Namely Battlefield: Guts.

Note: Before I go further, this is not an actual Battlefield game, this post is made without the permission to use the Battlefield name, it is all just me attempting to smile while VERY uncomfortable. I don’t know what disclaimers I should put and what not, so I’m putting this. It is not in any way meant to insinuate that this is a real game, or that I in any way have anything to do with the Battlefield games, or the maker of said games.

Now on to the post.

So I’m on a larger dose of lithium, the max I can personally safely take (based on blood tests), and I started it last night. And with that larger dose started the war in my guts between lithium and IBS-C. (Not officially diagnosed, but it’s what my doctors and I suspect based on the symptoms I have, and my other health history.) ….. So in order to laugh rather than cry I started saying that it’s Battlefield: Guts…. because I gotta tell you, it’s not pretty, and it hurts, and that’s just my best option.

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So I’m getting ready for my 5th in about as many months….

The ones that seem to work either don’t make it through the hormones on my period, or I get too much serotonin and end up having all sorts of issues with acting out my dreams physically.

And the risperdal works for my mania, but not my depression. I can up the dose a bit more and still sort of function, and maybe it’ll help my depression, but I’m too tiny for much more in my system.

We’ll see what comes next…. I’m going in this week to start the paperwork for abilify since that’s why my doc had mentioned as the next possibility…. hopefully I can get it free or really cheap or I can’t even try it. :/

Now trying Lithium out for a mood stabilizer….. it’s not doing fun things to my stomach, but at least although there haven’t been changes that have been too noticeable yet, my anxiety does seem to be a little less. I’m also feeling a bit less depressed, but that could just be that my hormones have shifted.

On the IUD/endo front things are… interesting. The good news is that my periods are much lighter, almost to the point of non-existent as far as bleeding goes. The bad news is that this month I’m having a terrible period pain wise….. yesterday was the worst, but today hasn’t been fun (though I have managed to just get by with OTC meds today for pain)….

September 12th-18th is Invisible Illness Week. We all know that awareness is so important, and part of events for that week is the 30 things that affect us living with illness, and perhaps will help to gain a wee bit of understanding.

1. The illness I live with is: Endometriosis, fibromyalgia, interstitial cystitis, vulvodynia, vaginismus, lupus (SLE), bipolar disorder
2. I was diagnosed with it in the year: 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2011.
3. But I had symptoms since: For years… .some my entire life, some just a few years…. most since my teen years at the latest.
4. The biggest adjustment I’ve had to make is: Listening to my body
5. Most people assume: That because I’m so young I can’t be so ill.
6. The hardest part about mornings are: Getting out of bed, whether it’s actually am, or just when I wake up.
7. My favorite medical TV show is: None, I can’t stand them! – The closest I get is Sons of Anarchy, where one of the women is a doctor.
8. A gadget I couldn’t live without is: laptop/pc
9. The hardest part about nights are: When it starts cooling off more my pain goes up.
10. Each day I take a minimum of 8 pills & vitamins….. usually I add at least 4 or 5….. in the form of pain management.
11. Regarding alternative treatments I: Don’t usually take them, but I am willing to consider them and talk to my doctors about them. I do have an alternative treatment I use to help my liver with all the other meds I take.
12. If I had to choose between an invisible illness or visible I would choose: I really don’t have an answer for this. They both come with different challenges. I think I’d stick with what I know.
13. Regarding working and career: I am currently unable to work. I’m trying to get my health back enough to work part time again.
14. People would be surprised to know: How it is so hard some days and so easy on others….
15. The hardest thing to accept about my new reality has been: losing hopes and dreams, and struggling to get them back.
16. Something I never thought I could do with my illness that I did was: have a biological child, and deliver vaginally.
17. The commercials about my illness: are terrible. At least the PSAs about lupus, done by lupus patients are ok.
18. Something I really miss doing since I was diagnosed is: signing
19. It was really hard to have to give up: sign language
20. A new hobby I have taken up since my diagnosis is: crocheting
21. If I could have one day of feeling normal again I would: go to the beach and play in the ocean with my kids.
22. My illness has taught me: that I can and will survive through a lot of difficult times!
23. Want to know a secret? Sex hurts, and I usually pay for it afterwards, but Johnny and I still have a sex life through it all. (This is HUGE when you understand how sex is (or rather ISN’T for most people with chronic illness who I’ve spoken to)
24. But I love it when people: Try to understand and learn about what we are going through.
25. My favorite motto, scripture, quote that gets me through tough times is: “Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.” Dr. Seuss
26. When someone is diagnosed I’d like to tell them: Research. Lots of research. Advocate for yourself off that research. If your doctor isn’t treating you how you think they should be, get another opinion (3 years into diagnosed lupus I’m going to be doing this soon, if things don’t change during my next appt, as my lupus has become more active again). Listen to your body.
27. Something that has surprised me about living with an illness is: I’m not really sure…. I guess how much of a difference just having a name for what’s wrong with me changes things.
28. The nicest thing someone did for me when I wasn’t feeling well was: make a meal for me, or clean the bathtub for me so I could take a bath.
29. I’m involved with Invisible Illness Week because: We desperately need awareness and research and understanding!
30. The fact that you read this list makes me feel: so very grateful to you and for you being in my life!

I wrote this earlier (a few hours ago) and forgot to post it here….

Lots of depression today, for various reasons, including over a week of a costochondritis flare…. at least we believe it’s costochondritis, as the symptoms fit and it runs with both lupus and fibro.

Won’t go into the other depression reasons here. Just know that there are lots of them (as if the bipolar needs reasons to send me into depression.. HA!)….

Depression is now known as dementor attacks……

For those who don’t know, I was on a new mood stabilizer when I saw my doctor last (lamictal) as the seroquel started causing more and more twitching issues.

I had to go off of the lamictal about two weeks into it due to my lupus symptoms being worse (which the lamictal can cause…. well, technically it causes lupus like symptoms in lupus patients, but whatever, it made me feel worse with my lupus!) …. and I ended up having side effects that can be quite severe….. but I also had a virus at the time, which are the exact same issues as the side effects I had going.

My psych at this point can’t get me in until Sept, and she doesn’t want me seeing any provider except her until we figure out the right mood stabilizer. So I’m going to start the lamictal tomorrow and give it a second try. I’m not sure what will happen, and I’m pretty freaked out, but I also know that I need some type of mood stabilizer. I hadn’t realized it was helping until I went off of it and started cycling more again….. so obviously it was doing something with my thought processes and actual moods. Hopefully it works out better this time!

I’m on the cancellation list to see my psych sooner if an appt opens up!

We officially changed my diagnosis today.
I was told last week that I was bipolar, today I was changed from Major Depression to Bipolar II with depression in the computer.
My meds have also been changed again…..

Before I go any further…. I am talking about MY meds…. I am not a doctor, I’m not offering any advice, I’m not saying anything about how anyone else should treat any type of bipolar, depression, or mental health issue.

Seroquel is not an acceptable med for sure…. FOR ME!

I’m now on Lamictal for the depression, staying on the Celexa for now, and on Ripresidal when needed if I start getting manic.