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Meimeiquest

Well, we are following you....This is all pretty incredible fitness work, to say nothing of the drama...

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JanCarol

HARRGH!!!  I was just getting ready to taper, too, in about 6 days.  But now I am, as our girls say, F.I.N.E.  That's code for Farked Up, Insecure, Neurotic and Emotional.  So if anyone asks you how you are, and you don't want to answer, you can just say, "FINE, thanks."  You will know what it means, your closest friends will know what it means (if you let them in on it) but it's a socially acceptable thing to say.

 

Anyhow, I'm all F.I.N.E. and I wanted to do another taper.  I keep thinking the sooner I get to tapering lithium, the sooner my skin problems, hair problems will go away, and the better chance I have at actually building some cardio fitness instead of just staving off disaster.

 

SA Wisdom would say, nope.  Wait again before tapering.  More than likely.  I know that's what pdoc KT would say.  Sigh.

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JanCarol

LOL Meimei, this is when the karate drama STARTS, is "The Italian Master."  but not yet.  I'm to FINE to write right now.

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JanCarol

So, remember the Son, the great teacher who was a great athlete too?  Well, in order to get buff and ready for competition, he started training with this Italian master.  Brad called him, "An Italian Miyagi."  Sure enough, the son knew things that the father did not, and when he trained us, we not only learned new things, new patterns, new ways of training, we got faster, better and stronger.  It was such a treat to train with the young man.  And we found out he was learning from this Italian guy.

 

Well, after our Sensei son won State Heavyweight Sparring Champion, beating guys who outweighed him by 100 pounds, there was a seminar with the Italian guy.  Turns out, he used to train Italian Special Forces in techniques.  His style, called "Wado Ryu" (the Way of Peace), was slightly softer, more like the Tai Chi, and had components of grappling, locks, and pressure points.  I went to the seminar, but it wasn't quite my cup of tea, because of the grappling stuff.  I don't roll around well, with the bum knee, and I don't fall well, either, when swept or locked down.  Stuff makes me nervous.  (but it is extremely valuable in application!)

 

There we met Kev, the Brit.  And I met PC - who had also come from The Big School - to study with the Italian Master.

 

Well The Italian came to visit our school, and made a proposal.  He would teach us Wado Ryu.  He would give us lineage all the way back to Honorori Otsuka of Japan, via Tatsuo Suzuki.  This guy was 6th Dan (extremely advanced for someone with true lineage), had Olympic rings on his black belt (had trained the Italian Olympic Team.  He also came with an Italian Son and Daughter, who were excellent karatikas.  The son specialized in sparring, while the daughter was a State Medalist for Kata (form, or pattern).  

 

So The Italian Master, with Brad's permission, took over our school.  He started with competition training, fancy footwork, jumprope, handball games, all sorts of exercises which, basically, sort the men from the boys.  (I am neither, but I have to do karate so I just did what I could)  Every week he yelled at us, trying to get us faster, fitter, and into shape.  EVERY WEEK, more people left in droves.  I was in tears and agony because I need karate for my cholesterol, for my mental health.  I tried other schools, nobody wanted me because I'm not young or fit.  None of the other schools had older people in them (which tells me their style is conducive to injuries!).  He raised the rates from $5 a class to $10 a class.  He added a $125 annual membership fee.  He added testing fees, $35 for the lower belts, my belt /test would be $150.  But of course, he never taught me enough to test.

 

He spent the first year - whole year - teaching us how to move, how to step, how to preserve our knees, how to use our hips for power instead of just upper body strength.  He taught us pivots and turns, fine points and details.  In truth, when you were in his class, he was amazing, the things he knew and how to apply them.  It was like applying the body mechanics of Tai Chi with the ferocity and power of karate.

 

BUT when he taught Kata, for example, he would only teach a few moves at a time, because he wanted it to be PERFECT before he went on.  So an 1.5 hour class might only cover 6-8 moves of a 20 move pattern.  THEN (here's the clincher) we would not see that Kata again for months, maybe years.  The next time we would do Kata, it would be a different one, and the same thing would happen.  I learned the opening parts to about 6 katas before Brad stepped in and helped me learn the rest.

 

There were other things, too.  A young promising karatika of my rank, just 16 years old, but tall and slender with nice high kicks, and fast - was tagged for going to competition.  In training her for competition, he broke her, yelling at her, DO AGAIN DO AGAIN NO NO NO NO NO! Until she was on the floor in tears.  This happened more than once, and she wasn't the only one he did it to.  People began saying that Karate was no fun anymore.  Pretty soon, I was the only one left from the original school.  The Italian Master had driven all the Yoshiki Ryu students away.

 

Then I heard about the sexual advanced he made toward 2 women.  One a black belt, one a white belt.  They disappeared too.

 

Then, we get asked for $1000 fees for "special black belt training," when that should just be a matter of course in my regular training.

 

By now we had 4 dojos (schools), one run by Brad, one by his son, and the other 2 by Italian son.  There were some shenanigans about testing.  We attracted some new kids, and kids are special - you can't just string them along forever.  One Mom threatened to remove her kids if they were not tested.  The Master complained that they were not ready, not good enough, to be tested (this is for their first belt, and they are CHILDREN, not elite athletes!).  So he set up a surprise competition between Italian Son's dojo and Brad's son's dojo.  Surprise!  Boy were the parents of our dojo angry!  (I trained with Brad and son)  Here there kids were put on the spot for a competition they'd heard nothing of, while the Italian Son's kids were specially groomed for this competition to show the other kids "how it should be done."  It was totally rigged.  AND the Italian Master wanted to charge an extra $35 for the competition!

 

Well, this got to be too much for Brad and son, and they have withdrawn from The Italian School, taking most of their students with them.  One thing about Brad, he commands great loyalty from anyone who works with him for any period of time.

 

But where do these students go?  Brad was under contract to Italian Master, and has to lay low for awhile before he can reopen Yoshiki Ryu.  And we have to keep training.  Always!

 

That will be the current chapter of my karate story.  Egads, I remember how upset I was adjusting to the Italian Master.  But after awhile I just accepted the fact that I was never going to get a black belt, and just learn everything I could.  At least I was training.  But I'm upset again, and maybe writing it out will help me decipher why I hate it so much, even though it is good for me.

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JanCarol

I'd always dreamed of being in a school with Real Lineage, and the Italian Master gave us that.  The chances of that happening in the USA, where every ex-marine opens his own style of fighting, was slim to none.  And both Suzuki and Otsuko have written books, master texts that are philosophical and instructional both.  Suzuki was still alive when we started this exercise.  He died about 3 months after our school was taken over by the Italian Master, who was then made "head of style for Australia."

