years old.  So for us it was just a yearly check in.  Nothing of note for Pat or Thomas, other than Thomas has my eyes in more than just color.  (Did you know that it’s been proven that the more you read, the more near-sighted you become?  Explains why I’m damn near blind.)

I, of course, need new glasses as well only… So apparently based off their previous records on me, my current prescription, and what the script in my current glasses read to be, the last place to examine eyes and get my lenses really messed up their readings *coughWALMARTcough*.  What’s the most fucked up about that is that the year I got those glasses was the only year I’ve ever had insurance through work and Wal-Mart was basically the only place that took that insurance and my mom still had to pay through the nose for me to get these glasses and apparently the royally messed up. That or my eyes magically got better by a lot and then tragically got a little worse than they had been the year or two prior.  So, really?  Every other year the government has paid for my glasses, which I no longer feel guilty about because I’ve gotten a better doctor and better glasses that I need to see because I’m going blind.  Anyway I’m back to one of my 2 old eye doctors (I flipped between them based on location and who could get me in without a 15 month wait) and they have always run consistent to one another.  So I know where I’m staying here on out.  Also?  She got me to 20/15 which she apparently can never accomplish in people with eye-sight as bad as mine and I can confirm has not happened in a really, really long time.  I’m so excited for those glasses to come in!  I’ll read all the things!  ALL OF THEM! *cough*

Lucas, who turns 7 today *sob* will be getting his first pair of glasses, and while we aren’t surprised he needs them, we are surprised just how bad his eyes are at his age.  When Thomas first got glasses he could take them off to play.  Not Luke.  I think this kid is about to see a whole new world!  Also; he won’t sit with his nose glued to the TV while watching anymore.

Sammy, who also sits nose to TV, has been confirmed to do so because she is 3.  The good doc did detect she isn’t exactly 20/20, but it’s a small degree of vision imperfection and usually not worth trying to convince a 3yo to take care of glasses over, unless there are other signs of trouble. (There aren’t.)  So while Sammy will indeed be wearing glasses in the future, she isn’t there yet.  Which is good.  It’s inevitable with the poor girl’s genetics, but I really am not up to that battle.

Lady Parts:

I’ll spare you details.  However, let me say that while I am two years out of sync on what should be a yearly appointment due to first no insurance, and then a chaotic uprising, I’m back on track here and scheduled for my yearly.  Also: When was your last well check here?  Guys, I know most/all of us are falling apart in so many ways, but this appointment is so important and can not be skipped.  These doctors look for some scary stuff.  Especially scary if left untreated.  So please, if you are behind, pick up the phone and schedule now.  No insurance?  Planned Parenthood takes care of so much of this as well, for I believe decent prices.  It varies by location; ask.

HEAD:

I’m doing mostly ok in the mental health department, but this is with the help of a dozen pills a day.  Since getting back in, I have been seeing my meds doctor regularly. Then, despite a few month blip where I had to cancel due to a funeral, and then not making it back in for a bit, I am back to seeing my therapist every couple of weeks.  I actually had a meds appointment today, which is why I owed you this blog post and didn’t write it on the spot, and we had a discussion on the current main symptom, which I’ll get to in a second.  First we’ll discuss the pill regiment up until today’s addition.

First, I’m on Cymbalta 60mg every morning.  It’s my go-to anti-depressant and I actually look forward to taking it when I start to fall apart.  Oh, it kills my sex drive and makes me fat, but it is also the best I’ve found at making me feel stable, without the robotic after taste.

I take 300mg of Trileptal every AM and 600 in the PM.  It is the mood stabilizer that has always been good to me.  Again, no robotic after taste.  As an added bonus, it doesn’t want to kill me like Lamictal does. (Can you imagine death by rash?)

New for me is my twice a day 1mg of Ativan.  This is a fairly low dose (higher than the 1mg part implies) that doesn’t take away all my stress and anxiety, but it takes away the physical tics it brings.  A higher dose that kills the anxiety does things to me (man).  But as my anxiety tends to make my skin crawl and other just not fun things, I’m on a high enough of a dose to prevent that crap.  As an added bonus: for the first time in about 7 years, not only do I have hair but it’s past my shoulders now!

