Health & Hope

Today, I met with my new Psychiatrist. 

Due to the change of insurance at work, I’d been forced to find a new provider to manage my treatment (medication).  I’ve lived with Bipolar long enough to know that going off meds is not ever an option for me.  

I was anxious about meeting with her – mostly because I’m always nervous about change. Given the fact that she is literally the only provider taking my insurance this felt a lot like an all or nothing situation.  If it didn’t work then I had no clue what the next step was going to be. 

The intake was pretty standard stuff, no surprises there. I’m in a pretty stable place as far as my mental health. I mentioned that I’m working with my PCP to figure out an issue with my thyroid and we detoured the conversation to that for a bit. 

About a year and a half ago, the decision was made to reduce my Lithium dosage because I had developed a tremor in my right hand. After discussing it with my PCP there were labs run and based on my symptoms and labs I was diagnosed with Reynauds Phenomenon.  It’s not anything major – the cold sensitivity and random loss of circulation is just bothersome.  My hair is thin and I have a nickel sized spot where I’ve lost hair.  I’ve seen a dermatologist and get screened yearly for Lupus. 

My yearly panel, done last month, was normal according to the nurse when she called me with the results.  So when he called me back in last week to discuss my thyroid I was a little confused. Although the rest of my thyroid panel was within range, my TPO antibodies are elevated and my thyroid was ‘generously’ enlarged when he checked it that day. 

We’re going to redo the labs and check back in next month. The hope is that things will be back to normal. But the reality is that I’ve been on Lithium for nearly ten years and it’s possible that it plays a role in my current issues.  So a decision was made today to start the process of weaning me off Lithium and introducing a new medication. 

This medication is better geared for Bipolar II, which is less manic and more depressive. I’m hopeful that I’ll continue to be stable on this new med and perhaps my thyroid will settle down. It’s really a 50/50 shot at this point. 

Here’s to better health!


Not Quite Right

The last few weeks have been a waiting game with very mixed results.

I went to see my primary care doctor to follow up on some issues I’d been having for several months.  These included hair loss, numbness and color changes in my right hand, and an unusual spot on the back of my neck that had gotten larger.

My mother has psoriasis so I suspected that for the thing on my neck.  The numbness and color loss in my hands was Reynaud’s disease. The other stuff was a total mystery but my googling (I know, I know!) had suggested a possible autoimmune or thyroid problem. 

2 rounds of labs later, I am still totally fine.  The antibody screen for Lupus was negative. My thyroid panel was normal. I’m going to see a dermatologist in 2 weeks. Dr S decided he’d rather have a dermatologist look at it before we treat it. 

I’m frustrated. It’s not anything life threatening but I hate not knowing the ‘why’ of something. I feel unprepared to deal with things if I can’t understand them on some level.

So for now, I keep waiting.