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JanCarol

Lithium Orotate:  has toxic effects.  WTF?  I can get it as a supplement from iHerb.

http://altmedicine.about.com/od/herbsupplementguide/a/Lithium-Orotate.htm

 

(I haven't read your comments Yet MeiMei, I'm just making notes)

 

I need to write I need to write I need to write in here..... (still haven't addressed the emotions that are kicking me about)

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JanCarol

Hi MeiMei - OMG I do not understand most of what you talked about, other than that your anxiety condition went into mania when you came off Cymbalta, and that's how you came to lithium.  

 

I don't understand "methyl folate" or methylation - I just take folic acid for my heart.  I did get some niacin, but that's for my cholesterol, to increase "good" cholesterol now that I'm off the statins.

 

 * * * * *

 

OH GEEZ.  Alright. I scanned the article and found it:  Wayyyyy over my head, I'm not smart enough to jump in on that one, and I could spend 2 days just looking at that topic and related comments.  That's a deep sea for me to swim in - and you found that the methyl folate was hard to take!  So are you "one of those people"? or not?

 

The main thing I did get out of it  - is that low thyroid hampers absorption of B vitamins.  Well WTF!  I HAVE NO THYROID!  (yes, I yelled that) and I"m SO FRUSTRATED that there is NO information on how to nutritionize NO THYROID.  Do I take iodine?  But iodine is a nutrient for the gland that I don't have!  Will it hamper my absorption of synthroid?  How do I deal?  Does this mean I need to make sure I get a B-complex?  Or only the B-12 and Folic Acid I've been taking (and soon to be niacin)?  Does the folic acid do anything at all if I don't have a thyroid?  Nothing I read or find gives me information on how to proceed if I have NO thyroid gland.

 

Maybe I lost it because of the lithium?  But I don't think so.  I've had a goiter since my early 20's, and it just got bigger until it was hampering my breathing and blood flow so they took it out.  It wasn't diseased or anything, just enlarged.  So I guess the lithium can't give me thyroid troubles.  BUT can it interfere with Synthroid?  Morass, swamp, wasteland of ignorance.

 

I did like your topic on Coconut Oil and the Peanut Butter test for Alzheimers (which I'm going to give to hubby shortly).  I love coconut oil, it feels so wholesome!  The thing is, THERE ARE NO TESTS for the neuroprotective nature of coconut oil IN DEPRESSION, ANXIETY, OR BIPOLAR DISORDER.  Just "in general" and regarding Alzheimers.  

 

And ketogenic?  Well, I doubt that it is neuroprotective and here is why:  it was used first to be neuroprotective in deep sea divers.  They would have an on again off again schedule.  They would likely only eat ketogenic in preparation for the dive.  Like maybe the week or 2 weeks before.  KETOGENIC is DAMAGING if continued more than 6 months.  In Bipolar and Austism spectrum disorders, ketogenic is used for 3-6 months initially, until stabilisation is achieved, then discontinued.  It is then done on a "maintenance level" of one month per year, or in difficult cased, one month out of 6.  IT IS MY UNDERSTANDING (sorry, it's just emphasis, not yelling) that ketosis is a state of DISEASE and DECAY and is VERY hard on your body.  Sure, you can do it and get results, and if your condition is life threatening (is autism life threatening?  really?  Maybe a deep sea dive is)

 

I don't have the discipline to do it.  I don't have the discipline to enforce it on hubby (for his cancer).  And I have high cholesterol that I have had for over 30 years.  It hasn't killed me yet, but ketosis might make it so.

 

Sorry for the contentious nature of this post, but I am all over the place right now, and this is the ONE PLACE I can just let it all hang out.  I can't show my friends much, my hubby anything (last night I tried to tell him a bit about my wobblyness and he just said, "whatever."), and my karate is in transition, I can confess to individuals that I'm not myself, but on the whole need to show as strong and capable.

 

I'm frustrated, and I've asked for a reiki session and am finding out about accupuncturists.  I'm definitely gonna hold on this level of Reboxetine, I don't think I have a choice.

 

I need to write, I need to write, I need to write in here......

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JanCarol

Okay, duplicating what I wrote in the Methyl-fragilisticexpialodocious thread:

 

OMG:  Insight.  I've been wobbly for about a week and a half.  Crying in karate class, getting super sentimental over stupid stuff.  Feeling that old Black Dog pulling on my sleeve.  And what has changed in the past month besides a normal taper?  

 

I've been put on gluten free diet to see if it is the cause of my intestinal distress.  I do take a multivitamin, along with B12 and folic acid.  But B vitamins are easy to get out of complex carbs - and gluten free is worse than white bread.  No nutrition, no fibre.  And likely:  no B vitamins.....

 

This may be slightly off topic, but the insight was caused by reading your methylation experiences.  And while I still don't understand the methlyation thing, and can only find out if I'm "one of those people" by maybe getting a test done next time I'm travelling in the States (geez, bummer), or by trial and error.  I do get that this change in diet could've really mucked up my mood.

 

Also:  my terminal question:  What about people with NO THYROID.  Mine was removed.  I'm on Synthroid.  I can never find out how to supplement for that.  If I up my Synthroid, will that enhance my B vitamin absorption?  Very confusing.  What is the effect of iodine, if I have no thyroid?  (kind of a side question, but okay).

 

***

Wobbly:  what is wobbly?  Hubby asked me this last night and I replied with FINE (Farked up, Insecure, Neurotic and Emotional).  It's an inside joke amongst my "experienced" friends.  I thought he knew the joke, but his mind is very literal, and all he could ask was:  FINE doesn't begin with W, what does it have to do with Wobbly?  And then:  "whatever."

 

So I made an attempt to express it to him, and failed.  It's going to be difficult to do , because while he has emotions, he doesn't THINK with them.  He can only think with brain, and DO.  What to DO?

 

So to say:  I shouldn't have been so weepy about that scene in the Hunger Games.  But I was.  And it's weird to say when is appropriate crying and when is not.  I got weepy again over "The Wind Shakes the Barley" and sure, it's sad, but I'm used to being steel coated.  This is not to say I never cry in movies, I do.  But not just when someone walks into a room, in the movie, and looks around.

 

And that Black Dog, tugging at my cuff.  Reminding me how horrible this world is, how worse it's going to get, and The Nanny State of Australia denies me even the hope of a firearm to defend my property in a time of potential chaos.  Or am I a saint, and when the refugees come heading for higher ground, will I invite them in for tea?  And when the water laps at my door, will I just stop taking my thyroid and give in?  Or will I fight along with the rest of the hoardes for the right to live?  I can only live for a few months after the end of synthroid anyway.... but see how that black dog works?  Do I really care about things that may or may not happen in my lifetime?  (Or I may be 80 when it happens, and the question may be moot)  And that's just the "Global Warming Sea level" predictions.  Not to consider super typhoons and earthquakes (and their increased inevitability due to fracking, which starts in Australia this year)  These are all matters well beyond my control.