So today I went in with the intent on talking about my rage.  Sure enough, when the other symptoms are under control, I become a raging beast.  I’m not psychical or violent, but I’m loud and can use hurtful words.  I think we all know first hand that words can hurt just as much, if not more, than violence and actions.  So after brief discussion, per my request I start back on Geodon tomorrow.  Oh, antipsychotics aren’t a joy to be on, but I’ve been on/off them enough to know the pros and cons of either side of that decision and I’m looking forward to feeling more like Dr Jekyll, and less like Mr Hyde again.  (More Banner, less HULK?)  Even if it does mean I’m going to eat every carb in sight and pack on another 20 pounds.

KNEES?:

Speaking of packing on another 20 pounds, I’m currently the heaviest I’ve ever been and I don’t like it!  It’s like over the past 3 months I have just packed it on!  Well, with the Holidays behind me, I’m fixing that, dammit.  I wouldn’t say I’ve given up pop, but I’ve cut way down and am working on drinking a lot more water.  I’m eating less pasta and more rice.  I’m doing my best to be more physically active, but I’m writing this a week after buying my first cane (knees!), so there is that.  Nevertheless I don’t need the cane everyday, so on my good days I’m going to go out and walk/run the neighborhood like I swore to when we first moved in (and then life fell to shit around me).  I won’t ever be society’s idea of skinny, but that’s ok.  I just want to be happy with my body within my own ideals of attractive, and I’m not.  I also want to fit all my clothes again, and I don’t.

MOUTH:

Ugh.  I can’t even… It took us something like 8 years to find a dentist that both took our insurance and was someone we were willing to go back to.  I tell you, there are a lot of bad dentists in the world.  It’s even worse than regular General Practitioners.  We finally fund one just to have him close down his business in the past year (had to go back home due his mom’s failing health).  I don’t even care that he was in the opposite side of town.  I would have made the drive.  Now I’m back to square one and we are all well over-due for a visit.  I seriously… Why is this so hard?  I mean, I can tell horror stories.  I really liked the dentist that we finally found too.

NOSE:

Speaking of general practitioners… I need one of these even more than I need a dentist but I’m seriously dragging heels about this.  Frankly, most just don’t know how to help me or are scared of me.  How my Borderline Personality Disorder scares a way a doctor that won’t even be treating it as I have a great mental health team, is beyond me.  I literally could scream.  Dear Doctor, if you want to be frightened away by a condition, at least let it be the fact you aren’t competent in treating fibromyalgia.  Oh, about that.  Mind you, I’ve only had one doctor ever even realize I suffer from fibro, so that is annoying in itself.  But now that it’s finally on record, I’m opening with that.  However, the reason I’m not going back to that doctor, besides the fact he’s terrified of my mental health that he isn’t treating, is that he was constantly wanting to treat the fibro with meds I was already on for the mental health or meds I had been on for it.  First off, and yes this does give you some leeway to be scared of the BPD monster, you can’t just throw a mental health pill at a mental health patient, without considering the repercussions.  Also, if I was on a pill for years for my mental health and it never ever helped my fibro, why would it suddenly magically make my fibro better now?  Ok, I’ll humor you.  Oh look, I’m suddenly suicidal because misuse of antidepressants can do that, ironically.  Alright, fine.  Maybe his fear of my mental health WAS valid.  But only because he was a moron.  And he isn’t even the doctor that I walked out on, or the one who put me on blood pressure meds to treat the wrong kind of headache, and then claimed he was 150% sure that the meds weren’t what caused me to gain 20 pounds suddenly over a 2 month span despite me doing everything else right. (True fact: In a study of whether or not blood pressure meds cause weight gain, what he put me on was called out by name to cause rapid and massive weight gain.  Yet he was 150% positive that those meds don’t cause weight gain and in fact tried to pin it on the fact I just had a baby.  This was about 6 months AFTER giving birth.)  So needless to say I’m a little skeptical about the medical profession and not looking forward to having to find yet another new doctor.  However, the husband is insisting and it would be nice to have someone to see should I have a general illness, and should he actually know how to treat my fibro, and not be scared by the BPD monster… well, I’m not holding my breath.

Head, shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes

Bleh

 

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