Anxiety, Be Gone!

I saw Dr. Goodenough last Friday, and rather than the decrease in meds I’d been hoping for, we actually INCREASED one of them. But you know what, it’s OK; I’ve made up my mind that this is how it has to be, and every now and again the shit is going to hit the fan. It happens, and I’m no longer going to beat myself up for needing an adjustment.

I told him about the constant anxiety, how I was waking up every morning with dread and going through the day feeling like my nerves were about to snap like the strings on a violin. I also told him I wasn’t depressed, just worried and agitated, and I needed some relief even though it’s mostly situational. He agreed that Klonopin would be helpful and gave me a new prescription. Then he proposed something I thought would never happen: doubling my Celexa. This is my antidepressant, and doctors have been extremely resistant to raising my baby dose to a therapeutic one for fear of inducing mania. Dr. G doesn’t seem to think it will be a problem, in fact he told me it may be better for my anxiety in the long term than anything else. What he was mostly concerned about was how my state of mind was affecting my bipolar, which it really isn’t…I’m not depressed, and I’m certainly not manic. I’m just anxious!

I hope he’s right about the Celexa. I’m not worried about mania—going from 10 mg to 20 mg (the standard dose) isn’t likely to send me to the moon. In the meantime, I’m taking Klonopin every night until the Celexa kicks in, and I’ve noticed a considerable decrease in my feelings of impending doom. The stress is still there, and I’m not completely out of the woods yet, but I can see daylight from here. It’s nice to have my heart beat at a normal rate instead of pounding so hard it feels like it’s about to jump out of my chest. It’s good that the shortness of breath I’ve been having is gone. And I love it when I can go right to sleep at night without all the worries in my head converging on me at once. The Klonopin also has a nice half-life of some 15 hours, so when I take it at night I’m not waking up in a lather in the morning, and it lasts well into the day at which time my other coping mechanisms have taken over.

It’s also helped having my daughter Mindy visit us for the past three weeks. She’s on her way to a new job and a new life in Minnesota, and I swear we talked more in those three weeks than we have in the past 15 years. She is an amazing woman, and she reminds me so much of her Dad that it’s almost heartbreaking. Like him, she has a way of turning even negative experiences into positive ones, and she’s a pro at figuring stuff out when there’s no one else around to fix things. Her main problem is being unlucky in love, but ever the optimist, she’s still willing to try.

The other good thing that’s happened is that our puppy is recovering from his parvovirus infection. He’s still a little weak, but for a dog who was at death’s door just a few days ago, he looks fantastic. It’s like with people, you never know what you’ve got until you almost lose it. He belongs to Shelley, but he’s wiggled his way into all our hearts and we were sick with fear that we’d lose him. Now he’s eating and drinking and eliminating and being his cute little affectionate self, and life is good again.

So that’s all the news that’s fit to print, as the saying goes. And yes, I’m finally at peace with the idea that I MUST take this many medications to remain stable. This summer, I haven’t had the slightest bump up in my mood, and I haven’t been tempted to mess with my meds. I don’t even want to be hypo/manic anymore–there’s just too many ways it can go haywire, and who needs that drama? Not me!

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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