 

So let me bring the black dog closer to home:  How do I feel about taking care of a man who is becoming so narrow that it's disgusting to me.  We can't watch comedy movies, or go see comedy shows fer gawrsh-sakes, they're too hard to hear and he doesn't find them entertaining.  We can't go into any religious things, he won't step foot inside a church.  The movies we watch cannot be religious, fantasy, animation,  or challenging science fiction because he'll either get angry if he cannot connect the dots, or he'll just go to sleep.  Oh, and musicals are right out, even though that's not a main thing for me, I do enjoy one now and then.  So I have nobody to share my core interests with.  Drama is fine, I can watch drama, and appreciate the writing, performance, and acting (and scene and camera work, etc).  But that's not my ONLY interest.  When we go to live theatre, he can laugh at a comedy - well - I take that back.  I've never really heard him laughing.  But he does seem to appreciate it, and comments on acting and timing etc.

 

I guess what I'm saying here, is he shuts his mind and decides he doesn't like something.  And then, naturally, he doesn't like it.  And there's very little that he actually likes.  He asks me to help choosing books for him.  It's exasperating.  Right now, we've got 2 authors for him.  Gene Hackman (yes, the actor), and John Grisham.  If he cannot picture it in reality, he's not interested.

 

Let me add that this is not the man I married.  When I married him, he read the Celestine Prophecy, and enjoyed looking for synchronicities in his life.  He read Stranger in a Strange Land, and while he mostly enjoyed the sex in the book, was able to "grok" concepts of humanism and personal growth from it.  We enjoyed going through DVD's of The X-Files, and Medium, and Star Trek.  

Then he had the stroke.  And I got a glimpse of what my next 20 years are going to be like.  As his focus and attitude narrow to compensate for his perceived disability, I will be a caregiver.  Nobody can ever predict such a thing.  Especially not this one - he was athletic, riding his bike 30-50 k full bore every weekend.  His GP and specialists were floored by his stroke.  He shouldn't have had it.  But he did.  (likely cause:  sleep apnea.  OUCH)  And now he's got this prostate thing, and I can feel it ramping up.  We will get a new assessment via ultrasound in a month or so.  He has ignored virtually all my recommendations for his cancer diet, and has made NO EFFORT to find out for himself what he can do.  So he will surrender to the doctors and I will watch him die, as did his father, as did his uncle.

 

On the plus side (begone you black dog!) he is a gentle, caring man who wants to engage (though on a narrow spectrum), and I am in Australia, not the USA.  In the USA I would be plagued by insurance problems, even under Obamacare, I would have no retirement money to live on (my Social Security would start providing $300 / month at age 60), I would be at the whims of charity.  Here, not only do I have access to full medical care - and the best medical care in the country (we also have private cover for life), but the quality of life for all the widows I know - is good.  If they can walk, they can still shop and get what they need, and get free bus fares.  If they can't walk, they can get taxi vouchers or free bus fares.  There are clubs they go to where they can play bingo and chat and share photos of their families and feel cared for, even when they live alone.  I will have access to the U3A (University of the 3rd Age) which will give me access to French or chinese lessons, Mah Jongg groups, Tai Chi lessons.  And I can continue in my karate as long as I can drive - or - use my taxi vouchers for that.  When my house falls apart, there are home carers who can come and help me with cleaning and maintenance, or trips to the shops.  All of these things I would not have access to in the USA.

 

Fact is, I worry that when my Mom loses her ability to drive, she will be trapped in her apartment in Indiana.  My brother will come to help her when he can, but her independence and freedom strongly affect her quality of life.  To lose them could be the killing blow.

 

So - when I go to tell hubby:  I've been wobbly lately.  And he says "Whatever."  It's not cruel or unkind.  It's just that in his limited focus, he doesn't know what to say.

 

I've rambled a bit, I've touched on the feelings a bit, but there is still more to come I'm sure.

 

I need to write, I need to write in here.....

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JanCarol

Another brain bender:  Niacin as an anxiolytic or calming substance!

 

I've always in my fitness and other realms - maybe because of the "flush" of niacin - thought of niacin as a supercharger, a detoxifier, almost like a stimulant!

 

And now in the methyl-whatzit thread it is for anti anxiety, for calming, to take before bedtime!

 

My brain is bent, I will have to meditate on this, and incorporate this new knowledge in my plans for the niacin that just arrived at my house - and hasn't been put into use yet.

 

I need to write, I need to write in here.....

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JanCarol

(from a letter to a friend)

My biggest one is what I call the "existential crisis" also described as "what is my porpoise?" 

When the Yogi turned me on to Advaita Vedanta, which skillfully strips one of beliefs and lightens your load to what you know, and the difference between what you know and what you believe is the learning curve - all of those people experiencing this were delighted, enlightened, enlivened, overjoyed, filled with bliss to be stripped of belief.

For me it left only a God sized hole in my chest that nothing can fill.  That's kind of the source of my hedonism, though it's different now from before the Yogi.  This emptiness, this lack of belief fills me with despair.  It does not comfort me, and I do not understand the freedom that the Advaita Vedanta people profess.

And so, on SA and in other venues, when someone says, "I believe in Magnesium" or "I believe in a loving Goddess" or "I believe in science," I just blink my eyes and try not to cry.  Because not only do I not know *what* to believe, I sincerely believe I no longer have the capacity to believe.  Anything.

And the existential crisis, the lack of porpoise says:  then I am a waste of breath, of water, of food.  Give my share to someone else.  If I were ever to consider suicide, this is the avenue it would take.

And for 20-30 years I've sought something to counter this awareness.  And the Yogi only made it worse.

I do believe in Magnesium as 'being good for you' and Yoga and meditation - but that's all physical.  I'm talking about inner stuff here.  Things of belief.  Tinkerbell is dead.

 

I need to write in here.....

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JanCarol

....and feelings.  

 

I feel on the verge of tears most of the time, it only takes a nudge to throw me over but I don't have much space to give over and it always seems so wasteful, crying.

 

The feeling of:  why do people seem to like me when I think I'm so abominable?

 

The feeling of being a waste of space, of air, of water, of food, of petrol, of everything.  My cat is more deserving of care than I am.

 

The frustration when I try to communicate with my husband.  Lawd! If it's not concrete or literal, forget it.  Well since when are feelings concrete and literal?  As if they are not hard enough to talk about, I don't have the language of poetry, allegory, simile and metaphor because they are not literal, exact, concrete.  I get so frustrated trying to explain why this story is like THAT story because they REPRESENT an archetypal journey of.....(insert storylines here).  I get so frustrated when a movie tries to do something a little arty or imagination based, and he's like "please explain?" and it's like hammering my head onto concrete to try and get this watery idea through.  See?  I'm talking in poetry about my feelings and YOU get it.  But he never will. It's like living with an autistic man.  Nothing against people with autism, but I don't think I would normally choose that for a mate.  And this is the man I've chosen to spend the rest of my life with and I'm frustrated and depressed.

 

There, I said it.  Depressed.  I'm sure it shows.  I'm sure I snap at him when something is so OBVIOUS to me, but it's completely obscured to his mind.  And there's not much I can do about it.  He's 60 years old, and not even interested in taking a class in "allegory and imagination"

 

So - while I don't profess to believe in this or that, the language I use to describe feeling and sometimes something spiritual - is all "make believe" to him.  I feel like a child painting on pondwater, for all the value it holds for him.  And I don't have the language to begin to address this.

 

Certainly, some of this is withdrawal from Reboxetine.  Certainly I will hold at 50% or 2 mg.  Certainly my psychiatrist is gonna want to prescribe something, put the Reboxetine back up - but SURELY by SA and Harm Reduction Guide by Will Hall I'm not far enough into depression to warrant it.

