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Re: Best wishes to my friend B-Cat Ron Hill

Posted by Barbara Cat on August 3, 2003, at 15:17:59

In reply to Re: Best wishes to my friend B-Cat Barbara Cat, posted by Ron Hill on August 2, 2003, at 21:31:45

Hi Ron,
Thanks so much for your heartwarming wishes. It means so much to be understood and cared for during these times. Yes, I've been through a very trying time of it. Not the first, probably not the last. I went off nortriptyline because of the dry mouth and constipation. Plus, I'm taking a boatload of pills already and don't think I'm absorbing them very well. As I decreased nortrip I was slowly increasing lamictal from 75 to 150mg. Feeling great, a little hypomanic, the kind we all love so much. It was probably a combo of the two meds potentiating each other. Have a great time riding my bike for miles, dancing, having a good old time, getting lots of exercise. Ahhhh! Then I started noticing increasing disorganization and a wired singed feeling that heralds an oncoming mixed state. I think it was lamictal over activating with the extra help of the TCA, but who knows for sure. I do know I visited hell for a while.

Here's what I think happened. When my sleep becomes disturbed, that's when the miseries start. I have fibromyalgia and loss of sleep is my downfall. No amount of Ambien, benzos, benedryl, were helping me get to sleep. I'd lie there with swirling disjointed thoughts bordering on mild psychosis. I also developed a severe itch which I found out is a side effect of lamictal (no rash, just intense internal and external itching). I was up most of the night scratching and fretting about life. What followed was a bad fibro flare with the sick aching, inflamed brain feeling, wired and tired, and all the pain of the world crashed in. The first mixed states I've had since starting lithium. I then started getting panic attacks which I haven't had in a few years. Those things are beyond horrible. I totally forget anything I ever knew about anything, simple things like breathing into a paper bag.

I also believe it was a long overdue reckoning with the fact that my Mom is really and truly dead, so at least I had a good reason for the constant crying. I can usually muscle through a mood state like this, distract in some half-assed way, but not when I'm laid flat with a fibro flare.

But I remembered - ah, I've got valium (klonopin and ativan pooped out a while back), and starting taking it regularly. This broke the cycle of hell and I'm getting some rest, although not much Stage IV. A big learning as well was this time I finally stopped fighting it and somewhere a little light shined and reminded me that I'd been there before and for whatever reason, my feelings were valid and to be honored. No reason to hate myself for feeling like shit.

Getting back to my meditating and some yoga, very slowly. So I'm on lithium 600mg and lamictal 125mg (more was causing an infernal itching). Ron, I've had it with TCA's and SSRI's. I'm determined to do this on mood stabilizers until a med comes out that isn't a dud. But I REALLY REALLY have to watch my sleep and not stress out. That whole HPA-axis disregulation has my picture next to it in the textbook. Right now, this minute, I'm feeling pretty good, notable for the fact that I'm also feeling centered and focussed. I'm also very proud of myself for having made it through another battle. Like Katia calls us - Warriors of the Psyce. Hope you're doing well. Thanks so very much for caring for me and the feeling is reciprocated. - Barbara




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