If you’ve read my blog before, you know that the past month or so has been stressful, to say the least. You might say that last Sunday, my last thread finally snapped.
There were issues when we picked the kids up from their dad. I became very distraught, and eventually just lost it completely. When we got home, I had decided that everyone would be better off without me, and I wanted to leave. Donovan wasn’t buying into my thoughts though, and wouldn’t let me go. Instead, he called one of my friends over to help me. She came, and talked, listened, prayed, held me, let me cry and rant, then prayed some more, until finally, I calmed down and came inside. At which point, another friend called just to see how I was doing (she knew how stressed I had been) and when Donovan told her what was going on, she insisted on coming over for us. I was calm by the time she got here, well, calmer, but just knowing how much she cared, that she not only called just to check, but then came over, late at night, just to make sure and see if she could do anything for us!
Monday morning, Donovan called my psychiatrist for an appointment, and we got in to see her that afternoon. She could see how agitated I was, and after just a few minutes of talking knew that medication changes were needed. As upset and anxious as I was at that time, she suggested that I be admitted to a treatment center while my medications were adjusted. So, that is where I was from Monday the 31st until Saturday, the 5th.
I spoke with the treating psychiatrist on Tuesday morning, and he suggested that we take me off the anti-depressant that I was on, and try a more aggressive medication. He put me on Lithium and Invega starting Tuesday night. Being hospitalized while this was going on, they were able to take me off the anti-depressant VERY quickly. Normally you have to step down slowly, but by Friday I was no longer taking the anti-depressant. I’ve seen a difference in my moods and anxiety since probably Thursday. It’s getting progressively better. Lithium can take a couple of weeks to reach a constant therapeutic level from my understanding, so I’m still anxious at times, but I’m coping with it better and better each day.
I saw my outpatient psychiatrist today, and she immediately commented as to how much better I look today than I did a week ago. Tomorrow I go to have blood drawn. With Lithium, they have to draw your blood somewhat frequently at first, to check the levels. There should be a certain level of Lithium in your blood, what they call the “therapeutic level”. When they checked them in the hospital on Thursday, I was a little low, but since the med has to build up, it should be about right now based on previous experience and knowledge of the medication. If the levels are good, I won’t see the doc again until next Monday, if there is a problem, she’ll call me to come in sooner.
We discussed diagnosis with the psychiatrist today. When I was hospitalized back in 2005, the diagnosis they gave me at that time was *Bipolar II*, how they explained that was bipolar without full blown mania. My outpatient psychiatrist wasn’t convinced of that, and tends to lean more towards PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) because of the abuse, anxiety and major depression. This time I left the hospital again with a diagnosis of *Bipolar II*, however, I have a better understanding of what that is because of all the reading I’ve done due to B’s diagnosis. My outpatient psychiatrist still isn’t convinced that I meet diagnostic criteria for a Bipolar Spectrum Disorder, however, she said today that it doesn’t really matter what you call it, you treat the symptoms that are present, and base the treatment plan on the symptoms and such, not on just a diagnosis.
God has so blessed us with such wonderful friends, through this whole ordeal, my friends have been so amazingly awesome! You all know who you are, but I have to say how wonderful you all have been and continue to be. From watching my children, homeschooling one of them for us, making arrangements for them to be picked up from school, calling the church to let them know what was going on, bringing dinner, being here, calling and checking on us, and most importantly, praying, non-stop. Without even being asked at times, you have known what we needed, and been there no matter what the request, how big or small. You truly are what friends are, and you totally get what it means to say, “it’s in the job description”!!! Thank you to each of you, more than I can ever express. God truly blessed me when He brought each of you into my life, and I am so thankful!