 

And now I'm questioning being put on a gluten free diet.  I can ignore what I've been told and just start eating wheat again - or I can negotiate with the nutritionist in 2 weeks.  Disadvantages to gluten free:  Lack of B vitamins, nutrition and fibre.  Gluten Free = High GI, which could turn my metabolic disorder into diabetes.  The B vitamins can affect my mood.  The fibre is vital for my prolapsed bowel.  The diabetes is the thing I fear the most.  So it seems all bad to me.

 

I've read so many excellent articles about how important it is to keep bipolars OFF of antidepressants, and if a bipolar is on an antidepressant, the course should be 6 months to no more than a year.  Well I'm in that window.  But how do I explain to pdoc why I need to continue coming off Reboxetine?  

 

Do I show the articles of Reboxetine and harm?  Or Reboxetine and worthlessness?  Or do I take the angles of the docs at psycheducation.org and Dr. Hussein E Manji and print those articles out for her - Docs who think like she does and are not "antipsychiatry" like us internet "find what you want on the internet and do that" freaks?

 

I need a plan, and if there's a lot of printing involved, I need to plan that, too.  I've got just over a week before I see her again.  I don't expect any improvement before then.

 

What's really sad is, I've got it good.  I no longer have any psychopaths (like the Yogi) in my life, I don't have breast cancer, I'm not faced with crippling disorders awaiting surgery (well, a bit of one but okay), I'm not recovering from surgery, I don't have children to worry about, or custody or support battles, Nobody has starved or beaten my puppy (or kitty).  I don't have a husband who ignores his stepson, my son.  I don't have any debt, I don't even worry about the bills - that is a stress that hubby takes care of.  I don't have a crazed landlord who makes my life hell with her yelling and manipulative control freak games.  I don't lose it and spend thousands of dollars and lie and cheat to cover up my disorder or self harm and end up in hospital.  I've never even been hospitalized!  These are all problems of my friends - compared to the rest of the world, I've got it good.  

 

I have a low stress lifestyle, with just enough stress to keep me going (you need stress in order to survive and thrive).  I'm in a supportive environment, even if support is not the same as understanding, the compassion is there.  But when I accomplish a thing, the feeling is not, "Ah!  I did that thing," it's "Thank god that's over with!"

 

So why don't I appreciate the good, and just do what I can, and put one foot in front of the next and do something good?  Something to MAKE my worth in this world, something to make it so that I deserve the resources I use up.

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Karma

Hi JanCarol

 

I hope that journaling in your thread is helping you.  I suspect that you aren't looking for anyone to provide guidance, but rather just looking for a safe place to share your thoughts.  You write very well :) .  I hope you won't mind, but I'm going to make a few comments.

 

As for your pdoc, I think you need to stand your ground.  If you need to print out information to take to support your case then go ahead and prepare it.  I've found that some doctors are open to the information I print out and others have no time for it, so my suggestion would be to have a back up plan or plan B.

 

Is it an option to abandon your pdoc?  In the US any doctor can prescribe antidepressants and benzos.  That might be an option for you to continue your slow taper without battling your pdoc. 

 

As for your gluten free diet ... I've been on a gluten free diet since 2005 and it has made a huge difference in how I feel.  Gluten did cause behavioral issues for me and I didn't realize it until I was off of gluten for awhile.  If you have truly been gluten free for 2 weeks you may find that adding wheat back in your diet causes new symptoms that you've never experienced before.  It takes a little effort to find suitable replacements for foods that contain gluten.  As an example, I eat quinoa for breakfast.  It is full of protein and has good fiber.  My suggestion is for you to stick with it until you see your nutritionist again.

 

I think that a lot of  what you are feeling and experiencing is from withdrawals and trying to adjust to life with less medication in your system.  That you can see how fortunate you are is a positive in the situation.  But the fact that you can't be joyful in your good fortune is a symptom of withdrawal.

 

Hang in there.

 

Karma

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Altostrata

I don't understand your gluten-free diet. Usually, this pertains to wheat gluten. There are many grains, such as oats and quinoa, that don't contain gluten, plus nuts and seeds for the B vitamin content. Lentils are good sources of B vitamins. They all contain fiber. Psyllium is fairly nutrition-neutral, it's nothing but fiber.

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JanCarol

Thank you, yes, I've been dumping, writing in here; haven't written like this for years - used to keep a manual journal, then tried to move over to computer but could never seem to "get it up" and it didn't allow me the option of drawings and clippings and mementos, etc.

 

Comments, advice, are always welcome.  I'll start with Alto.  This FODMAPS thing has me off all beans and lentils.  Yes I eat nuts.  Yes Quinoa exists, but finding something here in Oz with more than a fart of quinoa in it is extremely difficult.  Oats are great, I eat them daily.  But when I look at the nutritional labels of the "gluten free" vs. the "gluten," the gluten comes up high calorie, high GI (burns quickly in GI tract with no protein to slow it down), and low nutrients.  Yes, I can buy raw quinoa, but that's overwhelming to thing I have to get out the mortar and pestle, grind my own grain and bake my own bread.  I'm sure it's do-able but I don't have that kind of energy anymore.

 

I realize, Karma, that gluten and wheat are allergens, and can increase inflammation.  The thing about FODMAPS is (and I'm not doing the whole thing just the glucans/fructans column) it eliminates what I consider to be essential nutrients.  Like:  I have high cholesterol, eating garlic and onion are excellent for that.  Well, not on FODMAPS.  Additionally, while I don't eat a ton of junk, my diet is not the best, either - I don't spend hours on food prep, nor do I want to.  I have a few raw smoothies a week, and make do.  Eliminating nutrients of any ilk - is still eliminating nutrients (even if they are inflammatory ones!).

 

So maybe, Alto, it's not the B vitamins I'm missing.  Just plain old classic withdrawal.  Though being thyroid-less might make me more sensitive to a drop in B vitamins.  There are NO STUDIES or even cases that I know of to help me with having Synthroid instead of natural thyroid hormones, and what that does to my world.

 

Who knows, maybe my thyroid was the seat of my juicy creativity and losing it, I've lose all desire to create, to make, to build.  And it's not the lithium at all.  I just keep hearing my doctor-friend's voice in my ear:  "but it is toxic!"

 

Thanks Alto for the input.  Back in a bit.

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Meimeiquest

Well, I read it all...you go girl! There are so many complicated things in your life. My dad had a traumatic brain injury 16 years ago. I really don't know how spouses do it.

 

Nutrition these days requires at least a master's degree in cellular biology, it seems. We have so lost the naturalness of eating. As far as this whole methylation thing, if someone has a MTHFR problem, if I understand this part, folic acid supplementation and enriched flours are the worst things because the folic acid can't be fully metabolized and it causes problems. One needs to eat folate instead, which is in leafy greens and some other things. Apart from gluten and casein, I'm getting a bit suspicious of people who disallow a lot of "real food." But that's just me. I think there's a huge need for professionals who teach people to listen to themselves in all areas of life, and then that person can sort out what they need. I have been eating liver, which is the most awful thing. But afterwards I feel full in a very different way...there must be something in it that I really need.

 

I know so little about thyroid problems (Karma knows a lot). But I think the big debate is between Synthroid and Armour Thyroid. I believe the Armour provides the whole spectrum of thyroid components...it may be dessicated thyroid from horses, not sure. Anyway, I heard that they had a manufacturing problem at one time, so it didn't work well. That's been fixed, but many doctors don't trust it. But again, I am not sure of any of that.