 

Thing is, Kev, the Brit, ALSO had trained with Suzuki in Europe.  And he had a different style of teaching to the Italian Master.  Naturally, he got thrown out of the school for allowing children to play and run and make noise in the hall before class started.  It was stinky.  The Italian yelled at Kev the Brit so intensely, that one of the kids' Mom's recorded the exchange on her phone.  I was hoping she'd post it on the internet to show this Italian Master for who he truly was.

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JanCarol

I will never find another teacher as excellent as The Italian Master.  But I would never have achieved anything.  In 4 years, no advancement at all, just learning basics.  I was invisible.  The fat old woman who paid her class fees 2x a week.  The invisible cash cow that if you ignore, maybe she won't ask for anything.  I even demonstrated it at the "school competition."  One student looked at me and said, "be careful," and I danced around gaily in a circle saying, "I don't have to, I'm INVISIBLE!"  Of course, I'm not invisible now, now that my name is dirt but I get ahead of myself.

 

Brad was retiring from the police force.  He had just had his second hip replacement, and was only doing light teaching in karate.  The easy stuff.   I helped out a lot, that was fun (but I didn't get any training myself on those nights)  So he decided to "retire from everything," karate too.

 

He took me to meet Tony, creator of his own style.  Former student of Brad's but with other experience as well.  He's got about 8 black belts who are excellent teachers.  It's mostly an adult program, I really feel for the kids but anyhow, I'm getting ahead again.  The plan was this:  Tony runs a free (get this:  FREE) karate boot camp in the park.  All you need is to be invited.  So I could start to learn the "new school" before ever taking a class with them - and get fitter.  I did this for 2 months, waiting for the Christmas Break, and Brad's "retirement."

 

Now let me go into a bit about Australia.  They don't sue down here like Americans do.  You know the way USA fitness instructors are very careful in teaching you form and exercises that won't hurt you?  Every yoga teacher I had in America was always so cautious about my spine, my neck, my tailbone and hips.  When I went to the gym and lifted, I was taught careful form, how to protect your back, how to control the motion of the weight.  Granted that was when isolations were  more fashionable than they are now, and NOTHING like CrossFit.  (ironically, that's what Brad's son is doing now.  No karate at all.   :( )

 

So when I took yoga classes here, I was surprised to get NO corrections at all.  The teacher just made the shape with her body, and we were supposed to match it.  We were not told the correct curvature of the spine, or anything about the breath and how it works for or against a pose.  We were not told to protect our lower back, or how to lengthen for maximum flexibility.  She just made a shape and we were supposed to know our bodies well enough to make it.  And I'd look around the room and see a million corrections, bring your feet together, point your feet the same direction, curve your spine, and if your hamstring is too tight, bend your legs.  If ANYTHING is too tight, modify!  Don't just power on into it.!  But they do, and I hear of people who "hate yoga" but not of injuries.  (I think they go, it hurts, and they quit)

 

When the Italian son taught warmups / calisthenics - he was teaching out of the 70's.  We quit doing sit-ups in the USA in the 80's!  He still did them.  He did all kinds of things that were not good for the spine and neck  - unsupported shoulderstands and plows.  He thought I was being stubborn when I modified, but I refused to do anything that I had information was dangerous, especially for a body with no knee.  He'd look at me and ask "why are you doing that?"  But he spoke mostly Italian, to explain that it's not done in the USA because of lawsuits and injuries . . . . . liability . . . . . incomprehensible to him.

 

So.  Tony.  The new guy.  Likes to be rough and tumble.  Probably has a teddy bear heart of gold, but loves to make a mean workout.  Hubby even went to a few boot camps, and on the 2nd one, hurt his shoulder.  He's still in physio.  My young friend who was 16 above is 18 now, and her dad came after years on the couch (he had been one of the black belts of Yoshiki Ryu).  Did his knee.  Buggered it right up.  Tony says, "if it hurts don't do it!" but past a certain age, the only way you will know if you can do it is if you TRY.  If I backed down everytime it hurt, I would never do anything, go anywhere.  I'd never get out of bed!  So hubby has quit the bootcamp.

 

And Tony's karate is even more grappling, choking, tripping, sweeping, locking, pressure pointy than the first seminar I had with the Italian Master.  It's good for me, I think it makes me more likely to prevail if I were ever attacked (but there's a huge part of me that says I don't need to prevail if attacked).  But I hate it.  And last night was Kata, form.  I had hopes of a class where I could breathe, stretch out my stance, work on my footwork.

 

Keep in mind too, lithium tends to make my movements jerky, mechanical, not very smooth, so I have to train them in to be correct so that I can repeat it and make it habit.  Lots of repetition, importance on natural speed of movment.

 

Well, Tony didn't care where our feet were, only that we did the kata in 24 seconds, and in unison.  Says it more closely resembles a street fight.  It was just so wrong in so many ways.

 

In Tai Chi we were expected to learn one pattern, one form our whole lives.  That refinement of that form - you start to get good at it after a decade.  Wado Ryu was like that too.

 

So I'm frustrated that all of the relearning I did at Wado Ryu is being wasted, and I don't  want to forget that joint protecting body mechanics because I have to move at the same speed as the big guys, the young guys.

 

My whole karate course has been a zigzag.  I'm starting to hate it, but I need it.  Don't get me started on Gym or whatever.  Maybe a yoga class would be interesting if I could find a good teacher.  I've been to a dozen yoga classes in Australia, and found 2 good yoga teachers.  Both of them 2-4 hours south of here.  If I'm willing to drive, there is a Australian Renowned (not world renowned) Tai Chi school about 45 minutes south of here.  Probably have classes at 8 in the morning. 

 

Have I communicated why I am angry about the new school?  Why I'm so emotional about it?

 

OR - and I'm beginning to wonder - did I just lose it emotionally (and in public) because I "didn't like it."?

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JanCarol

Oh yes, during my squishy breast imaging thingy yesterday - they did an ultrasound.  Standard for me.  And she said I had a lot of little bruises in my breast.  She said it wasn't medically significant, but thought it was curious (like she didn't see it alot). 

 

I started thinking about our partner work in Tony's class, and thought maybe?  Then I thought more - these Australian men are EXTREMELY polite and if they so much as nudge a breast they are all apologetic.  So that's not it. 

 

Then I started thinking about high impact Tony workouts.  Running, bouncing, and the dojos (schools) all have concrete floors (my knee hates that).  I asked her, "could bouncing do it?"  she said yes.  It's the only thing I could think of because I'm not abused, nor do I play contact sport like netball or soccer or anything where I would be hit in the chest.  Sure, karate is a contact sport, but I don't see how sticking thumbs on my cheekbones would bruise my breasts.....(i.e., they never come into "contact")

 

Thinking about it more, a lot of my anger is about Wado Ryu.  I worked really hard to change my stances, my way of moving, to add more power to my punches and strength to my stance.  And now that's just being thrown out the window?  I learn a good thing, and it is relevant?

