Archive for the ‘seroquel’ Category

And………………relax.

January 14, 2009

Looks like my mood has stabilized again thank goodness. I slept through the day and woke feeling refreshed and calm for the first time in days. I did have a rather strange dream though, which featured an old therapist, some ex friends and a large shopping centre! I argued with everyone, became violent and was dragged off by the police. A very strange dream, but it looks like I worked all the anger out in it because none spilled over into waking hours.

I received a letter from the pct today, asking me to take part in some research into bpd and psychotic symptoms. Naturally it has made me reflect on the last year, in particular the strange thoughts and voices I was experiencing in Summer. I’m in two minds as to whether I should participate in the research. Am I really psychotic? The seroquel has removed whatever symptoms I had and with hindsight I wonder if they were just the product of an over active imagination. They do seem very distant. I do definately experience paranoia when I’m stressed and perhaps I then imagine weird and wonderful things which become true. Shadows in mirrors etc. Are the voices I hear just my low self esteem talking to me? I guess that at the basis of these thoughts is the fact that I feel like a fake. A wannabee patient who receives extra attention for those extra symptoms? But then I do vaguely remember the mocking voice which followed me round for weeks, telling me I was deformed, or that I was going to be arrested. I did hear it. But I always knew deep down that it was just my insecurities voicing themselves. It’s been a while since I’ve had any of the visual hallucinations and I’m so happy about that. Again though, I think they were more the release of angry feelings than actual psychosis. I just don’t like that word. Psychosis. When I read my medical notes they said ”no sign of mental illness” so why hadn’t the symptoms been picked up on over the years? I suppose because I kept quiet about them, fearful of a schizophrenia diagnosis. But surely someone would have noticed if they were real?

Arrgghhh I hate this self doubt. I wish doctors could just see inside our brains and tell us what was wrong, because I sure as hell don’t know.

Anyway, today I am calm and relaxed and happy. I’ll enjoy this current mood and try not to tie myself up in knots with something I can’t solve.

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Freezing, frantic and fat.

January 7, 2009

God I hate January. Especially January in northern England. In past years I’ve escaped to sunnier climes, but state benefits don’t stretch to a week drinking Ouzo and flirting with Greek waiters, so  coffee from a spotty youth in my local Mcdonalds will have to do. It’s been a strange start to the new year. I’ve been out and about a lot more than usual, due entirely to a mania induced shopping habit, and a refusal to miss even the slightest bargain. This week saw the final closure of Woolworths stores in the UK. A very sad time for the 30,000 staff who will start 2009 signing on at their local job centre. For me it was an opportunity to buy a lot of tat at 90% off. I now have enough lightbulbs to see me into the next century (5p each), which means I can’t OD for a while as I’d hate to waste them. Shopping in my three nearest woolies this week felt uncomfortably like grave robbing. With the news today that M&S are to close some of their stores too, I wonder what my high street will look like this time next year. Probably like that episode of the Simpsons where every store was a Starbucks. Hey ho, at least I’ll have somewhere to get my coffee. How this government still intends to get all us workshy off incapacity benefit and into jobs is beyond me. Would you hire a mad person if there were ten norms applying at the same time as her?

Speaking of benefits, it appears that the numpties at the DWP were wrong to send me the IB50 form. As a recipient of high rate care on DLA I am apparantly exempt from the PCA (personal capability assessment). Unfortunately the computer at my local job centre doesn’t know that I’m on DLA , so I have to wait for that computer to speak to another one and then someone will phone me to say I don’t need to fill in the form. They were meant to call me yesterday. Of course that didn’t happen. I hate answering my mobile if I can’t see who is ringing me, but not answering it could result in my benefits being suspended. Added to that is the dilemma that if I do answer it, some bright spark at the DLA office may see it as proof that I am not as mad as I used to be, and stop my benefits anyway. It’s a no win situation really, especially as the office I need to speak to doesn’t appear to have a phone, so I can’t ring them at a time that suits me. They really do make it easy for us don’t they?