 

I am way overdue to just stop writing about things I totally know nothing about! Have a great day!

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JanCarol

Hi Karma!

 

MeiMeiQuest says you know about thyroid stuff?  Do you know anything about missing thyroid?  Is iodine bad for me?  (I live by the sea, I eat from the sea.....)

 

I know people who do gluten free.  One friend is coeliac and will go to hospital if she has any gluten at all.  I get this.  I also know it's become "fashionable," and I wonder how much of this FODMAPS stuff is because someone invented the acronym and lists of foods and now doctors just can't wait to try you on them.  That said, I have real problems - some structural, and something else - that I need to find out what it is.

 

I'm with MeiMei, and the best way I look after my nutrition is to eat as many different kinds of food as possible.  To eliminate as few as possible.  When I've survived the FODMAPS, I hope I can find that I can eat everything EXCEPT (????I'm thinking it might be onions).

 

Karma says:  <<<But the fact that you can't be joyful in your good fortune is a symptom of withdrawal.>>>

 

Hmmmm.  No, I don't think it is only withdrawal.  I think that melancholy is my native state.  But if I am not a danger to myself or others - what is the harm in being melancholic?  It's got to beat the heck out of SSRI's.  

 

And I seem to recall that I'm funny, even when I'm melancholic.  (this is from memory here, it's been so long . . . ) "the master of the mixed state."  Able to laugh and cry at the same time, to be gloomy and lift a glass, "for tomorrow we may die."

 

It's crazy.  Manic.  That I fear.  I'll post Dream #2 soon, to see if it conveys the feeling.

 

Thyroid?  OMFG.  Armour.  Yes.  It's my understanding that was invented in New Zealand?  It's from piggies, not horses.  But when I read the forums and questions and stuff, OMFG.  That's as complicated as methylation stuff.  Maybe more so.  There are also special compound thyroids you can get from a compounding chemist.  And other ones too.  So many on the forums are just hypothyroid - though there were a few who had no thyroid function, or no thyroid.  That sounds like a job for an endocrinologist.  Maybe that's a thing to take to my pdoc.  I have no idea what T3, T4, Tsh - do I even have TSH with no thyroid?  Very very confusing.  How many degrees do I need to go off my meds?

 

Oh, and Karma, thanks for asking:  I quite like my pdoc.  She is my best hope for support and suggestions on the meds front.  If I have to fire her, I have a backup plan, but I don't know that they will be any better or any more cooperative for getting me off my meds.  I haven't found any Queensland docs listed as advocates for this decision, or for freedom to choose.  I could do much worse than the pdoc I have.  She wants to social regulate my schedule, wants me to get more natural light in the daytime - these are good, non-drug prescriptions which would be valuable to me if I could just kick my ass and DO them!

 

MeiMei:  do you have any family history of mental illness?  I have a family history of depression in my generation, weirdness and eccentricities in the generation before me, and paranoia PTSD in the generation before that.  The PTSD was from finding her own mother (my great grandmother) hanging in the shower, which could be documented mental illness.  Or it could just be that life was tough, hubby drank and beat her.  Who knows?  Back then, the standards were different.  She raised 4 children, and they were weird and eccentric, but none of these people were ever medicated.  I have to look at this when I make my lithium decision, because family history is a strong indicator for the necessity of lithium.

 

And what did you think of all the neuroprotective stuff about lithium?

 

Sleepy, it's 1:30 am, that's early and a good sign for me.

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JanCarol

LOL back!  I'm reading in the CBT thread, and I don't think CBT is for me, because I've meditated.  Not that I'm a high powered meditator or anything, but I do recognize that thoughts - harmful ones, silly ones, useful ones, beneficial ones, wasteful ones - are not mine.  I don't make thoughts.  I am the screen upon which thoughts are projected.  So the CBT thing of "changing" the thoughts just doesn't work for me.  I'm not overly attached to them to begin with.

 

Then I saw ACT - Acceptance and Commitment Therapy - makes more sense.  It's more mindful, more detached.  I don't have to break my brain trying to change something I really have little or no control over, that I don't even really own.  It's not my thoughts I worry about, it's what I *do* with them.

 

Then Nadia wrote:  

 

 

For example, I have over the years had problems with sex because of some bad experiences in my teens. The problem destroyed many of my relationships, because I'd stop wanting to have sex, and the other person wanting to have sex with me seemed like an assault. It didn't matter what I thought consciously, or if I told myself over and over that the other person did not want to harm me and that it was a loving thing. If anything, this just made me feel more rejection. It also didn't help to talk about the problem or try to work it through. Finally how I was able to get over the problem (not that it is not still there, but things have improved enormously) was to just accept the negative feelings, not judge them or engage them, and let them pass on their own, however long that took. Not giving them any mental space at all except to notice them and give them time to hang out, eventually they showed up less and less... and now are practically gone.

 

And OMG I haven't even talked about sex in here.  But I can't do this.  If I let it happen, let him "assault" me I will lump him in with the other assailants, I will look at the face of the man I've chosen, and hate him because he wants to have sex with me.  Tough question.  This is a deeper issue I haven't even scratched the surface of yet.

 

(wow, I learned to "quote" for the first time, I might try that again sometime!   :)

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Meimeiquest

You have a complicated life. I do know this...my mother suffered severe sexual abuse from her father, and I think my parents had a good sex life. But, in all honesty, my mom is amazing. Human, but amazing.

 

My paternal family line is ful of mental illness. My grandmom's brother committed suidide. I have been told the night before her wedding, my grandmother wouldn't stop scrubbing the wood floor, filling her fingers with splinters. She had massive come-aparts after the births of her second and third babies that involved psychosis and depression and probably some violence. The episode after my dad lasted at least eight years..they did everything to her that could be done in a mental hospital. Legend has it that my.grandfather was told to put her in the state hospital and forget he was ever married, which he almost did. But they brought her home, and their "intervention" was to put her on a horse to ride the prairie. And she got well, although my mom says "you couldn't put your finger on it, but there was just something different about her." She died of cancer, along with4 other siblings.

 

Of her three children, two were fine, my dad probably had bipolar II. He was depressed a lot, but functional. Hospitalized once with depression in his 50's. He is very bipolar since his head injury, but his left frontal lobe was most affected. I have a sweet cousin who told me about being suicidal in college. He has had a major something in the past decade. Estranged from whole clan till recently, so I'm afraid to ask him questions. Got fired after years as a great teacher. Called his parents repeatedly in the night yelling at them over how they raised him. His college-aged daughter just had a bipolar break. His niece was diagnosed with depression in college, killed soon after in car crash (she wasn't driving). I have a niece dx'd with GAD, but may have borderline personality disorder dx soon. Sister has taken an AD for maybe 17 years. But other than that, not much family history :).

 

OK, Lithium. I read one place where it said maybe the cells weren't dead, just inactivated, that it seemed to revive. Exercise and omega 3's are also neuro protective. I want to see the 30-year studies, but that is just not going to happen...we are the 30-yesr studies.

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Karma

Hi JC

I know a bit about the thyroid, but I am not a medical expert - just a patient who had to learn for my own wellness.