 

And I'm angry that Brad is so "pro-Tony" of course they are mates, but am I learning still more stuff to be forgotten later?  This is my 4th set of katas I've learned.  (set, at my level can be as many as 8-9 katas)  And likely never used again.

 

Tony wants to test us in 8 weeks.  Same thing I've had before - 100 pushups (I'm not worried about the crunchies and leg lifts other than the fact that my personal trainer friend tells me they don't work the Tranverse Abdominus, and therefore are not solid core exercises), plus whatever games he comes up with for his tests.  I don't care about his "Shodan-ho" belt (provisional black belt).  Why am I getting a belt in his school anyway?  I'm going to leave it just as soon as I can!  

 

So I am angry, upset, and unhappy in karate right now.  But I just keep plugging along.  No more being invisible.  Kev the Brit has fled the Italian Master, too, and he loves to tell me how good I'm doing, how I'm coming along.  NONE of these people know what it is like to learn new movement while on lithium.  Sigh.

 

And being angry and upset is draining.  Depressing.  It cannot be maintained, the body just collapses in a puddle of useless goo.  I guess being angry doesn't really serve me, but it also seems like every time I go to class, I get thrown another curve ball.  There.  I'm crying about it now.  Am I just being FINE (see above)?  Or is there a valid complaint here?

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JanCarol

I enjoy going to http://www.bonkersinstitute.org/medshow to see how meds have been marketed - to Doctors - since the 1950's.  Does she talk on the telephone too much, is she chatty and annoying?  Try Thorazine!

 

Amazing the things they made up to give the meds for, amazing how the application of the meds to broader diagnoses expands over time, amazing the benefits claimed, amazing how they combined two drugs, often "speedballing" them, and amazing how downplayed some serious side effects are.  For example, in a Ritalin ad, they said, "no rebound depression."  REALLY?  Hmmmm.  They are fun to look at if you like a little history with your deprogramming.....

 

Back to your regularly scheduled log......

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JanCarol

Whew!  It's been too long!  What has been happening? 

 

Well, I've been learning more about magnesium via http://george-eby-research.com/html/depression-anxiety.html  He's a bit over the top, but he seems to have cred, seeing as how he invented the zinc lozenge for colds.  The hard part is getting the right kind of magnesium here in Australia.  The only ok one I can get here is magnesium malate.  Or it's mag citrate and I have to watch for the runs.  The ones at the health food store are all a blend of orotate, glycinate, "amino acid chelate" (whatever that is) and aspartate.  Given what George Eby says, and knowing how violently I react to aspartame, I don't want any magnesium aspartate.

 

So it's ordering from overseas, fine, I do that all the time.  I just can't change course on a dime with it; it takes planning.  

 

I did find some magnesium chloride crystals for the bath, and I already had epsom salts on the ready.  I also found some magnesium chloride gel I can use when I feel tense or pained.

 

I haven't had any major meltdowns since my last karate embarrassment.  I think that's been since I posted here.  Tony (here's a laugh, his title is "Koochoo" which he says means "head of school," only - it doesn't.  KANCHU means "head of school."  If you google "koochoo" it means nonsense), Koochoo asked if he could help me with anything.  He's thinking I'm just a 'normal' with some difficulties, and gives me a slap on the shoulder sort of pep talk, you'll be fine, don't compare yourself to others, blah blah blah.  And it made me SO ANGRY that he made assumptions about me, like, "You're just overthinking," when he has NO IDEA what it takes to get my body to move as told.  He has no idea how flat I go when I hit the cardio wall, or how weak I am when I hit the strength wall.  And I hit them fast.  "These people have been training with me for 13 years, don't expect to be like them in a few months"  well no yhit, Yherlock.  I've only been training for 10 years myself, and I still struggle with cardio, I still struggle with "smooth" and speed, I still struggle with stance - and all of my hard work in the last 3 years is being done over by his gung-ho speed smash style.  Finesse is out the window and I hate it.  But can you say this to Koochoo? ("bless you")

 

To credit him, I am in better shape than I have been in all the 10 years I've been training here.  But I'm still not in good shape, I'm in scary, have-a-heart-attack-or-stroke shape.  Or my eyes might explode shape.  I had hopes that dropping the statin drugs would help, and it has in some ways.  My head no longer rings like a bell.  I can at least get up the go to START running, even if I have to stop after 100-200 yards or so.  I'm up to about 20 pushups without a break.  It is improvement.  But it's nowhere near where I need to be to "test" with Koochoo. ("bless you!")

 

At least with the Italian, *****if***** I ever got to testing it would be more about what I know than how fit for the military I am.  I'm wayyyyy past military fitness.  I'm just trying to stay alive.

 

We did have a good training at the beach - awful beach, but fun training.  Running in sand, dragging a giant rope through sand and water, then "running" (more like bouncing on the waves) through deeper and deeper waters in our uniforms for maximum resistance.  You don't even know you are sweating when you do it in the ocean waves.  It's a good group, this karate bunch, they're all family, many of them kin or married, and they really enjoy each other's company.  Fun times.  There are a lot of good instructors there, too.

 

Speaking of beach, it has been unspeakably hot here.  The kind of hot where you lay around in air conditioning and hope you're not called to go out (but I have been, actually I've been darned productive, in spite of myself)

 

After my big Koochoo ("bless you!") meltdown I came home and stormed around the house crying about how hopeless it was, how I hated the school, how I didn't want anything to do with Koochoo Tony's reckless karate.  Hubby was marvellous, followed me around the house and listened to me.  He doesn't respect Tony much because of his own injuries (he's still getting medical attention for them, ramping up to ultrasounds and MRI's), so he was a very sympathetic listener.   On the one hand I want to be "normal," on the other hand I want to be recognized for being "abnormal," even "differently abled," but not given any breaks because that's weak in karate.

 

So after that embarrassing meltdown, I forfeited the right to taper my Reboxetine again.  I'm still holding.  I saw an acupuncture clinic in a neighboring suburb, and went to talk to the woman.  I instinctively liked her and understood where she was coming from and trusted her, so I've had 2 sessions with her.  I have had no meltdowns since then.  I think she finds me a fascinating, complex case - I didn't just come in for a "sore back" or "heel spur" or even "headache," but for a whole systemic range of things.  We ended up going back to the amazing story of my adoption, and that's when the lights came on for her that connected all my meridians up and showed her what needs the most help.  That gives me hope that she can help me balance my endocrines as I come off of psych meds.

 

I have been faithful about my sunlit walk, even when it's cloudy.  I figure if it's 10,000 lux in bright sun (it may be more, here in Queensland), then it's likely at least 3,000 lux on a cloudy day.  