Another phone call I need to make this week is to my pdoc. I believe I have an appointment with her at the end of Jan but can’t remember when. The appointment was made in October, so it’s not surprising that I’ve forgotten. Again, my turning up is probably a test of how capable I am lol. (I’m slightly paranoid this week in case you haven’t guessed). I’m just going there to have a chat about the meds, in particular how I’m getting on with the Quetiapine. Well the answer to that is not too bad. For the most part it has removed my angry moods and voices. However it only seems to work on a normal stress free day. If anything unusual occurs my anxiety levels spike again. I only need to look at the arrival of the IB50 form for that, as it brought back a lot of self harm urges and strangely, an urge to shave my head! However, I didn’t cut. Perhaps without the quetiapine I would have done. I’m also still waking up in a panic each day. I feel jittery until I take my first pill. It makes me feel like an addict and I hate being reliant on medication. Personally, I feel that it is the thought of hurting my dad which helps me behave at the moment. I’m not suicidal at the moment but I have to admit that dad has become my reason to continue. Without that link I think all my impulses would have free reign and that’s scary.  

I’m not sure that I am always honest on this blog. I was extremely chuffed to receive an award from that crazy lot over at mental nurse for best personality disorder blog. They mentioned my irreverent attitude. I’ve always used humour when talking about my mental health. Nothing bores me more than those people who are forever complaining about how bad their life is, how few friends they have, what a bad person they are etc. I have all the same thoughts as them. I know how much it hurts to be us. But I have a huge brick wall behind which I store all my emotions and it’s only when I’m at my worst that I let anyone look over it. I find other people’s emotions overwhelming. Boredom isn’t the right word really. The negativity scares me because it’s too close to home and I can’t cope with it. To be honest, I’ve been struggling this week. A mixture of high and low moods, several days without sleep, a need to get out of the house for hours each day, rather than be on my own. I’ve even lost my appetite, which is normally a sure sign that I’m close to breakdown. But this time I think I’m going to be ok. The meds are definately taking the edge off it. I just wish I could cope without them.

A quick update on Dad. He’s due to have a scan next week, after which he will see the consultant about whether or not he should have chemo. To look at him, you would think he was completely healthy. We went for a walk together and I was puffing away behind him, struggling to keep up. He has some problems with back pain, which may not be a good sign, but he’s determined to be positive. On the downside, he has bought the ugliest hat in ugly hat making history, in anticipation of losing his hair. Fingers crossed that he won’t need chemo, in which case his wife can burn it.

Hugs and best wishes to all my fellow bpd’ers. Here’s to the coming of spring. xx

Trying to see the GP

December 10, 2008

My local surgery looks amazing. It moved out of the old, rather squalid and prone to flooding terraced house and into a superduper purpose built surgery last year. There’s a nice big waiting room, plasma tv showing Jeremy Kyle, and a special screen to book yourself in without having to annoy the receptionists. There are 9 gp’s in the practice, along with three nurses and several care assistants. They even have a new agey type bloke come in to do alternative health sessions. Fantastic! But if you want to get an appointment you’ll have to join the queue on the phone at 8am.

Now, on one side, releasing appointments on the day is a great idea. No more having to wait five days to see a doctor when you’re dying of flu. But ask anyone on anti psychotics what they are doing at 8am and they’ll tell you they are either fast asleep in a pool of drool or trying to do a runner from A&E before the on call pdoc finishes his breakfast and arrives to section them. The last thing they will be doing is ringing their gp.

But what about reasonable adjustments I hear you cry? Or perhaps not if you’ve never heard of them. Well, Gp surgeries are supposed to offer these adjustments to any patient with a disability. That means that, where possible, they provide a quiet place to sit and wait, an understanding that talking to yourself doesn’t mean you’re about to stab the receptionist, and flexibility when it comes to making appointments.

Unfortunately the computer at my surgery says no. So it looks like I’ll be staying up all night on Thursday in order to see my own doctor the next morning. He only works Friday at my local surgery and I’m really not up to making two bus journeys to find him at the other one. He is insistant that I see him rather than another doc, and this is the last chance I’ll have for a chat before Xmas, a stressful time for me. So this week I shall be going to see him armed with a booklet from Rethink, entitled Reasonable Adjustments and your local gp surgery. Perhaps between us we can persuade that computer to be nicer to me in future.

I miss my mood swings

November 30, 2008

Didn’t think I’d ever say that but I do. Usually at this time of year I’m feeling low. Usually a late bus or a long queue at the checkout will make me feel murderous. Usually having some money in my bank account will send me into shopping overload. But here I am, nice and calm. How bloody boring!

