Tag Archives: pills

You were lucky, says the pharmacist to me.

Pills are always a bone of contention for the taker and just about everyone else. My brilliant book will be called, “Sorting My Pills”, which is about the wrestlings of a mentally ill person and her treatments, family and everyone else in the world. I like to tease my dad about the number of pills I take and prescriptions that are a part of my life. He is uncomfortable with the joke, so I tell it to him every chance I get.

Inderal is a heart/cholesterol medicine. As you can guess, it lowers the heart rate. It also has the side effect of causing the shaking, caused by Lithium, to go away. It has anti-anxiety properties. I thought I was supposed to take the little blue tablets three times a day. I frequently forgot the midday dose, but ultimately got that taken care of by taking it at 11, when Small eats lunch. I went off it when I developed Serotonin syndrome about a year ago. As of December 16 – fourteen days ago – it was re-prescribed.

Yesterday evening I checked the pills I was about to take. I do a cursory pill counting glance every night, but for some reason zeroed in on the yellow tabled I had been gulping on morning and evenings for the last two weeks. I just followed the instructions without considering what they were. (This is not like me – usually I do a lot of research and have much discussion with my doctors before I add a drug to my regime.) I find a cool website that identifies pills and find out I was taking two sixty mgs of Propranolol. I didn’t know what it was so I go on the chat with a Walgreens Pharmacist. It turned out it was the trade name for Enderal. I was already taking Enderal. In fact, I was taking it almost three times a day, at 20 mgs a slug. Somehow the prescriptions overlapped. Let’s do some math here. 60 x 2 = 120. 20 x 3 = 60. I was taking 180 mgs, an abundance, of a drug that slowed heartbeat. I typed to the pharmacist such, “I am lucky.” She answered to me, the medical facade dropped, “You are lucky.”

I haven’t really cried yet. I have worked on processing this – I could have killed myself without the intention. It hasn’t scared me, yet. I looked at my child and my spouse with more shock than sadness. When I am seriously depressed I look at them and feel so sad and sorry they will have to go on without me. This sort of death is more of a spectacle. It honestly never occurred to me I could accidentally hurt myself. These drugs are safe, right? So long as a I follow their instructions, everything will be fine, right?

Not so much. I’m not sure how to prevent this from happening again. I have so many daily prescriptions, so many different prescriptions it’s hard to keep up with it all. This is true for the mental patient I am and for anyone who is emotionally connected to their illness. I don’t know if people who take statins have the kind of relationship with medicine that I do, maybe they do. If they don’t they can detachedly open a bottle and swallow a pill or two. They don’t need to think or resent their pills. They keep them alive longer than they would, and that’s that. I would do better if I was more detached. I don’t hate taking pills – I know they extend my life and my health, but there is still something emotional going on here. If i wasn’t would I be in the situation I was last night?

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That time of night

You remember “Sorting my pills” my mental illness epic. If you are a good little mental health patient, no doubt you have a menagerie of pills to take every morning and night. (I love the word menagerie.) My husband had a crush on a girl, and she called it her, “happy salad.” Honestly, I thought that was stupid, but he didn’t. If you laughed, I won’t hold it against you.

As of today I declared myself sick of it. I take a drug, that I won’t name, to help with the nausea. Often I take the pills only to vomit them back up. This is especially true of the vitamins, I just puke them. For two years I took them with water. That was miserable but I was in love with my medication. I hadn’t been okay forever. It was the fifth grade that brought me my first manic episode. I’ve talked about it before so I won’t get into it too much now, but I think I speak the truth when I sat I hadn’t had much peace since then. Ups and downs, mostly downs, I was able to function at a good level. I was tortured. Even the manic phases that some of us manic depressives love came mixed with deep depressions. At the end I was so depressed I could not function. At night, my brains suggested different ways to kill my daughter. During the day I could do nothing more than sleep, leaving that same, eighteen month daughter untended. It was the worse part of my life, so far.

But medicine saved us. I was in the hospital sitting at the nurses station and during the time of night when the thoughts rushed it, they came just the same, except they slowed down and stopped. Years before when I was evaluated I was encouraged to see a psychiatrist and take medicine and I was adamant that I would not do so. Just a few years later it saved my life. I am a bit of a pusher, now. I recommend and de-recommend psychiatrists, and know a lot about anti-depressants and mood stabilizers.