 

My right eye is now doing what my left eye did in December.  Flashes and floaters.  Only this time the flashes are less bright, less shocking, but every time they flash, they make new floaters.  So I have a complicated web of worm-like floaters all over my right eye.  I went to the ophthalmologist today who said the gel of my eye is pulling away, separating, and it was happening right now.  He said karate is fine, cardio is fine, even heavy lifting is fine.  When they go away I'll get a new pair of glasses.

 

My next problem is to solve the magnesium / calcium equation.  George Eby says that we eat too much calcium (dairy) and take too many calcium supplements.  And that magnesium is what really prevents osteoporosis.  If I were 'normal,' the magnesium calcium equation would be simple.  BUT, I have had my thyroid removed, and I may have had my parathyroid removed.  I was told I can no longer process? produce? calcium on my own and that I would always have to supplement.  I need to find out if my parathyroid was really removed, and if it was, how much calcium do I need, really?  The surgeon just said "take a Caltrate every day." and said any more would be a waste.  But the calcium calculators say that a woman my age should have 1300mg of calcium per day, and that I get about 450 mg of calcium daily in my diet. Do I need more calcium if my parathyroids are gone? Is this going to calcify my arteries?  Do I just keep upping the magnesium until - ? when ?     the rest of it, the Taurine (I see you are taking that one Petu, do let me know how it goes) Zinc, and B vitamins I'm already working on.  It's that darned Calcium / magnesium equation I'm stuck on, because of the lack of thyroid (and probably parathyroid as well).

 

Another problem I'm working on is hubby has been on St. John's Wort for a year now.  Like any SSRI, I think that's a limit.  If he's doing okay (I've put him on magnesium, too) I'd like to taper him off.  Because it's not as strong as an SSRI, I'm thinking about 25% a month.  My therapist went off on me, "ask a chemist, ask a doctor or something!" as if.  A chemist or a doctor would laugh at me and say, "That's just an ineffective herb, just quit when you're done," but I sure don't want to take any chances of throwing him back into depression!  Anyone have any experience with tapering St. Johns Wort?  Should I start a forum topic on that?  (I'm still not very versed in finding my way around here - I looked for something on this and didn't find it here or in Google.  I still have yet to check MIA.)

 

Whew!  So that's the news from Lake Kurwongbah, I hope this find's y'all well and detoxing!   :D

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JanCarol

PS AltoStrata, you are a goddess!!!!  I know I haven't posted or participated much here, but just knowing it is here is a huge benefit and boon to my process.  Thank you!!!!!

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Altostrata

You're very welcome, JanCarol. Thanks for the kind words.

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JanCarol

Brilliant!  Thank you CW!!!!!

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JanCarol

I've been reading Petu's thread (Hi Petu!) and Waves and Windows.

 

The first thing that blew me away about Petu's thread is she talks about a thing called "creativity."  OMG what the eff is that?  I remember before the "big manic episode" in 1995, I was watercolor painting.  I wasn't any good, but I enjoyed matching the colours of my inner eye, and I could do a tree and someone else could look at it and recognize a tree.  I have some woodworking and even antler carving that I've done, and when I hold and touch it, I cannot believe that I did. 

 

And writing, well.  I can converse, but the imagination is kaput.  I am working on editing a special book, written by my birthmother.  It needs help.  I can see that it needs help.  But the Windows that enable me to see the way through the problems in plot, story, character, scene.  Well.  I'm writing "blind."

 

So kudos to you who can pick up knitting needles (I was lousy at that before all my episodes) or crochet hooks (same) to work through your rough spots - good onya!  I used to embroider a bit, but my fine motor skills are just       . . . . not . . . .       there.

 

So I wonder what my creativity will look like, if I ever see it again.  I don't have the dexterity and hand strength to do woodworking.  Oh yeah...once upon a time I could play a piano and guitar.  Once upon a time I could sing, but a surgeon (thyroidectomy) took care of that.  So what will my creativity be?  Right now most of it seems to be in dreams.

 

Which brings me to Waves and Windows.....ahhhhh.  So weird, rape-related, or zombie nightmares might be cortisol and withdrawal?  Okay then.  That feels a bit better knowing that I really didn't want the world to be swallowed by evil zombies......(I was a "good" zombie, we were kinda vampire zombies, and there was a "peace virus" I could give, and we actively spread, to keep people from eating one another.  But the virus wore off, and before you knew it.  Vampire zombies eating each other all over again, and "we" had no weapons left.)  Cortisol.  Withdrawal.  Not necessarily my wishes and desires.  Okay then.

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JanCarol

Wrong Thinking.  

 

Like neuroemotions, only about thoughts.  Sometimes it's distorted, sometimes it's emotionally muddied.

 

But those times when you get an opinion or viewpoint.  And you cannot SEE that it is wrong.  It's simply not true, or it's tainted by fear or distortions (like mind reading, globalizing, all-or-nothing sorts of distortions).  Maybe you think it's a thought.  You really, truly believe what you are saying.  AT THE TIME.

 

Then, late at night you smack your forehead.  GEEZ, did I say that?  Do I really believe that?

 

And the hard part is HOW do you STOP it in ACTION?

 

In the moment, I really believe what is going on in my head.  For whatever reason.  And it seems SO HARD to shift it, to consider other viewpoints, to stop it burning in my skull.  If I use the Zen "let go let go let go" it just comes back.  A little diminished perhaps, but still pointed in the same wrong direction.  (lest you think I be judgemental, if the fastest way to the phone booth is north, then it is north. Likewise, I am not being abused, he really is trying, it's not such a bad place, etc., are just not accessible at these times.

 

I did have an interesting experience at one of my karate explosions.  One of my mates from the old school, who helped me before, just looked me in the eyes and said, "emotional."  It was matter of fact, there was no charge, it was just letting me know I was getting charged up.  IT DIDN'T help at the time, I exploded anyway.  But I've been thinking about it ever since.  It was brilliant, it was appropriate, it was *right thinking* 

 

Now just to get me to recognize it as it is happening.

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JanCarol

A story, not of myself, but of someone who is latched into polypharmacy, whose friendship I cherish, but whose belief in "the system of psychiatry" is cringeworthy.  She is an artist, in fiber, paper, and image, and she is trapped.  She recently went from public to private and it seemed to me to be worse, more drugs, fancier drugs, more layers of drugs.  I'm not sure, but she is on 2-3 neuroleptics plus lithium, and god knows what else to help her with sleep, anxiety, etc.  All I can do, as a friend is say things like:  "Your seroquel may ease your anxiety somewhat when you start university next week, but in the long run, it will make it harder for you to study and retain an education, as it decays your frontal and parietal lobes."  Maybe it gets in, maybe it doesn't.