Iodine is a mineral that the body needs to make thyroid hormones and if you don't have a thyroid that may seem like a moot point.  But from what I've read iodine has other physiological functions in the body. Getting iodine from seafood is probably a very good way to get your body what it needs.  The caution I have seen is around supplementing iodine for thyroid patients who have Hashimoto's thyroiditis.  If you are getting iodine from your diet I would think that is a healthier way to get this mineral.

A healthy thyroid provides T4, T3, T2, T1 and calcitonin.  T4 is the storage form of the thyroid hormone and it must be converted in the body to T3, which is the active form of thyroid.  It appears that not everyone can efficiently convert T4 to T3 and that is why it seems that a body of patients do better with natural dessicated thyroid.  These patients are deficient in an enzyme needed for this conversion.

T3 is created by removing one iodine molecule from T4.  The numbers "3" and "4" refer to the number of iodine molecules.  In what I've read the function of T2 and T1 in the body is not well-understood.  Calcitonin is involved in helping to regulate levels of calcium and phosphate in the blood.

Without a thyroid gland you will still have a TSH.  TSH is "thyroid stimulating hormone" and it is actually a pituitary hormone.  TSH basically knocks on the thyroid's door and says, "hey, we need more thyroid hormone in the body."  TSH is an indirect measure of thyroid function, but unfortunately is the standard by which thyroid issues are diagnosed in many countries.  For someone without a thyroid gland, sufficient thyroid hormone will be prescribed to keep the TSH at a specific level.

 

Hope something here is helpful to you.

 

Karma

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JanCarol

Bless you Karma!  You took what I tried to discover on my own, and would've taken days to unravel, and gave a nice, clean explanation for it.  I will pursue for more information, perhaps get an endocrinologist because what I do know is this:  What most docs and pdocs consider to be "normal" can be low-borderline, which, in many cases - especially if there is depression - isn't enough.  So thank you, now I have a clearer head when I do actually follow through on this!

 

And MeiMei, complicated?  Moi?  It sounds like you and I come from different branches of the same family.  I like the horse riding cure.  That's something special!  It does make the lithium seem more imperative.  (though nobody in my family was threatened to be locked up, and great-grandma functioned:  until she didn't anymore.  and I suspect only the family knew about grandma, really, only the daughters, she was hardest on them.)

 

I'm off to training, it was too hot to walk in the sun today, so hopefully I can make up for it with a workout.

 

Thank you for listening!

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JanCarol

Oh yes, PS, I took some CBT questionnaires, playing the CBT "game" at:

http://www.rcpsych.ac.uk/mentalhealthinformation/therapies/cognitivebehaviouraltherapy.aspx

 

It informed me that I had severe depression, and symptoms of intense anxiety (wha?  I wasn't too aware of that, but okay)

 

But when it asked me about my thoughts, it said, I think like a normal, happy, well adjusted individual.  (for the most part.)

 

So maybe CBT has nothing for me.  I will finish the game before I totally abandon it.

 

Cheers!

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JanCarol

Crazy Dream #2.  I'm dreaming about my podiatrist.  I've got him on my mind right now because I'm angry with him.  The orthotics he built for me are useless, and are falling apart, and will not fit ANY shoe other than a hiking boot.  He is a young, attractive man, pleasant to be around, chatty.  When my friends have seen him at the coffee shop, and he speaks to me, they raise their eyebrows and say something like, "I'd like to give him a go!"  I never thought of him like that before then.  Just as a "nice man, gentle with my feet."

 

So in the dream, I've sent him like 100 greeting cards.  In the dream, the cards aren't really inappropriate because it's Christmas and everyone sends lots of cards.  The crazymaking part is once I've sent the cards, I have to drive all over town and fish them out of mailboxes and find them all because I have to scrawl love poetry on them.  I rationalize that this is not inappropriate because I'm not sending him anything else.  But in my mind I know I am obsessed with him and must overwhelm him with all of this bad poetry.  In the hopes of acquiring his love?  NO, I realize that is hopeless, I'm just trying to "express how I feel."

 

But (and this may be the point of the dream) it is NOT APPROPRIATE to express how I feel.  For my podiatrist.  By scrawling bad love poetry on the envelopes of Christmas cards.

 

When I woke up I was a little shaky, because it was like experiencing a manic episode WITHOUT the manic episode!  Maybe this is a healing thing?  Maybe if I can express all the inappropriate stuff there, I won't need to spray inappropriate rubbish all over the people in my life.

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JanCarol

So I'm going through "Non Drug Techniques for dealing with Emotional Symptoms, here on SA" http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1112-non-drug-techniques-to-cope-with-emotional-symptoms/ as an attempt to better my chances at surviving these moods, or the possibility of permanent depression (I know, y'all say withdrawal is temporary, but I remember why they gave me the d4mned SSRI's to begin with).  Coping techniques.  Communicating techniques.  Therapy techniques I can take to my pdoc or psychologist.  What do I want?  What to ask for?

 

And since CBT doesn't seem to have anything to offer me - funny that - I about fell out of my chair when I found out that I, while severely depressed and suffering intense anxiety, have normal, well adjusted thought patterns.  Especially since I think it's easy for me to go crazymaking thinking about global warming or Occupy's complaints, or Citizens United, or even quitting lithium.  But apparently I think about these things in a balanced manner, and they do not substantially contribute to my depression or anxiety.  Either that or because they are real, my depression is a natural, normal, healthy response?

 

I haven't finished playing the CBT game, I'll be sure to let you know how that ends.  That's at:  https://moodgym.anu.edu.au/welcome

 

So next I'm looking at ACT, mentioned above.  There are a number of tools, I'll look at them and write about them here.

 

This is a questionnaire for my practitioner, so I kind of have to put a Dr. KT hat on, and what would she say about me?

 

1.  What is the client doing that makes his life worse, or keeps her stuck, or worsens his problems, or inhibits her growth, 
or prevents healthy solutions, or worsens health, or damages relationships etc?
 
She is getting no sun, hampering her B3.  She stays up horribly late at night and cannot regulate her melotonin cycles.  Maybe Dr. KT would say that I would benefit from raw food, or vegan or vegetarian diet.  When she stays up late, she sleeps in late, and throws the cycle even later until it is very nearly the opposite of normal.  While her mood is somewhat stable, she is stagnant and not improving.
 
more to come..... 

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JanCarol

Oh yes, the category of these 2 questions is:  UNWORKABLE ACTION:

 

2.  What people, places, events, activities, situations and challenges is the client avoiding or escaping (e.g. withdrawing 

from, quitting, procrastinating, or staying away from)? 
 
She's not really avoidant, she will express that she doesn't like to go shopping or out into traffic, but if she has an appointment, or needs to accomplish something, she goes.  She does, however, avoid anything in the morning because she's still in bed from the night before.  Therefore, she avoids work, productivity, anything which gives her a sense of value and accomplishment as a human being, because nobody wants her to work just afternoons.
 
Also she spends a lot of time on the computer (this should be in #1) and avoids accomplishment of things around the house - such as cooking and cleaning - which would make life better for her stressed-out husband.
 
more to come......

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Altostrata

If that's from a therapist, he or she sounds hostile. I would fire him or her.

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mammaP

I think that is Jan guessing at what her therapist would say Alto ;) 

It's strange seeing that because that could be written about me!!

When did you speak to my therapist Jan ? ;) 

 

I'm sure no-one but you would think that way about you. :)

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JanCarol

Thanks MammaP, yes Alto, it's me guessing about what she would say.