To be honest with you, I am getting to resent all these pills. I resent all the colors and shapes. I hate sorting them and cutting them in half. This has always slightly annoyed me but in the last few months the irritation has gotten worse. Then there is the flavor. I’ve tried taking them with juice, which is way better than water, but it still tastes very bad and filling my mouth with juice, popping in the pills and trying to swallow all that at once sometimes leads to choking. It’s still the best method I’ve found, yet. I had a friend who brushed her hair so she would have positive associations having to do with her meds time. If I were to do that, and I’ve tried that kind of thing before, I would not have a positive association with the pills, but would gain a negative associate to the positive things. I would look at the hair brush and feel like I was going to throw up.

I know pills work for me. I have had weeks, even months of feeling good. That is not something that happened before I got on meds. A lot of psychiatric patients remember fondly the days before they were on medication. I do not delude myself. Usually it is a suicide attempt that brings them in to the hospital. They remember, inaccurately, that they were doing just fine before. “You must mean aside from the suicide attempt, right?”


I’m leaving you

I missed my meds last night.  I was exercising with my mom and got this weird tingling in my left arm.  It upset her and she made me take aspirin.  I got that “must take pills” feeling out of my mouth and only discovered this morning I missed them completely.

What changes?  For one thing, my vision is blurry.  It wouldn’t be so if I had taken my cogenten like a good girl.  Other than that, I feel physically okay.  It’s the relational stuff that has been triggered that is a pain.

There are two individuals that I would like to give a piece of my mind.   One complains ALL THE TIME about her life, her partner, other people, goes on about how she cannot get along with over 300,000,000 members of the population.  It’s enough to bug, but the other day she told me she would be all caught up if she had my schedule.

#1.  She doesn’t know my schedule because she’s so self absorbed she never makes the time to find out what other people are doing with their lives.

#2.  She has no clue what it means to be bipolar.  From weekly group therapy and one on one therapy to frequent psychiatric appointments to endless hours at the pharmacist, she would see being bipolar, or schizophrenic or whatever is the equivalent of a part time job.  What does she think I sit at home all day, doing nothing?   Oh, she probably does think that.

Since I only skipped the meds once I have not knocked on her door and told her all of this.  Our kids are friends.  I don’t want to screw that up for my daughter.

I get all pissy about my husband too, but don’t you hate it when people complain about their husbands?


Super Negative

I’ve been super negative lately.  I feel like I’ve been less than encouraging and I am sorry for that.  You don’t come here for me to rant about my extended family.  Or my buying sprees.  (To be fair, I took a lot of it back and am trying to be transparent about that.)

I may have an ulcer and that means another pill added to my regime.  I’ve been throwing up randomly and everyone from L to my parents to Mr. Malakoa have been urging me to go to the doctor.  When I added my symptoms together it was clear that I at least have something resembling an ulcer.  More tests next week and then they’ll have an official diagnosis.  Whatever.

Do I need another pill?  Do I need to throw up randomly?  Do I need acid reflux to burn through my esophagus?  An ulcer is no joke.  All the vomiting is annoying and painful and random I am sick of the reflux.  Aurgh.

I didn’t read my Bible for a few days.  I tell myself I  don’t want to become too “religious” or “ritualistic.”  Maybe it’s just an excuse and I’m lazy.  I think it’s okay, but I know that I miss out.  I have been praying, mostly asking for things like to find a bottle of medicine.  God likes to hear from me.  He wants me to pray without ceasing.  Interestingly enough he doesn’t ask us to read the Bible without ceasing.  But that is really no excuse.  Bible study is really important.  My old pastor told us more than once that the people who lose track of their relationship with God usually have given up on Bible study.  I do not want to give up.

I heard an awesome message from the same pastor.  He shared with us that in the Bible the “Word”, that is the Bible does everything that the Holy Spirit does.  The book of John begins, “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was God and the Word was with God.”  Genesis 1:1 says, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.  Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.”  If they both are true, and I believe they are, the Bible becomes even more important.  The beginning holds the Word and thousands of years later the act of creation is confirmed.

What does that have to do with us?  We have access to the Trinity as the Magis of old.  We have more blessed faith than even the disciples.  To grow, we need to read the Bible.  Not “I” need to read the Bible, “we” need to read the Bible.

This is taken from John Kankerburg’s website.  (I don’t know the guy but this looked pretty good.)