 

One of the habits she's developed is (and I blame the pdoc for allowing this to happen) when she feels uncomfortable, she pops a seroquel, and keeps popping them until she passes out.  Sometimes she walks around for days in his soupy haze, with slurred speech.  These doses are called "PRN" and she is allowed 3 of them per day.  She rationalizes (her poor poor brain) that if she does 4 today, she will only have 2 for tomorrow, but that is okay.

 

Well, as of last weekend, she quit the "PRN's"  Probably dropped off about 600 mg of seroquel CT.  She still takes a dose at night for sleep.  I tried to tell her that could cause long term problems, and it would take more discipline to taper off of the PRNs rather than quitting them completely.  I asked how many PRN's she was taking a day, she does not know.  She's still, however, treating it like a "drug abuse" problem, like heroin or cocaine.  "I had some shakes and chills on Saturday night, I think that was my withdrawal."  I warned her that the withdrawal from psych meds - and this is my current study right now (she thought I was taking a course!  Thanks Alto, again, I am getting smarter every day here!) - withdrawal could take 6 months to a year, even with her continued nightly dose.

 

I told her I was proud of her, that I've always hated the PRN's and I am angry with her pdoc for providing - for ENABLING them.

 

But - get this - and here's the beginning of real healing.  She lives in a building for psych disabled and disabled & indigenous people.  There is a substance abuse counselor on site. She went to this person and talked about her abuse of the PRN's, how they were legal drugs, but she couldn't control it.  The abuse counselor - probably only has a Bachelor's degree in Social Work - told her it was like a street drug - it *is* a street drug, except that she has a script for it.  THEN, the abuse counselor asked her:  "Would you like to talk about the bullying that happened at your last job?"  (AHA!  That's when the PRN abuse started!)

 

OMG.  Finally.  After 2 pdocs, 2 psychologists, DBT & CBT programs, FINALLY, someone asks her WHY she is doing what she is doing.

 

Can't there be more of this in psychology / psychiatry?  And why did it take a social worker (btw, social workers are not like MsW's in the USA, they don't do private counseling, only PhD psychologists do that, in my understanding) to look at the core issue?

 

Just sharing a story.  Of course, any tips as to how I can approach this friend with "Harm Reduction" principles, tapers, ANYthing to get her moving in the right direction.  I'm not ready to suggest she should get off of her meds.  She's been on psych meds easily for 20 years, those fingers are in deep.  And she's conditioned:  "every time I go off I go crazy"  (naturally, because she didn't use harm reduction.....)  I've been gentle so far, because a person can only climb down the cliff when they are ready.

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JanCarol

Pdoc day.

 

THE BAD NEWS:  My Thyroid tests came back normal normal, above normal, as in TSH nearly 0, T3 = high normal, and T4 above "normal."  So much for that as an easy solution to my limp, thinning, dull hair, peeling nails and flagging energy.

 

THE GOOD NEWS:  She thinks my mood is quite normal and bright.  Brighter than she's ever seen.  AND she will consider reducing my lithium, as my levels are around .7, and she would be happy to have them at .5.  I told her I would not do more than a 10% drop, regardless of "what dose" would give her the level she wants.

 

THE BAD NEWS:  She probably will never consider tapering me all the way off the lithium, or even reducing it to "sub therapeutic" levels.

 

THE WORSE NEWS:  It may be too late, as she says that my kidney readings have been on the low side of functional for awhile now.  (AND she didn't TELL me until NOW when I COMPLAINED about possible diabetes insipidus, years of diarrhea, dry mouth, dry eyes.)

 

And MORE BAD NEWS:  She was a bit condescending about my idea of:  if I go manic (and there's a very real possibility that I will) to smack me down with 2 weeks of valium instead of any other neuroleptics.  She just said, "idea noted."  My idea was to give the script to hubby and let him say, "she's been without sleep for 3 nights, she's unbearably perky, this looks clinically mad, let's take her down," and fill the script and give it to me (to reduce chances for abuse of a benzo).

 

I get my levels checked next week on lithium and kidney function.  If the lithium is high, I get to reduce it (yay!) and reduce the load on my organs and endocrine system.  She was reluctant to use a compounding chemist to do only a 10% reduction, but I'll have to insist, as that is safest.  MY PROMISE TO YOU, SA folks, is that I will only do one reduction every 3 weeks, and I will HOLD if there are any troubles.  I am due for a Reboxetine reduction next week.

 

La la la la.  I almost hope that the kidney thing comes up with something interesting - not because I want to have kidney failure (I don't) but because I'll be able to bring my GP on board and maybe she will be more amenable to compounding chemists and TOTAL reduction of lithium.  Then I will fire my pdoc.

 

Back to your regularly scheduled flow....... :blink:

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Meimeiquest

Oh, JC, that is meh to awful! I'm sorry! I think you know I started tapering lithium. Which is why I am writing at 4 a.m. I am going to have to cut my cuts to more like 25mg from 50mg. But it's not bipolar symptoms, it's acting like I'm cutting a benzo. I think that's because it's original action was to stop the withdrawal I didn't know I was having from Cymbalta. Lithium comes as a solution or suspension in the US, I of course don't know about Australia. I am making a water suspension in my "home pharmacy" and that seems to work fine.

 

You know you will have to go off the lithium eventually. My new dr. suggested I come off of it. I know her unstated plan is for me to taper till I become manic, and then she'll start a new drug. Maybe your pdoc would go for that idea at least? To start new medicine without proving the need for it seems really sad in your case. I think any diagnosis of bipolar when someone has been on an AD first has to be looked at with some skepticism. Would she go for the idea of one benzo for two nights of severe insomnia? My doctor says I have to call her if I sleep less than six hours twice in a week. I didn't tell her I deliberately try to keep from knowing how much I sleep...so how could I call :).

 

Anyway, I am thinking of you. I hope the renal tests come back well. It's not funny she didn't tell you!

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JanCarol

Hi MeiMei - yes I can see how Lithium would "mask" your withdrawal symptoms.  Maybe my trip would not be so smooth except for that.

 

Oh, she offered to put me on Lamotrigine.  I refuse.  I will only go SIMPLER, not MORE COMPLEX.  It's not a neuroleptic, it's an anti-convulsant.  But it's only been around since 1992 and I ain't touching it!

 

So when you say coming off Lithium is like coming off of a benzo - you mean it it hyping you up?  Akisthesia?  Or maybe your prior withdrawals have stacked up and been waiting for the lithium to come down?  And a suspension?  I'll look into that, she doesn't seem to think I have options besides tablets.  I told her that the compounding pharmacy can make any dose Slow Release, as well.

 

There are so many people who feel that bipolar / manic depression is not real.  Ever.  And I"m like, "well, there have been historical cases of people who settled right down on the lithium."  

