As I wrote a while ago, I’m bipolar 1. For eighteen months I was a good girl and took lithium twice a day — had bloodwork for it on schedule once a month. The drug worked, in so far as my mind and body were quieted by it. And goodness I slept well. But maybe it worked too well. My body gained 40 (yes, FORTY) pounds, something I was not happy about. But worse still was what it did to my mind. I lost the ability to think in a complex theoretical manner. My then doctor, a very nice older man, seemed to think this was a valid trade-off for sanity. I didn’t and stopped taking my medications.
My body, my science experiment, right? Okay, yes but maybe not a great idea. Without a mood stabilizer, which is what lithium is, my moods were, well unstable again. The anxiety and fear began to creep back. My sleep was disrupted. And the feeling that the inside of my bones were buzzing came back too. Even though no one around me complained (Paul is good that way), I could also feel the rise of mania. It comes with the warm weather for me.
After 6 months I realized I couldn’t keep living like this and went back to talk to my doctor only to find he had retired. I was given a new doctor. At that point, before my first appointment with her, I almost gave up. I’m so glad I didn’t.
My new doctor is great. I love her.
She’s younger than my first doctor, about the same age as me actually. No judgement about kink stuff, just wanted to know how it made me feel and how I see bipolar disorder in connection with kink. They do connect for me, and that’s fine. Even more importantly, she understood that my academic work matters a lot to me, that not being able to think in a theoretical manner or read philosophy wasn’t a trade off I wanted to make for sanity’s sake. So we’re trying a new drug called geodon. Three months in and it’s looking good. It’s not ideal — I feel achingly drowsy on it sometimes and it costs a lot, even with my insurance — but I can take it and still write, still focus, still feel like myself.
These are good things.
Now to try and do something about these forty extra pounds of me.