The Doctor Is In

I’m on a roll. I’ve had to go to Dr. Goodenough three times in the last three months, and I’ve already got another appointment next month. I think Dr. G is managing me very conservatively and would rather be safe than sorry. I don’t think anything is afoot—I had absolutely NO hint of March Madness, and the first half of April has been quiet—but my sleep has once again gotten a little wonky and I know he worries about that.

So he wants me to take melatonin, an OTC supplement I used for awhile some years back and didn’t work for me, and of course use the amber lenses in the evenings. I’m not so good with that, they’re a pain in the ass and they don’t fit well over my glasses. But I can take a(nother) pill, so I bought a bottle and am taking it according to his instructions. The idea is to make my sleep aids more effective without increasing any of my other meds, and so far it’s working. I’m going to bed around midnight-1 AM instead of 2 or 3 in the morning, and I’m ready to get up around 9 AM rather than 11:30. (Although I love to lie in bed in the mornings and play with my phone, because nothing hurts and I’m nice and warm.)

I am SO glad to be 100% out of that depressive episode. I never realize how bad they are until they’re over. This one wasn’t terrible—at least I never had any suicidal thoughts—and I was able to function, albeit minimally. But it was a drag, and it lasted way longer than it should have. However, I’m doing better about taking showers and getting the laundry done, and I feel lighter and almost triumphant, as if I’d lost weight (I haven’t) or made it up a steep hill to check out a spectacular view. Dr. G was pleased to see my progress, and it pleased me that he was. I like to make him happy, just like I did with Dr. Awesomesauce. He’s always upbeat and smiles a lot, and he never makes me wait; in fact, at this last appointment he took me ten minutes early. I still don’t know anything about him even 2 1/2 years into our relationship, but I think it’s supposed to be this way. No transference or countertransference going on here: we are strictly professional.

One thing I wish I did know is his age. He’s clearly a good deal older than me, and I’m 60 so I worry about him retiring. He’s never said anything about it, and he is still relatively new at the mental health clinic, but you never know. I hate change. It’s going to be nightmarish when we move to Texas in a couple of years—I’ll not only have to find a new NP or physician but a new pdoc, and getting in to see one often takes months…that’s IF I can find one who takes Medicare. So many of them don’t. I have actually lost sleep over this. I want to move, don’t get me wrong, but the idea of being in medical limbo without a doctor and meds scares me.

But, that’s a story for a whole other post. For now, I’m glad to be well again and I really think I may get through this spring without a hypo/manic episode. It’s been almost six years since I had my last full-blown mania, and sometimes I wonder if I’ll ever have another. It doesn’t look that way, but you can never tell with bipolar; meds sometimes stop working and need to be increased, or even changed to something else. But this is just like staying clean and sober: you can only take life one day at a time. (Which is harder than you might think, but that’s yet another story for a different day.) I think that’s what the good doctor would say, anyway.

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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