 

What I don't know is if I'm one of them.  You and me both, we've got a strong genetic case - but I've also been finding a strong genetic case for hypothyroidism and thyroid problems.  And, we've got the "docs tampered with SSRI's on us" syndrome.

 

The bottom line I guess is we don't know - and THEY DON'T KNOW either!

 

And thank you - you picked up on the one thing that really hurt about our session today:  "and you were going to tell me WHEN?"  When I needed dialysis or a new kidney maybe?  Sheesh!  (and I was pretty stunned that the mention of 3 years of diarrhea didn't seem to phase her)

 

Thanks for looking in.  I'm keeping my chin up, at least I have stubbornness on my side.  They ain't ever gonna talk me into that brain garbage again.

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Altostrata

Can you see other doctors to get opinions on the thyroid and reducing lithium?

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JanCarol

Thanks Alto, Yes I do have a plan B.  Thing is, I do not have a plan C.  In order to engage Plan B, it will help to have something "interesting" (like blood tests) to get the ball rolling.  And I'm not thrilled with Plan B.  I think that Doc (GP) is mad at me for going off my statins.  AND I haven't lost the weight.  AND I haven't submitted to a CPAP machine.  I'm just a 'baaad patient'.   :o

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Meimeiquest

If you think you have sleep apnea, friend, may I commend a Google search of obstructive sleep apnea and adrenaline to you? There is no way I would be tapering if that hadn't been discovered and treated. I did a stint with an integrative doctor...my 24-hour urinary secretion of adrenaline was twice the top of normal. Of course, he didn't realize the connection.... There is a new mask and a pressure-variable machine on the market now that is supposed to be a lot better. I'm still using the old stuff, but Compsports here is a pro. This could REALLY help you. End of lecture :)

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JanCarol

Eeeeeaaaaaaghhhhhh!  Sleep apnea!  I've been fighting that diagnosis.  I slept very poorly at the sleep study, and had mucous all down the back of my throat.  Every time I cleared it, it registered as an apnea.  I snore a bit, but I don't think severe apnea is the problem.  I don't, really don't, want one of those machines.  Hubby has one.  I've been doing yoga - ujayi serpent breathing - to strengthen the muscles at the back of my throat so they don't collapse.  Since you are still in love with your CPAP, I'll shut up now!   ;)

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Altostrata

How about raising the head of your bed a little? I have congestion and mucus because of my allergies, putting an old pillow under the mattress at the head helped a lot.

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JanCarol

LOL that was the night of the sleep study, not a regular thing.  If I need to, I can take 1/2 mucinex (they don't have it here, but I can get it here) and if I really need to, a benadryl and/or 1/2 of 1/2 a sudafed.  I actually sleep like a baby on a tiny amount of sudafed.  Thought it has been a bit more regular since I've cut my daily antihistamines down to 1/4.  I get it about once a week now.  Plus I love my saline spray on my sinuses.  

 

LOL my bed is like 2' thick, a pillow wouldn't do much.  I don't like being tilted up, I like a small pillow as it is, to sleep.  If I ever had congestive heart failure, I don't know what I would do.  Gran slept in a chair, and I just don't know how to sleep "up" like that.  I've been in too many hospital beds, and it's fine to tilt them up in the daytime, but I don't like that at night, at all.  It would take some serious getting used to.

 

I haven't felt any apnoeas since I started the ujayi breathing (yes, I could feel them when they happened which is how I know the sleep study was messed up).  That's what they do for sleep apnoea in India, not CPAP machines.  I have a CPAP rave waiting just behind my fingers but I won't go there because I like MeiMei too much and want her to do well.  Now hubby - I HEAR him stop breathing and it scares the holy bejeezus out of me but neither I nor our GP have been able to get him to go back to adjust it.  I'll just keep doing the ujayi, which is also quite calming.

 

So say to yourself, "Jan's in denial," but Jan is saying, "I don't have sleep apnoea."  I'd sleep fine if I didn't have to get up to make water every 1-2 hours.

 

Maybe, if we get some of these lab results lined up, and my acupuncture goes to plan, I can start losing weight again - especially if I'm off the lithium.  Then my GP will have nothing to b**** about other than my cholesterol numbers. 

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JanCarol

Okay, the emotional side of things.  Hearing my pdoc tell me that my kidneys were low functioning and had been for "awhile" (she shuffled several lab test papers as she said this) hit me hard.

 

I felt betrayed, and I felt like all the positive ground we had made was nowhere.  Like she was never ever ever gonna take me off lithium until I started lamotragine.  But she would decrease my dose to keep me at a certain therapeutic level.  Charts and graphs.  

 

Is it any wonder I'm depressed?  The depressing things come from all sorts of places now.  The pretty constant diarrhea, the molting of my too-fine, diminishing hair - once my pride and joy, and I looked at my genetic family and thought I would have it until very old age.  Fat.  Fat.  Fat.  (it comes up anytime I place a physical complaint:  "If you'd lose weight...") Karate (I'll tell that story in a sec). And now possibly damaged kidneys and STILL ON THE DRUG that caused the damage.  It's made me want to just quit, cold turkey, and take the consequences.  

 

But I still haven't found enough information on lithium, other than MeiMei's experience, which sounds like all the withdrawals backed up waiting for the lithium to go.  I'm still not convinced that I don't need lithium, even though I've never been severely mentally ill, only "wild and unkind."  Surely I have learned how to be kind by now?  If not perfectly considerate (I still think I could listen better, could ask caring questions instead of ranting on my soap boxes).  I have found some horrible reports on withdrawal from lamotragine.  OMG I don't think I want to do that to my brain and body.

 

So karate.  I'm still huffing and puffing - I think at the same level I was 4 months ago.  I'm not trying to keep up with kids half my age, I know better.  But when we go on a walk, and after 100 yards, they pull ahead of me, and I doggedly follow as quickly as I can.  And I hear them chatting and laughing 50 metres in front of me, then 75 metres, then 100 metres, and I'm walking behind all alone.  Well yhit.  I'm crying just describing how that felt.  Isolated.  Left behind.  "Loser," "hopeless," unfit.  And alone, uncared for, unappreciated.  But I had a taper to think about, so I kept my head up and kept going, kept doing, hit my set of "100's" (100 each pushups, leg lifts, & crunchies) with fervor, trying to get it done (nope.  I can get 100 crunchies, about 40 pushups, and about 60 leg lifts - and NO modifications for differences in structure or fitness level. :P )  Okay.  Just fine.  Gung-ho Tony asked, "You okay?" and sure, I was 100 yards behind everyone but okay.  

 

I have noticed I require more water to workout than others.  And that's another thing about karate, to "break" for a drink before Sensei says so - it's not verboten, but it's not encouraged, we're supposed to stay together and do things together.  And that brings me to my next failure.

