Seroquel - Why Did I Start Taking It Again???

I recorded my weight for the first time since 10/1/10, and found I have gained 6 pounds since then.  I weighed 161 then, I weight 167 now.  Most of it is that damned Seroquel the new (former) psychiatrist told me I could start taking again at a low dose and I wouldn't gain any weight!  I should have known better, I know my body better than anyone, and my old (and now again my current) psychiatrist would have NEVER told me to go back on Seroquel at any dosage level because of the weight gain.  I explained all of this to her - the new psychiatrist - but she just brushed it aside and said I needed to stop taking Unisom.  Well give me something that works then!  No one seems willing to help me with my sleeping problem.  I'm back to Unisom again, and not sleeping well.

Mark's company went through lay-offs yesterday, and although he felt pretty secure, you never know about these things.  Another Director had to lay off one of his employees because Mark does not reside in the same town as that employee, and it was a horror story, I felt so bad for the person.  When he was told by Mark's friend that his employment was being terminated (or whatever verbage they use), he started crying uncontrollably, saying all he has is work, he has no friends or family.  Mark has laid off quite a few people in his career, and he said for a man to start crying like that is a pretty big deal.  I guess they are going to get him some counseling and whatever else they can do to help him.  My heart broke when I heard that.  The package they are giving is quite generous, but this is a bad time to be looking for a job.  I feel so lucky that Mark still has a job, I think he does too, although he's leading projects going into 2014.

With all that news, it made me so anxious to get out of school.  Who knows what the future will bring?  I may only have a short window to attend school full time while we don't need an extra income, I shouldn't be so lazy in practicing.  I need help motivating myself though.  I think I'll ask my psychiatrist for the name of a therapist when I go see him next time and find out why I'm not more motivated, and how to get that way.

Mark sent flowers for our anniversary last Tuesday and we went to dinner, he also gave me the sweetest card.  We're going out of town to celebrate as well, and I'm really looking forward to it!  I'm going to miss one day of school, but we have a lot of days we can miss without repercussions.  I already picked out the perfect French restaurant for our "official" anniversary dinner, and a few activities to do while we're there.  I've left a lot of down time though, so we can lounge around or do whatever Mark wants to do.  We're driving for about 5 hours, and being a passenger in a car always puts me to sleep on road trips.  Mark doesn't allow me to sleep, he thinks if he has to be awake, so should I, and he wants the company.  He'll go as far as swerving to wake me up if I start to doze off.  It's really not fair, I have nothing to do!

It's starting to get cold here, I wore flip flops to school yesterday, and when I walked out of the building, I thought that maybe that hadn't been such a good idea.  Where I live, we only have 2 seasons:  Summer and Winter.  This would be the short Fall that seems to last about a week before winter hits.  And by Winter, I mean temperatures in the 40's, 50's or so.  I think.  It's hard to remember what Winter is like, it's so short.

I'm really tired, but it's time to get ready for school.  At least it's a Friday, but now not only do I FEEL fat, I KNOW I am from the scale.  And now I have to go on a trip knowing this as well.  I just hope I fit into my dress clothes for our anniversary dinner. 

Changes - How Do You Know If They're Good?

Since I started taking 33-50mg of Seroquel at night to sleep again, it has helped me sleep, but it has hindered me in school. I have been skipping my first class to sleep more, and some days, not going to school at all so I can sleep all morning. It's not the answer, and you really can't take LESS than 33mg of Seroquel, I don't think you could see it on the counter, and I don't think I could cut a 100mg tablet any smaller. 25mg is such a tiny difference that I don't think it's worth wasting my time trying. And my eating habits have been HORRENDOUS. I think I've gained 5 pounds!

So tonight I went back to Gabapentin - I just took two 300mg capsules, I hope it does *something*. Even waking up at 3:30 in the morning every day would be better than missing school, being demovitated and not practicing at all, just going through the motions of going to school. I'm putting in no extra effort. On the upside, my mood is better, I'm happier, I'm more outgoing, yet at what cost?