 

She (pdoc) wants me to regulate myself so that she doesn't have to prescribe for me.  She would like the regulation to take place before the drugs go away.  The things she wants me to do:  sun, sleep, diet, exercise - are excellent substitutes for antidepressants.  Even my therapist (psych) wants me to regulate my sleep, in order to be more effective in my relationship.

 

I don't think it's my thoughts that make me depressed (as evidenced by my testing "pure" CBT on websites)  Alto, I actually agree with my therapist, but that doesn't mean I know how to fix it.  How to sleep and wake earlier - it's a pattern as old as I am.

 

When I first accepted the bipolar diagnosis, I had read about sleep deprivation as a "normalizer" and even a cure for bipolar patients.  But it *felt* to me, and it still *feels* to me that I am more stable when I do the zen thing of "sleep when tired, awake when rested, eat when hungry."  The problem with that is that it is almost opposite to "normal," opposite the rest of the world.  When I lived in the US, this was not a big deal.  I found work from 2p to 10p IN MY FIELD, and could shop, do errands, practically whenever.  Only a few of my needs had to happen between 9a and 5p.  

 

Australia is a different gig.  EVERYONE is up with the sun and running.  And when the sun goes down, EVERYBODY goes home.  When I first moved here, grocery store and shopping mall closed at 5 pm except on Thursday.  And was closed Sun.  Now the grocery stores are open to 6p or 8:30pm (depends on store) but the mall still closes at 5.  And people still go home at dark and stay home.  The only people out at night are usually crims, drunks, and bored teenagers.  Though more and more, they stay home too.

 

When I have walked at night I feel less safe than I did in US neighborhood on the edge of projects and reported drive-by shootings around the corner from me.  Because it's deserted.  People are inside, at home.  There is NO WORK TO BE HAD, much less in my field, at this time of night.

 

So I'm more worthless than ever with my skewed sleep cycle.  

 

What is it like in the UK, MammaP?  Is it "okay" to be a night owl there?  Is there room in the social structure for late night people?  (I'll be sure and let your therapist know how you're going!   ;) )  PS - looking at your meds - I see you are on Omeprazole....a PPI (Proton Pump Inhibitor).  It was the risks of staying on a PPI that were pointed out to me by a chemist (home visit med review) that started my whole process of dumping meds!  I was on my PPI for 8 years, just dumped it. (granted, I didn't have reflux or hiatal hernia, just acid)   I still get acid, but it's liveable, and improving as I improve other things.  BTW - I find that my acid INCREASES the LATER I stay up at night!  WTF?

 

And Alto - it does not surprise me that I am hostile to myself.  That's kind of a partial definition of my emotional state.  But - I cannot fire me!  :o  

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mammaP

It's pretty rural where I live, a small town where everything happens in the mornings. That 

rules out just about everything for me. 2 evenings a week the swimming pool is open until 9pm.

The small stores open till 10 but you only go there for  little things you tun out of.

35 miles away the stores are open till 10 and one is open 24 hours. That is where I would be

going shopping if I didn't take stupid meds. I can't drive after taking them, so I'm rubbish in the

mornings, then about 2pm on a good I can do something, Only there isn't much here. I am 

looking at moving away from here so I can have a life. It is lovely, I love the place, and my apartment

(except the noisy neighbours  :huh: ). There just isn't much to do here in the few hours I am up to doing

anything. It's very quiet here at night too, except for the crims teenagers and drunks, lol. I think the

internet has  taken everyone off the streets at night! 

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JanCarol

 

 

Hmmmm.  No, I don't think it is only withdrawal.  I think that melancholy is my native state.  But if I am not a danger to myself or others - what is the harm in being melancholic?  It's got to beat the heck out of SSRI's.  

I wrote that.  And as I look at lithium studies, and bipolar studies, I read that EVERY EPISODE, whether manic or depressive, is brain decaying.

 

THAT's the harm in being melancholic.  It's as brain rotting as being an alcoholic!  

 

I've had a computer crash, and lost my ACT site and my Mood Gym site, but I'll get back to them!

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mammaP

I am wondering who concluded that manic or depressive episodes causes brain decay? 

Pharmaceutical companies perhaps? A good reason to take their poisons! 

If that is the case there is no hope for me. My brain must be completely composted! ;)

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Meimeiquest

Just wanted to let you know psycheducation.org has a new page on low-dose lithium therapy. Hope you are sleeping well and all that...and that all your life conundrums are resolved :).

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JanCarol

MammaP, it's a study.  Of course, it's a study by the NiMh, but it is accompanied by imaging of the dendrites and neurons DISAPPEARING after episodes.  And Lithium protects, apparently, from that, and can even repopulate those barren neurons, somewhat.

 

Thanks MeiMei for the info on lowdose lithium.  Sometimes I rail at that psycheducation guy, but he's my best hope for communicating to my psychiatrist that I have reasons for wanting what I do - from a doctor who thinks like she does!  He actually reaffirmed my pdoc's inclination to get me out in the sun more (he loves that light and dark therapy), for example.

 

In other news, I saw my psychologist today.  She said (and this is rare and special, don't hear this often in association with me):  that I was euthymic.  Balanced. Normal.  Not high, not low.  Just like a regular person.  

 

Hmmmm.  !!!!!

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Altostrata

About biorhythms -- Some people, the "owls," are programmed to wake later and stay up later. Society keeps on trying to make them into "larks," but biorhythms are inborn, like left-handedness, and this often doesn't work.

 

However, having a regular owl-like schedule is good even for owls.

 

About dendrites and imaging -- Dendrites grow and shrink all the time. Adapting is their job. Overgrowth of dendrites is a bad thing -- see http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/5641-inactivity-may-make-sympathetic-nervous-system-hypersensitive/

But many of the neurons in the brains of the sedentary rats had sprouted far more new tentacle-like arms known as branches. Branches connect healthy neurons into the nervous system. But these neurons now had more branches than normal neurons would have, making them more sensitive to stimuli and apt to zap scattershot messages into the nervous system.

 

 

It's thought now that pruning dendrites is a normal function of sleep.

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JanCarol

Oh I wrestle with that one, Alto!  I saw a science report that talked about delayed cycle sleep (and other sleep disorders) and it pointed out that the delayed cycle sleep were at greater risk for heart disease, stroke, diabetes, weight gain.  Basically:  metabolic disorder.  There is a possibility that my "metabolic disorder" (that's sort of self described but with the symptoms of huge belly girth, pre-diabetic disorder diagnosed, and a heart beat that just doesn't give me enough when I ask for it.) could be entirely fixed by improving - moving forward - my delayed cycled sleep.  When I saw the report, I had the shock of recognition:  that's ME!  And as a result of that report (I can't remember whether it was Australian or British) all of my health care professionals jumped on it and try to adjust my sleep.  "It's to save my life," I'm sure.

 

But it feels like trying to get a leopard to change its spots.  Unnatural, even cruel, somewhat.

 

And I go to pdoc today, to lay on her some stuff about thyroid and light and dark therapy (from psycheducation.org) - but did I do the one piece of homework she was really excited about?  No.

 

That was a post in here describing WHAT HAPPENS when I overstay my wakefulness and delay my sleep yet again.  There are stages it goes through until I realize it's 4 am and I'm not gonna improve at all tonight.  Maybe if I touch on it with her today, she won't know I haven't actually done the exercise. (writing about it as it actually happens).

