Abilify Pioneer – conclusion of experiment

I realize that some of you may not know this, but a while back I published an entry called “Abilify Pioneer,” in which I described how I was starting a new dose of Abilify–40 mgs, which is generally considered higher than the recommended dose.  Here’s what happened:

1. I immediately noticed that I needed less Thorazine.  I no longer needed the PRN doses.  This was a good thing, because the PRN doses made me sleepy.

2. I noticed an general elevation of mood.

3. I noticed a continuation of the mood swings that had started when I had QB put to sleep.

4. I noticed a worsening of these mood swings.  The mood swings got more intense, higher highs and lower lows, and the cycles became shorter in length.

5. As a result of these rapid-cycle mood swings, I had episodes of binge-eating periodically.

So Dr. P and I decided that the trade-off wasn’t worth it.  The increase in Abilify, we concluded, was definitely responsible for the mood swings, as it can cause mood elevation in some patients, and the problem had worsened with the increase.  So now I’m taking 30 mgs Abilify again, but if I have trouble I take 40 in the morning temporarily.

It’s been two and a half weeks.  Already I’ve felt the effects of the lowered dose.  My moods seem leveled off and I’m not bingeing.  But I experienced paranoia as described in the previous blog entry (see “Paranoia.”)  I took extra Abilify for two days and the thoughts subsided, gradually.

I have a choice between taking PRN Thorazine 100 mgs (I’m allowed up to two a day) or taking extra 10 mgs Abilify.

Puzzle photos

4x6 here she is

As you can see, my apartment is a total mess again.  I don’t seem to have the energy to clean it.  I feel sleepy, kind of sedated.  Originally, I thought it had to do with exhaustion from having worked so hard at school, but the semester’s over now and I’m still dragging.  I wake up and just feel like going back to sleep.   I saw Dr. P on Wednesday and I’m embarrassed to contact her so soon with questions.

Sometimes, sleepiness can be a sign of approaching depression, but I honestly don’t think that’s it this time.

Here’s Puzzle in my messy apartment:

Pz behind bar #1

When my apartment is a mess, I feel so out of control.  Like my whole life is a mess, which isn’t even true.  My whole life isn’t a mess.  Everything is in very neat compartments.  My messy apartment, rather than being a reflection of the state of my life, is a reflection of my level of energy–scattered.

I know where most things are.  I know where I am.  That’s what matters.

So long as they don’t

So long as they don’t schedule the Health Arts and Sciences program at the same time as the Creative Writing program!  What a fiasco!

Those students in HAS–you think I have a mental illness?–they are bonkers.  A breakfast conversation went something like this:

“What are you eating?”

“Cereal.”

“Do you have fruit in it?”

“Yes, bananas.”

“You should never, never eat dairy and fruit at the same time.  That combination will give you mini-farts.”

“Yes, and never eat meat and bread together, never have a turkey sandwich, for instance.”

“I think you should never eat peanut butter!  It’s very bad for you!”

“It gives you cancer!”

“Peanut butter!  Peanut butter!”

“And all those fat people, those fat people who can’t control what they eat.”

“It’s the enzymes in their food.”

“Yes, enzymes and whiteness.”

“Whiteness, yes.”

“And they eat like pigs.”

“No, no pork, either.”

“No pork.”

*************************

I’m serious.  Those HAS students are lethal to anyone who has an eating disorder, to anyone who has ever had an eating disorder, and to anyone who has even ever heard of an eating disorder!  Beware!  I ended up giving a pack of cigarettes to my HAS student roommate (she was truly the roommate from Hell) just to shut her up!  Of course, I only smoked three cigarettes the whole eight days I was at the residency, so I didn’t mind giving her the remainder of my supply–it was worth it.

breakfast

A conversation with my therapist

Goldie: This is very interesting.  Could you explain it further?

Me:  Not really.  But I wrote about it in my blog.  You can read about it there.

Goldie:  So, instead of answering my question you are asking me to read your blog?

Me: Yes.

Goldie: Do you find it easier to express yourself in writing than by other means?

A break

I’m taking a few days off from studying.  I’m very tired.  Last assignment’s due Wednesday but I need some time off, just to be with Puzzle (pictured below), get some fresh air, exercise, have fun with photography, write to you, Dear Readers, and goof off.  I’ll get back to studying on Sunday night.

4x6 adorable #2

4x6 pz sleeping bag

The sleeping bag she’s lying on happens to be the one I use for a blanket at night!  I put it on the floor every morning just so she can lie on it.  We share–she gets it during the day; I get it at night.  Not a bad arrangement….

It came out all right

Puzzle got spayed yesterday.  Here she is today, rather unhappy to be restricted to “quiet activity only.”

4x6 pz cone

Later, I took the plastic cone thingy off.  “Elizabethan collar” is what the vet calls them.  It was torture for poor Puzzle not to be able to chew on her favorite toys.  Also, every time she tried to curl up in the corner she bumped into the wall.

I am writing a piece on coping skills and mental illness.  I’m not sure where the piece is headed but I’ll post bits and pieces of it here, eventually.

My daily meds

Daily meds

These are the pills I take each day.  About 1/3 of these I take first thing in the morning.  Yesterday I got mixed up (it was early) and I took the morning dose twice.  Idiot!  I had to call my shrink who told me no, it was no necessary to go to the emergency room, I would feel dizzy and headachey for the day, that’s all.  And so I did.

She didn’t tell me about today.