I think I'll go back to my old psychiatrist. The new one that is a therapist AND a psychiatrist really isn't doing anything for me. She is keeping me on the same medications, not even offering to write new prescriptions for me and expecting a mail-in pharmacy to fax her refill notifications for my current meds which I know they won't do. They'll want new prescriptions from a new doctor. I've tried explaining this to her as they've even told me they won't fax ANY refill requests to doctors (as they're mail-in for 3 month supplies with refills), but she just brushes it off, and I don't want to argue with her. It just seems easier to go back to my old doctor who knows the "system", sends electronic requests on his computer while I'm sitting in front of him, and then ask him for the name of a therapist if I decide I want to see one.

But now that I've been to another doctor, it makes me realize how dysfunctional my other psychiatrist is. Not to criticize someone's cleanliness, I mean, I can be sloppy, but her office was decorated like it was in a magazine, his office is like on television - on a "hoarding" show, no joke. He has a very small office with boxes, stacks of papers, drug samples in displays just laying on the floor hapharzadly. Even on his desk, he has an overflowing container of paperclips that I just want to do something with! His desk is littered with paper, and from all accounts, he seems like a paperless person. He's very high tech.

I don't know, he's treated me for over 9 years now, giving up that certainy and trust is a big thing to do. I don't like him as a person, he's very anti-social, but doctors aren't supposed to be your "friend". Mark doesn't like him, but he was wrong about him keeping me overmedicated - the other psychiatrist wants to keep me on the same medication, and even re-added Seroquel, which my first psychiatrist told me to stop taking. I told her why he told me, and she said I wouldn't gain weight on 50mg. I'm not surprised she was wrong, he would have told me she was wrong, but he just seems more up to date on medication, and she seems to trust his medical opinion mostly, so why wouldn't I stay with him instead of her?

Mark and I did the coolest thing we've done in a long time. A very nearby city was having an arts and music festival, they're a very small town so it was a small deal, but it rained that day and the vendors went home as well as the musical acts canceled. It stopped raining, so we went and had dinner and hoped that the bands would play since the weather improved. The grass was muddy and wet and we didn't bring chairs, but somehow Mark snagged 2 under tents, SCORE! Only one band stuck around all day to see if the weather would clear, and they turned out be pretty good! So it was this very small audience of maybe 20-30 people getting a live performance from a group that has opened for John Mayer and other big artists. It was actually better than the headliner Little Texas who canceled, because we really don't like country music, and were surprised that they played music we would actually listen to on the radio. I bought a CD of theirs at the end - the first physical CD I've bought in years! But the actual group was so kind hearted, and on facebook, I read their profiles, and found that most of them are Christians, and can see that in the lyrics of their music, even though their not Christian artists. I hope they make it big one day, although they're not doing too bad right now!

My hairstylist shattered my dreams and told me that the length of my hair now was a good length for me, when I was planning on growing it out until I finished school. I guess I could change hairstylists and find someone who would let me grow out my hair, I know, I'm the customer, if I say I want to grow out my hair he should let me, but I don't know what is age appropriate either. But I have very fine hair, and not a lot of it, he said one person that works their that has hair like mine gets hair extensions sewed into her hair, or I could buy hair extensions and he would show me how to use them. So I bought them but they didn't match my hair when I got home, they actually looked horrendous, and they were $100. I don't know if you can take back hair and get a refund, it's actual human hair. I have blonde hair, but it seems like he's doing it darker and darker, I mean, I know he's in his 20's, but does he think I'm ancient? It's like my psychiatrist, I've used him for so long that I trust him, but maybe it's time to try someone new except I really like this place, it's one of the top salons in the country, and I don't see how I could go there and go to a different stylist and see him hanging out there.

Whew, it seems like I've typed forever nonstop, I was talking to Mark on the phone while I was typing and he asked me why I kept talking and talking, maybe it's the Gabapentin, I don't know. Guess I'll see if I can sleep now, wish me luck dear blog : )

Couple Counseling

Mark and I went to the psychotherapist on Thursday, and while nothing was completely decided, we basically all agreed that having a natural born child right now isn't what we wanted.  Well, hmmm...what I want?  No one can say that is not what *I* want, but is it best?  The doctor (I don't know what to call her, she's a psychiatrist, she's a therapist, IDK?) doesn't come out and say "I recommend you do not get pregnant", I mean, what therapist ever really tells you what to do, and she made that perfectly clear that that was not her giving me advice.  But she did say she was convinced I had a chemical imbalance that required drug treatment after I saw her the first time, there were anti-depressants that she could treat me with while pregnant but nothing for mood stabilization which I needed.  I don't understand what I could have told her that makes her think I need "mood stabilization" SO MUCH.  I mean, is it true?  Yes.  But I didn't tell her hardly anything that would be considered a bipolar/manic symptom! 

