I come bearing good news on the mental health front: I haven’t noticed any major mood changes since switching up my meds. I don’t sleep quite as soundly as I used to, but I’m also not quite as much of a slug in the mornings anymore. I like not walking around for the first hour after awakening feeling like a bomb went off in my head.
That was something I never did get used to, even though I was on the higher Zyprexa dose for a year and a half following my hospitalization in November 2014. I’m glad to know I can get along on a smaller dose; I’ve tried reducing the Z in the past and had terrible luck with it, but I think the decrease has been offset by the extra Geodon I take in the mornings now. I’m self-aware enough to know if my mood shifts even a little in one direction or another, and I’m happy to say that I feel completely normal.
I have one more appointment with Dr. Awesomesauce in July, and I think he’ll be proud of me for giving this a shot under the supervision of my nurse practitioner, even though he tried several times to wean me down off the Z without success. I’ve been so scared to attempt it because I didn’t want to take the chance of destabilizing myself, but I forget sometimes that I’m in a vastly better place than I was a couple of years ago, in more ways than one.
Back then, I was newly unemployed and in the process of losing the lifestyle I’d worked so many years to build, and I was unstable as hell on top of it no matter how badly I wanted to believe otherwise. Once in a while I read some of the posts from that time and wonder how on earth I ever got through it (well, to be honest I barely did, and I had a LOT of help). Ye gawds, that was some tough sledding. In retrospect, it seems like small potatoes compared with what I’m facing with Will’s end-of-life issues, but at least now we’ve got a safe roof over our heads and close family to help support us through the hard times to come. Things could be worse…a lot worse.
And then sometimes I dream about going back to work. Not that I could, with all my physical and mental disabilities, and I have to remind myself that I’m only in the shape I’m in because I’m living a relatively low-stress life. I can’t even imagine going through this with Will if I were still in that State job, working 50+ hour weeks and sometimes having to be five hours away on overnight trips for up to a week for a survey. God must’ve had His hand in that for sure, even though I was bitterly disappointed at the time to find out that it was not meant for me.
But I was in another place, living with another mindset then…my priorities are much different now. I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be: at my husband’s side during this most important transition of his life. My nursing skills now serve only his needs, my patient advocacy is for him alone. There is no way that’s coincidental!
So I’m very glad the med changes are going well. I’ve completely rid myself of the notion of stopping them entirely (like I talked about a few weeks ago) and I’m in no hurry to reduce them any further. I am, however, willing to experiment under the watchful eye of my caregivers, and that’s a big step in the right direction. I’m under no illusion that I’ll ever come completely off anti-psychotics; that’s OK too. I’ve got a big ugly disease that needs hardcore meds to control.
I’m not going to worry about the future though, as hard as it may be. This isn’t the time for imaginings about potential catastrophes. It’s time to just be gentle with myself and take life, literally, one day at a time. And it’s looking pretty good so far.