The pills have taken away the aggression and panic. I know I should see that as a good thing but I have nothing to replace those feelings with. Everyday is the same. I still have no motivation to change things. I think about getting a volunteer job or going for a haircut or making a nice meal. But instead I veg out on the sofa or go back to bed. And it’s not depression which is making me hide like this. It’s sedation. I’m beginning to wonder what the point of my existence is, but have no energy to do anything about it. I want to tap into those negative feelings so that I can overdose or cut, but I can’t be bothered. There is a whole side to myself, a negative angry juvenile reactive side which I can’t access. I miss it.

Yet I vaguely remember how horrible it was to be me before Quetiapine. I would have done anything to make those feelings go away. So it surely makes no sense to want them back? To those of you who are struggling at the moment, I must seem ridiculous, even ungrateful. I can’t really explain it. I’ve lost who I am and at least the old me existed. Now I’m just on the periphery, watching life pass by but completely unable to engage in it. Yet if I read through some of my old posts I would know that isn’t always true. It’s how it feels right now though. I know I should be looking at positive things I can do to make life interesting again. But I don’t want to. It all seems so shallow and is only masking the bad underneath. I want to let the monster out again for a while.

Swimming through quetiapine flavoured treacle

November 22, 2008

I’m beginning to question whether being on an anti psychotic is a good thing. That’s not uncommon with me as I tend to stop taking pills shortly after they start to work, but in the past they’ve only been an anti depressant.

I feel so much calmer these days, but am I calm or sedated? I realised lately that the majority of my days follow the same routine now. Wake up after midday. Transfer to the sofa. Take pill. Sleep for another hour. Get up and go to the supermarket for carb laden food. Come home, eat, watch tv, talk to friends online, go to sleep for 14 hours. The only change from pre Quetiapine days is that I sleep a lot longer than I used to, and that my inactivity doesn’t really bother me. That window during the day when I can do things and meet people has narrowed considerably due to the drowsiness. If I have something major planned, like the Rethink event last week, I have to skip my pills for 24 hours. But, and it’s a big but, I haven’t had an urge to self harm for ages and I don’t obsess about suicide every day. I suppose I have to weigh up the pro’s and cons and should probably stay on the pills at least until the winter is over. They are the reason that I haven’t been posting as often though.

I mentioned the Rethink agm. What a lovely bunch of people! And another indication of how much anti psychotics are helping, because without them I wouldn’t have got on a train and gone to a meeting in a big posh hotel on my own. Rethink, for those who don’t know, is a leading mental health charity which campaigns against stigma and for the rights of people with serious mental illness. (They think I qualify as a borderline even if my pdoc doesn’t). I travelled there on my own but with the intention of meeting Charlie and Ellen, two lovely internet based friends. It was a rather surreal experience, stood in a foyer amongst a crowd of people, trying to find two friends whom I’d never seen in person before. But we got on like a house on fire, even if Charlie did drag me off to the bar for a drink and a gossip (I took loads of persuading lol), thus making us miss one of the seminars. I had such a good day and I can’t tell you how cool it was to be around people like me and to see us all doing something positive together. I was proud to be mental!

Now back down to earth again and a quick update on my Dad. Alison, thanks for asking how he was getting on. It turns out that his cancer isn’t kidney cancer as suspected, but something called transitional cell carcinoma of the ureter. He had his kidney removed, which contained an aggressive tumour. His lymph nodes were also malignant, so he’ll start chemo in January. Fortunately he can do this as an outpatient so at least he won’t be stuck in hospital again. At the moment my stepmum is concentrating on feeding him up before he starts the treatment. He lost a huge amount of weight after the op because he didn’t eat for nearly two weeks afterwards, and felt nauseous for a long time after. I’ll pop over again next week to see him and we talk on the phone quite a lot. I hate this so much though. It feels like the cancer has a grip over us all. As a family our lives are now governed by distinct stages. Diagnosis, Op, Recovery, Chemo etc. How can I feel positive about a treatment which essentially poisons the body? It feels like a temporary break now over christmas until we start the next chapter. But at the same time, I am a bystander. I can’t possibly understand what it’s like to be Dad right now. He’s so positive about it all and just calmly accepts each stage of the journey. I’m the one who is angry and wants to hit out at someone, even him. Fortunately I am only on the periphery of it all. I really feel for my stepmum who has to be supportive 24/7. On a positive note though, I am so much closer to her as a result of all this.

