A couple of weeks ago I went off all my meds. I’d been perfectly compliant since January 2nd, but I was planning to kill myself the next morning so I didn’t see much point in taking the medication anymore. I missed them all for 6 days straight, until having to confess to Sadie. I told her I’d restart them but needed to consult Brent for instructions on the Lamictal. I immediately went to the receptionist and asked if Brent’s nurse was available for a few minutes. She took me back to her office where I confessed what I had done and she told me to just restart them all. I pointed out that I’d previously been told (by Dr. Bhatia in inpatient) that if I missed Lamictal for over 3 days I should restart at the lowest dose.
The nurse sent me back to the waiting room for about 15 minutes while she waited for an opportunity to talk to Brent. She came back out and said he’d given the same advice she did. She asked if I could contract for safety and I said yes. She told me to keep my appointment coming up the next Tuesday and to call if I had a problem before then.
I felt perfectly fine off my meds. I had some fatigue, but my mood was stable. This definitely did not encourage me to take the meds again, even though I know that state won’t last. When I did get to see Brent, I asked to try getting off some of the medication. We agreed that this month he’d reduce the Latuda dose to 20 mg with the aim of eliminating it next month, and if there was a negative impact on my mood he’d increase the Lamictal to compensate.
There has been an impact. Yesterday I woke up at 4:30 in the morning and was too restless to stay in bed, so I got up and went to work super early and ate breakfast in the cafeteria. Then I got the giggle fits over and over again. Initially I looked at an “oral hygiene kit” and thought, “What if we had anal hygiene kits? Oh wait, they’re called enemas.” I laughed so hard I nearly suffocated, and after this happened several times throughout the day my coworkers suggested drug testing me.
I crashed from this elated mood around 3 pm and felt inexplicably sad, then got super irritable for the rest of the evening. We went grocery shopping and out to eat and I had some very unkind thoughts about every person who crossed my path. Today is not so bad. I’ve been very motivated and accomplished most of the to-do list that I wrote on my arm yesterday. I’ll definitely keep an eye on the mood, but I already suspect Brent is going to need to increase the Lamictal.
A few days after I went off the meds on my own, I had a very eventful day. I was scheduled for a mental exam with a psychologist for him to determine whether I was disabled, because Social Security couldn’t seem to figure it out from my records. Spoiler: he said I wasn’t and my claim was denied a few days later. Since applying, however, I’ve started to feel much better and more capable and I’m not going to pursue it any further.
In the middle of the mental exam, after I couldn’t remember 3 words after 5 minutes and started to get confused by repeating a series of numbers backwards, there was a knock at the door. The psychologist asked if I was expecting someone, which seemed like a rather weird question, but it turned out the knock was for me. Mom was at the door saying, “I have to go to the hospital now. Bye.” Not specific enough! I said, “What hospital? Why?” and she said, “Christ. Kidney. Bye.”
Yes, I was finally able to use the Hello Kidney gift. Monday of last week, mom got a kidney transplant. I completed my mental exam, which was rather unfair since I was too distracted to elaborate on the difficulties I have at work, and rushed home to pack a suitcase for mom and then rushed to the city to be with her until the surgery. The doctors had to give her several units of plasma because her blood was too thin, plus three different antibiotics, so it was around 8:40 before they finally took her down to the operating room.
Mom was in the hospital for 10 nights, but I finally got to bring her home on Thursday. Her news certainly overshadowed my acceptance to college. Today I’ve worked super hard on preparing for that. I received and replied to an e-mail from my academic adviser and have an appointment to meet with her in 2.5 weeks. I e-mailed the disability services office at the college to request a meeting time to discuss possible accommodations. I e-mailed the vocational rehab counselor who I worked with for job hunting last year to see if there is any assistance he can provide with continuing education.
I’ve also been busy with the Crisis Intervention Team. I prepared a Google Drive where we can store the handouts from each presenter so that the participants can access them at any time. I sent information out to everyone who was present at the last meeting so they can see the format and make sure everything is working okay.
Other busyness has included working on my book (a chapter and a half plus the epilogue to go) and changing my name. I’d been going by a nickname for 17 years but still use my legal name for things like employment and medical care, so Sadie pointed out that I might be feeling inner conflict due to this incongruity. She suggested that I needed to choose one, and due to my laziness I chose to go back to my legal name. It’s not what I wanted and I’m unhappy about the choice, but I didn’t want to deal with a name change and updating my driver’s license and debit card and all those other documents. I didn’t realize until after the fact that I would have a few hundred internet accounts to update.