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!

Feeling Safe

Today is not what I would classify as a ‘good’ day.  But I am here, still able to write about it – and that is a positive for me. That means that I have won the battle. I am not silenced or buried by my thoughts. That is a win.

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Mental Health Awareness Month

I found out today that May is Mental Health Awareness Month!  This post is inspired in part by a conversation that I had with a fellow blogger.  I felt like it is important to share my story and I’m hoping that it might bring comfort to someone else who feels alone.

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This post is extremely lengthy and detailed.  Please be advised it contains mentions of (but not details) experiences and symptoms relating to depression, self injury, hospitalization/treatment and bipolar disorder. Continue reading