I have been radio silent for a while now. For the past six months I have been experiencing physical ailments that were progressively getting worse. Dizziness, nausea, vomiting, stomach issues, inability to concentrate and the list goes on.
I went through testing and after testing to find out what it was. The answer always seemed to come back to anxiety and my being bipolar. “Take your medications more regularly” I was told. I sought the help of my local pharmacist who was amazing – he taught me that some of my medications interacted with others so he put them in a blister pack to make it easier. No one had ever taught me to take the medications properly before, and I was very appreciative.
The doctors prescribed more anxiety medications and increased some of my existing meds. Suddenly my joints started to swell and my heart wouldn’t stop racing. I was prescribed another medication for my joint swelling and then that was it. I thought I was going to die.
My partner and I reviewed my medications. There was a lot. I had a heavy pain relief for migraines. A medication to curb my appetite to combat the weight gain of another medication. One for essential tremors I get from taking another medication. It seemed endless. We heavily researched the effects of the medications I was on and a couple of them even had warnings of “sudden death” as a possibility. It was time to take my life back.
With the help of my family doctor, I reviewed the list of medications I wanted to come off. I was willing to keep the essential lithium but everything else had to go. It will be a tough couple of weeks he advised but had no problem with my trying this out as long as I kept the fundamentals to treat my bipolar. He was right – it was tough.
I went through withdrawals. Sweats, shakes, heart palpitations. I couldn’t sit still in one place for more than a 60 seconds. I could feel the chemicals seeping out of my system. But I fought through it.
My psychiatrist was very pleased with the result. He did caution that my urate levels continued to be very high and was something we would monitor. I didn’t know that urate levels are typically high for bipolars as it was thought for years to be an indication of the illness.
A month later, I feel like a brand new person. I have energy back and none of my previous symptoms. I still get my bloodwork done regularly and my lithium levels are perfect. I feel like I have my life back.