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Category Archives: hospital

The New Year is here; 2012 has landed. I never make New Year resolutions but I always have a wish for the year ahead and this year I want to have the stablest year I’ve had for a very long time. Wouldn’t that be wonderful!
The constant cycling I was having has been replaced by depression and anxiety. An increase in Lamictal and Zyprexa helped to stop the jumping from one mood to another that I was having each day but hasn’t balanced me. I just wish my mood would become neutral. No matter what I do to distract myself or to increase my wellbeing, ie keeping busy, getting enough sleep and exercise, eating healthily, the depression just sits there like a log in a swamp. I keep trying to lift my mood and to avoid bad thoughts yet I lie in bed at night thinking of suicide and hoping I don’t wake in the morning. Oh God how bloody dismal! I have no idea where this post is going but I hope I’m not going to have you click exit because of my boring gloominess. Read More »

Today I had my first post-manic, post-scheduling session with my psychiatrist. I was very apprehensive as my behaviour last week had been so bad and I really thought he might say that it would be better if he referred me to someone else. I’m also terribly depressed after my experience at the hospital and also because I’ve “crashed” badly after being so manic. Read More »

My crazy week got worse, much worse.

Yesterday I became severely hypomanic again just before another appointment with my psych. I could feel it coming on when I woke up and it gradually got worse. Sitting in the waiting room I was aware that the hypo was quickly becoming full-on. I was very agitated yet happy and I kept seeing spiders running under the chairs, which I found funny, as you do, but I still had a sense of being able to stay in control. Wrong! Read More »

I finally had to give in and go to hospital. I stayed for three weeks, although longer was advised by the psychiatrist allocated to me in there. I couldn’t have my own psychiatrist as he doesn’t have visiting rights at any psych hospital. He used to but found the hours were too long … and they are, the psychs in there were seeing patients at nine o’clock at night after spending a day seeing their private patients. However, I did get leave each week to go see my own psych.

The format of the hospital stay was as usual: Be kept safe, see the psychiatrist twice weekly, have meds tweaked and changed, get sleep, do meditation, talk to the nurses, attend groups with psychologists. I settle in quite quickly these days but after three weeks I want to be home with my husband and the dogs.

I never find the groups helpful. I don’t find Cognitive Behavioural Therapy meets my needs. I did what I was supposed to do and made myself take part but it meant nothing to me. Having someone who doesn’t know me question my diagnosis of bipolar is hardly useful. I felt like saying “OK well go talk to the three psychiatrists I’ve seen who have given that diagnosis”. I find that psychologists want to reduce everything to behaviour that can be changed and while I agree that some behaviour can be changed, other behaviour needs medication.

I left after three weeks partly because I couldn’t stand that attitude anymore.

A few days after getting home I started to have some weird symptoms. I was slurring my speech, stumbling and bumping into things, not able to write or type, feeling dizzy, had tremors and after one go I realised I couldn’t drive. I got a lift to my psychiatrist and he put me through a few tests then diagnosed cerebellar syndrome brought on by a new medication added to my “cocktail”, Zeldox. It obviously didn’t suit me although I know others who have done very well on the medication. He took me off it straight away and after three missed doses I was back to normal physical function.

At the moment I’m taking Epilim, Lamictal, Lithium and Benztrop PRN

I’m not feeling well and don’t know if I have a virus or side-effects to the lithium. All I want to do is stay at home and not have to go anywhere or socialise.

What a crap month December was.

First was the stress of my husband’s heart surgery. This went well although he was not the greatest patient. I have such admiration for nursing staff who have to deal with argumentative people who are in a morphine haze.

Next came a big change in my mood. Instead of being permanently low, I started to wind up to elevated states only to crash back down again into the depths of despair. The agitation and anxiety were at an all time high as well. This has been happening for three weeks, A lovely mixed affective state, whoopee! It is horrible and I’d rather be depressed than go though this,

The Pdoc wanted me in hospital for Christmas. I said, “you have to be joking, I’ve committments that I can’t avoid”. The compromise is that he is ringing me every second day. He still keeps mentioning that I’d be better off in hospital to have them titrate the meds but I’m avoiding going. Even tonight when he rang he said I should go to hospital if I feel worse but he’ll ring me in the morning.

I’m feeling so bad because I was already entering a mixed state (brought on by Effexor according to my psychiatrist) and then the GP gave me prednisone for some nasty insect bites. That threw me well and truly into la-la land.

