With an awesome pdoc and a wonderful family!
The pdoc I was paired up with after the horrible ER visit, turned out to be not so scary. I don’t know what I was expecting, maybe a certified pill-pusher, or someone who needed more help than any of us. But pdoc was none of those things. He was very thorough when it came to my mental history. A 45 minute appointment turned into about 1 1/2 hours. He spent a lot of time talking with Hubs and just about the same amount talking with me. We went over previous diagnoses and previous/failed treatments. He agreed that I absolutely had an anxiety disorder and then we talked mood and if I had ever experienced psychosis.
Answering the mood part was easy….psychosis, well, what does that mean? I kinda stared at him blankly. He then started with some leading questions.
“What is the reason you don’t drive?” …..”Because I’m scared someone will hit me, I’ll hit someone else, or someone is following me.”
“Is there any reason to believe someone is following you?”………”No.”
“Do you think someone wants to hurt you?”……”Yes (insert lots of convo about baseball bats, kids not playing outside, checking doors, keeping drapes closed, ect….”
“Do you think something is going to happen to your children if you let them outside?”…….”Yes, someone may kidnap them, hurt them, yell at them (this one really happened though)”
I guess he heard enough at that point as he spread his hands across his desk and said, “Miss Becca, you can forget about the depression. You have Bipolar with psychosis. Now this is what we are going to do.”
I think at that point he realized I was looking at him like he was the crazy one. He told me to go home, educate myself, look it up, read about it, learn about it and come back in a week and tell him what I think. So…..I did and a week later I walked into his office with a completely different attitude. That’s when we got down to business. He wanted the name and telephone number of my OB’s office. He would try to contact them on his end and discuss everything with them and in the mean-time I was to contact them and talk with them from my point of view. He wanted to mainly know how they felt about treating me with Seroquel. He did not want to use Lithium or any other mood stabilizer as he felt Seroquel was the best fit. It would tackle: mood, psychosis, anxiety and sleep. Considering I have a tendency to rage during my mixed/manic episodes, he felt this was the best fit for me.
We played phone tag for two weeks with my OB, but I wasn’t discouraged. I had an appointment coming up with my perintologist and I knew I would have better luck with him and I did. After explaining everything to him, he faxed a letter directly to my pdoc explaining that he felt treating my symptom’s of the Bipolar were more of a benefit than the risks that could possibly affect Baby M&M. That week I started the Seroquel. But not at a huge, high dose. No….pdoc was scared so we started low, 25 mg.
Now I have to say, everything I researched about Seroquel told me that 25 mg was nothing more than a sleep aid and it was going to kick me on my tush. Well….that didn’t happen. 25 mg was nothing more than a sugar pill, as was 50 mg all the way up to 300 mg. Once I hit 300 mg, I started sleeping normally and feeling a bit better. But it wasn’t to last very long. A few days after hitting 300 mg, the psychosis and voices started to seep back in as did the rage. I was not doing good, it was so bad, I cried to Hubs during one of his lunch breaks home. He offered to take the rest of the day off, but I didn’t want him to. I wanted to just run away, I didn’t want another person home in my face.
I was so full of the crazies at that point that when I snapped at my (then) 4-year-old son, I realized my snapping wasn’t snapping. I was screaming at him, full-blown screaming and it was for nothing. I intend in the future to blog about this particular incident in detail. This was just to give you a short preview of what state of mind I was in when I was not well.
Immediately I called my pdoc’s office and got in to see him right away. I told him about what was happening and everything my head was telling me and he upped me to 400mg…….that dose saved my life. Within 3 days I felt a thousand times better. I started to actually care about my life again. But more importantly, I started caring about my kids lives.
The night I started to feel better, Hubs was rocking our 10 month old to sleep. The other children were already in bed and my oldest son was spending the night at a friend’s house. I had just got done journaling and made my way first into the girl’s bedroom. I sat at the edge of my 3 year old’s bed, stroking her hair as she slept, silent tears streaming down my face. I thought back over the last 5 years of our lives and all the mistakes and mess ups I had made along the way. How horrible of a parent I had become in such a short amount of time. I realized that my downhill spiral did not just happen that year, but had begun long before that. Most likely in my teens, but progressively got worse as I got older and had more stress triggers and responsibility along the way.
I then thought about how much I loved, adored and cared for my children. How I would do everything in my power to protect them. Protect them from the horrifying side of Bipolar. How they were the reason that I needed to fight through this and do whatever it took to be as stable as possible. It was for them…..not for myself, but for my kids. That my children were the most important reason for me to do whatever I could to hold it together. That the depression, no matter how debilitating it was, was not going to lie to me any longer and make me believe that they were better off without me. I knew with my whole heart, that my children were the reason I needed to tell that liar to, “Shut up!” I kissed Macie gently on the forehead, climbed up the ladder to kiss LA and walked out of their room.
Next I went into the boy’s room and sat next to JP…..My illness had probably affected him the most. I hadn’t bonded with him the way I had the other children. His life had been filled with nothing but chaos and a very distant mother who took most of her verbal aggression out on him. My tears weren’t as silent this time, but I tried hard to keep the tone down, I didn’t want him to wake up scared because Mommy was sitting on his bed crying. I ran my fingers through his hair, ran a finger down his cheek and just watched him sleep for a long time. I knew I messed up with this kid…now I needed to figure out how to fix it. I kissed him on his forehead, just like I had Macie and then kissed AC and walked out of the bedroom back to the kitchen where I could be alone with my thoughts.
I can’t say that from that point on everything fell into place and I was happy person once again. If I could, there would be no reason to continue with this blog and it would just make sense to stop right here. But what I can say is, that it was from that point that I really started to fight this and it is the reason I am doing this blog. I want other parent’s to realize there is more to our lives than this damn diagnosis that in the beginning can make us believe our lives are over.
Until next time……