She asked us a lot of questions about our relationship and how we felt about children, I learned a lot about Mark actually.  I always feel like I'm "barely meeting requirements" when it comes to effort in our relationship, and then he goes and tells her for effort he puts into the relationship, he gets it back from me 10 fold.  I was just stunned, and she asked me what I was thinking so I told her, and he was like ok right, well, so I always have a list of things that needs to get done, and she said well "sometimes a girl needs to hear how you feel..." in a really cute way.  I had no idea he felt that way, he always makes me feel I'm just barely "cutting it" when it comes to our relationship. 

The more we talked, the more I really saw that Mark wants our relationship to be just us, no children, not even a pet, just him and me.  I told him I felt so isolated, but that's how I really see how he wants it.  He never came out and said that, but he's said he doesn't want children, he doesn't want a pet, so what does he want?  Just us.  Doesn't he ever feel that gets lonely?  I think he's afraid of losing someone close to him, the way we lost our dog, he's still not over that.  I brought it up, and he almost couldn't talk because he got choked up.  The therapist was really nice about it, she said pets are like small children that never grow up and then die, and he agreed, while I'm left thinking hello?  So no child?  No dog?  No anything?  I don't want to break Mark's heart when something he loves is ripped away from him, and he sometimes argues that he is going to die before me because he doesn't want me to die first and he be left alone, but at least he has his family, I have no one.  He tells me I have his family too, but it's not the same. 

So I go to the therapist/psychiatrist on Monday after school (by myself), and I think it's pretty much up to me how often I want to go, I mean, within reason.  She's not like my last psychiatrist and will let me get away with going once a year.  I guess we'll probably talk about how often on Monday, but last time she said when would you like to come in?  1, 2, 3 weeks from now?  It's not like anything is pressing.  And she's keeping me on all my medications I'm currently taking from my current/last psychiatrist, she said she'll just fax in or call in refills when I need them. 

So this whole therapeutic relationship with a doctor is something I haven't had in a long time.  We'll see how it goes.  I could use help with motivation studying for school.

And go Texas Rangers!  I've been watching all the games on television, hoping they make it to the World Series!  I'd love to go to an intown game, but there's no way I'd get tickets.  Poor Mark, he hates sports but has stayed in the room while I watch baseball, just played on his computer.  He made me laugh when I was cheering once and said "did they get a touchdown?" I tried not to laugh too hard because I could tell he was starting to get embarrassed.  The roles are so reversed between us sometimes, me watching sports, him calling a run scored in baseball a "touchdown".  But watching baseball the last few days has brought up a lot of memories of my stepdad coaching my softball team, and while they're good memories, any memories of him can only seem bad.   

Sleep for Goodness Sake!!!

My appointment with my psychiatrist/psychotherapist is in 2 days, and I still don't know what I'm going to tell her about having children.  Do I want to?  Do I not want to?  I don't know.  I could actually be pregnant NOW, I won't know until Saturday or Sunday.  But Mark is going with me and can say he doesn't want children, that he doesn't want to take that away from me and get her reaction to that.  I go back and forth, one moment I'm certain that having children is probably not a good idea, but when children are out of the picture for me for the rest of my life, I think of all I could be missing out on and then I want them again.  I'm pretty sure from our discussion last week she thinks she's convinced me not to have children, that I've gone home and thought about all she said about being a childless couple and how great that can be, and how difficult I would be to treat during pregnancy, etc., etc.  I just don't want her shaking her head with disappoval at me again, although that was just when I was talking about my childhood really, I think.  She kind of scares me, but really, I was in a vulnerable position.  I was opening up my deepest darkest secrets to a complete stranger to be judged, good or bad, and that can only leave someone feeling horrible. 

I started taking Seroquel again, first 50mg, then that that was too much, then 33mg, then that was not enough, now tonight I took 50mg and my mind is just racing, and that was 2 hours ago.  Mark said I talked nonstop when he turned the television off and didn't stop, but I attributed that to my not liking the house to be quiet.  He kept telling me to stop wiggling in bed so he could sleep, so I finally just got up.  I was laying there with my eyes wide open, the thoughts coming and coming anyway.

