Going “Toucan”

Sheesh, I guess I didn’t need to worry about having enough fodder for blog posts to start off this contest I’ve entered. Today’s appointment with Dr. Awesomesauce was LOADED with material—not all of which needs to be shared, to be sure, but there’s still plenty to talk about.

First of all, if I didn’t know it before, I do now: I will never in this lifetime live down the notorious yellow toucan shirt. I recently ran across the damned thing, and it about scared me to death all over again. Then today Dr. A told me he’d shared the story with another of his bipolar patients (leaving the name of the guilty party out of it, of course) and redefined my version of mania in a manner that will never be forgotten by either of us. As in “You get hypomanic, and then you go toucan”.

It was the first time we’ve ever talked about the two distinct stages of my bipolar highs, but by the time the laughter subsided, I realized he’s been paying more attention to my disease process than I’d thought. Between therapy and medication management, we haven’t discussed the elements of my illness itself in over a year, back when I was trying to pin him down on whether I was bipolar 1 or 2. So it was interesting to see him paint it in bright colors…..just like the wooden toucan figurine he gave me a few months ago.

He acknowledged as how HYPOmania has its uses and is fun and even beneficial at times, but warned me that it’s like playing with fire (oooh, pretty fire with orange and red crackling flames!) and I need to resist the temptation. That being said, he does want me to start dialing back on the Zyprexa in a month or so, but only if I’m stable and only by the tiniest amount, and it’s up to my discretion as to whether I even attempt it before my next appointment. We both want me on less medication—me because I hate taking meds on principle, him because he wants plenty of wiggle room to adjust UPWARDS if I need it—but we also know that reducing too much, too soon, is a recipe for disaster.

I have mixed feelings about this. I really, really hate to try to fix what ain’t broke, and the fact that I’m in a full remission that shows no sign of breaking down makes me reluctant to mess with my regimen at all. On the other hand, one does not usually take fistfuls of meds when one is healthy, and it’s not like we’re talking about coming off ANY of them completely—even if I do manage to reduce the Z, it’s only by a quarter of my current dose, and that would continue for weeks or months. Heck, I could probably cut the dose in half and my brain would never know the difference, but neither of us is willing to chance that. “There is no rush, and I don’t want you to start yet,” Dr. A emphasized, knowing as he does how often I jump into things too quickly, only to end up smashing into a wall.

I dunno. With my favorite season arriving soon and my tendency to go totally ape shit on those hot summer nights, I’m a little nervous about fooling with my meds. On the other hand, I would love to be on a bit less so that I might reap the benefits of a little high-energy time…..as long as I don’t “go toucan”, that is!


Published by bpnurse

I'm a retired registered nurse and writer who also happens to be street-rat crazy, if the DSM-IV.....oops, 5---is to be believed. I was diagnosed with bipolar I disorder at the age of 55, and am still sorting through the ashes of the flaming garbage pile that my life had become. Here, I'll share the lumps and bumps of a late-life journey toward sanity.... along with some rants, gripes, sour grapes and good old-fashioned whining from time to time. It's not easy being bipolar in a unipolar world; let's figure it out together.

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