 

My conclusions on Lithium Orotate are negative.  And I cannot take anything to the pdoc that doesn't have a DOCTOR involved with it.  She snorted about the Will Hall stuff. 

 

I'm wondering:  did the guidelines for the slow taper EVOLVE in the community?  Or was there a doctor somewhere who suggested it?

 

I'm sure I'll post again tonight what we find today.  I also need to prepare her - maybe not just yet - for what I want to do if the manic beast raises its ugly head.  I have had one documented manic episode.  And when I compare it to: bipolarorwakingup.org and stories in here:  it's the real deal.  It's the one thing that makes me think (besides a weird family history, my responsiveness to lithium) that I really am "bipolar." 

 

But is it "safe" after menopause to let it go?  And would it help some of my other health problems (bowel difficulties, skin weirdness, breathing / heart rate weakness) ? ? ? ? ?

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JanCarol

Okay, had a GREAT education session with my pdoc!

 

Showed her some stuff she didn't know from the National Institute of Mental Health (I know, I know, the enemy - but I have to bring her to this "logically," if this, then this.  I'm thinking this because of that.) about dendrites and grey matter in the bipolar brain, and the neuroprotective and neurogenerative (wrong word, right idea - she KEPT the paper!) qualities of lithium and depakote.

 

She liked my balanced approach and when I showed her psycheducation.org's stuff on "9 antidepressants that aren't antidepressants" she laughed and said, "THESE are all the things we are trying to do!"  I laughed and said, "I knew you'd like it."  Now she is more receptive to psycheducation's Dr. Phelps ideas.

 

So we talked about light and dark therapies. I forgot to tell her about my blu-block sunglasses for the computer at night.  (sometimes I forget to use them, too).  I told her that Dr. Phelps found that midday sun was the best for regulating bipolar and sleep cycles.  And then I complained that it's been so hot!  She said yes, you should get out in the morning.  I'm like, right.  Like that's gonna happen.  I did tell her about the 5000 IU's of Vitamin D that she was not aware of, and that I moved it to my "early morning dose" that cannot be with other vitamins:  namely, my thyroid, my reboxetine, and now, the vitamin D.  She was pleased with that.  So I need to get serious about that sunlight prescription again.

 

Ideally, she said, looking at the 9 antidepressants that weren't medications, we need to keep working on the sun and get regular with it.  Okay.  Jan, try harder.

 

Ideally, she said, she'd like to get my sun and sleep, light and dark, better regulated before going off meds.  That it is more likely to work that way, and less likely to end in tears.  And tatters.  She said to me, "You know, I have helped people before come off their meds, some of them successfully."

 

So maybe if we get through this, and I get her educated on the ways of tapering, she might end up on your list, Alto.

 

She was pleased that I'm going to boot camp (my muscles were extra heavy today, but not without cause).

 

The we talked thyroid.  I showed her Dr. Phelps' page on basic thyroid and bipolar info (there is more, but I haven't worked it up for her yet).  I was gearing up to ask for the T3 release test, which is possible in the USA, but practically unheard of here in Australia.  We talked about thyroid as an antidepressant and mood stabilizer.  We talked a bit about high dosage thyroid but decided to leave that to my GP for now, as long as she is cooperative and doesn't blow me off.  If my GP (who runs a wellness center and speaks of alternative therapies, but so far has only offered conventional therapies and referrals to surgeons, but who also has a specialty in psychological wellness and has a psychiatrist on staff) pooh pooh's the T3 thing, or the high thyroid thing, my pdoc will take it over.  So I was gearing up to ask about T3, when I showed her my dull, limp, shedding, thinning hair, my curly fingernails, and my flaky skin.  She asked, "Have you ever had your T3 checked?"  I could've kissed her!  From what I'd read on the web, Australian docs are the worst for looking at thyroid alternatives, almost as if T3 doesn't exist in Australia.  (even though Armour Thyroid comes from New Zealand!)  The AU government does not pay for the blood test, but I'm tired of cleaning wads of hair from my chairs, clothing, and pillows.  I'm tired of looking worse than I feel.  And pdoc KT is gonna help!  She ordered the blood test, no fuss!

 

We then talked about lithium protectiveness, and the possibility of low dose lithium.  She looked at my numbers, and my levels have actually come up in the past year, even though my dose is unchanged.  I told her I would like to try to get to 1/2 or 1/3 dose, and see how that feels. 

 

She was very happy with my balanced approach, and is in my corner for this journey.  I see her again in a month.

 

And then I came home and went to karate, which completely ruined my triumphant mood.  Well, and Phillip Seymour Hoffman didn't help.  I loved that man.  He would've been the Uncle I'd love to have a dinner, or the brother that I could actually relate to.  So skilled, so smooth, so effortless he seemed.  And that's a great actor, we didn't even know he was a user.

 

I'll try and explain the karate thing if I can.  I don't know.  Hubby understands, and one of the girls gets it, but . . . .well, at least I have new things to practice.  I'll come back and try and explain.  

 

Tomorrow is breast squishy imaging day.  Whee!

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JanCarol

And oh yes.  She *kept* all my handouts!  She really liked that I was using real doctors and real studies, not just "something I heard on the internet"

 

I'm so relieved that she's on board with the thyroid thing.  Something is wrong there.  And it's good to know I've got a partner to look at it with me.

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cymbaltawithdrawal5600

That sounds like very positive news. Things are always better when you and the doc are on the same page and I hope it continues.

 

I forgot to thank you for your helpful post in my thread some weeks ago. I must have overlooked it until today. I always appreciate comments from others!

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Meimeiquest

Fabulosa! Do you think your husband could open drapes where you sleep in the morning to make your cocoon a little less comfy? Yes...I can see your eyes roll all the way to Tennessee :)

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JanCarol

THANK YOU CW!  I hope things are going better for you!  I don't have the oomph to read so much.  Heck, I have to kick myself just to write!  So thank you for listening and saying hello!

 

OK.   Karate.  I may as well do the whole story.  

 

I loved David Carradine's character & storied from Kung Fu.

 

So when, in University, I knew I had to get some PE credits, I saw there was a Tae Kwon Do class offered.  So I took it.  It was only 6 weeks, so it was very basic, but I really enjoyed it.

 

So when Master Kim came to town, I signed up at his school.  I was with him for 2-3 years, got to brown belt I (needed to do brown belt II and then it would be black belt).  There were some twisted funky things at Master Kim's but it was solid teaching, and gave me skill and confidence.  Then First Hubby and I went hiking and I took a tumble and twisted my knee.  Blew it.  (meniscus tear).  I kept trying to go back to class, thinking it was like a muscle injury, it would get better.  But it didn't.  And Master Kim was not the brightest lamp on the street - he told me to tape it and train anyway (he wanted my money).  But that wasn't right so I walked out on Master Kim.

 

All this time my parents are scratching their heads, even though one of my Dad's professors got his black belt in Tae Kwon Do at age 60.  At age 80, he became 9th Dan.  So nimble, light on his feet, he showed me a Tae Kwon Do that was effective but not brutal.

