Meds Update Archive

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.


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.


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.


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.


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



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I Can’t Feel My Tongue

Posted January 15, 2014 By kmarrs

Borderline Personality Disorder and MedicationIf there is one flavor on this earth I hate more than cherry, it’s black cherry.  So imagine my delight to learn my new dissolvable medication is black cherry flavored.  I don’t get to chew, crush, or swallow this beasty.  No.  I get to put it on my tongue, where all my glorious taste buds are located, and patiently wait for it to dissolve while it numbs the tip of my tongue.


Put it on my tongue, gag over it, nearly choke, have little fizzies of it hit the back of my throat, numbing the back of my throat AND the tip of my tongue, while I try not to vomit.

It was a graceful event.

Take two is tonight.

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And That’s A Wrap!

Posted May 16, 2013 By kmarrs

I had my final, for a while, session with my Psychiatrist last week.  I’ve managed to keep up the stable long enough, and trying to get in is causing more stress than what it’s worth.  It’s something we’ve both known was coming for a while.  We’ve worked towards it.  Progressed to it.

I can’t imagine that I’ll never again see a Psychiatrist.  That is a wonderful goal, of course, and one I’ll strive for, but not as such that I’ll ignore obvious warning signs just to avoid that office.  I’d rather call her up at the first sign of danger and head it off, then try to make it without and get in over my head, and then drown.  Not worth it.

If the time should come, I have my instructions on what to do.  Since my case closes in 3 months (we’re keeping it open as long as possible just in case, and because we can) getting back in urgently can be tricky.  Should I call the front office, I’ll be waiting listed as a new patient.  Not awesome for urgent.  But, my doctor has instructed me to call her directly and she’ll get me in on the first available.  Could still take a month but that will be because her schedule is packed, not because I’m wait listed.

Because as stable as I am now, safe to be away, when BPD crashes, they crash hard and burn all that is near.  You don’t wait list that.  Not if you expect survivors.

So I feel safe.  Even as I step away from my safety net, I know they still care and will be there if I need them.  I’m just safe to walk away in the meantime.

And all is well.

Because even on my dark days, I’m showing signs of growth.  My fibro meds caused me to slip, I recognized it, I stopped them, and told my doc I needed something different.  Instead of letting it progress to a problem, I took action and all was fine.  When life gets complicated and I get the sads, I have the presence of mind to tell myself that my sads are based on this situation, here is how it’s already being fixed, and here is what I can do to make it better, and in the meantime.

Remission and recovery aren’t about never ever having a bad day.  That isn’t normal either.  That is mania.  It’s about taking the bad days in stride, recognizing their cause, and their solution.  Whether that solution is going to bed early and trying again tomorrow, or something like ending a marriage, changing a career, or moving.

You take the good, you take the bad, you take them both and there you have, the facts of life.

I make no apologies for that cheese.

May you find peace on your bad days, enjoyment on your good days, and have the presence of mind to know that life is made up of both.

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The Side Effects – Savella

Posted March 15, 2013 By kmarrs

Like any mental health med, there are of course a collection of side effects. Risk verses benefits. I want to talk about that.

Savella is in the anti-depressant family. While it isn’t used to treat depression, as it has a slightly different formula, it has the same chemical basis.

As such, any anti-depressant has one big  possible (and surprising to many) side effect, especially for those not necessarily depressed: Suicidal thoughts.

This is hard to write because that phrase raises to many red flags. Makes people anxious. Makes those who care nervous. But let’s talk this out.

I am otherwise stable. Very, fully stable. So the way this takes shape is occasionally when I’m too tired, stressed, or frustrated I start thinking that I wish I wouldn’t wake up or it would be better off if I didn’t. No. None. Absolutely not. I do not have any ideas about taking matters in my own hands. What I do have thoughts on are how ridiculous it is to think these things.

Dear Karen, you are tired and stressed but generally very happy with life. You don’t really think you’d be better off dead. This is the meds and stress talking. Now. What are you going to do to fix this so that you are excited for tomorrow?

It’s weird.  It’s new and exciting. I talk myself down so rationally and calmly. That’s how I know I’m OK. It’s just the meds. And there isn’t anything to worry and fret over.

I also think I’m really just too tired. This I fully blame the meds on. They are psyche meds and psyche meds do make me tired. And I have to take them twice a day so there is no relief. I’m able to function. But I’m able to function just enough to get done what I have to get done, but nothing extra curricular.

I do want my energy back. I’ll talk to the good doctor about that. (I’ll tell my psychiatrist about the bad thoughts. Not because she needs to worry, but because things need documented.)

And maybe, just maybe, as the days get longer and I can become more physically active, I can get my energy back.

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On Being Heard

Posted March 12, 2013 By kmarrs

I’ve been to my new doctor. Awhile ago, actually, but I haven’t been in my writing groove. Then it got to be so far past the appointment that it left my mind to write about it. But this post is actually important. As my mental health has healed, my focus has turned to my physical health. And that is what this post needs to talk about. My physical health. My chronic pain.

I went into the appointment with high expectations. He doesn’t give pain meds. He’s been in practice a long time. I’d love him. I’d find him amazing. My psychiatrist knew him. Warned he talked a lot but would be good for me.

When I got there and got into the appointment, my first impression with him wasn’t what I expected. I told him I had pain issues, arthritis. He told me just wait til I was older, if I thought I had bad joints now. That wasn’t the wording. It was weeks ago. But I heard discrimination. What the hell joint pain could someone not even 30-years-old feel?

I thought about walking out. I thought about just never coming back.

I told him I had no interest in pain meds. All I’d ever been given, after all, was canoe sized Ibuprofen, and it has never helped. He told me there was more out there than Ibuprofen. Yes, but most of it is addictive or just doesn’t help.

I don’t need pain medication. I need a diagnosis. I need to know why at 29-years-old, if I sit still for too long, I completely lose my hip(s) and can’t hold my weight, can’t walk, until they decide to rejoin the rest of my body.

That should not be happening. And I told him as much.

But I honestly didn’t feel he was hearing my words. So I told myself I’d let him have his blood sample and then I wouldn’t come back. I’ve wasted enough life blood and hours on doctors that don’t hear me. I’ve learned that lesson. I refuse that road.

Then he did the most unexpected: He walked back into the exam room with about 5 weeks worth of a sample for a medication no one has ever offered me. Asking me what I knew about fibromyalgia. Offering me the diagnosis I’ve known all along but no MD has ever bothered with. Offering a medication that doesn’t treat the symptom. But instead, something that treats the source.

I’m about 4 weeks in and so far I’m not sure if it’s helping or how much. It’s not that simple since even without meds the pain is never the same from day-to-day. Even without meds I have days here and there pain free. However rare they may be, they do exist. So I’m not sure that anything is different.

But it’s only been 4 weeks. And these things take time.

Fibro is a mental based pain. It’s the nervous system misfiring. It isn’t a pulled muscle or a swollen joint. It is, in fact, all in the head. And that makes it harder to treat. Like any mental condition, there is no 1-pill-fits-all. You take Ibuprofen for swollen joints. Maybe a Vicodin for a pulled muscle. But fibro is treated with a mental health med. Those take time to work and more trial and error.

So if he can hear me, I can see the need to be patient. Take the time it takes. Keep doing what I need to do.

And one part of healing mental pain is knowing someone hears you and cares. I have that. It may not bring my hip back to me when I go to stand up here soon. But it brings the patience to work it out as I work the joint back into existence and hope that tomorrow is the day I wake up a little better. Or that my appointment in a week brings the medication that lets me keep my hip for good.

I may not have been given a cure, but I have been given hope.

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