The first night I took Seroquel was great, but I had a hard time getting to school the next day, I may have missed my first class.  But I was very happy, I got home, took a leisurely bath for our Friday night date-night, did my hair and makeup which I don't always do and changed out of my school clothes, and was very chirpy and giggly all night.  Mark said it was nice to see me happy, he wished he had a "happy pill", as he attributed it to the Seroquel.  I *have* been happier, but also more passionate, too, it comes with a price.  I mean, here I sit, my stomach churning about the November 2 election, school tomorrow, just any little thought and it has me riled up.  I can't seem to stop the racing thoughts, yes, I know that sounds like mania (hypomania in my case, I don't really get full blown manias, so it's hard to judge one, I don't go out and buy tractors like the guy in the psych ward did, LOL).  If I'm hypomanic, I'm just more excitable, sometimes more happy than normal, I get more irritated, agitated, and it won't go away, I make bad judgement calls (which hasn't happened), which is my biggest downfall about being hypomanic. 

I really just want to calm down and go to sleep, but that seems impossible without taking more mediciation.  Last night I took 5 Klonipin on top of everything else, but I had to sleep. 

Mark made an appointment for himself with a psychiatrist.  I'm glad he's finally doing something, not that I think that drugs are always the answer.  He could have started with regular therapy and see where that led which I've suggested many times, but he's not interested in talking just to talk.  He has some deep dark secrets as a child, being bullied in school, that he's never shared with me and we've been together for 13 years.  I just know they've happened and they've greatly affected him, but it's like he's too shamed to tell me about it.  I've gently asked, never nagged or pushed, but he always brushes me aside and cuts the conversation short. 

Sleep is so evasive for me.  When I want it, it doesn't come.  When I can't have it, like when my alarm goes off, I want it.  I finally have a doctor who agrees that sleep is important, but I still can't get sleep.  I'm not sure what to do at this point.  Taking any more Seroquel than I'm taking will surely ensure I can't drive to school in the morning as well as make me put on weight.

Psychotherapist Visit

I went to the new psychiatrist today that my OB/GYN referred me to, and found out she's also a psychotherapist.  Such a change from my grunting, not even making eye contact, psychiatrist.  She made a point, I don't have a therapeutic relationship with him.  I never considered that, but have always wanted one.  He just wants to know how I'm doing on my meds, end of story.  He prescribes 11 months of refills, and expects me to call if I have any problems.  She was shocked when I told her that.  Also, because I'm taking Unisom every night and still waking up at 3:30 in the morning, she said that was bad for me and asked if I wanted her to call in some Seroquel for sleep.  I told her I had some, so she told me to cut it to 50mg and I won't gain weight, but to stop the Unisom and I needed sleep.  I'm actually relieved.  Sleep?  And if I sleep through the night?  What is THAT?  I won't believe it until it actually happens.

She may be 72 (I know because of the Texas medical board website), but she's as sharp as a tack.  It was so incredibly painful talking about how I became *me*, it started out with a simple enough but loaded open ended question "so tell me what you were like as a child".  That led to abusive stepfather, controlling exhusband, mother cut out of my life, protective order against my exboyfriend, and now father cut out of my life.  With lots of details in between.  It didn't hit me until I was on my way home all I had told her and then I burst into uncontrollable tears.  I just don't like to think about those things, let alone talk about them.  I went to counseling for years, and then group therapy to learn HOW to talk about it to other people and validate that yes, it really was that bad.  I don't need someone to shake their head like it was so awful what I've been through to prove to me it was, I know it was.  I just don't want to relive it, to talk about it, that's what my 20's were for.  I'm past that, I don't want to bring up again, why does it have to keep coming up?  I guess that's what I'm faced with for the rest of my life.  "Tell me what you were like as a child".

So....without coming straight out and saying it, I don't think she thinks Mark and I should have children, that couples are perfectly happy without them for whatever reasons they decide.  She named my medications, the complications of coming off of so many drugs, how balanced I would be in pregnancy by changing them, my sleep issues, the fact that Mark doesn't want kids and how that would affect our relationship.  She went on about the ease of life of NOT having children, so you can see where she was going with this.

But she began by saying "so why do you want to have a child?", and the thing is, I didn't have an exact answer.  Because I thought I should...I always thought I would....things like that, not really good answers.  She said if I had come to her and said both my husband and I want a child and are looking forward to it, then she would understand changing meds and having me come in weekly for checkups, but that wasn't the case.