 

We were doing a wrist lock.  I was with a young yellow belt, and I showed her how to do it, successfully.  I was SUPPOSED to keep doing it over and over like the big boys, taking turns so she would feel what it feels like to be done to, as well as to do it.  But instead, when I was satisfied that she got it right on both sides I took a break.  THIS MIGHT HAVE BEEN A MINUTE OR TWO break.  One sempai said, "You right?" yes, I said, we're right.  Then my friend next to me (same rank, also from the Old School) stopped as well, and Gung Ho Tony came over:  "You okay?" "Yes, we're fine," and I look around the room and see that every other group is repeating the move over and over to get it programmed in (something I used to complain that I never got in the Italian's school).  So, fail.  At end of class, we shake hands with everyone, and Gung Ho Tony says, "You weak?" I had no idea what he was talking about but of course it came to me in the middle of the night, that he was talking about my FAILURE in this exercise.

 

Now I realize that it could be considered passive aggressive to teach a class that way.  But I also know that the Aussie way of expressing conformity is different from the American way.  An American instructor would have come up to me and said, "we're still doing this exercise, get some done in the next couple of minutes."  (direct statement) and that's not a threat to my autonomy.  But "You right?" is the Aussie way of saying a similar thing:  i.e., "are you standing around because you don't know what you're doing?"  

 

And of course calling me "weak" is no way to drive the lesson home!  Yes!  I am weak!  I'm the weakest one in the class!  I'm the one who hates all the fitness crap but comes along anyway because I believe (perhaps falsely) that it will save my life!  I'm weak in push ups, my punch is weak, my kicks are weaker, the only place where I am sometimes strong is in concentration.

 

So I stayed up that night, ruminating (whups) over this, playing the scenes over and over in my head.  I even (at about 4 am) went into CBT to see, how could it be different?  What would I do differently?  How could he say it differently?  But you know the problem with that exercise is, when you are trying to re-write a scene which has ALL READY HAPPENED, the scene which has already happened is far more powerful than the imaginary scenes.  Because that's what actually happened, and wishful thinking doesn't change that.

 

Thing is, most of what I would have changed was the way he said it to me.  As above, and then at the end of the class, if he wanted to add, "you need to set a good example for the colored belts" that would be fine.

 

The next day, I had some sort of allergic reaction while I was mulling that over.  Which came first, the emotion or the inflammation? My face and sinuses got all puffed up (and was too dry, too dry to take benadryl, which is likely not good for my kidneys) and didn't sleep and when I finally could sleep in the morning, the phone kept ringing, the dogs kept barking, and the construction site started growling with heavy equipment and chainsaws.  Always a good time to sleep!  ;-)  NOT.  I swear, Aussies are so diurnal, that one of the calls thought I was sick - because who else would be in bed at 10 am, unless they were sick?  (yet another thing which is depressing, is how different I am from the "norm" here.)

 

I crawled out at noon and made it to my acupuncturist at 3.  She took one look at me and I told her a bit about the karate, and she said I should get a medal just for showing up when I do!  That nobody else in the class has the challenges I do, and I'm working on it, I'm doing my best, and I keep coming to class even when I do not want to.  Of course, this made me cry, so she gave me a very gentle session.

 

So - I kept from embarrassing myself IN karate class, but managed to embarrass myself with my acupuncturist, which is acceptable.  But it's still an embarrassment.  So I'm stuck not tapering again. I trust Alto that this is best, if I'm having mild problems (these are not major, but they feel quite intense) I should hold because if I keep pushing the taper, then I will get to major problems, which I don't want.

 

So Monday I get my kidney function and lithium levels tested, and pdoc will call me with instructions (which will include whether or not she wants me to see my GP about my kidney function.  Isn't that ironic?  Pdoc ruins my kidneys, but that's not gonna be her problem, she has to refer that back to the referring GP.  Humph!   :wacko:  

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JanCarol

Here's the irony.  If I had fully tapered off the Reboxetine, my pdoc would be happier about reducing the lithium.  She does not want to reduce the lithium when there is *any* antidepressant in my system......

 

So by taking things carefully (I could've been nearly done by now) - I've screwed meself.

 

and PS - my thoughts go out to you who will be suffering Daylight Savings Time shifts this weekend.   :wacko:

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JanCarol

II Corinthians 12:9 My grace is sufficient for you for my strength is made perfect in weakness.  

 

So whether that is me or God in me, yes.  I submit to that.

 

It's when you hit the floor that your potential is at its greatest.  Thank you Bubble for pointing that out (in Petu's thread).

 

Now if only I could fix my font.  

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Meimeiquest

Oh JC,

 

First, I am amazed at all you do in karate...truly amazed. And I am sure it is doing you a world of good. I wish you had a group of amazing people our age to work out with, but as you may have noticed, there are not so many able to do that. Plus the very real issues that you face, starting with your knee.

 

Please feel free to rip on CPAP all you want...could there be anything less feminine to wear to bed? I had no idea there were exercises for it, although what I really need is to lose weight. Except I am a cortisol-making machine with no self-discipline. Incidentally, my new pdoc says lithium is horrible for sleep apnea. Not that I trust any pdocs, but last time I saw her she had crinkles that I recognize as coming from the nasal pillows for CPAP. In the "it takes one to know one" department (me, not her).

 

I really hope this kidney thing is worked out quickly. That makes me mad...clear across the ocean. But I get her concern about reboxitine...you are lucky you didn't "know" me when I went off Zyprexa while I was still on Wellbutrin (and lithium!). My Wellbutrin starting dose was 300mg and the mania was nipping at my heels all the way to 50mg.

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JanCarol

LOL MeiMei!  Yeah, everytime someone says "Lose the weight" I want to open up a can o'whoop ass on 'm.  

 

My bowel surgeon said it, and he's like, 5'2", all of 100 pounds.  and I want to just throttle him and say, "YOU lose the weight!"

 

I do remember reading that lithium can make sleep apnoea worse.  

 

Part of my objection to the CPAP is, yes, the confinement of it.  Hubby had strap stripes on his head (he's mostly bald) that followed him to work all day.  But here is my observation:  it made his snoring and sleep apnoea *worse* as his throat muscles relaxed and became dependent upon the machine.  I heard worse apnoeas after we got the machine than before.  And it was impossible to sleep next to it, all snorkeling and wheezing next to me.  I became more familiar with my "New Age Music For Sleeping" as that was the only way I could cope.  THAT, and an extra pillow standing upright between him and me so the thing didn't blow on me.