The result is that I have been taken off all antidepessants because of their paradoxical effect. A couple of other meds have been ceased too so basically I’m taking Epilim, Zyprexa, and Rivotril and Serenace PRN

Meanwhile I feel like shit. My sleep is so bad that I’m just able to grab a couple of hours here and there. Oh and I have the lovely Restless Legs thing going on and my lymphoedema is swelling up again despite my stockings.

If 2011 isn’t any better, well …

I left hospital on the 12th feeling exhausted and very low. The TMS psychiatrist told me I have to “just live with the depression” (yeah, thanks heaps). The psychologist focussed on making major changes in my life, ones that have nothing to do with feeling depressed! I swear some of these people make it up as they go along. Snap judgements made after talking to me for no more than 20 mins.

My own psychiatrist disagrees with them and has changed my main antidepressant from Cymbalta to Effexor XR.

Coming home was difficult. I felt so safe in hospital and coming back into the real world makes me more aware of being depressed and being around people who don’t fully understand. What an awful illness this is. So debilitating.

Well, today I saw the hospital psychiatrist and he told me TMS hasn’t worked so you may as well go home. Like, hey it was a failure so piss off. I think he is only interested in his TMS study. I told a nurse this morning that I was feeling suicidal and having self-harm thoughts so I am now confined to the ward and am constantly being checked on. Yet I can drive myself home Wednesday! Go figure!!

I am feeling so lost. Like everyone has put me in the too hard basket. I’m not going to take any stupid action but I am having bad thoughts and dreams. I will be seeing my own psychiatrist on Thursday. He has no idea what to do next either. Depression upon depression.

My TMS treatment has not worked. I have four more sessions but I’ve been told it would be rare for it to work now. Consequently I am still very depressed but am now also frustrated and disillusioned with treatment in general. My psychiatrist in here has suggested going back to a medication that I took successfully years ago. It stopped working after some years but he says it is worth “revisiting”. My private psych is simply frustrated and has suggested that I may benefit from intensive  psychotherapy with someone else three days a week. I really couldn’t bear going through my history again with another new person. It would make the fifth time.

I feel a lot of pressure on me to get well. I’m probably imagining it, as one does in this depressed state, but the results are the same: anxiety and concern for others feelings.

TMS ends on 12th May and then, I assume, I can go home. Part of me wants to go home to my life and my beautiful dogs, but part of me feels unready to leave this cocooned environment. I’m not sure what to do. I don’t have to make a decision today, so i won’t. I will just spend the weekend in this quiet, peaceful place where most people have gone home for overnight leave

I’m still smoking too which is a problem. how stupid to start again after so many years. However it is done now and i will have to cope with quitting when i leave

Well, I can’t say I’m a fan of TMS. Seven treatments and no change at all. I’m still very depressed and more anxious thatI’ve ever been (but that could be just being in hospital). Tomorrow I start three days of unilateral TMS whereas I have been having bilateral. If there is no glimmer of any change after that I will probably drop out of the study I’m part of while on this treatment. My private psychiatrist has recommended that I don’t continue with a treatment that is not working.

I have just finished my first Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation session. I spent half an hour with the overseeing psychiatrist who  administered TMS to the muscle area of the brain to measure excitability. This allows him to work out where on the head to place the magnetic coil and to determine personalised settings. He moved over my head looking for the spot which caused my hand to twitch. Later a nurse administered the TMS treatment. This consisted of a 40 minute session during which pulses were applied to my brain. On the right I received single 15 minute stimulation trains and on the left short bursts with breaks inbetween. Throughout the procedure I had to remain still with the enclosed magnetic coil touching my head. I wore earplugs for the loud clicking sound the machine produces.

The stimulation trains on the right caused my eyebrows and the corner of my eyelid to twitch. The sound was like someone hammering nails into a wooden fence. The feeling was neither pleasant nor unpleasant, but strange. A bit like being tapped on the head with something metal but feeling it deeper than just the scalp. It made me think of a big stapler! The more rapid stimulation bursts on the left also caused twitching which extended to my jaw. The speed is more like a machine gun.

I have a slight headache but other than that i feel ok. I do feel a bit nauseous but that is because two of my medications have been ceased (in order to have TMS) and I am going through the effects of that.

At least I was told today that I only have to have the TMS once daily not twice as previously thought. I will be having it everyday until Monday when I can have two days off.


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