She asked me to think about what we'd talked about, and call tomorrow to make another appointment for next week, and to bring Mark if I wanted.  I would very much like to bring Mark.  If we decide not to have kids, I want it to be a joint decision.  I don't want it to all be on me, I want us to say "hey, as a couple, we've chosen not to have children".  I want Mark to say to her that he is letting me make the decision, because she won't let him off the hook with that, that he's not part of the equation, but I can't make him see that.  She brought up how this would change our relationship, and we have a great relationship, the most important one and positive one I've ever had in my life, I wouldn't jeopardize that for anything in the world.

I called Mark on my way home, and in the middle of talking, I just broke down, it all hit me what I had said about my childhood, and I couldn't talk for a few minutes, I was crying.  But I finally got it together (even though now I have a monster headache), and had Mark check his calendar for next week, and he said he would go with me to therapy.  I know she will help him recognize the importance of his own decision to have children, that he can't just leave it all up to me, even if my OB/GYN says that's ok, he'll change his mind later.  He's never wanted kids, has never been shy about telling me he doesn't, so why would he change his mind? 

On top of that, he's 34 and thinks he has the symptoms of a mid-life crisis.  He studied the symptoms with how he feels in life on the internet, and says it's the same, minus physical attributes like loss of energy and anything sexual.  He's been very unhappy with his "place in life" lately (work wise mainly, even though I see him as very successful, especially for his age), but he's never been exactly HAPPY with it, I've always considered it the hazards of a highly ambitious person.  And he is the most ambitious person I've ever met.

We went to see the Social Network last weekend, and he was down on himself and upset for days because he felt that should have been HIM, he was the one that should have had an innovation early in life and been a billionaire by now, that's what he'd always expected of himself, and anything else by comparison makes him a failure.  I can't imagine trying to live up to a Bill Gates, Mark Cuban, or Mark Zuckerberg.  I have no words to make him feel better, his expectations are what they are, and he feels cheated for some reason.  While I see him as successful, as do others, he sees himself as a failure. 

Maybe it's a mid-life crisis, maybe it's an identity crisis, I don't know.  But he won't go to counseling, I've tried (except with me next week) - hey, I wonder if I can somehow work this into the conversation, hmmm.

Doctors at War

I went to my OB/GYN today to tell her what I was doing in regards to my psych medications, and she said she just couldn't go along with it.  I gave her all the printouts my psychiatrist gave me in regards to birth defects while pregnant and the medications I take, but she said everything she's ever known or heard was NOT to take what I'm taking.  The thing is - Mark agrees, he's done his own little research on the internet on the drugs I take and has come to the same conclusion.  Yet my psychiatrist has treated me for 9 years.

Mark and my OB/GYN are right, I know they are, what's a few months of "possible" emotional instability, I mean, from my viewpoint, who knows I'll even have any, in the scheme of things - the lifetime of a child.  Mark is now worried because we had sex without any protection (just once during possible ovulation time), but I thought it was okay, my psychiatrst had said so.

So I'm going to the psychiatrist that my OB/GYN trusts the most, the 72 year old psychiatrist that I totally blew off her appointment last Friday.  I called to schedule another first time appointment today, and the receptionist really chewed me out for skipping out on on the first one.  But this psychiatrist doesn't know my history,  I have no symptoms now, how do I tell her what I have when I don't have it right now?  I even question what I've had in the past.  I just know it's been really bad, when suicidal thoughts come, they come fast and hard with no warning.  It's like going from a sunny day and then boom, the sky is dark with an ominous black cloud above you that won't leave and  you wonder about your very existence.  It's the worst feeling ever.  My current psychiatrist knows how depressed I get because I was able to articulate it when I was in an episode, how do I tell someone new when I'm not feeling anything?  Is saying "I was in a psych ward 9 years ago for being suicidal" enough?  That my dad tried to commit suicide about 3 years ago and my aunt DID commit suicide, with my uncle's death in question?

Maybe that begs the question - should I even have a baby?  How do I know how sick I really am without going off meds or trying different ones that are more safe? 

Why does life have to be so complicated?

I guess it doesn't matter, if I *do* get pregnant, or if I don't and stop trying in August, it's not that long. 

And I've always wondered if I'm being overmedicated anyway....
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