So that’s what’s happening with me at the moment. Oh and something I’m loathe to put down here because it makes it real. The engineers are coming to look at my heating on 5th December. That means I have to open the front door and let someone into my house. Probably two people because they always bring a spotty, lank haired trainee with them. I’m trying to be positive about this. I’ll have hot water and heating for the first time in two years. But there’s a LOT of cleaning to be done in this midden between now and then. Wish me luck!

In my past life I must have been a tortoise.

November 11, 2008

I think I am hibernating for the winter. It would be nice if someone could put me into a nice warm box filled with straw, and wake me up in March. Unfortunately my eating disorder insists I leave the house each day to forage for food in the ice cream aisles of Sainsburys. However, I spend the other 23 hours of the day nestling under fleecy blankets in my freezing cold flat (broken boiler), either asleep or watching daytime tv.

The Seroquel (quetiapine) helps a lot with this. Most days I can easily sleep until mid afternoon, with another hours nap at tea time. I don’t know if it’s the shorter days or a reaction to being so busy with dad’s illness recently, but all I want to do is sleep. And without fail I wake up shaking from weird and frightening dreams, which are definately down to the anti psychotics. Dad is improving fortunately. He’s back home recovering from having his kidney removed, and is being fussed over constantly by my step mum. We’ll need to wait a couple of weeks before we know if his lymph nodes were also cancerous, and it’s likely that he’ll be having chemo, but we’ll all face that when it happens.

Saturday is a big day for me. I’m attending the Rethink AGM in Leeds. For those who don’t know, Rethink is a mental health charity, which used to be primarily for schizophrenics, but now welcomes all those with a serious mental illness. I’m really looking forward to it, but am also scared witless. I’ll be meeting a couple of internet friends for the first time, and that’s nervewracking. Especially as I’ve gained even more weight and am now a humungous uk size 28. I made the mistake of going clothes shopping today and looked like Mrs Michelin in everything I tried on. I gave up in the end and bought some cheesecake lol.

I had to venture out on Monday to get my prescription from the doc. Unfortunately I had to see the resident clown, who is the gp equivalent of Ricky Gervais in The Office. He gave me 8 weeks of anti d’s but only 4 weeks of anti p’s. What’s the point of that? After I mentioned that the seroquel was really helping me, he said ”oh good you’re not ill anymore then”. Umm actually that’s the very reason that I’m on the pills. I’m sure GP’s receive a bonus for getting patients off incapacity benefit, because this guy trys to get me back to work every time I see him, and that’s regardless of what my usual GP may have written on my notes. He didn’t even bother to look up how much Seroquel I was on and just took my word for it (my previous prescriptions were from the hospital doc so weren’t on his screen).  Damn it I should have asked for some diazepam. Oh well.

Anyway, that’s what’s going on with me right now. To those of you who are passing by and reading my blog, I hope you’re all keeping well and staying safe. Take care xx

Week three on Seroquel and I look like the michelin man!

October 3, 2008

It started with my hands, which look like they belong to someone twice my size. Now my upper arms are bloated, my ankles are massive and even my lips look like I’ve been to Lesley Ash’s plastic surgeon. I’ve had episodes where I can’t stop blinking. Awful indigestion, drowsiness, diarrhoea, and occasional twitches. Why on earth would anyone swallow a pill which does that to them?

Well on the upside I feel so much more relaxed. Ok, so sometimes my voice is slurred and I shuffle down the street like I’m drunk, but  so long as I get enough sleep, the rest of the time I feel great. Seroquel has shortened my day, and I really only have 4 or 5 hours of full consciousness. I’m hoping these side effects wear off in a few weeks. If not, then I guess I’ll have to re-evaluate the pros and cons of continuing to take it. I still have low moods but it’s kind of like they are behind a big plastic bubble. I’m not angry anymore (well not much).

I saw my gp today, just to pick up my script for venlafaxine. I’m aware that he asked me questions, but I couldn’t do much more than smile at him. My blood test results are back and my glucose level is borderline (like my brain lol) so I need to go back for a fasting test next week. I’ve made sure it’s an early appointment because I get very narky if I’m not fed regularly.  He was videoing the session for training purposes again, which usually makes me feel a little paranoid, but today I had to stop myself giggling into the camera.