 

I ain't particularly feminine, rarely wear a skirt or makeup (mostly post depression, just too much work, and now that I've aged, just WAY too much work!) But I think the CPAP is like psych meds:  it affords immediate relief, but makes you dependent upon it.  Fortunately, I don't think there are any withdrawal side effects other than the fear that you will have a stroke without it.  (which is, understandably, a real concern.  That's how hubby had his stroke).

 

Taper day.  I'm holding again on the reboxetine, and holding again on the antihistamine - at 1/4 tablet I've been having significant breakthrough symptoms with the allergies.  Were they ever allergies?  Or were they just a reaction to stress that became learned?  Well, I have a million ways to mind my sinuses, and I want to let go of them if I can.  And the reboxetine?  I've come to the place where one meltdown is enough to hold the taper.

 

Hope you are having a great day - I've had the blood tests, now to just hear from the pdoc.  Oh yeah, and her concern is "I'm bipoloar" you "never reduce mood stabilizers until the antidepressants are all gone, for risk of mania"

 

MeiMei I have a feeling your going off Zyprexa would have been worse without the lithium.  It seems to cushion from the worst of it.  And the more you come off the lithium, I wonder if those stresses are now going to come into play.  Please be careful, and gosh this is scary stuff!  (and I'm a lucky one!)

 

Oh !  ONE MORE STORY!  Just when I thought I was depressed and hopeless and down on the world, I met this woman in karate.  She's daughter of a mate of mine, probably just under 30 years old.  She's superfit and likes to show it off, but that's not the thing:  she's angry and bitter (and yet somehow she's taken a liking to me!) and expressed this sentiment:  "I hated people in high school, almost as much as I hate life now!"

 

The reason it was shocking to me, wasn't that she said it, but was my reaction to it.  For all my sadness hopelessness & depression:  I don't feel as though I hate life, and found myself wanting to show her some of life's redeeming values.  It also showed me that she's not very secure, and her "hot attitude" that she shows in class is for show.

 

So I'm not the worst of it, or the worst of times, even.  Someone else is always worse off than you.

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JanCarol

Doctors haven't been taught that there are any alternatives to CPAP, either.  But with my yoga background, I just KNEW yoga would have a remedy.  I can't prove it in a double blind placebo study, but it seems to help.  ;-)

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Altostrata

You may wish to look at wedges to put under your mattress or bed platform.

 

The idea is to elevate your head above your chest, so the mucus will run down.

 

If you have to make a choice between sleeping on an incline or breathing....

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Meimeiquest

I agree with your theories about loss of muscle strength. But at this point I'm still working on a routine for regular exercise, and I had no symptoms except fatigue, so not sure how I would know I was getting better. But I get what you are saying.

 

Yes, I know I am on very thin ice with the lithium. Wasn't planning to work on it now, but dr. wants me off, and I would rather try to taper off than switch. Or maybe just get to a lower dose. I'm on the one-day-at-a-time plan...like we all are.

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JanCarol

Actually MeiMei, I think your new pdoc sounds brilliant!  Getting you off your stuff - I just can't imagine ANY pdoc saying those things to me.

 

We (hubby and I) were in therapy yesterday, and we discussed the fear docs have of the statement:  "I want to go off my meds." or "I'm going off my meds" because how that is pictured is just quitting cold turkey, having a meltdown, and ending up in hospital.  Isn't that ALWAYS the way we nutters "go off our meds"?  My psychologist explained very clearly what she perceives I am doing:  she said, "Yes, that fear is there for a real reason, but it's important to communicate what you are doing, slowly, gradually weaning off the meds while maintaining euthymic stability"  (when she said this, I got a beautiful image of a healthy, active brain, her description was so clear) SHE (Psych) OFFERED to talk to PDOC if my tests come back and pdoc balks at what she has previously considered (reducing the lithium).

 

What a champion!  I don't know how the Pdoc is going to listen to Psych any more than me, but okay.  I was in awe of how my psychologist "gets it."  She knows I'm not trying to do anything rash, or I would've quit 2 years ago when I started asking for reductions.  I'm VERY near to doing something rash if this turns sour, but I promise y'all I will not unless my kidneys are shot and I must, or until I get through a plan C (finding a more natural, compounding pharmacy friendly doctor who will help me do this right and well.)  Sometimes I think my pdoc is moodier than I am, but that doesn't make sense.  She's the "zen psychiatrist" who hangs out with Jon Kabat-Zinn for her continuing ed.....

 

Now for a story:  I never thought I'd see the day when I would approve a thorazine shot for hubby.  

 

But on Monday (when I got my kidneys and lithium levels done), he got a cortisone shot in his shoulder.  And apparently he had a reaction to them.  About 14 hours later he started to hiccup, and hiccup'd on and off for another 12 hours.  I could tell from the sound and intensity of them that they were not going to go away with the usual remedies, or at least not stay gone.  It started up again in the psychologists office, and she insisted that he go to a clinic, not wait for his Wednesday appointment with GP.  She (psych) really was punching above her weight yesterday.  So they stopped when he talked about music (interesting, that), but started up again on the motorbike ride home.  So I logged on quickly for interactions between Cortisone and Crestor, Crestor and Hiccups, Cortisone and hiccups.  Interestingly, Crestor and Hiccups produced info on Cortisone and Crestor, and a search for Cortisone, Crestor and hiccups produced a bunch of information on Cortisone and hiccups which said that they usually stop with a shot of thorazine.  That was all mainstream med sources, like NIH.  Okay, I know what's up so we go to the clinic.

 

It says something for medicine that I want to know something before I go in, instead of just trusting what I'm told anymore.

 

Sure enough, they give him a shot of 50mg thorazine in the butt.  By this time he was so tired from about 20 hours of hiccuping.  And the hiccuping wouldn't be good for the shoulder that we were trying to heal, either.  They call Thorazine, "Largactil" here in Australia, which threw me, but the Doc was good, she warned, "now the drug I'm giving you is also given as antipsychotic, but I'm giving you a weaker dose." (and she used name, "chlorpromazine" for me, after asking, "Are you American?").  BUT on the other hand if you want to call that "informed consent" um, no.  I informed his consent later, when we were getting dinner after the clinic.

 

She also wants him on non-drowsy antihistamine for the next few days, as this is a reaction to the cortisone - and - that we need to report this to regular GP as an "adverse reaction."

 

I told him if he were on the Thorazine for more than 3 days, he could have a psychotic event coming off of it.  I told him if he wanted to take it for years, he might drool and shuffle (EPS). The doc gave us 100 (smallest box available) 25 mg of Thorazine.  He might take 1 or 2 over the next couple of days, but I think he's out of the woods.  Now I have a box of this stuff in the house!  Mini lobotomies in a box!

 

I never thought I would approve a shot of thorazine for hubby, but it was nice to see him sleeping like a baby.  (and that's how we get roped in, isn't it?  The short term relief afforded our distress by these drugs).

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