 

First Hubby and I moved to a new town.  The relationship started doing what it did.  Neglect, coldness, some from me, some from him.  I worked again for the first time in years - I had been unable to work in the previous town, blacklisted.  I couldn't believe that I could just step up and get a job again!  But with that came stress, and First Hubby was a restaurant manager - horrendous hours - and we both became stress puppies.  We got some antidepressants - Prozac then.  He stayed on it longer than me.  I lasted a month.  He was hyper anyway - would drink 20-30 cups of coffee in a day!  So we muddled along, every year or so another doc would prescribe another antidepressant for me, and they all freaked me out.  Some lasted a week, some lasted a day.  Occasionally, one would last 3-6 months.  I'm going through a list to see names I remember from 87-95:  Paxil, Zoloft, Imipramine, Effexor, Wellbutrin, Trazadone.  

 

Like MeiMei, my stress became physical, I started having severe back pain.  Couldn't sit, couldn't sleep, couldn't.  I wore a brace, I learned to use ice, and horse linament, and DMSO, to survive.  I got injections of anesthetic into my ligaments (between rigs and spine) to give my muscles a break from the pain.  That was before they started prescribing antidepressants for chronic pain - though - I seem to remember they thought the Trazadone would help.  Then I saw that my town had a world renowned Tai Chi school.  No, really.  World renowned.  The Grandmaster is now gone, but he was from New York.  The Master left us for Holland and love.  And there are still remnants around the town teaching those amazing things.  I'd heard Tai Chi was good for the back, as it taught stability, slow strengh, and was a gentle, low impact exercise (remember that knee?  I had arthoscopy, but I didn't want any high impact and boring aerobics).

 

So I joined up and did that for about 4-5 years, until the school broke up.  There was nothing to be done about that.  Tai Chi was an amazing study, and our school complimented it with Zen sitting, Chinese calligraphy, sword, push hands (tai chi fighting skills), and amazing seminars with guests from afar.  And my back got better, and I learned a lot about the body and body mechanics of movement - something the Tae Kwon Do didn't have.

 

But okay.  No school, no tai chi.  The tai chi in the park from the former teachers - was always in the awful early morning, and you know how that is for me!

 

When First Hubby and I divorced, I went back to Tae Kwon Do.  I found a school that let me keep my brown belt.  It was a Ma 'n' Pa shop, and they had a dynamic kids program.  They were just twisted enough to be interesting without being power mongers or out of line.  I lasted 6 months, because the Yogi didn't think that it was feminine for me to be doing that.  That it didn't enhance me as a woman.  Crying, I left the school.

 

I blew my knee again a few years later in a skiing tumble.  It has never been repaired.  I walk around with an ACL tear that requires reconstructive surgery, I jump, jog, kick, nobody in Australia believes that it's an ACL tear, but I had an MRI done.  It is.

 

So that, coupled with move to Australia, coupled with delayed cycle sleep, coupled with meds, I got fat.  (oh, and I smoked, after leaving the Yogi.  That went on for 10 years, I am now what 3-4 years smoke free?  Lost track, don't care.)  And I got diagnosed with pre-diabetic disorder.  And started the trips to the nutritionist, and thought I was gonna lose the weight that time, but when I realized that I was willing to smack somebody to take their bread roll away - I realized that the diet was not making me a nicer person.  

 

200This guy came to the door.  Wanna sign up for karate?  I told him about the knee, but Aussies aren't as liability conscious as the USA, sure, you can workout with that.  We've got blind students, wheelchair students, amputee students, come on along.  The price was reasonable, and karate was a new thing, but I went and liked it.  I was huffier and fatter and older than most, but not all.  I was allowed to adapt for my knee if something wasn't working right, and they helped me work it out.  One of the teachers, Brad, taught a good class, and was starting to break away from the format of the club.  Teaching us one-step (like we had in TaeKwondo) techniques, or partner work, that wasn't on the syllabus of this large, national school.  Teaching self defense (he was a cop) and other drills.

 

I started to notice him getting quiet and haggard, and another student told me he was thinking of breaking away from the big school, and starting a school of his own.  That sounds good, I thought.  I let him know to include me, and he did.

 

Taking a break.  Coming up soon:  Yoshiki Ryu.  The Way of the Dragon.

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JanCarol

LOL MeiMei, actually because it is so hot here - and yet it is temperate too - we try to keep the windows open as much as possible.  If the blackout blinds are closed when the windows are open, no air goes through the room.  Therefore, the blinds are usually open in the morning.  The windows are fairly bright.  I just sleep through it.  Sometimes I close the windows and turn on the air, but I'm asleep, see, I don't take the time to close the blinds again.  My mornings are probably brighter than yours!   ;)

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JanCarol

Okay, I have 20 minutes to describe Yoshiki Ryu.  In all this time with the Big School, I had made it to blue belt.  One of the things I didn't like about the Big School was the way they made a torture fest of Grading / Testing.  They held it in a big gym, and they would close the windows (they said it was so we could hear) and ran us until we dropped.  At the end of the test they would compare notes:  I see that 3 of your students dropped.  Hah!  None of mine did, but 2 of his did!  

 

I "dropped" in my first test.  Water breaks are essential in Queensland, and it is improper to drive us beyond 10-15 minutes without water breaks.  Especially for us older folk!  So I had the shame and embarrassment of dropping on my first test.  I cried through the whole testing.  For further tests, I learned how to better pre-hydrate and that helped, but I was on Crestor at the time, and that messed with my breath and heart rate, so the risk of dropping was there for every test, up to the last one.  I recently learned from a link that Alto sent someone else:  http://www.drugs.com/pro that lithium can mess with my breathing and heartrate, too.

 

So I was relieved that Brad's new school, called Yoshiki Ryu, the Way of the Dragon, didn't do that.  It was humane.  The worst thing I had to do was 100 pushups for my 1st Kyu (Brown Belt II, or, in this style, Brown/Black belt, last one before the black belt).  He taught the way he wanted, and he invited his son, and another mate from The Big School (the one who helped me the most when I dropped)  His son, it turns out, was the Queensland State Sparring Champion:  a monster of fitness, karate, technique, speed, style, and strength.  Wow!  What an inspiration he was!  And the mate - turns out he is an Olympic coach for the Australian Institute of Sport!  What a group!  people were crawling out of the woodwork to join this school - which - had no contract, no joining fees, just $5 a class.  It was easy to invite people to - so inexpensive to just try it and see if you liked it!

 

We were in a tiny school hall, and many of the joinees were folks who were ready to Grade to Black Belt with The Big School, but who weren't willing to undergo their Apprentice Teaching (read:  free slave labor) program.  Or who had been neglected by the Big School for any number of reasons.  We had whole families coming to the school, and sometimes Grading was done in class for the lower belts.

 

We never paid extra for grading, just the $5 class fee.  We never paid for our belts, we had a recycling system - you turn in your old belt to the school, and you got someone else's old belt.  If you wanted something, extra kata (form) or more fitness, you asked and you got it.  We soon got another hall, a big one, and we had 40 people in this private, word-of-mouth school.  I loved it, and really got my groove on.  I was just ready to start training in earnest for my Black Belt when The Italian came.

 

That's all I can write for now.  Time to go to City for my Breast Squishy Imaging appointment.  Lots going on though!  2 more chapters in the karate saga until you can understand why I'm angry and in tears about it.  

 

I didn't sleep last night because of it, got to bed at 4.  Was asleep by 6:30, then slept till 11.  Not much to go on.  But at least I will get some sunlight today!

 

I'll pick up again with The Italian Master.

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