“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.”
I realize that, once again, I disappeared from my blog. I continue down this road of hot and cold on my writing, usually leaning more toward cold than anything, and it makes me feel bad about myself. It’s a pretty good metaphor for my life in general. I have grand ideas and basically zero follow through. At some point, something has gotta give. I need to either step up and live up to my own expectations, or lower my expectations.
Well, in a cruel twist of irony, my inability to manage my life has caused some pretty major upheaval and change in said, poorly managed life, requiring me to get my shit together and manage my life.
Now, I started this post with the Socrates quote for a reason. I spent the first several months of this period of change, fighting the change. Well, to be specific, depending on the hour I was either actively fighting the change or manically embracing it. Which, considering that my struggles with Bipolar Disorder are the center of this whole mess, seems pretty appropriate.
Now I find myself in a place where almost everything is new. It is intimidating. And exhilarating. And scary as hell. But I am committed to embrace this change and run with it. One of the benefits of my new situation is that on a daily basis, I am writing. I’m blogging and managing social media and learning a lot and really, really hope to apply what I am doing now at work to my life. And while it isn’t a guarantee that this blog will now become a little more active, it is a hope. I’m going to build on the new. Wish me luck!
Well … some answers are starting to trickle in. In case you are not one of my close friends or family members and somehow found your way here … my health issues started back in May. I have written about some of my progress, or lack thereof, here at this site. Feel free to go back and blog-stalk me if you want. For those very patiently waiting on updates (Mo) … here we go:
Firs of all, I LOVE my new doctors. This new neurologist is fantastic and I have a new doctor to add to my stable, a psychiatrist, who I is also awesome. I can’t tell you how much having doctors you like and you feel actually listen to you makes a difference. Turns out I’m not crazy … well, maybe just a little.
I have seen my psychiatrist several times over the last couple of months and after a couple of chats, his opinion is that I have Bipolar Disorder. Most likely Bipolar II. He agreed with my neurologist’s decision to start me on Lamictal, noting that this gave me a “head start” prior to seeing him. So far I can see a difference in my mood and emotional stability. My depressive episodes are less for sure. It has been a bumpy road as you can’t just start out on a large dose of this medication. So every two weeks I increase the amount I take and every two weeks things slowly get a little better. I still have stretches of days where I just want to crawl into a cave and hide from the world. But I’m calling off work less and avoiding my activities less, so that is good. I also (think) that my anger and irritability is a little less. But you’d need to ask my family that to be certain.
As far as my head and weird vibrating headache … it’s still here. Like a really annoying and loud and relentless monkey on my back. Or my head to be more specific. My EEG was normal and I had to stop taking a medication that I was put on to help with this, because of the whole Bipolar thing. Basically while one thing is improving, the other is not at all. My neurologist is stumped as to what is causing this. He is chalking it up to a strange presentation of migraine and we are now on the “let’s try this” track of medication roulette. He is challenged with my new diagnosis and needs to try to use drugs that won’t jack with my mood, and judging by his sighing and talking to himself, this may not be easy. Currently I am on a low dose of Norvasc and will be increasing that next Tuesday. Another drug you have to start slowly on – joy of joys. The trick with this one is that it is used for hypertension, which I have as well, and I need to monitor my blood pressure to make sure it doesn’t drop too low. More fun! I have not noticed any improvement in my headaches so far. But with the stabilization of my mood, my ability to deal with it is getting better.
I continue to take baby steps. It’s nice to be able to identify and “label” my history of emotional problems. I think my psychiatrist was a little taken back by my calm acceptance of his announcement … but I’m really not surprised and anyone who really knows me and knows much about Bipolar probably are not surprised either. If you don’t know much about it .. check out Psych Education (an amazing resource) and of course you can always count on Web MD for some general information.
Thanks to everyone keeping tabs on me. Life continues to throw crap towards me and my family, which it tends to do. I’m working on getting better and moving forward and keeping a positive attitude. Hopefully soon this trickle of answers will actually turn into a deluge and things will turn around. Until then, if you see me making strange faces and bashing my head against a wall … don’t fret. I’m not crazy. Well, maybe just a little. 😉