Tuesday, September 8, 2009


I went to the pdoc today. I told him to look at me and not his computer, that it was very important to me that I be able to trust him. He obliged and had a real conversation with me.

It was a little difficult on my end at first because I knew there was so much to say and not a lot of time to say it (15 minute appointments, Hello!). I even said I was in a bit of a quandry because of the time crunch and I didn't want to sound like I had 'pressured speech' but what can I do?

First of all, he thought it very smart of me to up that certain medicine on my own. He says he is here to work with the patient and that I obviously did the right thing. (I guess because I'm better today?). He praised my intelligence, which was, well, nice.

We talked honestly about Abilify. There was some questioning as to why I got off it, why I had asked him to take me off it. I explained that my husband was worried about the shakes, and that he worried that they were permanent, especially because he would see the damn Abilify commercials and it said something about permanent issues. Before the pdoc could say anything, and he tried, I continued that I thought the commercial was talking about tarkive diskonesia (a supreme effort on my part to spell that!:). The pdoc confirmed that - he said that the shakes are a side effect of Abilify (and later I confirmed that anxiety is also a side effect of it!) - but they are not permanent, as is obvious because when I stopped the Abilify the shakes went away.

So upshot: we decided to put me on Abilify again.

I am much happier with this scenario than any other, although I might have been willing to go on Lithium again, yes I feel that bad.

For those of you not familiar, the whole drug thing and mental illness is such a crapshoot. The fact is, we are all different and different drugs work for different folks. That is why I am not fond of posting what I am on, or saying to someone this is what you should be on. Also, there are plenty of people that don't want to be on medications, although in my view there are plenty of people that need them regardless. I have been doing this - meaning taking medications and advocating for myself - for a long time. I know, without a doubt, that it is the wagon that I need to be on.

I know that I have the right diagnosis. The more time goes on, the more I read, the more textbook I realize I am. That is a good thing. Thank God, and I mean that with all my heart, that He saved me at a young age with my real diagnosis. I know many are not so lucky.

But what sucks, is that even with the right diagnosis and the knowledge that I should be on meds, even with taking the meds religiously and correctly according to how they are prescribed, even with complying with all outpatient activities, so to speak, the Monster still has the capacity to take me down. I am not immune, nor probably ever will be, to the effects of my bipolar. I am bipolar, or should I more correctly NAMI say it, I have bipolar.

Additionally, that some of you may find of interest, I realize that I must compartmentalize my life, in some fashion. This idea came to me when I was watching a recent documentary on the Kennedys (after Ted's death) on PBS of course (the channel full of documentaries!) and they were talking about Teddy's older brother JFK. Whatever you think about the Kennedys, it clear that JFK had a womanizing problem, even while married to Jackie. They were discussing it, with a cameo of one of the his secretaries saying that he admitted that he just couldn't help it. But what was interesting to me was that JFK certainly had to compartmentalize his life in order to have all the aspects of it, to keep some grip on it. He must have sectioned off, in his own mind, these different aspects of his life, in order to perform all his duties, be enormously in the public eye, be a husband, a father, an occasional runner with the 'Rat Pack,' and so forth, not to mention that he had Addison's (sp?) disease, and worked diligently to keep it from the public eye. He was actually quite sick, it was cortisone shots that made him look healthy for the Nixon debate.

In some way, I know I compartmentalize, because even though I discuss it ad nauseum here on the blog, that fact is I've got an illness with a massive stigma, and I don't wear it on my sleeve for the outside world. I'm sure most of us do it in some way, to keep our lives in order.

Blah, blah. The real point is I have some HOPE after seeing the pdoc that maybe things can be better, maybe Me will come back (which has been a serious concern for me). I will try to keep everyone updated on how that switch from no Abilify to 10 mgs of being on Abilify goes (people should know they can get shakes and anxiety with the stuff. I know I would have appreciated knowing!:).

Gonna go make dinner! Hope Things are going well for blog land!:)
And we're out,


Tracy said...

I am so glad to hear that your appointment well. Hugs you big time my friend! Have a wonderful dinner!

Wanda's Wings said...

I am glad your appointment went well. I was also glad you shared the side effects of Abilify since I am having the shakes really bad. I see my doctor Monday and will bring this up. Hugs my friend.

Mike Golch said...

I'm glad that you appointment went well.I can not take Abilify because of my seizures.My PDoc said that it would be in my best interest not to try tyhat drug at all.
I'm statring to stableize on the decreasing dose of one of my meds.I will see in about a week or two if I can keep on the lower dose that I'm on,if problems arrive that I'm to upp the doseage again.

'Tart said...

Dear Tracy,
Thank you! And thank you for your prayers.:) We had spaghetti with a zuchinni/okra mix. I was trying okra on my husband for the first time. He liked the zuchinni better.:)

Dear Wanda,
I'm so glad that sharing the information that I have learned, for me, about Abilify, has helped you. That is so gratifying to me, my friend.:) I hope your appointment goes well on Monday.:)

Dear Mike,
I saw on your blog that you were having medicine changes. I was so out of it that night from my medicine that I kept just looking at the page and thinking of a comment. I wanted to tell you that I was so glad that you shared your struggle with the medicine. I think it was a very helpful explanation as to why, for instance, you had thought about stopping blogging. It meant a lot to me to understand more of what you are going through.

I Very, very much hope that your medicine change goes well for you.:)