What are some of the activities of the Holy Spirit as “helper or comforter?” Let me suggest several to you and include Scriptural references for you to study. More certainly could be added, but these are the basics.

1. He guides us into all truth. John 16:13—”But when He, the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all truth for He will not speak on His own initiative but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.” The role of the Holy Spirit is to show us that we are sinners and to point us to, and guide us to, a clear understanding of who Jesus Christ is, leading us to a commitment to Him. He also helps us to understand God’s Word and its application in our lives. Notice: He is the “Spirit of Truth” and will only reveal truth to us.

2. He assures us that we are God’s children.Romans 8:16—”The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God.” It’s like having an eternal, binding contract with God that the Holy Spirit seals, confirming that we are secure in our family relationship with the Father.

3. He gives us hope. Romans 15:13—”Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” The expression “the God of Hope” means the God who inspires hope and imparts it to His children. He can be counted on to fulfill what still remains to be accomplished in us. He is not finished with us!

4. He strengthens us. Ephesians 3:16—Paul tells us to be “strengthened with the power through the Spirit in the inner man.” The strengthening of the inner person comes when Christ takes up His permanent residence in us. So the secret of strength is the presence of Christ in our lives. Christ desires to bring us His strength if we will let Him. To be honest, there are times when I feel weak, and I ask the Lord to be strength through me and He has always provided that needed strength.

5. He equips us to serve others. Ephesians 4:11 & 12—”And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists and some as pastors and teachers for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ.” The role of the Holy Spirit is to equip us for the work that we have been called to do in God’s Kingdom. For example: some can sing in the choir, or teach preschoolers, help keep the church clean, go out on visitation, participate in short-term mission trips, etc. I know that God has given each of us one or more gifts to be used in the work of the Kingdom. It is up to each one of us to discover our gifts then use them in “the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ.”

If my old pastor’s ideas are correct, and I believe that they are, all of these things can be given to us by the Holy Spirit, through the Word of God.  I don’t think that is the only way that we have access to the Holy Spirit.  Prayer can draw His power to work in us.  When Jesus promises that “I will never leave you or forsake you” He is talking about the Holy Spirit.  That is why asking Him to “be with us” is a silly prayer.  He is already with us.  (Or she, if you’d rather, I think this is ambiguous, I can’t recall a time that the Holy Spirit was identified as a masculine deity – I have heard compelling arguments both ways.)

So, all that said, there is really no good reason we shouldn’t read the Bible if we expect God to work in us.  There are chapters in the Bible that command singing and dancing before the Lord, and that gives me great joy.  I ask Him to be pleased with me in all that I do.  I have said before that I don’t want to read the Bible when I’m cycling because I don’t want to worship a wacky substitution of God, I want to worship the “real” God.  As I consider this, I am not so sure it’s a good idea.  When I am sick, especially with mental illnesses or other chronic illnesses, I think it’s a good idea to be throwing myself at God’s feet and asking for blessings and wisdom.  There is nothing wrong with asking for healing, but that is just not on my heart right now.  I have other priorities and I believe that God has other priorities for my walk and life right now.  I also think it is extremely important to go to church or small groups, if you are able.  I’ve heard several couples, with marriages crumbling, that don’t go to church if unless things are perfect at home.  Unless it is clear that your church shoots their wounded, I would go anyway.  I was having a miscarriage and decided to go to church anyway.  I sat in the back row and cried silently through the service.  As  I went to pick up Small on the way out I had a great surprise.  An old friend who I hadn’t seen in years and years was there.  She looked at me and asked, directly, “Have you had a miscarriage?”  She told me about her three miscarriages.  She had such trouble she was admitted to the hospital.  It must have been horrible, much worse than what I was feeling or had experienced.  She wasn’t comparing our pain, though.  She ministered to me greatly.  If I had stayed home, I never would have been so blessed.

I also have an awful story about the time I went to Women’s Bible Study after my grandma died.  But that same study I had a friend speak words of healing to me.  It’s as crap shoot, but I think it’s awfully worth it.  We aren’t supposed to be alone in our troubles.

All that to say, I know that there are many folks here that consider themselves to be atheist or agnostics.  If you don’t already know, I welcome you here with joy.  I do love hearing from you and understand that you don’t get a whole lot from my explicitly Biblical posts.  That said, I hope you continue on to read and hope I encourage you and even teach you through all that has happened to me in my life and how I believe God has worked.