The seroquel doesn’t take away all my bad moods though. Yesterday was a downer. Probably overtired after spending the previous day with my Dad. I won’t see him again now until he’s had his operation. He thinks there’s no point in me visiting til he’s out of the high dependancy ward, but I want to be there, even if he’s not aware that I am. His wife is a die hard catholic and is very positive and talking about prayer a lot. I don’t share her beliefs and am generally pessimistic. I keep imagining Dad dying on the operating table. Being with him all day and having to keep up this false positivity wore me out. He’s not letting on how he feels at all and I’m not going to push him to talk about it. But all this brings back so many memories of losing mum to cancer when I was 18. Half the time I feel wiped out by worry for him, and the rest of the time I despise myself for using his cancer to get sympathy. I can’t believe I’m actually jealous of him for having a bona fide physical illness. One that everyone feels sorry for him about. I’m struggling a lot even with the new meds. Torn between needing to do everything and anything, and being too tired and down to even get dressed. I feel like I’m leeching off my own father. I don’t know how to trust my own emotions. When I get upset, is it because I’m scared for him, or am I just acting? I really thought I’d got all this identity stuff sorted out but I feel like two people at the moment. Good and bad. Weak and strong. Cold and Warm. Black and White. Damn bpd.

From murderous bitch to fluffy bunny, i love these pills!

September 21, 2008

Today is my third full day on Seroquel. I’m too stoned to post very much so am just checking in. I love this drug. My anxiety has disappeared for the first time in years. My face wants to smile all the time, unlike most days when random strangers usually tell me to cheer up. Why do they do that? Fortunately, I no longer feel an urge to push them down a steep hill, and am more inclined to give them a big wet kiss. This is definately not me!

The downside to numbing myself with an anti psychotic is that I am generally away with the fairies. My fingertips don’t even feel like they’re connecting with the keyboard right now. I’m sleeping most of the day and have awful stomach pains after eating. My nose is permanently blocked and I’m craving carbs when I wake up.

I was determined not to spend the day in bed and made it into town to buy a swimming costume today. I’m not going to let this pill cause any weight gain if I can help it. I just need to figure out how to stay awake in the pool lol. It’s a very strange feeling to crave food but not feel that I can be fecked to go to the shop and buy it. I haven’t binged in the last few days and not doing so hasn’t brought up the usual urge to cut.

I read the list of side effects with some dismay. Funny how the more intense a psychiatric drug is, the simpler the enclosed drug information becomes. I guess they don’t think anyone taking an anti psychotic is capable of understanding words of more than two syllabuls. For example it tells you to watch out for certain symptoms, without mentioning that they are signs that you have either tardive dyskinesia or NMS. I’m surprised they don’t just use emoticons and leave it at that. This pill good 🙂 May give bad tummy 😦 etc etc.

So, after nearly 20 years of various psychiatric treatments, I find myself on my first mood stabiliser. A step back or a step forward? Am I being given meds because it’s cheaper than therapy? Do I really need them at all? I’m not going to get into all that for the simple reason that last week I felt suicidal, and this week I can cope. And that’s enough for me right now.

My psychiatrist is a lovely lovely woman

September 18, 2008

How  BPD am I lol? I hated her this morning and now I think she’s wonderful. I told her everything, including the thoughts that everything I was saying may be a lie and an attempt at manipulating her. She didn’t rush me, in fact I was in there for ages. As a result, I’m starting on a low dose (200mg) of Seroquel as of tomorrow. Actually the first two days I’m on 50mg, then 100mg before taking the full dose. It’s a little unnerving to be prescribed an anti psychotic as I’ve only ever had the anti d’s before. I’ll continue to take the Effexor too. It feels a little like a step back, but I’d reached the point where I couldn’t face those mood swings anymore. I’m a little worried about the possible weight gain though.

I’m also being referred to something called the T Poject which basically puts nutters into voluntary work placements or helps them into paid work. I’m very anti work at the moment. I don’t need that added stress. But it can’t do any harm to go and see what they’re about.

So next stop was the blood clinic to have a fbc plus checks for diabetes and thyroid problems. I coped with that quite well as they tactfully ignored my self harm scars. I did however lose my temper in the queue at Marks and Spencers after waiting 20 minutes, whilst the numpty at the check out had a panic attack over some vouchers. Grrrrr, it’s ok though. I didn’t hit him.

Thanks for the support to those of you who have replied to my posts this week. Much appreciated. I am so looking forward to a decent nights sleep on these new magic pills.